Sunday, 20 April 2014

Good Friday


OTOH, maybe we can get rid of the Satanic stuff in this matter. Perhaps "Good Friday" is just another way of acknowledging that the Lord Jesus did indeed die on Friday, lay in the tomb on Saturday and rose again in triumph from the grave on Sunday? In his study Bible, EW Bullinger goes to great lengths to show that Christ was actually crucified on Wednesday. I know some Christians who hold to a Thursday crucifixion, but most of the commentators are either silent on the controversy (itself significant) or hold to the Friday position e.g. Ryle and Hendriksen etc.

A number of thoughts on the matter, as I see it (Always open to correction)

1) Key verses include John 19:31 where we read of the hurry to get the body down before the Sabbath Day. This Sabbath was a high day. The non Friday folk believe that the Sabbath here was not Saturday, but another workless day connected with the Passover feast. The Friday folk believe this Sabbath was indeed Saturday, hence the urgency on Friday.

2) Another key verse is Mathew 12:40  (For as Jonas 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.) Maybe a Hebrew idiom to denote three full days or part thereof. However, it is admitted that this is perhaps the strongest verse for the Non Friday argument. However...

3) If in Matthew 12:40 you are going to insist on three full days and three full nights i.e. Jesus was seventy two hours in the tomb, then surely you must say that He rose again the fourth day according to the Scriptures, and not the third day as in 1 Corinthians 15:4? 

4)  In an early prophecy of His own resurrection, the Lord Jesus said that He would raise the destroyed temple (a metaphorical reference to His own body) in three days  (John 2:18-22). As in the paragraph above, unless this included the third day, the language would surely be "after three days" i.e. the fourth day.

5) The two on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24) again provide us evidence of a Friday resurrection. They were clearly walking along the road on the first day of the week i.e. Sunday. They spoke to their unknown (to them) fellow traveller (Jesus) as to the cause of their sadness. Their hope for the restoration of Israel had been crucified. When? But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. (v21) Since Sunday was the third day,  then Saturday was obviously the second day and that leaves Friday as the first day. Having said that, certainly to us in our Western culture, to say "It has been a day since this happened" would mean that it happened yesterday. Which then would seem to point the day of crucifixion back to Thursday. However, once you start stacking the days and move from the singular to the plural, it is more comfortable linguistically to count back to the first day and include it. Again: The key word in v21 is the word "since" however, the Reformation Bibles i.e. William  Tyndale, the Geneva Bible and the Bishop's Bible simply renders the key word "that" which throws a slightly different light on things and pushes us back towards Friday.

 But we trusted that it had been he that should have delivered Israel, and as touching all these things, to day is the third day, that they were done. (Geneva)

I am not a big fan of modern versions, but Weymouth certainly doesn't mess about! He renders v21 as follows: "Yes, it was but the day before yesterday that this happened".
6) We should not let the Church of Rome influence us on this matter. They are not necessarily wrong in everything. Best to leave them out of the equation as irrelevant.

7) It is not heresy to suggest that the Lord Jesus was crucified on Friday nor (as above) a Satanic plot. Neither do we need to invoke Colossians 2:8 about being spoilt by philosophy. Let's not get carried away and keep the cries of "Wolf!" for the real occasion.

8) The main thing is that Jesus is alive! He was delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification (Romans 4:25). It is the event itself that matters and not some difficulties over the timing.  


No comments:

Post a Comment

All are welcome to comment here provided that the usual principles of Christian comment e.g. politeness etc. are observed.