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Good Friday or Good Thursday? Part III

One reader wrote:  "I think you misunderstand what the scriptures are saying. It doesn't say that he rose after 3 days, it says that he rose on the 3rd day. There is a difference."
    I concur that Christ must rise on the 3rd day, not after three days.  This is to fulfill the prophecy that Jesus said in Matthew 12:40:  "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
According to Jesus Christ he had to be three nights in the heart of the earth.  If Christ died on Friday afternoon and was buried on Friday, then he would have been in the tomb Friday night and Saturday night, thus only two nights.  If the prophecy is to be literally interpreted (and there is no reason not to interpret it literally), he had to be buried on Thursday afternoon so he could be in the tomb on Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night.  When this was first proposed to me many years ago, I reacted with "You are wrong. It has to be on Friday."  but the more I struggled how to reconcile the three nights, this is the only way. 
     Not only does this reconcile the scriptures, but it also makes the resurrection that more spectacular.  Being dead three days eliminates any possibility of the swoon theory.

Good Friday or Good Thursday? Part II

Special Sabbath

   In John 19:31 we read "Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath."  Normally, the Sabbath was on Saturday, the last day of the week, and Sunday would be the first day of the week.  Thus, a "special Sabbath" would not be on Saturday.  If the special Sabbath was on Friday, that means that the day of Preparation would be on Thursday. 
   Therefore, I am thinking that perhaps Christ died on Thursday, the day of Preparation, which would be before the special Sabbath, Friday, which was before the normal Sabbath (Saturday).  This would give three full days in the tomb - just like Jonah.

The Challenge of Easter

Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest, has written a powerful article on the challenge of Easter in the Wall St. Journal.  It is well worth a read.  http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-challenge-of-easter-1458916153

Good Friday and Prayer

   What does Good Friday have to do with prayer?  A great deal.  Torn and not torn.  In John 19:24 we read that the soldiers decided not to tear Jesus's garment to fulfill the scriptures.  But in Matthew 27:51 we read that the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.  The temple was divided into two spaces by the curtain.  In the outer room , the Holy Place, a priest went once a day to pray, change out the bread, etc.  But the Holy of Holies  (the Most Holy Place), the most sacred place, was entered only once a year by the High Priest. 
    By tearing the curtain of the temple, God showed that we, the common man, could approach God - and we do that through prayer.

Good Friday or Good Thursday?

Should we be celebrating Good Thursday vice Good Friday?  When was Christ crucified?
Palm Sunday:  Matthew 21:1-17
Monday:  Matthew 22:18:18 and following (cursing of the fig tree and driving out the merchants in the temple)
Tuesday:  Jesus renters Jerusalem - the fig tree that was cursed is withered (Mark 11:20); Jesus talks and returns to Bethany where He is anointed (Mark 14)
Wednesday:  Passover (Lord's Supper); Gethsemane, betrayal by Judas, and trial by Jews
Thursday:  Trial by Pilate and Crucifixion
[Notes
1.  Jews believed a day started in the evening.  Compare Genesis 1: "There was evening and  there was morning, the xx day."  Thus, the emphasis on burying Jesus prior to evening.
2.  If Christ was crucified on Thursday, then he would be in the tomb for three days.  The three days are to fulfill the prophecy in Mark 14:57 "I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man."]
1st Day in the tomb.   Thursday evening to Friday afternoon
2nd Day in the tomb.  Friday evening to Saturday afternoon
3rd Day in the tomb.  Saturday evening to Sunday morning
Sunday - resurrection - 1st day of the week (Mark 16:1-2)

Under the old system, Jesus being buried just before sunset, counts technically as a day even though Jesus may have been buried for just ten minutes prior to sunset.  But that seems to violate the tenet of three days.  With the above new system, there are three days.  Thoughts?

Jesus: I am the Son of God - 17

Cleansing of the Temple

   In John 2 Jesus cleansed the temple.  He made a whip and drove out the money changers and overturned the tables.  He said to those who sold doves "Get these out of here!  How dare you turn my Father's house into a market."  (John 2:16)
     Whose temple is it?  Obviously it is God's temple and Jesus claims that the temple is His Father's.  Thus, He claims He is God's Son. 
   

Stem Cells & Cataracts

     In Thursday's edition of The Wall St. Journal, there is a report of using babies own stem cells to heal their eyes.  In the University of San Diego, twelve babies had their own stem cells injected into their eyes to generate new lenses.  What is exciting is that the baby's own stem cell healed their own eyes.  No abortions took place.

     What a wonderful God who enables the human body to heal his/her self.

John the Baptist: Jesus is the Son of God

     John the Baptizer, Jesus's cousin, declared that Jesus is the Son of God.  How did John the Baptizer know that Jesus is the Son of God?  He gave this testimony:  "I would not have known Him, except that the One Who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The Man on Whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is He Who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'  I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."  (John 1:33-34)
     I never realized this but God apparently somehow told John that Jesus is the Son of God.  How it happened, I do not know, but I know that what John said is true.  There are plenty of witnesses.

     Thank you God the Father for sending God the Holy Spirit upon God the Son and also to John the Baptizer so he would know.
  

John the Apostle: Jesus is the Son of God 2

    In John 1:14 we read the very familiar words "The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us.  We have seen His glory, [think of all the miracles, the resurrection, and the ascension] the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father full of grace and truth."
    John the Apostle, the apostle closest to Jesus, claimed that Jesus is the "one and only Son" or the "Only Begotten."  This is a remarkable claim, but John claims it based on what he had seen.  Not what someone told him about.  But John had seen all the miracles.  He had seen the sinless nature of Christ.  He had seen Christ transfigured and he had heard a voice from heaven declare "This is My Son."  Therefore, he wrote that Jesus is the Son of God.

   Thank you God for sending Your Son to this earth.  Thanks for making Him full of grace and truth.

Kung Fu Panda & Chi

     In the latest Kung Fu Panda movie, the evil Kai steals the chi from those he conquers.  According to the website http://www.religionfacts.com/chi Chi is "Found in Chinese traditional religion but especially Taoism, Ch'i literally means "air" or "breath," but as a concept it refers to the energy flow or life force that is said to pervade all things."
     While an interesting concept, Christian have the Holy Spirit which is the breath of life.  That is why the Holy Spirit is the Spirit because He breathes on men and gives them life.  (See Genesis 2:7:  "And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being."  See also Ezekiel 37, the Valley of Dry Bones.)

    Thank you God the Father and God the Son for sending God the Holy Spirit so that we may live.

Proof of the Resurrection: The Movie "Risen"

     The great proof of the resurrection was the inability for either the Sanhedrin or the Romans to produce the body of Jesus.  In the movie Risen the tribune (Joseph Fiennes) is ordered by Pilate to produce the body, but he can't even with the help of the Jewish authorities, the Sanhedrin.
      Remember that the disciples were petrified.  Of the 11 living apostles, only John is at the crucifixion.  The ten others have run away and won't be heard of until Easter morning.  Even after Easter, they are hiding in the upper room with the door locked.  They could not have taken on the Roman guards.  Their bravado had disappeared.  Thus, Jesus's resurrection had to be just what it was - a resurrection, not a theft. 
       Joseph Fiennes discusses how it took several men to roll the stone in place, and then after the resurrection, the stone is found several feet away.  Who could have done that?  The apostles would never have taken on the guards.  The film Risen explains the guards' story of the theft.  It is very well done.

The Movie "Risen"

     If you have not seen the movie Risen, please go see the film as soon as possible.  It is an outstanding film.  The story is how a tribune, (Joseph Fiennes who played Martin Luther in Luther) is tasked to find the body of Christ after His Resurrection.  It has no cursing - no taking of the Lord's name in vain. 
      We Christians often say that Hollywood produces garbage, but then when a great film comes out, then we don't go see the film.  Shame on us for not supporting good films.