Good Thursday or Good Friday

The Thursday before Easter is called Maundy Thursday.   Tradition has it that it was on this day that Christ ate his last supper, the Passover,  with his disciples before going to the garden of Gethsemane where he was arrested.  Tradition has it that he was crucified on the following day, a Friday.

What if tradition has it wrong?

While the timing of the events of Holy Week is clear through Tuesday, the timing of events that followed is not.  In fact, there is strong evidence, presented by respected Bible scholars like F. LaGard Smith, that the Last Supper occurred on Wednesday, not Thursday, and that Christ was, in fact, crucified on Thursday, not Friday.

If Jesus had been crucified on Friday and immediately put in the tomb, he would not have remained there for three days and, more important, three nights.

The Jewish day begins at sundown of the previous evening.  Therefore, our Wednesday night, is the beginning of Thursday to the Jews.  Passover is observed on the 14 day of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar,  which falls in March or April.  The Passover lamb is to be slaughtered late on the 14th day – the day of preparation –  and the Passover meal eaten that evening, which would be the beginning of the 15th day.   The entire 15th day is to be observed as a special Sabbath to the Lord, regardless of what day of the week it might fall.

The Gospel of John appears to eliminate all doubt that this last meal Christ shared with his disciples was eaten on Wednesday evening.   During that meal, Jesus tells Judas, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”  John says, that since Judas was in charge of the money, some of the other disciples “thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the feast,” (the next evening).

Furthermore, Jesus explains to his disciples why it is important from him to eat this particular Passover meal with them (on the day of preparation).  “For I tell you I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”  The fulfillment is that Jesus, himself, would become the actual Passover lamb by going to the cross to shed his blood for our sins.   Therefore, he would not be there with his disciples for the feast.

The final proof that Jesus was crucified on Thursday, not Friday, is that John 19: 31 plainly states that Jesus crucifixion took place “on the Day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath.”

Somewhere in time, as the church began to mark the events of Holy Week, Friday was observed as the day Christ was crucified.   Using Friday as the day of the crucifixion,  it is possible to find parts of three days but not three nights.   However, the actual day of the week on which Christ died is not important.  What is important is that he willingly went to the cross and paid the price for our sins so that we might live forever and not be separated from a Holy God.

The  name  “Maundy” comes from the Latin word “mandatum,” meaning “command.” This stems from Christ’s words during the Last Supper, recorded in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

As Jesus approached the Mount of Olives, he repeated this commandment with a caveat.  “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”    Jesus called his disciples “friends.”

Throughout history, there have been those who have laid down their lives for others.   These courageous acts usually involve split-second decisions.  Jesus gave his decision a lot of thought.  In fact, that night in the garden he prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

God loved us so much that he decided, years before the actual event, to send his only son to earth to show us the way to live and willingly lay down his life for us.  God boldly announced those plans to the world through the prophets, knowing that Jesus would obey.

If we are to accept this gift of eternal life and follow Christ, we must lay down our lives in order to be born again and surrender our will so that Jesus can live through us.

Whether you observe this day as the day when Christ was crucified is unimportant.  What is important is that you accept this indescribable gift and follow Him.  Alleluia!

6 thoughts on “Good Thursday or Good Friday

  1. Good article. But I vote for Wednesday, as follows:

    You stated, “However, the actual day of the week on which Christ died is not important.”

    Christ stated that His being in the grave for three days and three nights was a sign (or proof) of His messiahship. The Bible also states that if a prophet prophesies something, and it doesn’t come to pass, we are not to fear (respect) that prophet.

    The actual day of the week is critically important for at least two reasons:
    1) Fulfillment of the prophecy of Passover — the removement of the death penalty. Was the day of the week, the annual day of Passover observance?
    2) Did that day of the week allow for the fulfillment of the prophecy of the sign of his messiahship — three days and three nights until His resurrection?
    Some scholars also feel He would have had to die on Wednesday to fulfill the midweek prophecy of Daniel.

    The multiple statements concerning the three days and three nights use different phrasing, including “on the third day,” “after three days” and so on. Such phrasing allows only one exact period of time for His resurrection — the exact moment of the fulfillment of the three days and three nights. Not even one minuter off! Knowing the time He died according to the scripture (the “ninth hour” Luke 23:44-46 — (about three 0’clock by our reckoning), and that He was risen by Sunday morning; it is an elementary process to determine He would have risen on the seventh day Sabbath afternoon (three o’clock)and died on Wednesday.

    What day of the week is not important, but that the day of the week confirms His messiahship is critically important.

    Randy Steele


  2. How silly! For one, the argument makes a bald assertion, but without proof of 14 Nisan being a day earlier than Sacred Tradition and Holy Scripture plainly state. Moreover, the Old Testament prophecy refers to Christ being in the grave for two days and then rising on the third. Our Lord Himself said He would arise on the third day.

    The day of resurrexion was the first day of the week (Sunday), not Saturday. The obscene effort to overturn the constant and unchanging Christian Tradition regarding these events is nothing but an effort to subvert the Christian Faith by Judaisers, who want to turn Christianity into a minor sect of Judaism—which for two thousand years has been a false religion because its adherents refuse to believe in Jesus Christ and accept baptism, as our Lord commanded.

    It is appalling that a “Christian” would promote the inanities presented in Mrs. Chastain’s column. And, by the way, these facts *do* matter, since they have to do with the Truth. If the days of crucifixion and resurrexion are unimportant, why write a column about them? But, more than that, if Sacred Tradition is not true, even in these details, then the entire Christian Faith is overturned—which is what the Judaisers and Jews want. May God forbid it! And may He grant the victory to the One, True, Catholic Faith!


  3. I disagree the prophecy clearly states 3 days and 3 nights.
    He was crucified on Wed.

    Wed night he was placed in the tomb.
    Wed night to Thur night is first night.
    Thur night to Fri night is second night.
    Fri night to Sat night is third night.

    And as for the 3 mornings.
    Thur morning to Fri morning is the fist day
    Fri morning to Sat morning is the second day.
    Sat morning to Sun morning is the third day.

    Like you said maybe the exact days don’t really matter but what does matter is that JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS AND ROSE FROM THE DEAD.

    If you truly repent of your sins take Christ as your Savior then your sins are forgiven by his horrible death on the cross and His resurrection grants you eternal life with Him.

    My Savior is alive and well and I am anxiously awaiting His return to rapture His church and to rule over the earth as King of Kings.
    Come Lord Jesus!


  4. Ronald if Judasim is a false religion then Christ came from a false religion?
    No the Jews are still waiting for Christ to come and when He returns the second time they will finally recognize Him as their Messiah and King and repent that they rejected Him the first time.
    Christ is God of ALL of us not just certain denominations.


  5. One must always start at the beginning. Genesis is a record of beginnings. It was evening and morning of each of the days. To rhose who choose to tell time God’s way, a day begins in what we call evening. To many, it is called the dawning of a new day. Go talk to a Rabbi. Matthew 28 says in the original language at the end of the sabbathS (yes-plural!) as it was dawning toware the first day of the week. To people who understand what this means, ir clearly says that it was becoming dark Saturay night, That is the start of a new day. It has nothing to do with sunrise.
    Counting backward; Weekly Sabbath- day of preparation- High Sabbath-day of preparation- the Passover meal eaten the night before because of the event to unfold on that day of preparation, easily explains the literal fullfillment of Jesus’s statement. The Gentile Dilemma is caused by trying to make the events fit into a different time-keeping system. He had already risen on the Sabbath when the women went to the tomb.
    The angels said that He has already risen as He said.

    One does not have to be a Seventh Day Adventist to have the Crucifixion and Resurrection Biblically based. Beware of how deeply seated the tradition is held. I chuckle(under my breath)at those who claim to be All for Jesus, except for possibly observing that Saturday evening rather than sunrise on Sunday morning might be more correct, Jesus is spoken of a Lord of the Sabbath, not the Lord of the First Day of the Week. Yes He is Lord of all of them, but there was only on one of them was He raised from the dead. We can marvel at those who will not eat their sacred cows. I guess we have one or two of our own sacred cows. He is Risen. He is Risen Indeedm as He Said. It can’t be we are enslaved by tradition…that’s that other church. wdt


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