Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Good Friday or Good Wednesday?

Traditionally, people have believed Jesus died on a Friday–it’s been called Good Friday, and that He was buried late Friday afternoon. By Sunday morning, 36 hours later, the tomb was empty. There are several difficulties with this scenario, and with a closer examination of scripture, it appears unlikely that Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Let’s answer the question:

Did Jesus die on Good Friday or Good Wednesday?

Here are several facts to consider:
(1) The Bible never says Jesus was crucified on Friday– only on a day before the Sabbath. Since Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath, an assumption was made that the crucifixion appeared on a Friday. The idea of Holy Week including Good Friday is part of the Roman Catholic Church calendar that has been around for many centuries–it includes the dates for Ash Wednesday and a Lenten season as well. The terms “Ash Wednesday” “Lenten” or “Good Friday” never appear in the Bible. Since Ash Wednesday begins Lent, Fat Tuesday and the Mardi Gras excess is all connected to this church calendar as well.

We often follow tradition without stopping to consider what the Bible really says. You may be wondering, “If Jesus was crucified on a day before the Sabbath, what other option than Friday is there?”

(2) During Passover week there is a “high Sabbath” that occurs on the day of the month (14,15 Nissan–Leviticus 23:4-8) NOT necessarily on Saturday. Saturday was the regular Sabbath, but during Passover there was a special Sabbath. Passover started on a day of the month–14 Nissan–not a day of the week. The first full day of Passover was to be a special Sabbath in which no work was to be done. So during Passover this special “Sabbath” could fall on any day of the week–not just Saturday. Some of our American holidays fall on the same day of the week every year–Labor Day and Thanksgiving are two examples. But many holidays like July 4 and Christmas occur on dates on the calendar so they can fall on any day of the week. Prior to A.D. 325, Easter was celebrated on different days of the week to coincide with the Jewish Passover, therefore there was not a “Good Friday” before that time. In A.D. 325 Constantine the Great, the first Roman emperor to be converted to Christianity convened the Council of Nicaea that issued the Easter Rule, which stated that Easter shall be celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox.
John states Jesus was crucified before this special Sabbath, not the day before the regular weekly Sabbath. “Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.” (John 19:31)

In Matthew 28:1, the Greek text says the women arrived at the tomb “after the Sabbaths.”

But the main reason it is unlikely Jesus was crucified on Friday is because:

(3) Jesus spoke of being in the grave for three days and three nights.
Jesus predicted that after three days, He would be resurrected. Jesus predicted: “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40) Now, either Jesus told a lie, was mistaken, or He was correct in predicting He would be buried for three full days and three nights.

The problem with Good Friday is that it doesn’t allow for this scripture to be fulfilled. You cannot squeeze three days and three nights between a Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection. People who defend the Good Friday tradition claim He was in the tomb “parts” of three days. Figure it out for yourself. If He was crucified on Friday afternoon and gone by Sunday morning that’s only 36 hours. Three days and three nights equal 72 hours. No matter how you try to explain it, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t get three days and three nights between a Friday crucifixion and a Sunday resurrection.

The Jews counted days from sunset to sunset: It gets a little confusing to us because our days begin at midnight, but when the sun set, the Jews started a new day. For instance, today in Jerusalem when Friday night rolls around, it’s already the Sabbath. But by sunset on Saturday night, the Sabbath is over and Sunday has already begun. So based on all these factors, it seems likely Jesus was crucified on Wednesday.

Here’s what the time line would be: 
On Wednesday, Jesus was hung on the cross at 9 a.m. and died at about 3 p.m. He was killed at the same day and time as the Old Testament Passover Lamb presented in the book of Exodus. The Jews took the bodies down before the sun set because Thursday (15 Nissan) was the special Passover Sabbath (the Feast of Unleavened Bread (see Lev.23). So Thursday was night one and day one in the tomb; Friday was night two and day two; Saturday (the weekly Sabbath) was night three and day three in the Tomb. When the women arrived before dawn on Sunday, Jesus was already gone. They were informed by the Angel of God, “He is Risen, He is not here!”

What’s the point? Am I going to start an anti-Good Friday society? No. But I believe in being true to the Word of God, especially when we have any tradition that is not based on the Word. It is important to know all scripture is fulfilled to the letter, and Jesus did spend three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

What do you think Good Friday or Good Wednesday?

As you think about it, pause and thank God Jesus suffered and died for us, was buried and rose again for our justification.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Easter Bunny Jokes..... just for fun

Why does the Easter bunny have a shiny nose? His powder puff is on the wrong end.

Is it true that bunnies have good eyesight? Well you never see a bunny wearing glasses, do you?

What is the difference between a crazy bunny and a counterfeit banknote? One is bad money and the other is a mad bunny!

Why did the Easter egg hide? He was a little chicken!

Why did a fellow rabbit say that the Easter Bunny was self-centered? Because he was eggo-centric!

Why is a bunny the luckiest animal in the world? It has four rabbits' feet

What do you get when you cross a bunny with an onion? A bunion

What did the bunny want to do when he grew up? Join the Hare Force.

What do you call a bunny with a large brain? Egghead!

What does a bunny use when it goes swimming? A hare-net.

How do you make a rabbit stew? Make it wait for three hours!

What did the grey rabbit say to the blue rabbit? Cheer up!

What do you get when you pour hot water down a rabbit hole? A hot cross bunny.

How do you post a bunny? Hare mail

How does the Easter Bunny say Happy Easter? Hoppy Easter

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Don’t Give Up

“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints” (Revelation 14:12). We all long for rest and refreshment. That’s a God-given longing that he promises to fulfill: “I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish” (Jeremiah 31:25). And in a very real way Jesus gives rest to “all who labor and are heavy laden” and come to him (Matthew 11:28). But in this age, it is not the complete rest. In this age, Jesus grants us the gospel rest of ceasing the impossible labor of self-atonement for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). But in embracing the gospel we find ourselves also drafted into a war — a war to keep believing the gospel and a war to spread it to others. In this age we “strive to enter that [complete] rest” of the age to come (Hebrews 4:11). And wars are exhausting — especially long ones. That’s why you are often tired. Most soldiers who experience the fierceness of combat want to get out of it. That’s why you feel urges to escape or surrender. That’s why there are times you’re tempted to give up. But don’t give up. No, rather “take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded” (2 Chronicles 15:7). Don’t give up when that familiar sin, still crouching at your door after all these years, pounces again with temptation. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13). Don’t give up when you feel that deep soul weariness from long battles with persistent weaknesses. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:8–9). Don’t give up when your long prayed-for prayers have not yet been answered. And he told them [the parable of the persistent widow] to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1). Don’t give up when the devil’s fiery darts of doubt land and make you reel. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day…in all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one (Ephesians 6:13,16). Do not give up when the fragmenting effect of multiple pressures seems relentless. But as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger . . . (2 Corinthians 6:4–5). Do not give up when the field the Lord has assigned you to is hard and the harvest does not look promising: And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9) Do not give up when you labor in obscurity and you wonder how much it even matters. Your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:4). Do not give up when your reputation is damaged because you are trying to be faithful to Jesus. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account (Matthew 5:11). Do not give up when waiting on God seems endless. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30–31) Don’t give up when you have failed in sin. Don’t wallow. Repent (again), get your eyes off yourself and back on Jesus, get up and get back in the fight. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9); if we are faithless, he remains faithful — for he cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13). Jesus knows your works (Revelation 2:2) and he understands the war (Hebrews 12:3). “Fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). Finish the race (2 Timothy 4:7). “By your endurance you will gain your lives” (Luke 21:19). Don’t give up. ________ Previous posts from Jon Bloom —

Friday, March 9, 2012

Finish the Devil’s Sermons

Came across this article ...Finish the Devil’s Sermons by Steven Furtick and thought it worthy to repost on my blog. As you navigate the story that is unfolding in your life, you’ll be quick to find that discouragement is everywhere. It seems that the harder you run after God, the harder the devil is going to try to prevent you from getting where you’re going. And all he really has to do to trip us up is drop one little hint of discouragement in our ears. You’re unworthy. You’re a terrible father. You’ll never be any better than this. He’s said it to me and I know that he’s said it to you. The worst part is, the devil doesn’t necessarily speak in complete lies. He gives us half-truths with just enough reality to hit us between the eyes. But here’s an easy way that you can overcome those conniving schemes: Finish the devil’s sermons. It’s simple. The devil is only giving you half of the truth—give him the other half. Yes, I am unworthy. I am absolutely nothing without Christ. But thankfully, He died so that I may become a new creation, void of you and full of the purpose that He has for my life. No, I may not be a perfect father, but I am loved unconditionally by a perfect father who breathed the stars yet knows the number of hairs on my head. And He’s making me more like Him every day. You’re right. on my own accord, I can’t do any better than this. But I am not doing this by myself—I serve the LORD, who is able to do immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine. You don’t have to be Charles Spurgeon to preach the devil out of your life. The name of Jesus alone is enough to send your enemy running for the hills. The devil will always try to show you the downside of your story. Make him pay. Show him who Jesus says you are.