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,” writes author Nick Sayers. “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.

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?