The Crucifixion and Counting to Three

Jesus was crucified between two thieves, buried, and bodily arose after three days. Credit: RGBStock / Bartek Ambrozik

Most Christians around the world celebrate the bodily Resurrection of Jesus from the dead on a day that is commonly called Easter. (And no, it is not a “pagan holiday”, nor is it wrong for us to celebrate. Read the material at the links here so you can savvy that, Sam.) Obviously, before he could rise again, he had to die. That day is usually called Good Friday, and many of us observe that day as well.

It seems strange that the day Jesus suffered the most horrible death known is called “good.” It was good for us, as this B.C. comic succinctly puts it. Got Questions explains:

Why is Good Friday referred to as “good”? What the Jewish authorities and Romans did to Jesus was definitely not good (see Matthew chapters 26-27). However, the results of Christ’s death are very good! Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” First Peter 3:18 tells us, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.”

https://www.gotquestions.org/Good-Friday.html

Although mockers try to say that if the Crucifixion was on Friday and the Resurrection was on Sunday, that’s not three days. Cults also do this for some reason. I remember seeing a television show from one that made this claim. There are honest people who also have puzzled about how three days can be reconciled with Friday afternoon through Sunday morning.

It takes a little bit of homework. Hebrews had a different way of reckoning time. We use the Roman system where a day is split into two halves, but you may have noticed in your Bible that certain things happened at a certain hour, such as when Peter and John went up to the temple at the ninth hour (Acts 3:1), which was about three in the afternoon. Some Bibles render that as “three in the afternoon.”

I say about because they didn’t exactly have digital watches, or even grandfather clocks using weights and pendulums. So, an hour wasn’t. Not really, because hours were based on the amount of sunlight in the day. There were twelve hours in a Jewish day, but as for night, it seems that nobody cared very much; there were watches in the night.

With these things in mind, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Jews counted days differently as well. Modern tend to impose their own cultures, experiences, and opinions on texts of ancient cultures. Someone today, 15 April, could say, “I’ll see you in three days”, and the other person says, “Okay, this is Friday at noon. So I’ll see you…let’s see…Saturday, Sunday, Monday. We’ll meet here at noon on Monday. Bring burgers.”

By letting the ancient culture “say” what it means and not forcing our own views on it, we see there is neither problem nor contradiction. To read an explanation, saddle up and ride over to “Three Days and Nights.” Also, you may be interested in a free digital download pack of “The 10 Minute Bible Journey Easter Accounts.” Go through the purchase process at the Answers in Genesis online bookstore, but it really is free.

Bedeviled by the Details

The mind likes to have complete information, and sometimes we fill in the blanks. When doing cloud gazing or looking into a distorted mirror, pareidolia can kick in so we “see” something that is not there (an extreme example is the lady on Mars). I have a problem with tinnitus as well as apophenia (musical ear), where people tend to “hear” distant music and similar things. Psychologically, we fill in the blanks with nonexistent details when data is missing, and then we create a story.

There are also times when people think they know something, but are really turning the details into hash. They may be drawing from incomplete memories, things they heard or read somewhere, assumptions, and so on. The secular science industry has a habit of sticking to the naturalism narrative, and they have often been baffled when observed facts conflict with the Bearded Buddha’s machinations. This makes for

Adam and Eve by Michelangelo, 1512

People think they know about the Bible, but often get details wrong. Since we have classical art going, it’s interesting that Michelangelo knew enough about the subject to include the serpent before the Curse and gave it something resembling limbs. (It looks like Adam’s scolding it, which is not in the account.) Masaccio seemed ignorant of the details, having Adam and Eve leave the garden naked — Genesis tells us otherwise. Gustave Dore was pretty accurate, though.

It seems reasonable that the more important a subject, the more people should make an effort to be correct on the details. Sure, people speculate all the time. However, when faulty memories, a preferred narrative or bias, and other things are in our minds, it’s best to refrain from being insistent.

There are several views regarding the nature of the serpent in Eden. I thought I was entertaining a unique view that since Eve didn’t seem surprised that the serpent talked, that maybe Eden was like Narnia with talking animals, but that idea is as old as the apocryphal Book of Jubilees. But I was very tentative on that. Check the facts before being dogmatic on alleged scientific facts, about the nature of the serpent, and other things.

Now I would like to encourage you to read an article about things we think we know, and how we may use speculation as truth. This one focuses on the serpent. If you’ve a mind to, spare a few minutes and read “The Devil Is in the Details . . . or Is He?

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