Holy Week Events
And so we have come to the time we call Holy Week, the final week of the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It has been put on my heart to take a closer look at this week and put some things into perspective. Most of our Bibles and the divisions they contain are NOT correct. There are two events that are not correctly understood, and those two events change the timeline from what has become the accepted timeline of the church. Those two events are The Passover Feast and the “high day” Sabbath.
Follow with me as we take a closer look at the final week of the life of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God!
|Palm Sunday||Jesus Enters Jerusalem/ Triumphal Entry – Matt. 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19 Jesus at the Temple – Matt. 21:10-17; Mark 11:11 Jesus Returns to Bethany – Matt. 21:17; Mark 11:11|
|Holy Monday||Cursing/Withering of Fig Tree – Matt. 21:18-19; Mark 11:12-15 Jesus Leaves Jerusalem – Mark 11:19|
|Holy Tuesday||The Plot to Kill Jesus – Matt. 26;1-5; Mark 14:1-2; Luke 22:1-2 Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus – Matt. 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:3-6 The Final Passover Meal – Matt. 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20; John 13:1-20 The Garden of Gethsemane – Matt. 26:36-56; Mark 14:26-52; Luke 2:39-53; John 18:1-11 The Trials of Jesus: Matt. 26:57-27:26; Mark 14:53-15:15; Luke 22:54-23:25: John 18:12-19:16|
|Holy Wednesday||Crucifixion, Death & Burial of Jesus – Matt. 27:27-66; Mark 15:21-47; Luke 23:26-55; John 19:17-42 (shortly before sunset on Passover) Preparation for High Sabbath – Matt. 27:62; Mark 15:42; John 19: 31&42|
|Holy Thursday||High Day Sabbath – see Leviticus 23:4-8 Pharisees Visit Pilate – Luke 23:56|
|Holy Friday||Women Buy Spices – Mark 16:1|
|Holy Saturday||Weekly Sabbath Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Matt. 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-9|
|Holy Sunday||Finding the Tomb Already Empty Before Sun Rise – Matt. 28:1-10; Mark 16:28; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-9|
Now let us put some meat on these bones so we can gain some understanding. We will start with the words of Jesus concerning a sign of His Messiahship.
“Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:38-40 (NASB)
This same sign is spoke of by Jesus and recorded again in Mathew 16:4 and in Luke 11:29-30. What is important about this sign and what we must understand are the words three days AND three nights. Many use the argument for a Good Friday burial and a Sunday Resurrection that many Jews believed that only part of a day was needed to make it a full day. And this is a true statement. But biblical scholars also agree that when the full description given as Jesus has given above, that of three days AND three nights, it can only mean the ENTIRE time period or seventy-two hours (72) hours). This can only mean that Jesus had to be buried BEFORE Friday to complete the sign He Himself proclaimed!
Now let us take a closer look at the Passover Feast and the high day Sabbath. Passover is one of the Holy Days God has established to be observed on the days and in the ways He has established. In Leviticus 23 we find the details of these days. Read the word of God for the Passover Feast:
“’These are the appointed times of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the LORD’S Passover. Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.'” Leviticus 23:4-8 (NASB)
Note that Passover begins at sunset on the 14th day of Nissan. The day after Passover is the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the first day is a HOLY CONVOCATION to the Lord. This is an annual Sabbath, a high day to be observed by everyone. The weekly Sabbath is not a high day in and of itself, it is the commanded day of weekly rest. Yes, the weekly Sabbath could indeed be a high day, but that did not happen during the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus. To be able to observe both the annual Sabbath and the weekly Sabbath it had to occur earlier in the week. A.D. 31 fits this timeline.
We must read carefully and understand that there are indeed two Sabbaths mentioned in the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus. Luke records that the women bought spices and then observed the Sabbath, John mentions that the Sabbath is a high day, not because it is on the weekly Sabbath but because it is an annual Sabbath on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Too many Christians miss this because they are not familiar with the passage in Leviticus establishing the first day as an annual Sabbath.
Finally, all of the Gospel accounts record that the women head to the tomb early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark or as it was turning towards sunrise. Remember Jewish days begin at sunset and end at sunset unlike our days that begin and end at midnight. Because the sun has not yet risen it remains Saturday and Jesus has ALREADY risen! Having said this, there is still the possibility that Jesus was risen on Sunday morning, it is not likely but possible. Still, this DID NOT change the day of worship to Sunday. If Jesus had risen on Sunday, it is only because it is the first day of the week, a new beginning and it is springtime, a time when life is beginning again. Further, Jesus is the first fruits of those who will be resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). The Feast of the First Fruits comes at the end of the Passover/Unleavened Bread Feasts.
I challenge you to read the Scriptures for yourself. Pray and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Seek the truth for yourself! Do not simply blindly follow church tradition when you have the answers right in front of you…in your Bible!!