DID OUR LORD DIE ON "GOOD FRIDAY"?

Pastor James J. Barker

Text: MATTHEW 12:38-42




INTRODUCTION:


  1. One of the biggest days in Christendom is so-called "Good Friday." This is supposedly the day that our Lord was crucified.
  2. But this is not taught in the Bible. Like many religious traditions, people assume it is taught in the Bible.
  3. Roman Catholics assume that the Bible teaches that Peter was the first pope, that Mary is to be worshipped, that Jesus and His disciples were RC, etc. What a shock it is for most of them to discover that none of these things are taught in the Bible.
  4. Many RC traditions have been carried over to the Protestant churches, and unfortunately many of them have even drifted over into Baptist churches.
  5. I want for us to look today at the Bible and see for ourselves what Godís Word has to say. It is my belief that Jesus Christ died on Thursday afternoon.

 

I. JESUS DIED THE DAY BEFORE THE SABBATH (Mark 15:42).

    1. Most people assume that since this passage teaches that Jesus died "the day before the sabbath," and since Saturday is the Jewish sabbath; therefore He must have died on Friday (Mark 15:42-47).
    2. Before we get into that, letís look at this phrase, "when the even was come" (15:42). "Even" means sunset (cf. Lev.23:32; Mark 1:32).
    3. Therefore, the sunset marked the beginning of a new day. That is why orthodox Jews have to rush home before the sun sets on Friday night (Example: attorney for seller could not close on a Friday).
    4. We must keep in mind that the Jewish day began at 6:00 PM, not midnight. This particular "even" or sunset when Joseph of Arimathea begged the body of Jesus from Pilate was the beginning of the day of preparation, i.e. Friday, the day before the sabbath (Mark 15:42-45).
    5. Therefore, it was at even or sunset, the beginning of Friday, not the sunset of Friday. It was Thursday afternoon, the beginning of Friday, not Friday afternoon, the beginning of the sabbath.
    6. So our Lord died at the ninth hour (3 PM) Thursday afternoon (Mark 15:34-37). This was the time when the passover lamb was to be slain (Ex.12:6).

 

II. JESUS ROSE THE DAY AFTER THE SABBATH.

    1. There is no question but that Jesus Christ rose from the dead the first day of the week, the day that is now universally known as Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday (cf. Mark 16:1-9; Matt.28:1; John 20:1).
    2. This is why we worship on Sunday. Sunday is the Lordís Day. Sunday is the day Jesus rose from the dead. SDA is a cult and many of their teachings are inspired by demons. There is an excellent video out, called "SDA, The spirit behind the church." It is well-documented and proves that Ellen G. White was a false prophetess and undoubtedly demon-possessed. If you would like to order this video, call (602) 973-4768.

 

III. THE MAIN THING IS THAT JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS.

    1. It really does not matter what day Jesus died. I happen to believe it was Thursday, based upon what our Lord said in Matt.12:40.
    2. But I can get along with someone who thinks our Lord died on a Friday. This is not something we should fight over. We should fight over the blood atonement, and the bodily resurrection, and salvation by Godís grace. But I think it is not right to fight over what day our Lord rose from the dead.
    3. The most important thing is that He died for our sins (cf. Rom.5:6-11; Isa.53:3-6). Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour?

CONCLUSION:

  1. I read a story one time that I will never forget. Back in the days of the Great Depression a Missouri man named John Griffith was the controller of a great railroad drawbridge across the Mississippi River. One day in the summer of 1937 he decided to take his eight-year-old son, Greg, with him to work.
  2. At noon, John Griffith put the bridge up to allow ships to pass and he sat on the observation deck with his son to eat lunch. Time passed quickly, and suddenly he was startled by the shrieking of a train whistle in the distance. He looked at his watch and noticed it was 1:07 and the Memphis Express train, loaded up with 400 passengers on board, was roaring toward the raised drawbridge!
  3. He leaped from the observation deck and ran back to the control tower. Just before throwing the master lever he glanced down for any ships below. Then he saw something that nearly caused his heart to stop. His little son Greg had slipped from the observation deck and had fallen into the massive gears that operate the drawbridge.
  4. His left leg was caught in the cogs of the two main gears! Desperately Mr. Griffithís mind raced to come up with a plan that would enable him to rescue his son and at the same time get the bridge up in time for the train that was quickly approaching. But he realized he had no time to do both.
  5. He could hear the train whistle shrieking loudly Ė he could hear the clicking of the locomotive wheels over the tracks Ė the train would be here in moments. His heart was pounding as he looked down and saw his precious little boy down there in the gears.
  6. But there were over 400 passengers on that train. He knew what he had to do, so he buried his head in his left arm and pushed the master switch forward. The great massive drawbridge lowered into place just as the Memphis Express roared over the river. When John Griffith lifted his head with his face wet with tears, he looked into the passing windows of the train.
  7. There were businessmen casually relaxing and reading their newspapers, nicely dressed ladies in the dining car sipping their coffee, and children Ė some the same age as his son Ė eating ice cream.
  8. No one looked at the control tower. No one looked at the great gears. With tears of grief pouring down his face, John Griffith cried out at the passing train: "I sacrificed my son for you people! Donít you care?"
  9. The great steel train passed by but no one heard what he was saying. People just looked out the window and smiled.


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