Daily Update from Pastor David Booker April 2, 2020
Thursday, April 2
Update & Prayer Notes
Matthew 21:20 – 25:46
There’s a verse in Matthew which has influenced my chronology of the last week of Jesus’ life.
40For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. —Matthew 12:40
This is the only reference to “three days and three nights” so going to the wall for something mentioned only once in the Bible is risky. But all four of the gospel writers emphasize the duration of Christ’s death is three days. So if he died on Friday and rose on Sunday, he’s dead for a part of three days, but only one full day. If I saw you after the Sunday service, (so we’re still in the morning), and I said I’d meet you Tuesday at Tim’s for a coffee, you’d say, “Great! I’ll see you in two days time.”
And you certainly can’t fit three nights into that timeframe.
That’s why I believe Jesus died on Thursday. And by the way … while I’m certainly in the minority, I’m not alone. The biggest opposition to us “Thursday” believers is that the women came to the tomb to further embalm his body at sunrise on Sunday, because it was the earliest opportunity to do that, since it was prohibited on the Sabbath.
Their argument is that if Jesus died on Thursday, they could have embalmed his body on Friday.
Except that I believe that year the Passover would have fallen on Friday. That becomes like a holiday; like Labour Day or Canada Day. Only because Passover was a religious holiday, it became a “special Sabbath” and Sabbath rules applied. Jesus dies and is buried on Thursday. They rush to get him into the tomb before Sabbath — the special Passover Sabbath — begins (with sundown Thursday evening). The women can’t make it to the tomb either Friday or Saturday because of Sabbath rules.
I’m not trying to change the world. I’ll gladly continue to celebrate the death of Jesus on Friday with the rest of Christendom. After all, I celebrate his birth on December 25, which is highly unlikely. But I rest easy knowing the prophecies are true: Jesus was “in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.”
Just a thought — strange though it may be!
- Pastor David Booker