Good Friday or Good Wednesday
"And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:" Exodus 13:21
"And God said, Let there be light; and there was light." Genesis 1:3
"And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on." Luke 23:54
Jesus answered, Are there twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world." John 11:9
I will give you references. You may want to look at them yourself. Genesis, Chapter 1
I'm going to teach on the subject of The Hoax of Good Friday, and why our Lord was crucified on Wednesday. Now, there's a reason for this Bible Study other than the fact that I want to get something off my chest, though I usually do that, too. But there's a reason for the lesson. After I get through with the proving of the point, then I think you'll see the reason for the message.
TRADITION VS, BIBLE
Now, let me ask you a question. If you see it in the Bible, will you believe it?
I want you to follow very carefully, and I want you to see it. I want you to actually see it in the Bible and for your own self.
Now look, Protestants—and I don't like the word, but I use it because you know what I mean—Protestants have as much tradition as Catholics do, and the fact that your denomination traditionally believes something does not give you one bit of right to believe it.
There ought not to be anything that you believe unless it's in the Bible. What does the Bible teach? Now, I know that all over the country on the Friday before Easter, people have their Good Friday services, and they start at noon, and they run the Good Friday services through three o'clock in the afternoon, and people say our Lord was crucified so many years ago just at this time of the day, and so forth.
It makes a very pretty thing, except it's not true. It is not true. Our Lord was crucified on Wednesday. He gave up the Ghost at three o'clock on Wednesday afternoon. He was laid in the grave somewhere about six o'clock on Wednesday evening. He was in the grave Wednesday evening, all day Thursday, Thursday evening, all day Friday, Friday evening, and all day Saturday, and He rose from the grave on Saturday after sundown, which was the beginning of Sunday and the end of the third day in the grave. But now, bear in mind this. The day started with the evening.
Now, listen carefully, for I want you to get it. You say, "Well, my church doesn't believe this." Well, I don't give a hang what your church or mine believes; I want to know what the Bible believes. And if you don't, you're not a good Christian. What does the Bible say?
THE BIBLE DEFINITION OF A DAY
In the Bible, it doesn't say the morning and the evening were the first day; it says the evening and the morning were the first day.
For the Hebrew day began with six o'clock in the evening, not as our day does with the morning. And the evening and the morning were the first day. So, our Lord was in the grave three days and three nights, and I'll go into that after awhile, but He was in three days. What days? Thursday, Friday, Saturday. What nights? Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, don't you see. He came out of the grave, I think, about evening time on Saturday. And He was found; the grave was empty on Sunday morning and so forth.
WEDNESDAY CRUCIFIXION, NOT FRIDAY
Now, I've given the premise, and I want to try to prove it on you if you'll let me. Let's look first at the matter of the three days and the three nights. In the Bible, a day is usually, almost always, the light part of a twenty-four hour period. When it says three days, that means three periods of the light part. Now there are other meanings of the word day in the Bible, such as periods of time, like the day of the Lord, the day of calamity, the day of vengeance, the day of visitation, and so forth. But, normally, when the Lord speaks about a day, He speaks about the light time in the twenty-four-hour cycle.
Look at Genesis, Chapter 1 and we'll be using a lot of verses today. A little unusual type message, but I think when we get to the end, you'll know why. Genesis, Chapter 1, Verse 3.
"And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness, and God called the light day."
Now, when the Lord says "the day," is He talking about a twenty-four-hour period? No. He called what day? –tell me, light day.
And the darkness He called night. All right, when the Lord speaks about a day, He's talking about the light part of the twenty-four hours, and the darkness He called night; that's the dark part of the twenty-four hours. And the evening and the morning were the first day. All right, when our Lord says three days in the grave, does that mean parts of three days? No, it means three light periods. And He said, "three nights," it means three dark periods, you see. For the evening and the morning were the first complete day. The light time He called day; the darkness He called night.
Now turn, please, to the Gospel of John, Chapter 11, Verse 9.
"Jesus answered, Are there not"—how many hours in the day?—twelve hours in the day? "If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world."
So, how many hours in the day the Lord said? Twelve hours. We're assuming that the Lord is talking about twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness. Now let's see. It is now—of course it's summertime, and it's a bit different, and it wont' be dark twelve hours tonight. But, it'll average out about twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness. So, our Lord said, are there not twelve hours in the day?
Turn back to Exodus, Chapter 13, Verse 21, Now, don't leave me yet, because we're getting down to the fussing part after awhile. I don't want you to miss the mean part. Exodus 13:21.
"And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night."
So when the Lord says day, he does not mean the day and the night. He means the light part of the twenty-four hours. So, if that be true, then, if the Lord said that Jonah was in the belly of the whale, or the whale's belly—every time I read that scripture, I want to say whale's belly, I don't know why. It just comes out that way. He was in the whale's belly—but usually get mixed up and say it right. Anyway, he was in the belly of the whale, or the fish, three days and three nights. All right, how many hours in a day?
THREE FULL DAYS REQUIRED
All right, How many hours—how many days was he in the belly of the whale? Three. All right, three times twelve is how much? Thirty-six. All right. Now, if there are twelve hours in the day, how many hours in the night? Twelve. Wonderful. All right. And how many nights was he in the whale's belly? Three. All right, three times twelve is how much? Thirty-six. And thirty-six and thirty-six is how many hours? Seventy-two. All right.
Now, in Matthew Chapter 12, it says,
"As Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, even so must the Son of Man be"—what? "In the heart of the earth."
How long? Three days and three nights. Three days, three times twelve, that's thirty-six. Three nights, three times twelve, that's thirty-six. Thirty-six and thirty-six is seventy-two. So how many hours, according to our Lord—now, our Lord said—how many hours in the day? Twelve? How many hours does that leave for the night? Twelve. All right, according to our Lord Himself, how many hours was Jesus in the heart of the earth? You tell me. Seventy-two hours.
Now, let's get the Lord crucified Friday afternoon at three o'clock. All right, how many hours would be left till midnight, then? Nine. All right, write nine hours down. All right, then from midnight Friday night to midnight Saturday night is how many hours? Twenty-four. So add twenty-four to that. He came out of the grave sometime during the night Saturday night, didn't He? As the day began to dawn for the first of the week—all right, let's just say, then, six more hours, then. All right. Now, how many hours do we have to have? Say it, seventy-two. All right, let's see how many you have. Thirty-nine. All right, then, was the Lord crucified on Friday or not? Well, He couldn't have been. He couldn't have been. For Jesus said there are twelve hours in a day, and He said three days. That leaves twelve hours in a night, and He said three nights. Yes, but in the Bible that means any part of a day is a whole day. No, in the Bible, it doesn't mean a whole day, and if it did, it also says three nights.
Look, let's suppose that He just meant any part of the day. When He said, "a day," it means any part of a day. Let's see what we can do here. Any part of the day. Then let's see. That would be three nights, we know. It's got to be at least a whole day and a whole night, don't you see? It can't be seventy-two hours. Now the first thing I want to establish is this—that our Lord could not have been crucified on Friday and give up the Ghost on Friday afternoon, and have been in the heart of the earth seventy-two hours.
Now, if it had been seventy-two hours, it would have had to have been between six o'clock on Friday night—that would be Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, you see. He would have to have come out of the grave—He couldn't come out of the grave on Sunday. And even not at all on Sunday, but the Bible says in Matthew 28:1
"As it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre,"
and found the grave empty, you see. All right, it could not have been—
Now then, let me ask you a question. Not church tradition—the Bible. How many hours in a day? Twelve. How many days was Jesus in the grave? Three. How many hours, then, of daylight was he in the grave? Thirty-six. How many hours in the night, then? Twelve. How many night hours was He in the grave, then? Thirty-six. Thirty-six and thirty-six is how much? Seventy-two. Then would you agree that according to the Bible, our Lord was in the heart of the earth seventy-two hours?
I want to ask you a question. Do you believe the Bible? Now, whether you believe it or not is not the issue—is that what the Bible says?
All right. Now, then. Then why the problem? It looks like to me that anybody can see that. All right, now, here's the problem. Turn to Luke 23:54. Now don't leave me. Luke 23:54, and I'll show you why there's a problem. Let's make it Luke 23:52-54.
THE SABBATHS EXPLAINED
This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down—now, this is the day our Lord was crucified—he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation and the Sabbath drew on.
Which means, the Sabbath was the day after the crucifixion. You see, now that throws a monkey wrench in it. Now, what day is the Sabbath? Saturday. And if the Sabbath is the day after the crucifixion, then what day would it normally seem that our Lord was crucified? Friday. And that's where you have the problem.
All right, now if you would, turn please to the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 15. The Gospel of Mark, Chapter 15, Verse 42, page 1068. Mark 15:42, here it is:
"And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, an honorable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate and craved the body of Jesus."
Now back to Verse 42. It was the day before the what? Sabbath. Now, that's where your problem arises. There is no way in the world you can get seventy-two hours between Friday afternoon at three o'clock and Sunday morning.
On the other hand, it very plainly says in Mark 15 and Luke 23 that the crucifixion took place before the what? The Sabbath. All right, so then some people said, "Had to be on Friday." And that's where your Good Friday comes from. Now. Is there a contradiction? The answer is no, there is not a contradiction. There are two kinds of Sabbaths. There is the seventh day Sabbath and the High Day Sabbath. Two different kinds of Sabbaths. I want you to turn, please, to Leviticus 23. Now, this is where I want you to stay right with me very carefully. Leviticus, Chapter 23. Now, in Leviticus 23, we have seven Sabbaths listed apart from the weekly Sabbath. Seven Sabbaths listed. I want you to notice, now, Leviticus 23, look at Verse 23.
"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation."
Now, how often did this Sabbath come around here? Every what month of the year? Say it. Seventh. What day of the month? First. So here is an annual Sabbath. Look down, if you would, please, to Verse 32. Leviticus 23:32.
"And it shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even,"—that's from six to six—"shall ye celebrate your Sabbath."
Now, this is talking about the Sabbath of the Atonement. Look down, if you would please, to Leviticus Chapter 23, Verse 39.
"Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month,"—that's the seventh month, the fifteenth day—"when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath."
It sounds to me like the first day is the Sabbath sometimes, and the eighth day is the Sabbath sometimes. Now, listen carefully, and I'll teach you something. In Chapter 23 of Leviticus, there are seven Sabbaths listed. There is the Passover Sabbath on the first month, fourteenth day. There is the Unleavened Bread Sabbath on the first month, fifteenth day. There is the First Fruits Sabbath on the first month, and the seventeenth day. There is a Pentecost Sabbath fifty days later. There is a Sabbath of the Trumpets in the seventh month, the Sabbath of Atonement in the seventh month, and also the Sabbath of the Feast of Tabernacles. Now, here are seven different Sabbaths mentioned in Leviticus 23, and not a one of them have to do with the seventh day of the week. Now then. I ask you a question. How many type Sabbaths are there? One is the what Sabbath? Weekly Sabbath, the weekly.. The weekly Sabbath.
All right, now there was another Sabbath—these were called High Sabbaths, or special Sabbaths. There are many of them. We found seven here in Leviticus, Chapter 23. Right? Okay, now we have to figure out if that's the case; we have to figure out which kind of Sabbath it is after the crucifixion. Now, is it not true that the Lord was crucified before the Sabbath, right? Now follow me. The Lord was crucified the day before the Sabbath, right? How many Sabbaths, how many kinds of Sabbaths? Two: the weekly Sabbath and the High Sabbath.
Turn please to John 19, Verse 31, and let's see if you can find out what kind of Sabbath it was the day after the crucifixion. John 19, Verse 31. Look at it. Everybody in the house, get a Bible. If you don't have one, look on with your neighbor. I want you to see. Some body's going to say, "I just don't agree with old Ramsey." No, you don't. It's the Bible you don't agree with. And it's the fact that you love your church more than you love God's Word. You love your denominational heritage more than you love the Word of God. Let's look and see.
John 19:31 "The Jews, therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day," —now read the parenthesis with me, please, out loud—ready? "for that Sabbath day was an high day."
Let me ask you a question. Was our Lord crucified, then, the day before the weekly Sabbath, or the day before a High Sabbath? A High Sabbath. Does it have to be on Friday? No, it didn't. It was not—now, you want to know what Sabbath it was? I'm glad you're asking, because I'm going to tell you what Sabbath it was. Look at John 19, Verse 14. What Sabbath was it? It could have been the Trumpet. It could have been the Passover. It could have been the Tabernacles. It could have been the Atonement. Here it is. John 19:14.
"And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold, your King."
All right, now what Sabbath was it, then? The Passover Sabbath. All right, which means our Lord was crucified the day before the Passover Sabbath, and not the weekly Sabbath. Now that takes care of the problem, doesn't it? People say, "Well, no, the Lord said the next day was the Sabbath day." But it plainly says in John 19:31, "It was a High Sabbath." And it says in John 19:14 what Sabbath it was—it was the Passover Sabbath. So our Lord was crucified on Wednesday, and on Thursday was the Passover Sabbath. All right, now let's go further. Look—and by the way, don't leave me here.
Look in Matthew 28, Verse 1.
"In the end of the Sabbath," —is that the weekly Sabbath? Yes. "In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week"
—now hold it. What Sabbath is that? A weekly Sabbath. All right, now. Did we find out a while ago what Sabbath it was after He was crucified? Was it a High Sabbath or a weekly Sabbath? And the Sabbath before He was resurrected—was it a High Sabbath or a weekly Sabbath. Weekly Sabbath. So it was not the same Sabbath, was it? The Sabbath after His crucifixion was a High Sabbath. The Sabbath before His resurrection was a weekly Sabbath because it says the next day was the first day of the week. So He could not have been crucified on a Friday, because there are two Sabbath days that have got to get in here before He was resurrected. Follow me? You have to have a High Sabbath and a weekly Sabbath unless—unless, it could have fallen on the same day, and that's a possibility. But you can't get seventy-two hours between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.
The Passover Sabbath followed the death of Christ, right? All right, that means that the first night and the first day was Passover Sabbath. Now, on the fourteenth of the first month was Passover Sabbath, but on the fifteenth of the first month was the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Always was, the Hebrews began to eat the Passover, and that first date was a Sabbath. Our Lord—the first night, or full day, night and day, He was in the grave was the Passover Sabbath. That's on Thursday. The second was a Feast of Unleavened Bread Sabbath. That's on Friday. And the third was what Sabbath? Say it. Weekly Sabbath, which means that all three days and three nights our Lord was in the grave, was Sabbath time. That's why Mary Magdalene came to the grave. It says,
"As the first day began to dawn after the Sabbaths,"
—more than one Sabbath. After the Sabbaths. What Sabbaths? Passover, following the Passover was Unleavened Bread, and following Unleavened Bread was the weekly Sabbath.
WHAT WAS NAILED TO THE CROSS
Turn please to Colossians, Chapter 2, and I'll explain something to you there. Colossians, Chapter 2, Verse 14, Colossians 2:14.
"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross."
Now, whatever ordinances we're going to talk about were against us, right? And Christ blotted them out.
"Which was contrary to us,"
—whatever he's going to talk, now, these are ordinances that were contrary to us.
"And took it out of the way."
Whatever ordinances these are, they're out of the way now.
"And nailing it to His cross,"
—whatever ordinances He's going to talk about were nailed to the cross—
"and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
Now, what are they?
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat."
Okay, is it okay to eat meat on Friday? Yes. Is it okay to eat meat during Lenten season? Yes. Is it okay to eat meat on Good Friday?
It was nailed to the cross. Christ made a show of it openly; He triumphed over it; He put it out of the way. He swallowed it. No good. Why? It was nailed to the cross. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, every Old Testament ritual was nailed to the cross, every Old Testament ordinance was nailed to the cross. Let's go further.
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days."
Not just Sabbath day; Sabbath days, because there are many Sabbath days. Follow me very carefully now.
Why was our Lord in the grave during all three Sabbaths? Follow me carefully. The Passover Sabbath has to do with salvation, the shedding of blood. We said this morning, the blood on the doorposts and the lintels; our Lord nailed that to the cross. No longer a need for a lamb to die. No longer a need to slay a lamb. Why? Nobody's sin is forgiven by a lamb being slain. No need for it. Why? The Lamb of God has already been slain. So our Lord nailed the Passover Sabbath. That's why we don't have Passover season. Why? Because the Passover represents salvation, and you don't need the lamb freshly slain all the time for salvation. Slain once and for all, our Lord nailed the Passover Sabbath to the cross. Salvation has always been by grace through the faith, but no longer a need for other sacrifices. All those nailed to the cross. Our Lord took care of all that.
The Unleavened Bread Sabbath. What was that? That's the feasting. You're already saved now; now you feast. Feast on what? You feast on the Word of God. So now, what do we feast on now? The Bible. Why? Unleavened Bread Sabbath nailed to the cross. Don't worry about that. No more Unleavened Bread Sabbath. Why? Here is our feasting. You see? So He died—He was in the grave on the first Sabbath, the Passover Sabbath, to say Christ alone can save. No blood of the lamb or a goat anymore. The blood of Jesus Christ. He was in the grave also on the Unleavened Bread Sabbath to say here is what you feast on now. But He was also in the grave on the weekly Sabbath because now then we don't serve on the Sabbath. We serve in the energy and power of the Holy Spirit every day of the week. So our Lord wanted to say, "I'm in the grave three days and three nights." Why? Passover Sabbath, salvation is of the Lord. Only one lamb now. Trust the Savior. Unleavened Bread Sabbath. Why? Because we feast now on the Word of God, not a Passover lamb. The weekly Sabbath. Why? Because our service now is in the energy of the Holy Spirit.
So, the Passover is nailed to the cross. The Unleavened Bread is nailed to the cross, and the weekly Sabbath is nailed to the cross, and now then we are saved by grace through faith in the cross of Christ. We feast upon the blessed Word of God, and serve in the energy of the Holy Spirit. All the Sabbaths are nailed to the cross. So, He was in the grave Thursday (Passover Sabbath), Friday (Unleavened Bread Sabbath), Saturday (weekly Sabbath). Now, let me go back and go through these once again just a bit.
All the time our Lord was in the grave was Sabbath time. All the time. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Why? Now, in the first place, to take away the ritual from salvation—if you want to see something very interesting, and to show you our day, here it is. Turn to John 18:28, Look at it very carefully. John 18:28.
"Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas."
Now, who is this leading Jesus? Soldiers, wicked people. They are about to crucify Jesus. Now, are these people good people or bad people? These guys wear black hats—every one of them. "Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment, and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall." Now, here's a crowd taking Jesus—they didn't go into the judgment hall—why?
"Lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover."
Now, what is our Lord doing, being in the grave on the Passover Sabbath? He is telling us once and for all you're not saved by going to a Good Friday service. You're not saved by going to a Mass. You're not saved by taking a Holy Eucharist. You're not saved by drinking some juice. You're not saved by confessing your sins to a priest. You're not saved by good works; you're not saved by communion; you're not saved by baptism; you're not saved by confirmation. It was all nailed to the cross. You're saved by the Christ of the Cross. That's what our Lord was saying.
There's also a second Passover, a second Sabbath. He was there for feasting. Now bear in mind this: He nailed Lenten season to the cross. As long as I'm pastor of this church, as long as I stand behind this pulpit, there will never be a Lenten season. I have written one Lenten article for the Hammond Times, and in that Lenten article the subject was, "There are no special seasons." If it's worth serving God forty days a year, it's worth serving God three hundred sixty-five days a year. If you are going to give up beer during Lenten, wonderful; then make it three hundred sixty-five days and you'll have some sense. What am I saying? I am saying that the Lord said,
Jesus died on the cross and was in the grave three days and three nights, three Sabbaths, so that He might nail to the cross all the Sabbaths. Salvation Sabbath, the feasting Sabbath, and the service Sabbath. All those were nailed to the cross, because He was in the grave during all that time—all of those Sabbaths.
THE LAW OF GOD STILL BINDING
This does not do away with or nail the Laws of God to the Cross. To break the laws of God is to sin. 1John 3:4. The Sabbath Ordinances were nailed to the Cross, the Bill of Divorcement was nailed to the cross, but the Laws of God are still valid, in effect and carry a penalty with them.