Passion Week: Truth And Fiction

C H U R C H   R E F O R M   S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

Just like we celebrate Christmas in December instead of September (see Is Christmas Pagan?), we celebrate Passion Week on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but Jesus did not die on a Friday and nor did He rise from the dead on a Sunday.

Still, those are celebratory and remembrance days chosen to commemorate what the Good Lord has done for us.

“Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord.” Romans 14:6

Crucifixion by Giulio Procaccini

THE TRUE TIMELINE

The word of God is quite revealing and never disappoints, especially if one takes the time to dig in.

As we delve into the timeline of Christ’s death and resurrection, keep in mind that in Jesus’s day and throughout the nations of the world, the day started at sunrise and ended before sunrise of the next day.

However, for the ancient Hebrews the day started at sunset and ended before sunset of the next day, which was to differentiate their practice from the rest of the world, as well as fitting said observance into how God created things in the beginning.

“God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness he called ‘night. And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day.” Genesis 1:5

Using the non-Hebraic, old world system of tabulating the days, the Passion Week timeline is as follows:

Tuesday Night: Passover Night. Jesus ate the Passover Meal with His Disciples (Matthew 26:30, Mark 14:26).

Later on, Judas betrayed Him in the Garden of Gethsemane and He was taken prisoner by the Temple guards (Matthew 26:45-49, Mark 14:41-45, Luke 22:47-48, John 18:1-8).

That same night the Sanhedrin unanimously decided that Jesus deserved death (Matthew 26:59 – 68, Mark 14:55 – 65, Luke 22:63 – 65), while Peter denied Him three times (Matthew 26:69 – 75, Mark 14:66 – 72, Luke 22:56 – 62, John 18:17, 25 – 27).

Wednesday: Passover Day. Early morning, Pilate was unable to release Jesus because of the unruly crowd that was close to rebellion (Luke 23:13 – 15, John 18:31 – 38).

Jesus was scourged, then crucified at 9 a.m. or the third hour of the day (Mark 15:25), and finally expired at 3 p.m. or the ninth hour of the day (Matthew 27:46-47, Mark 15:34-35).

Just before sunset, He was entombed (Matthew 27:57-61, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-55, John 19:38-42). Passover was over.

At sunset began the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and no work was to be performed until next day sunset. It was called a “special Sabbath” by the Judahites.

“and the next day was to be a special Sabbath.” John 19:31

Thursday: Pilate gave the religious leaders authorization to station guards at the Tomb (Matthew 27:62-66).

At sunset, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices for Jesus’s body (Mark 16:1, Luke 23:56).

Friday Sunset: Start of the weekly Sabbath rest (Luke 23:56).

Resurrection by Carl Bloch

Saturday: In the afternoon, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary checked on Jesus’s tomb (Mark 16:1). Just before sunset, Jesus rose from the dead.

Sunday Morning: Christ’s disciples discovered the already empty tomb, as Mary Magdalene and the other women showed up with the spices (Matthew 28:2-8, Mark 16:2-8, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-10).

Just like Jesus prophesied, He spent 3 full days and 3 full nights entombed.

From Wednesday afternoon to Saturday afternoon. 72 hours. 3 days (Wednesday-Thursday, Thursday-Friday, Friday-Saturday) and 3 Nights (Wednesday Night, Thursday Night, Friday Night).

“For just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, in like manner the Son of man shall be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40

THE ORIGIN OF THE CRUCIFIXION DAY CONFUSION

It started with a Bad Translation from the Greek in Mark 15:42 and snowballed from there.

Popular translation:

“And now when the evening was come, because it was preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath…”

Biblicism Institute Translation (in bold color):

“And now as the evening was approaching, because everyone had to get ready, that is to say, prior to the Sabbath…”

(Please see Bad Translation for a detailed word for word explanation of our version of the translation.)

By translating Mark 15:42 as the popular version does (i.e., by linking and hinting that preparation day was the day before the sabbath, when there is no word day in either Greek expression), people came to believe that the need for the disciples to prepare had to be fulfilled before the weekly Sabbath sunset which was supposedly at hand, with only a few hours left following Christ’s expiration on the cross. Not true.

The reason the disciples had to get ready for the Sabbath was because the day after Christ’s crucifixion, or Thursday, was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread – which always took place after Passover, was to start in a few hours at sunset following Christ’s crucifixion, and went on for seven days, while no customary work was to be performed on that first day as it was called a “special Sabbath” by the Judahites.

Consequently, they had to prepare not only for the first day of the Feast (special Sabbath) but for the weekly Sabbath as well, which was just two days away. Add to that the need to get Jesus’s body down from the cross for a proper burial, and you had one group of people who were in a rush to make their necessary household arrangements.

In the end, the popular version of Mark 15:42 made people think that the crucifixion of Christ occurred on a Friday, when it actually happened on Passover Wednesday.

IS THE WORD EASTER OF PAGAN ORIGIN?

The enemies of Christ force themselves to believe that the word Easter is of Babylonian pagan origin and that it refers to the worship of the sun.

Nothing could be further from the truth, especially when one takes into account that the word pagan was created by Christians to refer to heathen superstitions.

How Easter, which celebrates Christ’s resurrection, can be deemed pagan is not only ludicrous but downright intellectually brutish.

First, the word Easter is of Saxon origin not Babylonian, and of the same meaning with its German cognate Ostern.

“Because the English Anglo/Saxon language originally derived from the Germanic, there are many similarities between German and English. Many English writers have referred to the German language as the ‘Mother Tongue!’ The English word Easter is of German/Saxon origin and not Babylonian as Alexander Hislop falsely claimed. The German equivalent is Oster. Oster (Ostern being the modern day equivalent) is related to Ost which means the rising of the sun, or simply in English, east. Oster comes from the old Teutonic form of auferstehen / auferstehung, which means resurrection, which in the older Teutonic form comes from two words, Ester meaning first, and stehen meaning to stand. These two words combine to form erstehen which is an old German form of auferstehen, the modern day German word for resurrection,” explains author Nick Sayers.

Second, if Easter were of pagan origin and really meant the worship of the sun, like the enemies of Christ believe, it would universally be known all around the world by the same supposedly “pagan” name.

For instance, in French Easter is called Pâques and in Spanish Pascua, both derived from the Greek Pascah meaning Passover. And Passover was the time when the resurrection took place.

Third, if Easter is really about worshiping the sun, how come Christians don’t worship the sun? That’s because it’s not and we don’t. The stupidity of the satanic enemies of Jesus who constantly attack our Christian faith knows no bounds. We Christians don’t worship the sun, we worship the Son.

Maybe they should focus on improving their spelling skills instead, because twisting Easter to mean sun worship is a pathetic and ridiculous ploy.

WHAT ABOUT EASTER EGGS?

Another way the enemies of Christ attack the Easter celebration is through the use of Easter Eggs in many cultures, a practice that is not at all universal. The world capital of Decorated Easter Eggs is Ukraine, with their Pysanky.

Pysanky

The most popular charge against the Easter festivities compares them to pagan customs:

“As in many ancient cultures, Ukrainians worshiped a sun god, Dazhboh. The sun was important – it warmed the earth and thus was a source of all life. Eggs decorated with nature symbols became an integral part of spring rituals, serving as benevolent talismans,” expounds Wikipedia.

Yet, when you go to the Wikipedia page of the “god” Dazhboh or Dadzbóg, this is what is written:

“Dadzbóg was one of the major gods of Slavic mythology, most likely a solar deity and possibly a cultural hero.”

Most likely, possibly, blah, blah, blah.  That’s not history, that’s speculation. To confuse matters even more, according to a Ukrainian source the legend was this one:

“The Hutzuls––Ukrainians who live in the Carpathian Mountains of Western Ukraine––believe that the fate of the world depends upon the pysanka. As long as the egg decorating custom continues, the world will exist.”

But that’s not all, there is more confusion ahead. Vox explains:

“The first historical references we have to an Easter Bunny date to the 16th-century German tale. According to this legend, a mysterious creature named Oschter Haws, or Easter Hare, visited children while they slept and rewarded them for their good behavior (similar to Santa). The children made nests for the hare, which would then lay colored eggs in them. The tale was then brought to America by German immigrants in the 18th century.

“According to another legend, an egg merchant named Simon of Cyrene was forced to put down his egg basket in order to help Jesus carry his cross to where he would be crucified. When Simon returned to his basket, he found that his eggs had been miraculously decorated.”

The truth is no one really knows for sure about these so-called legends and theories. In other words, the constant assaults on Easter (and on anything Christian, really) are based on pure speculations that no one can agree on, let alone be certain of.

Many cultures incorporate their own local traditions in Christian festivities, whereas others subjugate previous practices into their Christian holidays (see Is Christmas Pagan? to see how and why they subdued these customs).

Do these rituals somehow invalidate the reality of Christ’s birth, crucifixion, and resurrection, which occurred in Judah (Judea) about 2,000 years ago? No.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Are they necessary for the celebration? No. If you don’t want to use them, don’t. There’s no biblical directive that says you should.

“Holding faith and a good conscience.” 1 Timothy 1:19

Do they cause what Jesus did for us to become less impactful? No.

“Everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.” Ecclesiastes 3:14

Do they make the festivities more special? If those who employ them do so unto the Lord, Yes.

“And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Colossians 3:23

But what about these Easter Eggs? If those who use them believe that eggs relate to Easter symbolically, that the hard shell contains new life, similar to the tomb of Jesus which contained his resurrection body, then it’s being done unto the Lord.

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16: 7

CONCLUSION

Entombment of Christ by Carl Bloch

Passion Week is about God’s greatest gift to mankind: salvation of the soul through Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.

“The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

That’s why Christians set aside two days to celebrate such momentous, world-changing, and life-altering events.

Sunday was chosen as Resurrection Remembrance Day (or Resurrection Sunday or Easter Sunday) because Christ’s disciples discovered the empty tomb on a Sunday, that’s when they knew Jesus really rose from the dead.

Friday was chosen by Christians as Crucifixion Remembrance Day (or Good Friday) because it’s close to the weekend. That way the celebratory days of both crucifixion and resurrection could go on uninterrupted, as opposed to sticking Crucifixion Remembrance Day in the middle of the week on a Wednesday.

So, to all the satanic enemies of Christ who are peddling their fiction about Easter being the worship of the sun, or pagan (lol), we say: “My God beat your god, deal with it.”

And leave Passion Week’s Easter alone.

“…that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time…” 1 Corinthians 15:4-6

Read also: Jesus was not a Jew

Read also: Is Christmas Pagan?

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20 thoughts on “Passion Week: Truth And Fiction

  1. I find it extremely interesting that on one hand, rightly so, you point out the actual sequence of events, along with the days of the week, then switch on a dime to be apologetic of anything that separates the death burial and resurrection of Jesus from that of the Passover. Additionally you also defend the synchronistic practices of the heathen, pagan or otherwise.

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    • 1. Where in the article do you get that we’re apologetic of anything that separates the death burial and resurrection of Jesus from that of the Passover?

      Did you even read the whole article?

      2. Where do you get that we defend the synchronistic practices of the heathen, pagan or otherwise?

      Are we encouraging people to worship any other god than the true God and Jesus whom He sent? Can you prove that the practices you despise are pagan practices? Can you look into the hearts of those who are making their Easter Eggs and tell us whether their hearts are practicing paganism and rejecting Jesus Christ?

      “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16: 7

      Could it be that you’re playing at being god? Is that it?

      Like

  2. The Third Day

    Luke’s testimony says that Jesus had been crucified the previous Friday afternoon, and that it was now Sunday, “the third day.” Such terminology is used in the New Testament twenty times, whereas the idiom “three days and three nights” is used only once (Matt. 12:40). Taken literally, the two terms would be contradictory. “The third day” means that the crucifixion took place on the first day (Friday).

    The expression, “three days and three nights” would seem to imply three full 24-hour periods, and many have taken it to mean this. However, as a general rule, one must believe what is stated often, while viewing exceptions more critically. “The third day” was their normal manner of speaking, while “three days and three nights” was a Hebrew idiom for continuous time with no break between day and night.

    Only by understanding it in this way can we avoid an obvious contradiction. Jesus was crucified in the day of Preparation and was buried quickly before nightfall when Passover actually began. Jesus rested in the tomb throughout the day of Passover, after which the chief priests sealed the tomb (at sundown). Jesus was then raised “the third day” before sunrise on the day after Passover, which was the day of the wave-sheaf offering. Hence, Ignatius of Antioch, one of the witnesses who saw Jesus after His resurrection, states,

    “On the day of the preparation, then, at the third hour, He received the sentence from Pilate, the Father permitting that to happen; at the sixth hour He was crucified; at the ninth hour He gave up the ghost; and before sunset He was buried. During the Sabbath, He continued under the earth in the tomb in which Joseph of Arimathea had laid Him. At the dawning of the Lord’s Day He arose from the dead, according to what was spoken by Himself, ‘As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man also be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” The day of preparation, then, comprises the passion; the Sabbath embraces the burial; the Lord’s Day contains the resurrection” (Letter to the Trallians, chapter 9).

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    • Let’s get this straight.

      Are you saying Jesus was a liar?

      “For just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, in like manner the Son of man be three days and three nights shall be in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40

      Unless of course, you want to put YOUR SPIN on why Jesus said 3 DAYS & 3 NIGHTS – repeated it twice – in the HEART OF THE EARTH.

      Using the old world’s method of tabulating the days, let’s see how long HE stayed in the HEART OF THE EARTH.

      According to you:

      Right before Friday night, they put Him in the sepulchre.
      That’s not even one ((day)). But 1 ((night)).
      Saturday = 1 ((day)) + 1 ((night)).

      Sunday before sunrise, he rose from the dead. So, technically he rose on Saturday ((night)) in the last hour of that night. Hence, Sunday = 0 ((day)) + 0 ((night)).

      Let’s add it up.

      We’ll give you the couple of hours on Friday afternoon before sunset as 1 ((day)) + Saturday ((day)) = 2 days
      Friday ((Night)) + Saturday ((Night)) = 2 nights.

      Aren’t you missing something here? Of course. You’re wrong. Even Ignatius’s commentary you quoted doesn’t say what you think it says, you’re just reading into it.

      Like

      • […] The people were not to kill their lambs prior to the evening sacrifice in the temple. The evening sacrifice was normally killed at 2:30 p.m. (in the middle of the ninth hour of the day) and offered to God an hour later at 3:30 p.m. However, on the eve of Passover (Abib 14) the evening sacrifices were killed an hour earlier, unless this day fell on Friday, the preparation day for the Sabbath, in which it was killed at 12:30 p.m.[…]

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        • Your wrote: “unless this day fell on Friday”.

          Unless?

          It seems that you’re confusing Passover day with the Sabbath, and are trying hard to fuse the two together.

          In any case, what is important is that you believe Christ was crucified and rose from the dead. Everything else is nothing in comparison.

          No need to go at length, back and forth on something we might not agree on. As long as we agree on what’s really important, which is:

          “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Galatians 5:14

          Thanks for reaching out. We appreciate your input.

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        • Justin Martyr (c.114-165 A.D.) was another early Church writer. He wrote in chapter 67 of his First Apology about the timing of Jesus’ death and resurrection:

          “And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits . . . But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn [i.e., the day before Saturday]; and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun [Sunday], having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.”

          Using the names of the Roman weekdays to accommodate his audience, Justin tells us specifically that Jesus was crucified on a Friday, the day before Saturday. He also tells us Jesus was raised from the dead on Sunday. This tells us that Jesus was crucified in 33 A.D., for in that year Abib 14 fell on a Friday. Justin also agrees with all other writers of the early Church in telling us that Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday to fulfill the wave-sheaf offering.

          Like

        • It doesn’t really matter what any of these guys said. That’s why they didn’t make the cut in the bible.

          Thomas Aquinas, another early church writer, wrote the JUST WAR DOCTRINE, as if any war, under the New Covenant, could be just. Read ALL WARS ARE EVIL. PERIOD. So we have to be discerning.

          Even the Apostles, before the advent of the Holy Spirit, made mistakes. They cast lots to replace Judas Iscariot with Matthias when they shouldn’t have. In Revelation there are only 12 foundation stones of the church, each one bearing an Apostle’s name. Jesus replaced Judas with Paul. Read Understanding of the Duties of Ministry.

          Again, what matters is Christ died and rose from the dead.

          Thanks for the lively discussion.

          Like

  3. Why did God also blot out the sun at noon on the day Jesus was crucified? Astronomers tell us that on Abib 14, 33 A.D. at noon, the sun was positioned on a star called El Nath in the head of Aries, the ram. El Nath means “the wounded, or the slain.” That was the moment the sun was darkened. Assuming there were no clouds to block their vision, if the people in Jerusalem had looked up to see where the sun had been shining, they would have seen El Nath, the slain ram.

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    • You should re-read the revised and updated article and meditate on it. Then, if you’re of the same mind, fine.

      However, bombarding us with a bunch of notes from non-biblical sources does not help matters. Especially since we prefer to use the bible first and foremost to resolve any issue. Hence, Biblicism Institute.

      Still, we do thank you for reaching out to us because it did help us see what was not being addressed in the article, which has since been fixed.

      Blessings.

      Like

  4. John 19:31
    31 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away.

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    • A better translation of John 19:31:

      “because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.” KJV

      It does not say that the weekly Sabbath was the very same day or the next. You are still reading your own views into the verse.

      The reason the disciples had to get ready for the Sabbath was because the day after Christ’s crucifixion, or Thursday, was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread – which always took place after Passover, was to start in a few hours at sunset following Christ’s crucifixion, and went on for seven days, while no customary work was to be performed on that first day as it was called a “special Sabbath” by the Judahites.

      “and the next day was to be a special Sabbath.” John 19:31 NIV

      Consequently, they had to prepare not only for the first day of the Feast (special Sabbath) but for the weekly Sabbath as well, which was only two days away.

      View our full explanation in the body of the article.

      Goodbye.

      Like

  5. If Ashkenazi came Gomer and Gomer from Jephath, and Jephath from Abraham, wouldn’t that make them sons of Abraham, and thus members of God’s people? Not Israelites, but Hebrewic some how? I am not playing devils advocate. I am learning a lot from your site, but trying to get things rightly lined up in my head.

    Like

    • Glad you found us. As to your inquiry-

      Ashkenaz came from the line of Japheth who came from Noah, hence not from Abraham.

      Abraham came from Shem who came from Noah.

      2 different lines.

      Besides, God’s covenant (Old Testament) was with Abraham and his descendants, of whom today’s converted Jews are not.

      Like

  6. Perfect. Sometimes get the lineages mixed up. I know they have a meaning from God.
    Appreciated.

    I did home “church” a couple of times and now lead my family in a reading of His word Wed., and sing, worship and break bread on Sunday. I very much want to lead them in the right direction after dealing with people who worship John Calvin and Darby/Scofield’s teaching.

    So many pastors teaching “non essential and essential doctrine”. I get confused because as a new believer in 2001 I understood the entire bible as essential and just as you describe and slowly got brainwashed. I have never believed pre trib rapture though.

    I have a close friend who is “knowledgeable” about the bible and I set forth to him about the tribulation described by Tacitus, Josephus, Eusabius, but he said that scripture should line up with scripture and not to use non biblical sources. He is pretrib dispensationalist.

    Like

    • When he says scriptures should line up with scriptures, he’s correct.

      However, he and his fellow dispensationalists don’t follow their own advice. They keep pointing at world news, modern Israel – which is not comprised of biblical Hebrews – and the many other fallacies of rapture doctrine that either step out of the bible or totally misinterpret God’s word.

      Our article on rapture uses scriptures to confirm scriptures. The exception is, we point to the fact that the prophecies of Jesus, the Prophets, and the Apostles all line up with what occurred in 70 AD, as compared to the dispensational view that they will take place in the future in an unprecedented, unbiblical momentary interruption of the course of history, along with Christian bodies being supernaturally snatched all over the place contrary to scriptures.

      Still, in either case one has to slightly step outside the bible to point out the fulfilled prophecies in world history. There’s no other way around it.

      Except that in their case, their view is not only strange and preposterous but wrong.

      Like

  7. Had coffee with and he was stumped when I asked about those who take the mark will get God’s wrath during his tribulation. Those who didn’t take the mark would be raptured. If the Holy Spirit is gone and there are none evangelizing, and the rest have the mark who cannot be saved, who can be born again? If they are born again, do they get immediately raptured or do they have to endure tribulation? If they have to endure tribulation, then christians have to go through tribulation, right? So why do christians think they will not endure their theory of future tribulation?

    He said he had never thought of it from that angle. It’s funny a pastor I asked this said the exact words, “I never thought of it from that point of view.”

    Like

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