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When Yahshua Died

     What day did the crucifixion actually take place? When people ask and want to know on what day Yahshua (Jesus) actually died on, is a legitimate question that ministers of the Word should be able to give an answer to in an honest and truthful fashion based upon facts according to scripture surrounding this great event. If they have done their homework, by studying the Bible for themselves and allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal the real truth to them, then others could know the real truth also. However, this is not always the case. Even when some ministers know the truth, they do not always teach the truth for whatever reasons.

     We will regress for a moment so that I may give you an illustration of an inexcusable violation of truth known and the real truth not being taught. My personally involvement and following testimony is a message for those who want to know the real truth. A church that I once attended had weekly Bible Studies. The Pastor was going to be away and he asked me to do the Bible Study on the week before what is known as Good Friday. A study aid book which was used by the Pastor to teach these classes from would be the same one that I would be using. Upon reviewing the teaching for that week, I realized that I could not teach this message as it was written. For it said that Jesus (Yahshua) had died on a Friday, a message being taught around the world.

     Now, being faced with this dilemma! How could this problem be resolved? The only alternative was to confront the Pastor. In approaching the Pastor, I stated my concerns. He said that he agreed with me that Jesus (Yahshua) did not die on a Friday, but on a Wednesday, and that most Bible Scholars agreed to this fact according to scripture also.

     However, this still did not solve my predicament. Therefore, I asked the Pastor; "What should I do?" He responded by saying "Ask God, He'll help you get around this problem."

     Upon hearing his answer, thoughts began to go round and round in my mind. If we both know the truth already by scriptural verification, "Why do I need to ask God (Yahweh) for His help? To teach something which one believes to be true in ignorance, is one thing; But to teach a falsehood when you know that it is false, is something else.

     Nevertheless, to cut this short so we can go on, I did the Bible Study without every mentioning a day, being grateful that nobody asked, by keeping the focus on the importance of Yahshua's death and resurrection.

     Some will say "What difference does it make whether I know exactly what day He died on, it has nothing to do with my salvation?" However, it could affect one's salvation greatly if one follows in the keeping of pagan customs and observances of Days not ordained by Yahweh. Are we to be obedient to man's way of thinking or to the ways of Yahweh?

     Throughout the world today, millions and millions of people observe the day called Good Friday as the day that Yahshua died. This is not Biblical and is a falsehood based merely on the traditions and customs of man. By taking all the scriptures surrounding this event of Yahshua's death will prove that the true day of His death was on a Wednesday.

     Throughout the O.T. we are told how Yahweh had made a Covenant with the people of Israel. In this Covenant, carried a requirement of an animal sacrifice each year on the Feast Day called the Passover. And, through the prophets, Yahweh foretold of a day to come that this animal sacrifice would no longer be necessary; That a Messiah would come and a New Covenant would be establish and that He, Yahshua, would become the ultimate or final sacrifice for all of man's sins.

     However, we must remember that the animal sacrifice will be brought back into practice in the near future when the third temple is rebuilt and during the millennium period, merely as a memorial, as many scriptures reveal to us.

     By looking in the Book of Daniel, we get a very clear picture when the animal sacrifice would cease. Daniel 9: 27 "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation (tribute) to cease."

     How do we know for sure that this verse is talking about Yahshua causing the animal sacrifice to cease? Verse 26 gives us the conformation by saying "shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself." And, this same verse also refers to Him as being the "Prince of the people" just as verse 25 speaks of "Messiah the Prince."

     Some say that this Messianic Prophecy given by Daniel here is referring to a future time when the anti-messiah comes on the scene. But no where do we find indication of an anti-messiah spoken of here. Therefore, the only logical conclusion one could come to is - that these verses are truly referring to Yahshua Messiah and the time in which His death will occur.

     We all know that a week consists of seven days and Wednesday is the day in the middle of a week. The word "midst" that Daniel uses is from Strong's # 02677 chetsiy {khay-tsee'} and means "middle, half, or halfway." If we believe that Friday, which is next to the last day of a week, has now become the middle of a week, there certainly must be something wrong with our thinking.

     There are three schools of thought on this issue of what day Yahshua actually died. One is that it happened on a "Wednesday", another "Thursday", and still another "Friday." However, one thing we can know for certain, all three cannot be right! Therefore, we will work backwards, starting with the Friday concept.

     One important issue we need to remember before we start is that we must have a starting point for when a day actually begins. Some use a sunset to sunset theory, and others a sunrise to sunrise belief. Here we will be using the latter which seems to be more correct to the scriptures being used.

     In using the Friday concept you will see that this theory comes into conflict with other verses of scripture surrounding this event. If Yahshua (Jesus) died on a Friday and rose before sunrise on Sunday, "How could He have spent three days and three nights in the heart of the earth?" There is no way that this could possibly happen!

     When Yahshua was asked what sign would be given referring to His death, He gave this reply in Matthew 12:40 "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

     According to Yahshua's reply here, we can certainly come to the conclusion that He was speaking about a literal day consisting of 24 hours or three days which consisted of 72 hours. How can we be sure of this? Because He mentioned both a day and night; And, in John 11:9 He said "Are there not twelve hours in the day?" His question here was referring to a man walking in the light of the daytime period. If a day, meaning light hours, has 12 hours in it, then a night would also consist of 12 hours in order to give us 24 hours in a complete day as we know it now. The same being true now was also true back then.

     To meet this promise that He was truly the Messiah, which He openly taught, that He would die and three days later (72 hours) rise again would certainly fall short with a Friday theory of His death occurring. We know that scripture tells us that He died around three o'clock in the afternoon and that His body was not laid in the tomb until evening.

     Therefore, starting from the time that He was put in the tomb, we have:

  • Friday - night
  • Saturday - day
  • Saturday - night

     Thus, we come up with only two nights and one day or 36 hours. This is a far cry or short fall from 3 days and 3 nights. So then, we can only come to a conclusion that He had to die on another day of the week.

     With the Thursday theory we have:

  • Thursday - night
  • Friday - day
  • Friday - night
  • Saturday - day
  • Saturday - night

     By using a Thursday theory we still fall short of 3 days and 3 nights. Because we can only get 3 nights and 2 days or 60 hours. Therefore, we can now get right to the day that Yahshua died and which scriptures prove to be true - Wednesday.

     In order to show that Wednesday is the correct day on which Yahshua died, we need to set the stage with all the events that surround this day. And, Passover is certainly the main event which took place in Egypt and was a foreshadow of the Messiah's death to come.

     In Egypt, while the Israelites were in bondage, Moses and Aaron was given instructions for the Passover Feast. The observance would be in the first month on the 14th day known as Abib. On this day is when all the firstborn of Egypt would taste death who had not the blood on their doors. Then, the Israelites would be set free. As we know, Yahweh sent many plagues upon Egypt in order that Pharaoh would set His people free and used Moses to reveal and warn Pharaoh before each plague would occur. Exodus 12 describes the sequence of the final plague that was about to come upon Egypt.

  1. And Yahweh spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
  2. This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
  3. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
  4. And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
  5. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
  6. And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
  7. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
  8. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
  9. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.
  10. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.
  11. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is Yahweh's passover.
  12. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am Yahweh.
  13. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
  14. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to Yahweh throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

     As we have just read, a lamb was to be taken in the tenth day of this first month, kept until the fourteenth day and at evening they were to kill it. Next, they were to take the blood of the animal striking the two side posts and placing it on the upper door post. In that same night they would eat the Passover Lamb. This all took place on the fourteenth day of Abib.

     As we jump to verse 22, they are told "and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning." Keep this in mind, because this is an important factor indicating when a new day starts.

     Going to verse 29, we read "And it came to pass, that at midnight Yahweh smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle."

     Now, we go to Numbers 33:3, "And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians."

     In reviewing these last three verses, we see that the people were told to stay in their houses until morning; The firstborn began to die at midnight on the 14th; And they departed from Egypt on the fifteenth day on the morrow after the passover. Therefore, if the firstborn began to die at midnight, middle of the night when it was dark on the 14th, and the people had to stay in their houses until the following morning which would be the 15th, proves beyond a shadow of doubt that a new day started at sunrise.

     Now we move to the time and events surrounding the actual death and resurrection of Yahshua.

     We have already learned from Daniel 9:27 that Yahshua would be cut off "die" in the middle of the week and cause the sacrifice "animal sacrifice" to cease. This would be and take place on a Wednesday according to the calendar used now and back then.

     As was the custom of the Hebrew people, an animal sacrifice was offered up on the 14th of Abib as a special feast day in remembrance of their being set free from bondage out of Egypt. The blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their houses kept them alive when the angel of death passed by. But there would come a time, as foretold, when Yahshua would become the finale Lamb or sacrifice. and the animal sacrifice would no longer be necessary. The spilling of His blood would now become an everlasting covenant by which we could pass from death to eternal life.

     In the last week that Yahshua was on earth, all of the requirements for His death and resurrection needed to be meet which were set forth in prophecy and what He Himself had taught. The Passover would be kept on the same day as it took place in Egypt, on the 14th of Abib, with Yahshua being the passover lamb.

     The Passover was not an annual Sabbath or a weekly Sabbath, but merely a Feast Day. Because, if you will notice, every scripture that refers to how one should keep the weekly Sabbath or an annual Sabbath says "that no laborious work should take place on these days." See Ex. 20:10; Lev. 23:3; De. 5:14; Jer. 17:24; etc.. However, scriptures reveal to us that not only was Passover one of the seven days to be observed within a year, each year, but was also called the day of "Preparation" as seen in Mt. 27:62; Mr. 15:42; Lu.23:54; and Jn. 19:14. Therefore, laborious work was done and gives us conformation that this was not a Sabbath Day.

     Further conformation, as was the custom in those days, is that a body which hung on a cross had to be buried before a Sabbath Day began. The Sabbath Day being referred to here, is the beginning of the Seven Days of Unleavened Bread. In Leviticus 23:5-8 reads "In the fourteenth of the first month at even is Yahweh's passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto Yahweh: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein."

     From the above scriptures we can clearly see when the first and last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are to take place. The first day was on the 15th and the last day was on the 21st and this was in the first month of Abib. These two special days, in scripture, were called a holy convocation; Meaning "a sacred assembly or High Sabbath" and not a weekly Sabbath.

     All of these facts need to be pointed out so we can confirm that Yahshua actually spent "the three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" as He had stated in Mt. 12:40. He also taught that He would "after three days rise again" Mr. 8:31.

     In 1 Co. 15:4 we read "And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, there are verses of scripture that read the same way. These verses would seem to be in contradiction with Mark 8:31. How could Yahshua rise "after three days" and "on the third day" at the same time? If we use the proper starting point of when a new day begins, sunrise to sunrise - as we have used in our two other illustrations of a Thursday and Friday death theory, there is no contradiction what so ever as we will show.

     However, before we show that there is no contradiction in these verses, we need to collect all the pieces of the puzzle - which are other verses of scripture - and put them into their proper place in order to get a correct result.

     In all of the four Gospels is recorded the events of the crucifixion and resurrection of Yahshua. They all agree that He died on the 14th day of Abib, the day referred to as the Passover Feast, around the ninth hour being three o'clock in the afternoon according to our time.

     Matthew gives us this first account. "When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Yahshua's disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Yahshua. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed." (Mt. 27:57-60)

     Notice what the very first verse says pertaining to what time Joseph came to Pilate to ask for the body of Yahshua! We have just read "When the even (evening) was come." This means that Joseph did not arrive before evening had come, but arrived when evening had already come. Therefore, we must find out and know what portion of a day "evening" fits into a 24 hour cycle of a day.

     To do this, we must search out the particular meaning for a word in scripture that is being translated into English from either the Greek or Hebrew. It can become quite confusing at times as you will see when we look up the words "even or evening."

     The word "even" in Mt. 27:57 is from a Greek word which Strong defines as follows:

    Strong's #3798 opsios {op'-see-os}
  • 1) late
  • 2) evening
  • 2-a) either from three to six o'clock p.m.
  • 2-b) from six o'clock p.m. to the beginning of night.

     From this definition in the Greek we are given two choices to choose from. Number 2 gives us an (a) or (b) choice. But, with logical reasoning, we know that Joseph could not accomplish both of these on the same day, otherwise he would of had to come to Pilate twice in the same day asking for the body and there is no suggestion whatsoever that he did so.

     Now, when we look up the Hebrew word for "evening" we get a more precise or specific time of day.

    Strong's #06153 `ereb {eh'-reb}
  • 1) evening, night, sunset
  • 1-a) evening, sunset
  • 1-b) night

     Here we find "evening, night, sunset" all being parallel with each other, a comparison showing the existence of similarity or likeness as to time. In other words, all three words show a definite time fixed by natural law: the twelve hours of the day are reckoned from the rising to the setting of the sun and the twelve hours of night are reckoned from the setting of the sun to the rising of the sun.

     Now, with these facts established, showing that even or evening begins at the start of sunset, we can continue to show that there is no contradiction in the sayings of "after three days I will rise" and "on the third day I will rise."

     Since Joseph received the body of Yahshua after sunset, wrapped the body in linen and laid it in the tomb, we can now be certain that the Sabbath did not start at sunset; otherwise it would have been in violation of Hebrew law which states that the body of a dead person had to be buried before the Sabbath began.

     Although, Yahshua had died in the afternoon on the 14th and was not laid into the tomb until after sunset, this would mean that He was also buried on the 14th. Therefore, Wednesday night came after Wednesday daytime, giving us the sunrise to sunrise concept as the start of a new day as it coincided with the Egyptian ways of keeping time.

     Now, counting from sometime shortly after 6 o'clock on Wednesday night when Yahshua was placed in the tomb, we now have:

  • Wednesday - night
  • Thursday - daytime
  • Thursday - night
  • Friday - daytime
  • Friday - night
  • Saturday - daytime

     With Yahshua being buried after 6 PM on Wednesday and having Him rise shortly after 6 PM on Saturday night would give us a 72 hour period. Which by fulfilling "the three days and three nights in the heart of the earth", "rising after three days" and "on the third day."

     Even though, many would have us believe that Yahshua rose on a Sunday, all we need to do is take a look at when Mary came to the tomb to anoint Yahshua with the spices and oil which she had bought.

     Matthew 28:1 says "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre."

     Notice what Matthew has said, it was "in the end (or at the end) of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first of the week, came Mary." This would certainly imply that the first of the week, which would be a Sunday, had not come yet. Because he said "as it began to dawn toward." When you put the two words "dawn toward" together, it means "to draw near." It hasn't happened yet, but is in the process of happening.

     More important to notice, is Matthew said it was "in the end of the Sabbath," which would be referring to the weekly Sabbath and not the annual Sabbath of Unleavened Bread. We know this to be true because if Passover is on the 14th and the first annual Sabbath took place on the 15th, there is no way in which the three days and three nights could be fulfilled. Thus, the Weekly Sabbath had to be the correct day and was about to come to a close as Mary came to the tomb.

     We also know that when Mary got to the tomb, the stone was already rolled back and Yahshua had already risen. Therefore, it would be impossible for Yahshua to have risen on the first day of the week or on a Sunday.

     With all the facts given, only you can decide for yourself what is true. It is our hope that you have been enlighten to the truth of Yahweh's Word.

May Yahweh Bless You In Understanding and Wisdom

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