Millions today have gone to sunrise and Easter services and have reverently endeavored to commemorate the Resurrection of the Son of God. Millions have observed Good Friday, also, and they will feel assured that their efforts are pleasing to the Most High God.
However, very few are aware that this 36 hour time frame comes up about 36 hours short of the only sign that God has given us as to who is the true Messiah. When the Pharisees demanded a sign from Christ, He said, “There shall no sign be given…but 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” (Matt. 12: 40-41).
Some will say, So what is your point? Tomayto, tomahto. 36 hours, 72 hours. No big deal, right? Perhaps if it were not the only sign that we have of the true Messiah. For there were and are many “messiahs” out there, as there are many concepts of the Messiah. Perhaps, it would not be a big deal if the prophecies had declared that the Messiah would rise from the dead somewhere between one and three days after the crucifixion. But they did not.
How Did This Happen?
Something is off somewhere. We need to dig into it. After all, aren’t we told by our very own Savior and Teacher to dig deep and build our house upon the rock. We must go deep, for if we just build our spiritual house on the earth and not dig down to the rock, our house will not stand the floods of trials that will come, and great will be our ruin (Luke 6: 48-49).
How did this one and one half day gap come down to us in the 21st century? The same way we found out when to observe Good Friday through Easter services. Somebody told us that those were the days to worship. Our parents said to us, Let’s get dressed up and go to church. It’s Easter! And, of course, we did not question it just like they did not question the pastor, preacher, or priest when they put out the call to worship on those days.
For all ministers were once children who were told about this Easter weekend. And so, on and on it goes, back, back, back through the centuries to the days of the early church, to the time when somebody in power instituted these dates. And the vast majority, perhaps 99% of Christians have never pondered these things, nor the importance of them.
And so we must ask, Are the times for the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ important to God? We know the current set up is important to the church organizations and the merchants who sell their candy bunnies and eggs and Easter bonnets, et al (That’s a whole other can of worms you can open and dig into by googling “Easter bunnies or Easter eggs”).
Is all this important to God for His people? We need only remember that He is holy and wants us to be holy and set apart for Him, that He is jealous, that He wants His people walking in the truth, that He does everything decently and in order and will not allow any strange incense on His altar, incense being a symbol of our prayers to Him.
To those who minimize the importance and inadvertently quote a current candidate for President by saying, “What difference does it really make? We are celebrating the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ”–I would say this: Would the following scenario be important to you?
You have gone to great expense to plan a wonderful three day vacation, 72 hours of family fun in the sun. You have purchased all the food and refreshments and paid in advance for the beach house rental with all the extras. You love your parents and siblings and their families, and this is your way of showing your love for them.
Every thing is paid for and provided beginning from Thursday at noon to Sunday at noon. So what happens? No one shows up until late Friday afternoon. You can’t believe it. You ask them, Why? And they say, We just thought this would be a better time. We’re here, so what is the problem?
You just shake your head and say, The problem is that I sent you all invitations with the dates and times clearly stated, and you led me to believe that it was all settled, but now….
You fill in the rest. I dare say that it would make a big difference. I think that it makes a big difference to God, as well. Kenneth Wayne Hancock