This is an eleven part series designed to discover the truth behind one of the most discussed events in the history of religion, the crucifixion of Jesus the Christ. While we have focused our efforts on what many call and celebrate as Good Friday, our intent is to provide you enough information that it will add to your understanding of the events surrounding the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Please know that this is a slimmed down version of the original text, however we trust that there will be enough information to stimulate your thought processors so that you can think outside of the box of our earthly reality and come to a spiritual understanding of the truth as this story unfolds through the word of God. By the end of this series, we will have will have explored the resurrection of Jesus, the crucifixion of Jesus, and many of the points in between, just to discover the truth behind Good Friday. So grab your Bible and let us begin the journey.
We start with the story of the resurrection of Christ as it is told according to the gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment (clothing) white as snow: and for fear of him the keepers (guards) did shake, and became as dead men (Matthew 28:2-4).
And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great (large) (Mark 16:1-4).
The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher (tomb) (John 20:1).
And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout (about this), behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead (Luke 24:2-5)?
And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment (robe); and they were affrighted (alarmed). And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted (alarmed): Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him (Mark 16:5-6).
He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words (Luke 24:6-8).
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay (Matthew 28:5-6).
But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulcher; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid (Mark 16:7-8).
And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word (Matthew 28:8).
And [they] returned from the sepulcher, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles (Luke 24:8-10).
These passages give the most detailed description of events surrounding the resurrection, the day that Jesus was raised from the grave. We know that all of this could have been summarized into about a paragraph, but we continue to believe that it is important that you actually see and read for yourself what is written in the Bible. Once again, we emphasize that you not take our word or anyone else’s word as to what the Bible has written in it, but that you look at it for yourself. Read it for yourself to see if the words that you are hearing are the same words that are actually written in the scriptures. Analyze it for yourself; do not just listen to someone else telling you their opinion as to what the scripture are trying to convey. Interpret it for yourself to see if the understanding that you get is the same as the one that is being projected.
God has warned us to listen carefully to his words, to keep his words forever before our eyes, to keep his words forever in our mind, to let his words penetrate deep into our heart, and to get his words inside of us. God has told us that his words are life to those that find them health or medicine to our flesh, once we find them. As we have said numerous times, words can be manipulated to say many things, so check out everything to make sure it is in line with the word of God. Remember God is our only source for revelation knowledge; all others are guides, leading us to some destination. We just need to make sure that the final destination is where we want to go.
According to the four gospels, it was after the Sabbath that it was discovered that Jesus had risen. Over the years, there has developed some controversy as to the definition of the Sabbath and as to when the Sabbath actually occurs. In Christianity, there are two different ways that the Sabbath is observed; those who observe the seventh day as the Sabbath and those who observe the first day of the week as the Sabbath. Now, for those who observe the seventh day as the Sabbath, they believe that Saturday is the last or seventh day of the week and should be the day of rest. And for those who observe the first day as the Sabbath, they believe that Sunday is the first day of the week and should be the day of rest.
In many Christian traditions, Sunday, considered to be the Lord’s Day, is set aside for a day of worshipping God, due to the belief that Christ’s resurrection happened on a Sunday, according to what has been interpreted from the four Gospels. Now, here is a fact that we thought was very interesting. Hebrew calendars, traditional Christian calendars, and Islamic calendars all have Sunday as being the first day of the week, making Saturday the last day of the week. In Israel and some Muslim countries, Saturday is the official day of rest and Sunday is actually a working day. Not so for the others, who consider Sunday to be a day of rest.
And here is one other fact that we thought was interesting. It pertains to how a day was counted during the time of Jesus’ resurrection. During that time, a day was counted from sunset to sunset, which meant that the Sabbath, what the Bible considered to be the last day of the week, went from Friday evening to Saturday evening. We found it extremely coincidental that we celebrate our typical rest day in the very same fashion as they did back in those days. Here is what we mean. In America, the government and the standard business office workweek goes from Monday through Friday, usually consisting of five eight hours days. Our day of rest, from the workplace mind you, starts on Friday evening, very similar to what the Bible considers to be the last day of the week, which also started on Friday evening. Please keep this information in mind because we believe it will play a key role in our understanding as we investigate what has become known as Good Friday.
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly (belly of the great fish); so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40).
This is a great passage to start with, which states that just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so shall the son of man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. Here is a question for you to ponder. Does this days and three nights thing mean that the son of man was in the belly of the earth for a total of at least seventy-two hours?
Enjoy your blessings - KW