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A Friday Crucifixion?

21 Apr

The tradition of the Friday crucifixion puts “six days before the Passover” (John 12:1) on the Sunday previous to the crucifixion. Is this possible? No, for according to Scripture, it was not possible for Christ to have been crucified on Friday! This is because a Friday crucifixion demands that the day previous to Christ’s first entry into Jerusalem must be a weekly Sabbath (Saturday). Christ’s activity and the activity of everyone in the Gospel accounts make this an impossibility. Notice what Luke’s account says. Jesus journeyed and came near to Jericho (Luke 18:35). He entered and passed through Jericho (Luke 19:1), but when he saw Zacchaeus in a tree Jesus told him he and his disciples would be Zacchaeus’ guests for the evening (Luke 19:5).

Zacchaeus hurried and received him gladly (Luke 19:6), but the people were upset that Jesus would lodge in the home of a sinner. The word for guest is kataluo (G2647) and means “to halt for the night, to lodge, to be guest.” There is little doubt that Jesus spent the night with Zacchaeus in his home.

The point is this: there was no Sabbath rest here for Jesus or anyone with him. It is evident that Jesus took no rest until evening. He entered and passed through Jericho, which would not be permitted by Law on the Sabbath Day (Exodus 16:29). Zacchaeus had climbed a tree, which definitely would not be permitted on the Sabbath. Finally, Jesus told Zacchaeus to hurry to prepare for him to spend the night at his home. The Law does not permit food preparation on the Sabbath Day. The Law concerning preparing meals for the Sabbath is found in Exodus 16. On the sixth day one was to prepare enough food for that day and the Sabbath (Exodus 16:22-23). Manna appeared only six days, but not on the seventh day. Israel was to eat on the seventh day that which was left over from the sixth day. On the Sabbath Day, all were to rest from their normal labor (Exodus 16:24-30). Therefore, this day could not have been a Sabbath. There was too much activity on the part of Jesus traveling and on the part of others, from climbing trees to preparing meals for guests. Such activity is too much to permit us to believe this day was a Sabbath. Neither could the day following be a Sabbath, because immediately after leaving Zacchaeus, Jesus led the disciples to Jerusalem (Luke 19:28). Not only did he enter Jerusalem, but He also told two disciples to enter Bethany to get a colt (Luke 19:29-30), and proceeded to ride the colt into Jerusalem. All of this would be unlawful to do on a Sabbath day (Exodus 16:29; Numbers 35:5; Deuteronomy 5:14).

One may point out that Jesus could have spent the entire Sabbath with Zacchaeus. That would mean that Jesus spent two nights at his home near Jericho. But, as we shall see, this does not work either, because it would have Jesus’ so called triumphant entry come on Monday instead of Sunday, as we all agree did occur. Therefore, since a Friday crucifixion demands a Sabbath day prior to the “six days before the Passover” (John 12:1), a Friday crucifixion is unscriptural. It is impossible that the time spent in Jericho was a Sabbath, neither could the journey to Jerusalem be a Sabbath. Furthermore, a Friday crucifixion leaves one day of the six days before the Passover during which we know nothing specific of our Lord’s whereabouts. This would be quite odd, since this final week seems to be very detailed concerning what he did, and what he said, and where all these things took place.

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Posted by on April 21, 2011 in Jesus' Crucifixion

 

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