There are innumerable arguments and claims by Messianics that Christians are wrong for claiming that Messiah was crucified on a Friday when He was actually crucified on a Wednesday.  Unfortunately, proponents of the Wednesday crucifixion presupposition have only given their premise a cursory view without thorough investigation whatsoever.  In reality, the alleged Wednesday crucifixion poses more logistical difficulties than does the Friday hypothesis.  It even removes the possibility of Yehoshua (Yeshua) being the Messiah of Scripture!  There are three reasons (at least) why this scenario is impossible to reconcile.

  1. Lazy Disciple Friday!

The claim is that Messiah was crucified on Wednesday before sundown and resurrected shortly after sundown on the first day of the following week.  They say that Passover was on that Wednesday.  Then Thursday was a High Sabbath because it was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Friday was “spice gathering day” (Seriously?).  Saturday was the weekly Sabbath and Yeshua rose from the grave after the sun went down on Saturday.  They say this is the ONLY way to satisfy the requirement of Him being in the grave “three days and three nights” as He said would happen.

However, we are told in Luke that the spices and perfumes were prepared before the Sabbath started.

(Luke 23:54-56 NASB) And it was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed after, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid.  And they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Where did they get them?  In John we are told that Joseph of Arimathea not only donated his grave for Messiah, but Nicodemus also donated 100 lbs. of spices with which he would be buried:

(John 19:38 -42NASB)  And after these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. He came therefore, and took away His body.  And Nicodemus came also, who had first come to Him by night; bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight.  And so they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.  Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been laid.  Therefore on account of the Jewish day of preparation, because the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Wednesday 2

As it was, the women were eager to finish preparing the body early the morning of the first day of the week. They certainly would not have lazed around doing nothing on Friday when they could have finished preparing the body at that time. The Wednesday crucifixion hypothesis means that the body would have been in the ground four days and would “stinketh” (KJV) by Sunday morning:

(John 11:39 KJV) Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

Mark 16:1 states that the women bought spices early that morning the first day of the week, but that does nothing to bolster the imagined premise that they gathered spices all day long on that Friday.  The imagined “spice gathering day” falls flat.  There is not an explanation for “Lazy Disciple Friday” with a Wednesday crucifixion.

2.  Yeshua said He would be raised up “ON the third day…”

(Mat 16:21 NASB) From that time Jesus Christ began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.

The resurrection ON the third day is mentioned at least NINE TIMES in the Gospels alone. It is mentioned at least once in Acts and also mentioned in 1 Cor. 15:4. With Yeshua being buried before sundown on Thursday and resurrecting after the weekly Sabbath, He is in the ground less than three full days (less than 72 hours) making it ON the third day that He is raised. This is in complete agreement with everything in the Scriptures.

On the other hand, the Messianics want to use ONE PASSAGE and then read into it something that is not there (eisegesis):

(Mat 12:40 NASB) for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

There is only one “witness” to the three days and three nights of Messiah being in the grave in Scripture.  The quote from the Book of Jonah is used as a simile, but Jonah does not say that Messiah would be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.  Therefore, the statement is only made once in Scripture.  That does not negate the passage, but the weightier point is definitely the eleven times in the Brit Hadashah and Hosea 6:2 which say He will resurrect ON the third day, not AFTER the third day.

Wednesday 2

The claim by many Messianics is” this must mean at least three full days and three full nights.” Then they use the following passage to show that if Yeshua says “a day,” He meant twelve hours:

(John 11:9 NASB) Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.

But Yeshua was not trying to tell the disciples “there are exactly 12.000 hours in a day…”  For one thing, except for two days a year, there is NOT exactly twelve hours in a day.  He is telling them He has to go back to Judah and they have to walk in the light (day) of the Father’s Will, even though the Pharisees want to kill Him:

(John 11:7 NASB) Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”
(John 11:8 NASB) The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?”
(John 11:9 NASB) Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
(John 11:10 NASB) “But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”

A passage that is more applicable is the parable of the workers getting paid a “day’s wage” when some were even hired toward the end of the day instead of the beginning of the day. A portion of a day can be considered “a day.” That is true in every day usage also. Does putting in a “day’s work” mean you worked twelve hours?  No.  If you say you traveled on a three day trip, but only traveled 2.6 days, did you tell a lie?  No.

Yeshua died at 3:00 and was in the grave for some unspecified time before the sun went down.  Joseph of Arimathea got permission to bury the body, wrapped it in a cloth, and set it in his tomb.

(Mat 27:58-60 NASB)  This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given over to him.  And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,  and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

Since He was crucified on a Thursday, He was in the grave Thursday, Thursday night, Friday (special Sabbath), Friday night, and Saturday (weekly Sabbath), and Saturday night.  He arose ON the third day after the Sabbath rests were complete:  three days and three nights.The Wednesday Crucifixion makes Messiah and those who greeted Him as He rode into into Jerusalem “sinners.”

3.  The Wednesday crucifixion folks say Passover (14th day of Abib) was on a Wednesday.  That means the Yeshua rode into Jerusalem on a previously unridden beast on the Sabbath Day (10th of Abib).  It also means that the crowd, who broke branches off the trees to honor Him were in sin also.

Yeshua rode into Jerusalem on the 10th of Abib in fulfillment of the original command to bring the Passover lamb into the house on that day:

(Exo 12:3-6 NASB)  “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.  ‘Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb.  ‘Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.  ‘And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.

If the crucifixion was a Wednesday, then the 10th of Abib was on the Sabbath.  That means Yeshua broke the Sabbath by making the previously unridden beast work and the people who greeted Him broke the Sabbath when they broke branches out of the trees to honor Him.

Wednesday 4

*Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are considered one Feast.  The Passover day itself is considered the “preparation day” for the beginning of the Feast, which is a High Sabbath (Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:31).

(Mat 21:6-9 NASB)  And the disciples went and did just as Jesus had directed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid on them their garments, on which He sat.  And most of the multitude spread their garments in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees, and spreading them in the road.  And the multitudes going before Him, and those who followed after were crying out, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!”

(John 12:12-25 NASB)  On the next day the great multitude who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet Him, and began to cry out, “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel.”  And Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written,  “FEAR NOT, DAUGHTER OF ZION; BEHOLD, YOUR KING IS COMING, SEATED ON A DONKEY’S COLT.”

The Wednesday crucifixion hypothesis shows Yeshua and the people definitively breaking the Sabbath.  While beasts should be fed and watered on the Sabbath (Luke 13:15), they are to rest on the Sabbath just like the people (Exodus 20:8-11).   Also, let’s not forget that even picking up sticks (not to mention breaking off branches) is a violation of the Sabbath Day (Numbers 15:32-36).

4.  One other thing…

The 70 Weeks of Daniel are crucial!  It is in Daniel Chapter 9 that Scriptures tell the exact day that Yeshua would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey and be publicly honored as the Messiah.  According to the calculations by Sir Robert Anderson, Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard over 100 years ago in his book “The Coming Prince,” Yeshua rode into Jerusalem on April 6, 32 AD.  According to his thorough investigation (others have come up with various other specific days of the week for that year, but I trust his research more than others), Passover in 32 A.D. was on a Thursday.

While this is largely an insignificant issue, the day of the week of the crucifixion seems to be very, very important to a large group of people.  It is as if pride is taken in possessing this insight.  We must not be puffed up because we think we have knowledge.  “Believing” in a Wednesday or Friday crucifixion does not lead to repentance or provide salvation.

To me, it was just a mystery to solve in order to make various things in Scripture “fit.”

It’s just “trivia.”  You can now get your brown wedge for answering the Literature question correctly and put it in your game piece.  Roll the dice!  It’s still your turn…

Copyright 2016
Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews.

Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
Fort Smith, Arkansas

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