Good Friday, Good Wednesday, or Good Grief You’re Missing the Point?

Today is Good Friday. And while most of us are reflecting on the unfathomable love that our Savior Jesus Christ has for all of us unworthy sinners, others are arguing about what actual day should be celebrated.

Is it Good Friday, the traditional day that most Christians celebrate? Or should it actually be on Wednesday, which gives time for a literal 72 hours to pass?

You can actually argue either side. (I mean we can argue about anything, right?)

If you believe Jesus was crucified on Friday, you can point to the fact that the ancient Jews didn’t count days like we do. Jews counted part of a day as one day. This chart from the Answers in Genesis article Three Days and Three Nights illustrates this reckoning of time:

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

starts at
sundown on
ends at
starts at
sundown on
ends at
starts at
sundown on
ends at










For further corroboration Good Friday advocates can list biblical precedent for this non-literal accounting in Esther 4:16 when she tells Mordecai to have the Jews fast, “neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day.” But then in 5:1, Esther says that on the third day she went and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace. If days were to be counted literally here, then Esther wouldn’t have seen the king until the fourth day.

If you believe Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, there’s a good argument to be made for that as well. Most assume that the crucifixion was on Friday because the Bible says that the next day was the Sabbath, which was Saturday. However, there is biblical support for the argument that the Wednesday in question was actually a Jewish holy day- the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. John 19:31 refers to the particular sabbath in question as “a high day” which doesn’t actually denote a regular weekly Sabbath but an annual holy day. For an excellent commentary on this particular interpretation you can check out Good Friday – Easter Sunday, It Doesn’t Fit With the Bible!

OR. There is a third option. The good grief you’re missing the point option- which happens to be the one I ascribe to. And I believe the Apostle Paul would agree with me.

Anytime we lose focus of the actual point of what we’re celebrating (the fact that Jesus took all of our sins upon Himself and sacrificed Himself on the cross so that you and I are completely forgiven for all sin past, present, and future) and become focused on the legalistic minutia, which we then use as a premise to judge our brothers and sisters in Christ, we become guilty of exactly what Paul implores us NOT to do in Romans 14.

Paul clearly states that we should NOT be arguing over disputable matters. What is a disputable matter?

Well, Paul gives two examples in Romans 14. The first is Jewish dietary laws. The Jews who had recently converted to Christianity were demanding that the new Gentile Christians follow the Jewish kosher dietary laws. Paul says: STOP! Verse 4: “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?” In other words: mind your own business!

Paul’s second example pertains to days individuals may or may not esteem. This refers to those who consider particular days to be more sacred than others versus those who consider every day alike. Contextually, this is a reference to the Jewish Christians demanding that the Gentile Christians keep the traditional Jewish holy days and the sabbath. However, this fits our example as well since we are discussing an argument regarding what particular day “must” be dedicated to worship. Paul says every believer must be convinced in his own mind. In verse 9 Paul tells us that our pursuit should be to promote peace and to build each other up.

Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” Christ is the focus. Not the day. In verse 16, Paul continues, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat of drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.” Condemning each other on the basis of which day is the “correct” day is not promoting peace- it is creating a rift between brothers and sisters where one doesn’t belong.

Coming from a legalistic religious background, I understand this concept all too well. It’s called missing the forest for the trees. We can become so obsessed with details that don’t matter (such as which particular day Christ was crucified on) that we break fellowship over a 2 day time difference. Instead we should be celebrating our common ground. Encouraging and building each other up. Our only concern should be giving glory to Jesus for His triumph over sin and death rendering those of us who have accepted His gift, righteous IN Him!

2 Replies to “Good Friday, Good Wednesday, or Good Grief You’re Missing the Point?”

  1. Wow, you argue against arguing. How hilarious! By the way, it’s not those of us who believe in a Wednesday crucifixion who are doing the arguing. All we’re doing is providing a conclusion that makes sense. While three days might be a Hebrew idiom, three days and three nights isn’t.

    As for labeling people with convictions as legalists, who are you to condemn?

    Please define legalism. Is belief that we’re not to lie, steal or murder legalism? What would you conclude about a Christian who stole all the time? Would your conclusion that they were sinning make you a legalist?

    Why are Christians who believe that God commands Sabbath keeping legalistic to you?

    Do you not understand that most Sabbath keepers know that the Old Covenant ended with Christ’s death? That we don’t keep the Sabbath because of the Old Covenant but because Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man.

    You use Col. 2:16 to try to prove that we aren’t to judge which days to keep but please answer this, the Colossians were gentiles, earlier in chapter 2 Paul makes it clear that they were once dead in the uncircumcision of their flesh. So they were gentiles who Paul was telling not to allow anyone judge them in regards to the Sabbath and Feast days.

    Tell me Tiff, who was judging the Colossians? Were they being judged for not keeping the Sabbath or for keeping it?

    Jews taught that one had to be circumcised in order to keep the Sabbath, so why would any Jew judge gentiles for not keeping the Sabbath? Would other gentiles judge gentiles for not keeping the Sabbath? I don’t think so.

    So why were the Colossians being judged? The only logical conclusion is they were being judged because they were keeping the Sabbath and the Feasts.

    The Jews were judging them because they were uncircumcised but were still keeping the Sabbath and Feasts. The Jews were judging them, telling them they had to be circumcised in order to keep those days. If they weren’t keeping them no one would care. But if they were keeping them while still circumcised the Jews would condemn them. Just look at 1Cor. 5:8 where Paul tells uncircumcised Corinthians to keep the feast.

    This has nothing to do with legalism, it has to do with obedience to God. Why does Paul in Gal. 3 say that the Old Covenant was even made? Because of transgressions. Paul says elsewhere that where there is no law there is no transgression. So how could the Old Covenant be added because of transgressions if there was no law before Sinai? In fact Abraham obeyed God’s laws long before Sinai. Gen. 26:5

    Now tell me, if the Old Covenant law was added because of transgressions, does that not mean that the laws added were meant to stop the transgressing of the laws already in existence? Here is a short explanation that I wrote a while back when asked what the added law of Gal. 3 was.


    Excellent post Jeff, but I’m sure there are many in the church of God who will question your conclusion that the “added law” was all of God’s rules, including the Ten Commandments.

    They are still hung up on the old cog7th day teaching which HWA also taught that the “added law” was a second additional law besides his spiritual law. With the second added law being the ritualistic/sacrificial system.

    In truth the added law wasn’t an additional law, added to God’s previous list of laws. It was additional to the Promise. Paul makes it clear that once God had confirmed a covenant with Abraham, that specific covenant couldn’t be altered. But there is nothing that says a second covenant, an additional covenant can’t be made with Abraham’s children and that is what God did.

    God made the Promise covenant with Abraham because of Abraham’s obedience to His voice, statutes, laws and commandments. Gen. 26:5,

    God did not say, “as long as your children continue to obey me the covenant remains”. No, the Promise once confirmed was unconditional. God was going to do what he promised no matter what.

    But as Paul says, because of transgressions, because Abraham’s children broke God’s law he made an additional covenant with them that went alongside the Promise covenant, but couldn’t break the Promise covenant.

    In that additional covenant God made his laws a condition. As long as they obeyed then God would bless them, and if they didn’t obey then God wouldn’t.

    God in this additional covenant even made a way for them to be forgiven. That is where the rituals and sacrifices came in to play. If they offered the correct sacrifice then God promised to forgive them. Not for salvation, but for the physical covenant.

    This additional covenant made all of God’s laws “required” in order to keep the covenant. We know that Israel broke that covenant but the Promise covenant remained. That added covenant was a schoolmaster til Christ came.

    The ending of that additional covenant didn’t end God’s law. God’s law has always revealed what is sin.

    Under the New Covenant in Christ’s blood we keep God’s laws because we love him. “If you love me keep my commandments”. And if we do sin we have an advocate in heaven whom if we confess, will forgive. Our sinning doesn’t break the New Covenant, but a wilful, in your face, attitude of not wanting to obey God does indeed break the New Covenant.


    I really hope this helps you to understand Paul and his views of the law.

    Kevin McMillen

    1. Kevin,

      First, I will issue a warning. I am happy to engage in respectful discussion. However, if your posts continue to remain disrespectful in tone (i.e referring to me as “Tiff”, etc) then they will not be approved, and I will not respond. Respectful discourse is edifying- disrespectful discourse is not. I don’t engage in the latter.

      You state: ” By the way, it’s not those of us who believe in a Wednesday crucifixion who are doing the arguing.”

      In my experience (which, granted, will not be the experience of all), it is indeed those who argue for a Wednesday crucifixion who are doing the arguing and dividing. Thus, the reason for my article.

      You state: “All we’re doing is providing a conclusion that makes sense. While three days might be a Hebrew idiom, three days and three nights isn’t.”

      This is an oversimplification. If we were only dealing with the one text that stated “three days and three nights” with regard to the resurrection, one might justify the simplistic argument. However, there are multiple texts which merely state that Jesus was raised “on the third day” (Matthew 16:21; Luke 24:19; 1 Cor 15:3-5). If we are to be woodenly literal about the passage that states “three days and three nights” then we place ourselves in the position of having contradictory Scripture since, “three days and three nights” would actually result in a fourth day rising.

      This is precisely my point regarding being dogmatic to the point of dividing from other believers on this detail which is clearly very legitimately disputable.

      You ask me to, “Please define legalism.” Oddly enough, I think Wikipedia has an excellent definition:

      “Legalism… is the act of putting law above gospel by establishing requirements for salvation beyond repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and reducing the broad, inclusive and general precepts of the Bible to narrow and rigid moral codes.”

      Per the Apostle Paul in the passage cited in the article above, “a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day” qualify as disputable matters. Therefore, requiring other believers to share ones conviction in regard to the above is, in fact, legalistic.

      Again, comments on Old Covenant Law and Sabbath observance will be welcome on future articles that focus on those topics.

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