My reasons for bringing up the Friday vs Wednesday topic are not to widen the division between the Sabbatarian brethren. It is actually quite the opposite. Yes it is true that I am pointing out obvious errors within the fundamental doctrines of SDA and COG doctrines, but I am doing it with a purpose in mind. By pointing out these doctrinal fallacies, I am hoping that the true hearted among us will cast sectarian bias aside and seek truths capable of restoring us to unity. By restoring the original termination date of the Daniel’s 2300 day prophecy (which was 1843) I believe that many of the doctrinal divides among the Sabbatarians will happily disappear!
To begin with, I would like to point out an important verse to the proponents of the Wednesday crucifixion theory. “You shall not bow down to them (idols) or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.”(Exodus 20:5) The accusation of idolatry easily slips off the tongue of a Wednesday crucifixion believer to condemn those adhering to a Friday crucifixion. I would humbly like to remind the Wednesday crucifixion believer that these are serious charges according to the Torah. Idolaters under the Mosaic code idolaters were destroyed, especially if their idolatry led them to break the Sabbath day. So if you falsely accuse your brother, then the punishment you desired your innocent brother to experience will be poured out upon you.
Choosing the year AD 31 for the Messiah’s death has not only created timing challenges for devout Seventh Day Adventists, but also for the Church of God. Although evidence shows that the Passover of AD 31 did occur on a Wednesday, the New Testament scriptures do not support a Wednesday crucifixion. We can see this plainly as we apply the chronological events which took place in the week preceding the Passover and the days that followed. Scriptural evidence does indeed point to a Wednesday Passover; but as previously mentioned in Part One, a Wednesday crucifixion would mean that Yeshua came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey on the Sabbath day. Putting an animal into service on the Sabbath is an act forbidden for the Jew and especially a King of the Jews. “This is what the LORD says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem. Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your forefathers.” (Jeremiah 17:21-22)
But teachers within the Church of God have defended the Wednesday Crucifixion for over a century; making it into one of their most prominent doctrines. The chronological objections are smoothed over with the words “the scripture that you just read (which invalidates a Wednesday crucifixion) does not mean what it plainly says.” In order to support the Wednesday view, an adherent must learn to control the scriptures in such a way as to turn day into night and night into day. To demonstrate this, let’s go back to the day of the crucifixion. No one would disagree that his death took place on the Passover. A period of time transpired between the time that Yeshua died (which was about 3 PM) and when his body was removed from the cross. “As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph…he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.” (Matthew 27:57-58) “Then he took it (the body of Christ) down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin". (Luke 23:53-54)
According to the “Good Wednesday” theory, the Sabbath mentioned above does not pertain to the 7th day Sabbath. Since their reckoning is based on a Wednesday Passover, it is rationalized that Joseph of Arimathea cut his work short because the Feast of Unleavened bread was approaching. (Remember that "no regular work" is to be done on the Feast of Unleavened Bread) Due to these restrictions, Joseph was unable to complete the burial of the Messiah’s body and it lies in the tomb for three nights and three days until the conclusion of the 7th day Sabbath. At the close of the Sabbath, the Father sends an angel to roll away the stone and Son of God is raised back to life. Meanwhile Mary Magdalene, along with other women, arrives around sundown (Saturday evening) with spices; intending to complete the anointing of the Messiah’s body. But later Mary learns first hand that the Messiah has risen from the dead!
Now that we understand the basics of the Wednesday crucifixion narrative, I think it is fair to question why the women had come to the tomb at close of the 7th day Sabbath (sometime around 6:00 PM. Remember that these women were not coming to mourn over the body of the Messiah; they had come to prepare the body for a proper Jewish burial. Taking on a task like this and working in a dark cave throughout the night seems out of place; beginning this work at dawn on Sunday morning makes much more sense. But more concerning to me is that according to the Good Wednesday doctrine, the women arrived at the tomb Saturday night “carrying sweet spices” (See Mark 16:1-2). Are we to think that these women could walk through the heart of Jerusalem during one of the most sacred times of the year, and while the city was packed with devout worshipers, break the 4th commandment by carrying a load on the Sabbath day? Remember the uproar that occurred when Yeshua commanded the paralytic to “Pick up his bed and walk”? The Jewish people were devoted to their traditions and were very careful not to bring offence to their leaders by carrying a load into and throughout Jerusalem.
This brings me to my next point. The Wednesday theorists paint a picture of women so anxious to engage themselves in the burial processes of the Messiah’s body, they were willing to work throughout the night. If they felt their work could not wait till Sunday morning, there was another day which would have suited them much better and that day would have been Friday (see illustration). Remember that “no regular work” is to be done during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:7). According to the Wednesday theory, this would have fallen on a Thursday. Again, there would have been no work restrictions on a Friday. The women could have devoted the entire day to the final burial of their Messiah, yet for for some strange which cannot be explained by the Wednesday theorist; the women did not take advantage of this period of time. Now let’s look at the resurrection account as it is actually stated in the Gospel story. “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. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun.” (Mark 16:1-2)
The doctrine of the Wednesday crucifixion teaching was hastily constructed. In their anxiousness to condemn Sunday keeping, the architects of the doctrine did not consider “all” of the instructions of Moses. In closing, consider at what point our Heavenly Father looks at us to judge our faithfulness? Of course our past deeds are important to Him, but more importantly, it is how we operate in the here and now. When the test of truth is brought to our hearts; do we rationalize away the truths that are cut across our path? Or will accept the truths that are presented to our minds, no matter how low they humble us and no matter what direction they lead us.
The Women at