Good Passion

Today is Good Friday, it comes every year and I don’t notice it until it passes and Easter comes. And when Easter comes I usually miss that also. Why? Because Easter weekend is better known as “Alumni Weekend” where graduates (and friends of graduates, and their parents) come to visit Oakwood University and admire the campus and relive the good-old days when they attended. There are usually so many events surrounding the entire weekend (and because we’re Sabbath keepers, the hype is all around Saturday) that the fact that Sunday is the day that Christ rose from the grave often goes unnoticed. However, I shall break from tradition and dedicate this post to that event that happened so long ago.

What is “Good Friday”?

Good Friday, anniversary of Jesus’ death on the cross. According to the Gospels, Jesus was put to death on the Friday before Easter Day. Since the early church Good Friday has been observed by fasting and penance. In the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican traditions, the celebration of the Eucharist is suspended; liturgical service involves veneration of the cross, the Passion narrative from the Gospel of St. John, and communion using bread and wine consecrated the previous day, Maundy Thursday. Other forms of observance include prayer and meditation at the Stations of the Cross, a succession of 14 images, usually on wooden crosses, depicting Christ’s crucifixion and the events leading up to it. –Columbia University, Press. “Good Friday.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2011): 1. History Reference Center. Web. 6 Apr. 2012.

This idea is related to something called The Passion of Christ. No, not the movie, but very similar to it. It refers to the day that the Christ was Crucified. If you were talking about the entire Easter weekend you could say the passion, death and Resurrection of Christ.

When was Christ Crucified?

To date the death of Christ using the Scriptures alone requires a number of advanced techniques! Lets get started.

We’re going to use the prophecies of the Scriptures to date the death of Christ.

A Day for a Year

Ezekiel 4:1-7  NAS Ezekiel 4:1 “Now you son of man, get yourself a brick, place it before you, and inscribe a city on it, Jerusalem.  2 “Then lay siege against it, build a siege wall, raise up a ramp, pitch camps, and place battering rams against it all around.  3 “Then get yourself an iron plate and set it up as an iron wall between you and the city, and set your face toward it so that it is under siege, and besiege it. This is a sign to the house of Israel.  4 “As for you, lie down on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it; you shall bear their iniquity for the number of days that you lie on it.  5 “For I have assigned you a number of days corresponding to the years of their iniquity, three hundred and ninety days; thus you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.  6 “When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; I have assigned it to you for forty days, a day for each year.  7 “Then you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared, and prophesy against it.

God made Ezekiel do some crazy things, the prophets carried out these stunts to show how serious they were, so that the people would believe them. The point is that God was warning Israel about the possible punishment for Israel’s unfaithfulness and He assigned Ezekiel the task of lying on his side for 390 days (or a year and 25 days or 9360 hours or from the time this post was written until Wednesday, May 1 2013) and then to do the same thing again on his other side after he finished.

The Scripture indicates that the number of days Ezekiel laid on his side was to be equal to the number of years the actual punishment would take place. The introduces us to the Year-Day Principle. Lets take a look at another passage:

Numbers 14:28-35   28 “Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you;  29 your corpses shall fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me.  30 ‘Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.  31 ‘Your children, however, whom you said would become a prey– I will bring them in, and they shall know the land which you have rejected.  32 ‘But as for you, your corpses shall fall in this wilderness.  33 ‘And your sons shall be shepherds for forty years in the wilderness, and they shall suffer for your unfaithfulness, until your corpses lie in the wilderness.  34 ‘According to the number of days which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day you shall bear your guilt a year, even forty years, and you shall know My opposition.  35 ‘I, the LORD, have spoken, surely this I will do to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be destroyed, and there they shall die.'”

Moses sends out people to spy on the land (to get a good look at it). Because they did not have Google Earth, it takes them 40 days to accomplish this. The overwhelming report is that this land has giants in it and its a no-go. Two however, Caleb and Joshua, say otherwise and agree that with God on their side they could overtake the giants and accomplish the promise! God gets upset at the lack of faith and as a result of their lack of faith, they were to wonder for forty years in the wilderness until everyone over 20 years of age dies out. God uses the year-day principle here.

Other uses of the Year-day Principle could be drawn from Leviticus 25:2-4 when comparing it to Exodus 20:8-10 even though its not a prophecy.

Another use is by Christ:

Luke 13:31-34   31 Just at that time some Pharisees came up, saying to Him, “Go away and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You.”  32 And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.’  33 “Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.  34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!

Jesus was not during Jesus’ Passion Week, therefore we have to conclude that by third day  he means the third year of His ministry.

Jewish authors seem to like interchanging days with years also.

Malachi 3:4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.

So the year-day principle is a concept that isn’t foreign to the text, but is used as a principle teaching device in it.

Whew, background covered, let apply this!

 

Daniel 9:24-27   24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.  25 “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.  26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.  27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

70 ‘sevens’ (others translate this as 70 weeks) are set apart for certain things to happen. The start of this prophecy was to be when the command to rebuild Jerusalem (remember that Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed it to earlier and it was now in ruins, see chapter one of Daniel) Well, that time came in the year 457 B.C.

Ezra 7:13,21  13 Now I decree that any of the Israelites in my kingdom, including priests and Levites, who wish to go to Jerusalem with you, may go. 21 Now I, King Artaxerxes, order all the treasurers of Trans-Euphrates to provide with diligence whatever Ezra the priest, a teacher of the Law of the God of heaven, may ask of you–

Ezra 6:14-15  4 So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia.  15 The temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.

Notice that a number of different decrees or commands were issued for the rebuilding of the temple. But the prophecy was to be activated when Jerusalem was not only rebuilt, but restored. Everything was to be rebuilt, even the wall and the trenches…everything. This took place in 457 B.C.

Using the year-day principle:

70 x 70 = 490 days

this has subsets of 7 ‘sevens’ , 62 ‘sevens’  and one ‘seven’ .

If we take these sevens to mean weeks of days, then we’re looking at 7 years, 62 years and another 7 years.

49 years later after 457 B.C the temple was completely rebuilt.

John 2:18-21  18 Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”  19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”  20 The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”

Yes, it off by three years (the Jews’ recollection, or it may be that the 3 extra years were to touch up some stuff, this is speculation)

62 weeks or 434 years later we arrive at 26 A.D (the extra year is due to the fact that their was no year zero. Weird!). This matches the exact time of Christ’ baptism. The end of the 69 weeks is mentioned by Jesus in Mark 1:15 when He says “The time is fulfilled”, referring to the 483 years. The verse says that the messiah will be cut off, but it does not specify the time, that’s given in the next verse.

27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

The Last week, or the 7 years are the years of the covenant. After the middle of the ‘seven’ or 7/2 = 3.5 or three and a half years later Christ was crucified. This places us at. 30.5 A.D (or 31 AD).

Christ did many things on that old rugged cross (it may have been a new one, we don’ t know lol). And it is outside the scope of this post to describe in any concise way what happened when the Lord of Glory laid down His own life. Future posts will venture to describe that. For now, we know from prophecy that He gave up His life in the year 31 A.D. Good Friday is meant to celebrate that.

Here is a song that describes in short detail what Christ’ death on the Cross meant.



Innocent by Luminate

What if You would’ve never sent Your Son
What if You held back Your love
It would be so different there would be no hope for us
But that’s not the way it all went down
We’re covered by mercy now
Could’ve found us guilty but You chose to save us

We are, we are, we are innocent
We are, we are blameless
‘Cause You take all the shame
And You wash it away
‘Til we are, we are innocent

You make us, You make us, You make us innocent
You make us, You make us, You make us innocent

So we can finally rest tonight
We can finally say goodbye
To the past that held us
To the fear that ruled our lives
I know we’re gonna fall sometimes
Nobody’s got a perfect life
Could’ve found us guilty but You chose to save us

We are, we are, we are innocent
We are, we are blameless
‘Cause You take all the shame
And You wash it away
‘Til we are, we are innocent

You make us, You make us, You make us innocent
You make us, You make us, You make us innocent

We are dancing ’cause we know we’re Yours
You are, oh, You’re what we’re living for
We were lost, oh yea, but now we’re coming home, we’re coming home

You make us, You make us, You make us innocent
You make us, You make us, You make us innocent

We are, we are, we are innocent
We are, we are blameless
‘Cause You take all the shame
And You wash it away
‘Til we are, we are innocent

You make us, You make us, You make us innocent
You make us, You make us, You make us innocent

You make us, You make us, You make us innocent
You make us, You make us, You make us innocent