Date: 4th April 2007 (Wednesday PM) Ref: A0302
Place: Kambah P.S.
Title: Good Wednesday?
Text: & Matt 12:40
Illust: I was thinking about the whole meaning of Easter & researching some of the background. It is interesting that our tradition is to celebrate Good Friday as the date of the crucifixion & Sunday as the resurrection, but I cam across some scholars who have a view that the crucifixion was on a Wednesday or Thursday – So I have titled this message “Good Wednesday”
I. Triumphal Entry
A. Messiah the King
i. & Matt 21:1-9 – What is called the Triumphal entry. When Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 by riding into Jerusalem on a Donkey. This was not without precedent.
1 Kings 1:38-40 38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule, and took him to Gihon. 39 Then Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. And they blew the horn, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 And all the people went up after him; and the people played the flutes and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth seemed to split with their sound. (NKJV)
ii. Also prophesied in Dan 9:
Daniel 9:25-26a 25 “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; (NKJV)
iii. What we have here is a mathematical prophecy. And Chuck Missler provides some pretty thought provoking comments on this prophecy.
The Jewish (and Babylonian) calendars used a 360-day year; 69 weeks of 360-day years totals 173,880 days. In effect, Gabriel told Daniel that the interval between the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem until the presentation of the Messiah as King would be 173,880 days.
The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 B.C.
When did Jesus present Himself as a King? During His ministry there were several occasions in which the people attempted to promote Him as king, but He carefully avoided it. "Mine hour is not yet come."
One day He meticulously arranges it. On this particular day he rode into the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey, deliberately fulfilling a prophecy by Zechariah that the Messiah would present Himself as king in just that way:
When we examine the period between March 14, 445 B.C. and April 6, 32 A.D., and correct for leap years, we discover that it is 173,880 days exactly, to the very day!
iv. Jesus rides into Jerusalem fulfilling prophecy as the King of the Jews, the Messiah.- The people didn’t miss what was happening. – They are cheering & crying out Hosanna – “Save Now” – The religious people didn’t miss what was happening – they told Jesus to rebuke His followers. Jesus reply powerfully exclaims just how important this event is.
Luke 19:40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” (NKJV)
B. Lamb Selection Day
i. But wait there’s more. The date of the Triumphal Entry when calculated relative to Passover which is locked in as the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan
Leviticus 23:5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. (NKJV)
ii. Works out to be according to many scholars as the 10th of Nisan. This date is significant because it is the day that was allocated to select your lamb before the Passover
Exodus 12:3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. (NKJV)
iii. Jesus the Lamb of God rode into Jerusalem on the same day that people would be pouring into the city carrying their Passover lambs having purchased them from the surrounding villages & markets.
II. A Question of Days
i. Now let’s look at one of the most important events in the history of the world. The Crucifixion of Jesus. – Friday or Wednesday or even Thursday
ii. There are some issues with Friday. The most obvious being that no matter how much I try, I can’t figure in 3 days & 3 nights as Jesus prophesied in our text.
iii. However there are a number of scriptural references that could indicate that Friday fits. Of course this has also been the historically celebrated day for centuries
B. Wednesday / Thursday
i. Nowhere in the Gospels does it assert that Christ was crucified on a Friday. In Mark 15:42, it refers to "...the day before the sabbath." This may be the root of the misunderstanding.
The Jews had other sabbaths in addition to the weekly shabbat (Saturday). In addition to the weekly sabbaths, there were seven "high sabbaths" each year, and the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the 15th of Nisan, was one of them.
Further, Matthew 28:1 should read, "At the end of the sabbaths ," (which is plural in the Greek), implying there was a plurality of sabbaths that week.
If Passover, the 14th of Nisan, fell earlier in the week, the 15th could have been any day prior to Saturday, the weekly sabbath. "When the sabbaths were past" would, of course, be Sunday
ii. Therefore they attempt to count back to get 3 days & 3 nights or just the 3rd day – and come up with Thursday or Wednesday. – I can tell you that there is a lot written on this
III. Passover Lamb
A. Christ Crucified
i. Now we come to the crunch – Actually it doesn’t matter! ~ What really matters is the truth of the crucifixion & of this there is no doubt.
1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (NKJV)
ii. I was speaking to someone today & they mentioned that they were in a store & saw advertised “Photos with the Easter Bunny” - - Our culture that has raised this fertility goddess symbol with chocolate eggs as the meaning of Easter. In the verse just read however is the 1st part of the true meaning of Easter. Jesus Christ & Him crucified.
iii. Jesus died for your sins, does it matter on what day. No. What matters is that
Hebrews 2:14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, (NKJV)
1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (NKJV)
B. Take Up Your Cross
i. As you enter this Easter period, are you going to get consumed, or maybe more accurately put be consuming the worlds view of Easter or will you use this time to meditate on the price that was paid for your salvation?
1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes you were healed. (NKJV)
Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), (NKJV)
ii. Will you lay down your life, take up the cross & follow Jesus, who we remember at this time went through the agony of the cross & death for you.
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (NKJV)
iii. I close with 2 quotes
"'Not called!' did you say?
'Not heard the call,' I think you should say.
Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face -- whose mercy you have professed to obey -- and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world. -- William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army
“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” CT Studd
IV. Altar Call
476 x 365= 173, 740 days
Add (14 March to 6th April, both inclusive) 24 days
Add for leap years 116 days
Equals a total of 173,880 days And 69 weeks of prophetic years of 360 days (or 69 x 7 x 360) 173, 880 days.