Quote of the Day
"The Epistles have played a major role in the formation of doctrine and Christian theology throughout church history precisely because they expound on the great themes of God's saving work on the cross."
~The ESV Study Bible (from "why were the epistles written?")
On What Day Did Jesus Die?
Speculation about the timing of Christ's crucifixion stems from the lack of direct day-to-day correlation in the gospel accounts. In the present world, dates have become imperative for adequate news coverage. But the gospel writers concerned themselves with the events themselves and not the specific timing. They aimed to present Jesus to various audiences and not provide a detailed biography.
To uncover the day of the crucifixion, we must assemble the evidence from the four Gospels and what we know of the culture at the time. Over the years, scholars have produced several models of what events happened during the days of the week leading up to the cross. These models variously propose that Christ died on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
While a Wednesday crucifixion allows Jesus to have been buried for three full days and nights, this would also mean He rose on the fourth day. In addition, the Triumphal Entry would have happened on Saturday, the day of Sabbath rest. A Thursday crucifixion moves the Triumphal Entry to Sunday, which makes more sense, and eliminates the need for a "silent day" (a day during the Passion Week when no events were recorded). However, we know that the Pharisees rushed to have Jesus in the tomb on the day of preparation (John 19:34), which is Friday, and before the Sabbath began at nightfall (the Jews measured days from nightfall to nightfall).
When we examine the evidence, Friday fits best with the gospel accounts and the historical context. For example, the new testament says that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day—not necessarily after three days (e.g., Matthew 16:21; Acts 10:40). As mentioned above, Jesus had to be rushed into the tomb on the day of preparation. While a Friday crucifixion would necessitate a "silent day" (probably Wednesday), this day allows time for the Sanhedrin to plan for Jesus's arrest and the subsequent trials. So, the day is only "silent" because we have nothing specifically recorded.
how can god die?