Was Christ crucified on ‘Good’ Wednesday?

Posted: August 12, 2011 in Christian
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I have listened to some fascinating views about the scriptures by several Christian scholars in the last few years, and one of the apologists I listen to is Chuck Missler. Dr. Missler is fairly adamant that Wednesday was the day of Christ’s crucifixion. I had never heard this crazy hypothesis before. In fact, all my early life going to Sunday school, it was a given that Friday was the day. Naturally, whether Christ was crucified on a Wednesday or a Thursday or a Friday holds no significance to our salvation. However, the more we can delve into the mechanics of the scriptures and the more we can see the patterns and intricate designs that are present from cover to cover, the more we uncover the tapestry of the irrevocable Word of Our Lord. Therefore, I decided to tackle this potentially whacko theory. It is simply one of the hundreds of opportunities to study and search the scriptures for my own edification and learning, and I am sharing with you the surprising (to me) results.

As I said earlier, Chuck Missler seems to believe that Christ was crucified on a Wednesday. I had listened to his reason and conclusions but mentally, the math didn’t really add up and the case for Wednesday didn’t look very promising; I really didn’t think Christ was crucified on Friday, because the more I study the word of God, the more I realize the accuracy in which it is written, but I’m wasn’t sold on the fact that Christ was crucified on Wednesday either…Wednesday just seemed too far fetched and too early in the week. Thinking more on this subject, I delved into Dr. Chuck Missler’s “Learn the Bible in 24 Hours” series, Hour 16: The Final Week, and came to the same inconclusive roadblock. I then realized that I had never put it down on paper to analyze it, so I donned virtual pen and paper (LibreOffice Writer) and proceeded to write it down.

Before I started putting anything down, I knew I needed to establish some ground rules. Before we go any further, I want to give you the perspective that drives my study of the word of my Lord. From the first time I picked up a bible, I whole-heartedly believe that the Lord says what He means, and means what He says, and I take the bible very literally. Therefore, reading from the account of Christ where He gave the Pharisee a sign about Jonah spending three days and three nights in the sea creature (Matthew 12:40), and the accounts we are given in the gospels by the Holy Spirit about Christ being in the tomb for three days and three nights (Mark 8:31 and others), made me realize that I believe Christ and the Holy Spirit were referring to three full days and three full nights. I also needed to keep in mind that the Jewish calendar starts the day at 6 PM in the evening (actually at sundown), because God referred to the creation time periods as the evening and the morning (in that order). Also I am assuming the timer started the first evening after Christ died. I supposed, because it was the longest time period of my trial, I decided to humor the Wednesday crucifixion idea first and then work toward resurrection Sunday.

So with all that, here is my math assuming Christ was crucified during the daylight hours of Wednesday and His body is prepared and He is placed in the grave that evening (the beginning hours of Thursday) using the formula the Lord started in Genesis (evening and morning).

1. 1st Thursday (High Sabbath, Feast of Unleavened Bread) starting at 6PM Wednesday on our calendar until 5:59PM Thursday, according to our time keeping

2. 2nd Friday, beginning again at 6PM Thursday by our reckoning, until 5:59PM Friday

3. 3rd Saturday (Sabbath) which begins 6PM Friday evening, continues throughout the daylight hours of Saturday, terminating at 5:59PM Saturday evening.

We know that Mary Magdalene visited Christ’s tomb well before sunup Sunday morning to find it empty according to the gospel of John…John 20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. ESV.

After I wrote this out, I backed off and looked at it…and to my surprise…it works. I was flabbergasted, because just before I finished writing out the math I was sure I was, at the best, going to prove Wednesday wasn’t the day Christ died, or at the worst, it would remain inconclusive. I did not expect to prove to myself that Christ was crucified on Wednesday…but I did.

The above math shows that when the sun went down on that third full day, Sabbath (Saturday) following the day he died, (Wednesday), the sundown that followed at 6PM began Sunday, the Feast of First Fruits and and it was before daybreak on Sunday morning when Mary Magdalene met the two angels guarding the tomb and discovered her Lord was already risen.

The initial issue I was having (as I suspect many have) is mentally I started counting with the day and discounted the fact that Christ would have been placed in the tomb and starting the clock on the first night. Using that simple fact means that I have proven to myself that Wednesday was the logical day that he was taken out and slain. A Thursday crucifixion would mean Sunday would be day three and inferring full days, that doesn’t work either because the scripture tells us Mary discovered him gone from the tomb in the early morning hours of Sunday. Assuming the Holy Spirit and Christ meant full days and nights, (which I absolutely do) this makes a Friday crucifixion that doesn’t work at all, for that would only account for one night and one full day.

God Bless, Jim

updated 10-28-20

P.S. A classmate of mine, Jody Brownd, at Koinonia Institute suggested, using Psalm 119:62 “At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.” that Christ possibly rose at midnight…interesting…I buy it.

  1. Ed Chapman says:

    Support for Good Friday Crucifixion

    Three Days and Three Nights.

    Hello, my name is Ed Chapman. I have done a complete study of Passover as it pertains to Jesus. I have heard all sorts of scenarios about a Wednesday or a Thursday crucifixion. But I can prove a Friday crucifixion.

    What got me into studying this is that I heard a very interesting question once. The question was, “How do you get three days and three nights from Good Friday afternoon to Ishtar Sunday Morning?” It’s either Ishtar or Ashtray, I can’t remember which.

    Well, it is possible to get three days and three nights from Good Friday afternoon to Easter Sunday Morning. Especially if we get the notion out of our heads that a day is 24 hours, because three days and three nights has nothing to do with “time”, but with light and dark.

    Genesis 1:5
    “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night…”

    If it is light outside, it is day. If it is dark outside, it is night.

    The other thing that needs to be looked at, is the notion as to when Passover begins, vs. when the lamb is to be killed.

    The lamb is NOT to be killed immediately upon the beginning of Passover. It is first “prepared” at the START of Passover.

    But when does Passover begin?

    It begins IN (Pay attention to the word IN) the 14th day of Nisan AT (Pay attention to the word AT) even (evening, otherwise known as sunset).

    Now, is that the 14th day, or the 15th day? Most believe that this is the 14th day. They think that Passover begins on the 14th day. But that is not what that states. That states that this is the 15th day, not the 14th.

    Example: For us, New Years Day begins ON New Years Eve AT midnight. Oh, you want Biblical proof, do ya? O.K., no problem.

    When is the Day of Atonement? The 10th Day of the Seventh Month. When does this begin? ON the 9th Day AT sunset.

    Leviticus 23:
    27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

    28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.

    29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

    30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.

    31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

    32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

    Verse 32 is discussing the 10th day, not the 9th day. So lets review. When does Passover begin? It begins ON the 14th Day at sunset, which is technically the 15th, not the 14th. Passover is known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Luke 22:1). It is a seven day feast, not a one day feast. It is from the 15th to the 21st, beginning on the 14th day at sunset (15) to
    sunset of the 21 (21). That is a total of seven days.

    Jesus did not eat the Passover one day early. He ate it based on the law, on the correct day at the correct time.

    The first day of Passover (15th) is a Sabbath Day (the AN HIGH DAY, or as some wish to say, a SPECIAL Sabbath). The seventh day of Passover is also a Sabbath Day. Sabbaths go from sunset to sunset…KEEP THAT IN MIND, that it is based on sunset, and not the time of the day. This indicates that the “an high day” sabbath ended at noon, not at 6 pm.

    The day that Jesus died is the FIRST DAY OF THE PASSOVER, which is a Passover Sabbath, and the very next day is the weekly Saturday Sabbath. The day that Jesus died was the preparation of the Weekly Sabbath.

    Everything about the death of Jesus MUST MATCH that of the actual passover lamb.

    Jesus died on Nisan 15, and since Jesus died on Nisan 15, that means that the actual passover lamb was also killed on Nisan 15, not on Nisan 14 as many want you to believe.

    If you look at the exact words as to when the Passover lamb is to be killed, it states that the Passover “begins” In the 14th Day of the month “AT” EVEN ( I understand between the eves). That isn’t the 14th. That is the 15th. This is the time that the lamb is “PREPARED”, NOT KILLED. It is killed THREE HOURS LATER. You will see that in the following. It is the PREPARATION that is at “between the eves”, or twilight, or whatever word that you wish to use (DUSK). But that isn’t when the Passover lamb is slaughtered, killed, or crucified.

    Preparation is during BETWEEN THE EVES. Now, I have heard numerous definitions of this. It is funny because people actually believe that this is during the daylight hours. But it isn’t. Between the eves, or twilight, is that period of time AFTER sunset, when the sun is below the horizon, but not quite total darkness. We call that DUSK. There is also a dusk, or twilight, or between the eves just before sunrise, too. We call that dawn. Dawn and Dusk is between the eves, or twilight.

    Jesus was killed at the third hour of darkness. It was dark when Jesus died, and had been for 3 hours. That darkness is counted, or as many use the word, “reckoned” as a night in the count of three days and three nights (Genesis 1:5).

    And since it was dark for three hours in regards to Jesus, that is when the actual lamb is killed, ON the 15, not the 14th. So the actual passover lamb was killed about 9 pm on Friday the 15th, which began three hours before when it was THURSDAY the 14th at sunset, which is the 15th, not the 14th.

    Remember the easy verification of Leviticus Chapter 23 in regards to the Day of Atonement. The 10th day begins ON the 9th day AT EVEN.

    The Bible does not specify a TIME at which the lamb is to be eaten. God just said to eat in haste, and not to leave any of it in the morning, and the uneaten portions that are, that they are to be burnt. This would clarify everyone’s notion that the angel of death began his journey at midnight, as there is no time specified. It could have happened at any time of the night before sunrise.

    Now, some claim that Jesus was crucified at 9:00 am, equating that crucifying means putting Jesus on the cross at 9 am, citing Mark 15:25 as the reference.

    But Jesus was not on the cross at 9 am, nor was he crucified at 9 am. Mark 15:25 states that it was the third hour, but people seem to assume that Mark was discussing the third hour of the day, which would be 9 am if he was, but he wasn’t. He was discussing the third hour of the night, not the day. Darkness (NIGHT-Genesis 1:5) began at NOON. It was 3 pm, and they crucified him.

    Mark 15:25 (Third hour of the night (3:00 P.M., not 9:00 A.M.))
    And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.

    Now, check out the following:

    John 19:14-16 (The Sixth Hour of the DAY (About Noon, and he had NOT been crucified yet…”TO BE CRUCIFIED”.)
    “And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified.”

    Mark 15:25 cannot be the 3rd hour of the day (9 AM) because in John 19:14-16 it was noon and he hadn’t been crucified yet.

    At noon he was “TO BE” crucified. He had not even gotten on the cross yet, until about noon. And Jesus was crucified three hours later, the 3rd hour of DARKNESS, or, the third hour of the night.

    Tons of people that have a problem with a Good Friday crucifixion do not even consider the darkness (noon to 3 pm) as a part of the “reckoning”. The math can be confusing, when attempting to equate the date of the death of Jesus with the date of the death of the actual passover lamb, which by “time” reckoning was in reality 18 hours before, but was indeed the
    third hour of the night of Nisan 15. “Time” reckoning shows that the actual Passover lamb was killed AT 9 pm, and Jesus was killed 18 hours later at 3 pm. This is where the confusion comes in that Jesus ate the passover a day early. But BOTH OF THEM was killed ON Nisan 15, the third hour of the night, yet 18 hours apart.

    A quick review:

    The Lamb is prepared beginning AT sunset, of the 14th, which in reality is the 15th. Sunset begins twilight, or between the eves. The First day of the Passover is a Sabbath Day. The last day of Passover is a Sabbath Day. The An High Day that is discussed was in regards to the Passover Sabbath, the day that Jesus died of Nissan 15, and not in regards to a Sabbath of any othe day. The Preparation of the Passover (JESUS) was at NOON in John 19:14-16, and was not discussing the actual Passover Lamb. That was when Jesus was put on the cross. Jesus was on the cross for three hours, not six hours. He was not put on the cross at 9:00 am. The PREPARATION of the actual passover lamb was at SUNSET of the 14th, which is the 15th, not the 14th. Three hours later, the lamb is killed/crucified, on the 15th.

    For us, New Years Day begins ON New Years Eve AT midnight. That is how it is described for the day of Atonement, as well.

    Three Days and Three Nights
    Night #1. About 3:00pm Friday (PARTIAL NIGHT)
    Day #1. 3:00pm to 6:00pm Friday
    Night #2. 6:00pm to 6:00am Saturday
    Day #2. 6:00am to 6:00pm Saturday
    Night #3. 6:00pm to 6:00am Sunday
    Day #3. About 6:00am Sunday Sunrise(PARTIAL DAY)

    Technically speaking, days are “reckoned” as sunrise to sunset, and nights are “reckoned” as sunset to sunrise. This is in Genesis 1:5. If it is dark outside, it is night. If it is light outside, it is day. The number of hours in a day or night is irrelevant. Yes, Jesus did say, “are there not twelve hours in the day?”. He did say that. But lets look at how many hours of day “LIGHT” that there is during THAT TIME OF THE YEAR. Jesus could not say that during, say, November or
    December, as there is more hours of darkness during that time, especially if we are “reckoning” that there is 24 hours in a day. But in the case of a literal three days and three nights, we are not discussing how many hours there is in a 24 hour day, or partial days.

    Now, one final note in regards to Sunday. Some use Luke 24:1 and John 20:1 to indicate that we cannot count Sunday Morning, because it was not yet sunrise. They claim that it was dark when the women got to the tomb. That is not true.

    The whole REST OF THE STORY is completely left out.

    What is missing is the following:

    Mark 16:1-4
    1 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.

    2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

    3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

    4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.


    Matthew 28:1-5
    1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

    2 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.

    3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

    4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

    5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

    ***Notice, if you will, that Mark 16:2 states “at the rising of the sun”. That is sunrise!

    Next, notice if you will, that at this point, they had NOT YET got to the tomb, because they asked amongst themselves, in verse 3, “Who shall roll away the stone…?” This shows that they were STILL on their journey. It was dark when they began their journey, and while on the journey, sunrise happened, so that by the time that they got to the tomb, sunrise had already taken place.

    Now, at the rising of the sun, AKA sunrise, if they had been at the tomb at that point, why would they ask “who shall roll away the stone…?”?

    The fact is, when they actually arrived at the tomb, the stone was rolled away, already. And since that is a fact, they would not have had to ask, “Who shall roll away the stone?” if they were already there at the tomb.

    This clearly shows that sunrise had already taken place before their arrival at the tomb, and that it was NOT dark when they “arrived” at the tomb.

    This shows that Luke and John is discussing “going” to the tomb, and not “arriving” at the tomb. Do you see how covertly that some leave out Mark and Matthew’s account? Very convenient, isn’t it?

    For example:
    If I left the house to go to South America, but I hadn’t yet arrived, and someone looks for me, my roommate will respond, “He went to South America.” That does not mean that I arrived in South America.

    My bottom line is that the three hours of darkness on the day that Jesus died was no mistake or mystery. That darkness was extremely important, and Mark 15:25 is discussing that darkness. That darkness is counted in the three day’s, and three nights, having nothing to do with hours in a day or night or full day or partial days.

    I studied this for many years. What your side does is attempt to use “hours” as the tool, where I just use light and dark, aka, sunrise to sunset, sunset to sunrise.

    Jesus died on Friday. There is NO DOUBT in my mind. There is no question. Yes, you can get three days and three nights from Good Friday afternoon to Sunday Morning. The Catholics had nothing to do with this, either.


    I find it necessary to include the following in this write up, as some actually think that Jesus said that he would be in the grave for three days and three nights. He did not say that. This is extremely important, as some believe that the countdown of three days and three nights begin at the moment that the body of Jesus entered the tomb, rather than at the point that Jesus died on the cross. Heart of the Earth does not equate to “tomb”, or “grave”. It is appointed unto man once to die, and then the judgment. Jesus took our sins upon himself. Sin is the separation of God. Jesus said, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me. That indicates that Jesus took our sin at that point. But sin is not judged while alive, sin is judged after death of the body, not when one is buried into the ground, or enters a tomb.

    Jesus NEVER said that he would be in the “Grave” for three days and three nights. Many seem to “covertly” use the word “Grave”, rather than the words that Jesus actually used.

    Jesus actually said that he would be in the Heart of the Earth for three days and three nights. The word heart means “core”. Where is the core of an apple? In the middle. You will see that definition in the Strong’s Concordance.

    Jesus was in the middle of the earth for three days and three nights. That is not the earthly tomb. Some believe in soul sleep, that when you die, that is the end of the story until the resurrection. I don’t buy into that doctrine. Yes, I know about Ecclesiastes 9:5, but that isn’t what that is interpreted as. If you come across a dead man in the street, and you ask that dead man a question, he will not answer. That is what that is describing. The person is not in his body. He is elsewhere, heaven or hell. Some do not believe in an actual hell with demons, fire, and torment. I do.

    The time frame begins, that is, counted upon the death of Jesus. Not upon the entrance to an earthy tomb, called a grave, which Jesus never even used the word grave to begin with. Jesus was going to death, in the heart of the earth, which began when he died on the cross. Jesus had to go to the place of torment with demons and fire. He had taken the sin of the world upon his shoulders, and that sin still needed judgement. It is appointed unto men once to die…then after death is the judgment, not before death. Keep that in mind.

    Thank you for your time.


    Ed Chapman

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