Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”Here's the inconsistency:
But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
~ Matthew 12:38-40
- Jesus said He would be in the heart of the earth (i.e., the grave) for three days and three nights; and
- The resurrection occurred on the first day of the week (what we call Sunday — see Matt. 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20).
- How, then, could He have been crucified and buried on the sixth day (Friday)?
Andrew Tallman said that the scriptural testimony suggests a possible fourth-day (Wednesday) crucifixion and burial. He referenced supporting articles here, here and here — the last being "the one I thought was the most comprehensive (although I'm not a fan of their style of presentation)."
I have yet to read these three pieces — I intend to do so today. But back in 1988, I read the article "Good Thursday" by James McKeever, in which he suggests a fifth-day (Thursday) crucifixion and burial. The piece has always stuck with me, and I've posted it for your consideration.
You might well ask, "Why is this even an issue?"
One of the five "solas" of the Protestant Reformation is sola scriptura — "by scripture alone." As a Protestant who converted from Roman Catholicism some 26 years ago, I've only begun to reconsider and appreciate the fullness of church history and tradition in the last eight years or so. (That includes her history and tradition prior to the Reformation — Church history doesn't begin with Martin Luther!) The Reformers did not seek to utterly tear down the Roman Catholic church and build a new work in her place, but rather to reform her by holding her to the ultimate authority of Scripture — even over church tradition.
If reformed Protestant, catholic (small "c") churches intend to perpetuate this vital aspect of the Reformation, we should begin discussing the authority of Scripture even in such mundane matters as the church's traditional days of religious observance.
The Protestant church is right to critique aspects of Roman Catholic tradition that contradict the Scriptures — e.g., priestly celibacy, or the immaculate conception and bodily assumption of Mary. Maybe we think we can give Good Friday a "pass" because we don't consider it as weighty a matter. But if we merely perpetuate Good Friday observance apart from the biblical testimony, aren't we just as guilty of holding to tradition rather than the Scriptures?
And by the way, a church that professes sola scriptura and makes every effort to comport itself accordingly — even regarding our religious observance of days — is more credible in the eyes of a watching world.
After all, unbelievers can count, too.