The Wednesday Crucifixion Theory
The Wednesday crucifixion scenario is promoted by a number of groups in an attempt to solve the three-days-and-three-nights issue. But it causes many other problems.
Twenty-two Problems with the Wednesday Crucifixion Theory
This page is supplemental information to go with the study In the Heart of the Earth which proposes a quite different timetable than you will see elsewhere
Some have suggested that the crucifixion actually happened on a Wednesday rather than a Friday. They do this mainly because of a verse in Daniel:
“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 to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)
The Wednesday crucifixion theory has many difficulties 22 of which are listed below. For more details on many of these points consult my book: In the Heart of the Earth: The Secret Code That Reveals What is in the Heart of God. See more information about the book. Note that while most Wednesday theories place the resurrection on Sabbath afternoon, some variations of it place the resurrection before sunrise Sabbath morning, in which case, a few of the points below do not apply
The Wednesday crucifixion theory cannot be correct because:
- It ignores the meaning of the Greek word “kardia” (translated as “heart” in Matthew 12:40) as the Bible uses it. The Bible never uses it in the sense of the middle or center of anything.
- It misses the fact that the Greek word “ge” (translated as “earth” in Matthew 12:40) is also used to refer to people as in Revelation 13:3: “… all the world wondered after the beast.” It is, of course, not the planet but the people who are wondering.
- It ignores the fact that when the time period “three days and three nights” or equivalent expressions are used, the sequence of events begins with the betrayal, if not in every case, generally in parallel passages.
- It says that Passover, Nisan 14 was on Wednesday. Six days before, when Jesus arrived in Bethany (John 12:1), would then be Thursday of the previous week. Jesus cleansed the temple two days later which would then be on the Sabbath when there would be no selling happening in the temple.
- It assumes the women bought spices on Friday when the original wording allows for them to have been purchased anytime previously as in Luke 14:18-19.
- It conflicts with the evidence that the Greek word “paraskeue” refers only to the preparation day for a seventh-day Sabbath. Mark 15:42 says “… the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath” translated from “paraskeue” which is never used to refer to anything but a seventh-day Sabbath.
- It takes “destroy this temple” to mean Jesus’ death when the original Greek word “luo” does not mean to kill and is never used that way in any of its 43 uses in the Bible.
- It allows time for corruption – 72 hours in the grave.
- It has Jesus’ body left past the morning after the crucifixion in violation of the scripture directing that none of the Passover Lamb was to remain. (Exodus 12:10)
- It has the wave sheaf offering happening on the day after the weekly Sabbath when it should be on the day of the weekly Sabbath. “After” is a supplied word.
- It mixes literal and symbolic by saying that the first 69 of the 70 weeks of Daniel 7 were fulfilled as weeks of years but the last week was fulfilled as a literal, 7-day week.
- It is largely based on the idea that Jesus should die in “the midst of the week” (Daniel 9:27) but how could He confirm the covenant with anyone for the latter half of the week while in the grave? That midst of the week is symbolically speaking of a week of years – the seven years from the Messiah’s baptism (27 AD) to when the gospel was taken to the Gentiles (34 AD) after the stoning of Stephen. In the second half of that “week” the Messiah spoke to the Jews through His followers.
- It is nine hours off in its midst-of-the-week calculation. The week starts at sunset Saturday evening – the end of the seventh day. The middle of the seven-day week would be 3 ½ days after at sunrise (approximately 6 am) Wednesday morning.
- It doesn’t adequately explain the fact that Mary came to the tomb on Sabbath “when it was yet dark.” (John 20:1). It could only be on the Sabbath and “yet dark” if it was before sunrise on Sabbath morning. There is no part of the “morning” portion (from sunrise to sunset) of a 24-hour day when it is dark.
- It has Jesus in the grave, as determined by inclusive reckoning, for parts of four days (Daylight portions of Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sabbath).
- It ignores the correct meaning of “end” in Matthew 28:1. The Bible uses the original word “opse” to mean evening, the dark part of a 24-hour day and therefore before sunrise.
- It says that the women were eager to get to Jesus’ body on Sunday morning when they were previously reluctant to open the tomb of Lazarus. Jesus, on that Sunday morning, would have been dead from 3pm Wednesday to let’s call it 5am Sunday morning or 86 hours. In fact, Lazarus could have been dead for less time than that if he died for example late on a Monday afternoon and was resurrected early on Thursday morning (perhaps 65 hours). By Jewish reckoning that would be four days. If embalming was to prevent decomposition and they said “by now he stinketh” referring to Lazarus, why would the women think they could effectively anoint Jesus’ body after nearly as long or perhaps even a longer time in the grave?
- It emphasizes the importance of a literal 72-hour time in the grave as evidence (and the only sign) that Jesus was the Messiah, yet:
- Parallel accounts do not even specifically mention the time period.
- Since (this theory says) no one saw Him till Sunday morning, there were no witnesses to testify to the time in the grave being 72 hours. If that was the sign promised to that generation, it was a sign that no one could see!
- Even if the soldiers saw the resurrection and there is no evidence they did, they gave a different testimony.
- By contrast, Lazarus had many witnesses of his resurrection and his resurrection is recorded as being on the fourth day after his death. Was he then more qualified as the Messiah?
- There was plenty of other evidence that Jesus was the Messiah – His testimony to the disciples of John the Baptist, the virgin birth, the place of His birth and many other prophecies. How could the three days and three nights in the heart of the earth be the only sign He was the Messiah? It must be a sign of something else.
- It says Passover is the day of the crucifixion when the Biblical evidence shows that the disciples and Jesus regarded the day before the crucifixion as the day of Passover (Nisan 14).
- It is inconsistent with the Gospel writers reckoning of the days. Since all four refer to the crucifixion day as a day of preparation (Matthew 27:62, Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:42) yet they record differently which day was the Passover, the day after the crucifixion must be a seventh-day Sabbath. In their record of which day was Passover they would necessarily reckon the preparation of the Passover differently.
- It totally misses the much deeper meaning of the sign Jesus said He was giving them. Jesus never said it was to be the only sign (or even a sign at all) that He was the Messiah.
- For those advocating exactly 72 hours in the grave, it has the priests telling the soldiers to say they were asleep for an event that happened late but before sunset on Sabbath afternoon when it was still light.
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