on which date?23-04-2014 - Posted by Andre Piet
This past week, I have written a number of blogs about the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, in relation to the week of Passover. That is very tricky, because, whoever has studied this matter, knows how diverse the opinions, herein, vary. On which date did Jesus die? Was it on the 14th or 15th of Nisan? And on which day of the week was this? On a Wednesday, a Thursday or a Friday? And how many nights was Jesus in the grave? Two nights or three nights? And on which date was Jesus resurrected? Some say the 16th of Nisan. Others say it was on the 17th of Nisan. And, again, others: the 18th of Nisan. And was that on a Saturday or on a Sunday? And also of importance is the question: When does a calendar-day actually begin; in the evening or in the morning? For all the options I enumerated, you can effortlessly find serious defenders. In part, the answers also depend on one another. Who, e.g., assumes that Jesus lay in the tomb for three nights, will not come to a crucifixion on Friday. Last week, when I stuck out my neck to write about these questions (as I had done before), I knew in advance that I would encounter resistance. Of course, the most important fact is that Jesus died and that He was raised. The importance of the dating of these events is mainly focused on the connection of them with “the feasts of YAHWEH” (Lev.23). I’m thinking especially about the day of Passover, when the lamb was to be slain and about the day of the sheaf of the firstfruit. Concerning the latter event, there is even an additional question. Traditionally, two views exist as to when this day should be celebrated: on a fixed date (16th of Nisan) or on a fixed weekday (Sunday). Anyway, this week, I plan to continue my series on the above questions. I already wrote about the date of the crucifixion and the date of the resurrection and about the question of when the day of the sheaf of the firstfruit was to be celebrated. But some questions deserve some extra attention. I’m thinking in particular of the number of nights that Jesus was in the grave as well as on the weekday on which He arose. However, before I continue, I would like to pause and stress that I do not want my position(s) in this to be taken, automatically, as being absolute. Not because I am not convinced about what I have to say, for in that case, I should keep silence and leave the answers up in the air. Nevertheless, all too often have I found that people do not dare to be open-minded, because they are afraid to be denounced, when their conclusions differ from what mainstream-opinion presents. So, they meekly follow what ‘they’ say, a favorite circle or Bible teacher. I, myself, over the years, have had to adjust my understanding about these questions a number of times. I also know, from personal experience, that it is not easy to find the way out of the maze of the above issues and come to full clarity. So, however positive I or others express themselves, do not ever allow yourself, thereby, to be intimidated. My request and advice, therefore, is and remains (like the disclaimer at the bottom of the front page of my website): research it yourself in Scripture, “whether or not these things are so.” (Acts 17 verse 11).