Lecture 22: Life of Jesus: Introduction
Course: New Testament Survey - Gospels
Lecture: Life of Jesus: Introduction
Our Father, as we begin to look at the life of our Lord, we pray that you give us insight into your word and help us to understand more about our savior; his life, and come to love him more as a result. We pray your blessing upon us now on this day and in the days to come. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I. INTRODUCTORY ISSUES
Let me just make some Johannine general comments concerning the miraculous in regard to the study of the life of Jesus. When you realize that 30 percent plus of the Gospel of Mark is devoted to Jesus’ miracles, you have to somehow come to grips with whether you believe in miracles or not. If you don’t believe in miracles, you have a really difficult task. You have to eliminate huge portions of the Gospel materials.
That presupposition involves Johannine a particular view of Jesus that- don’t be surprised if it comes out if you don’t believe in miracles with a non-miraculous Jesus. But, please note that if you start out that way that’s the way you generally finish. Unless some miraculous event takes place.
On the other hand, if you start out with an openness toward the miraculous, then you may come to an understanding of the life and teachings of Jesus and his ministry that is more in harmony with the Gospels.
A. Miracles of Jesus
Now, we’ve already talked about miracle stories, we’ve talked about form criticism and the normal form would be the description of the condition, in other words, the diagnosis of the problem, then there may be Johannine sometimes quiet often a reference to the faith of the individual, but not always. Then you have the healing itself. What the doctor does, the doctor of the soul- Jesus. And then a description of the result of that. And Jesus Johannine you have described a man who was a paralytic from birth. Jesus says rise take up from your bed and walk. The story can’t end there. You have to- did he rise to take up from your bed and walk. And so then you have the proof of that.
Now miracles are generally divided into two categories. Healing miracles and, I list here, sickness miracles, raising from the dead I should also include there exorcisms. Exorcisms, so add to 312 miracles stories divided into healing miracles and under that sickness, raisings from the dead, exorcisms. Okay.
Then there are nature miracles. Those who tend to be left of us are frequently willing to talk about Jesus working miracles of healing. They never accept a nature miracle. And the reason for that is that they can rationalize various healing miracles. Jesus was the great Johannine Freudian psychologist of the first century. He perceived peoples’ mental problems and brought them healing or something like that. And Johannine see you can explain that rationally. Some of those things.
Now some of them are a little more difficult. Like Johannine withered hand - multiplying bread- becomes even more difficult-walking on the water. So nature miracles tend to be disregarded by critical Johannine scholars completely. Some of the healing miracles are accepted.
Now there are various approaches to miracles. Johannine We’ll look at the last day of class a kind of a history of what was called the old quest for the historical Jesus. And the first Johannine approach that we want to look at Johannine just talk about it very briefly is that of rationalism. Where the scholars who didn’t believe said there must have been an- an event of some sort that gave birth to this. Let’s try to reconstruct the actual event itself, which of course would be non-supernatural.
And so rationalism tried to reconstruct- quote- unquote- what really happened and Johannine that would be a non-miraculous explanation of the event like the sharing of bread Johannine during the feeding of the 5,000 and so forth.
The mythical treatment acknowledged, like rationalism, that miracles could not happen, but they didn’t think there was any event behind these stories. They thought they were kind of Johannine growing out of the consciences of the individual Johannine church members and stories began to develop which encapsulated a great spiritual truth of one sort or another.
And what we should do then is to de-myth the story to find out what that truth is. Johannine Liberalism approach was to simply cut out all those passages Johannine in –in the Gospels that deal with the miraculous. A kind of Thomas Jefferson approach where you just eliminate all the Johannine miracle stories and you deal with the pure kernel of the Gospel. And those would be the teachings of Jesus. Those miracle stories are husk that you have to get rid of.
In the Johannine 20th century Johannine we had the Voltomanian [spelling of name] theologizing, which sought to, again, remove the mythical story and say what is that subconscious existential truth that this myth is trying to teach. It’s like reading Johannine Homer’s “Odyssey.” You don’t believe any of these things, but do you see any morals being taught in these stories. If so, you were de-mything the story and looking for some meaning in that. And the same approach Johannine took place here.
Now one of the Johannine vocabulary Johannine expressions that you need to know is the distinction between what critical scholars call [foreign words]. These are German words. Don’t try to pronounce ‘em. You might find you’re spitting at your neighbor or something like that.
Now, these classify the stories in the Gospels. If they are [foreign word] that means that objective historical-critical analysis can be- can deal with that. And since objective historical-critical analysis does not allow for the miraculous, or for miracles, they are the non-miraculous portions. So an event as the baptism of Jesus is a [foreign word] event. Historians, using the objective historical-critical approach of which of course doesn’t allow for miracles, can deal with the baptism. That’s a real event. Jesus was baptized by John. Now when you have two voices coming from heaven that’s other stuff. You have to eliminate that.
The crucifixion is [foreign word]. Historians can deal with that. The Johannine trial of Jesus -[foreign word]. His call of the disciples - [foreign word].
The transfiguration-no, that is a miraculous event and critical historical approach can’t deal with that, so that is called [foreign word]. And it’s kind of nice that the Germans use different vocabulary to distinguish between what they say are stories about Jesus that deal with- that do not deal with the miraculous the [foreign word] ones and then those that deal with the supernatural are [foreign word]. And we can’t – as historians deal with that.
We- we can’t really deal with the story of the resurrection because we don’t believe in it. It is simply part of- not capable of being discussed by the critical historical approach.
Now sometimes [foreign word] materials are sometimes referred to as to also by another term kerugmatik, the preaching eliminate in kerugma and supra historical, above history. There’s a kind of Johannine subtlety here you have to be careful of.
Somebody can start talking about Johannine the transfiguration and say, now of course this is not a [foreign word] event. It’s [foreign word]. I can handle that. By your definition you say it deals with miracles and as a historian Johannine I can’t handle that. Okay, yeah. Okay. I think it’s Johannine rather narrow definition of history. I think history has to deal with what took place and that you find out by historical investigation, not by presuppositions of one sort or another.
But after you’ve read the first few chapters where this definition is very clear this is [foreign word] meaning that historical research can’t deal with it because it’s miraculous- it claims to be miracle and we can’t deal with miracles. All of a sudden in chapters 4, 5 or 6 they make a statement like, now we know this is a [foreign word] event and did not really happen. And now they are jumping to a conclusion on the basis of a definition. And that’s not legitimate.
If you want to say it’s a [foreign word] event, historical approach that precludes the possibility of miracles don’t- doesn’t know how to handle it, alright, I’ll accept that. Although it seems strange to me that you’re not open to the possibility of wrestling with this, but to say if it’s [foreign word] thing, it can’t happen- that no research has determined that, that’s simply a blatant fundamentalist presupposition. And you bring that with you.
It’s never been determined by the investigation of the texts. You simply have started out with that presupposition.
Now as to the miracles of Jesus, the Bible looks at them as signs of who he is. They are wonders of the powers brought by the Son of God, but Jesus never intentionally does them for that purpose. There’re a lot of miracles that are done privately with no one around. Now if you’re doing these as signs you need a crowd. But nowhere does the Gospel have Jesus entering into a town, passing out Johannine pamphlets and saying, tomorrow at two o’clock, I’m going to heal all the paralyzed. Come and see. And then you will know who I am.
His miracles are not done that way. They are signs to be sure. But they are not done for the purpose of being signs. He is not a showman of Johannine Ringly Brothers or something like that. Trying to get people to and awe as to his miracle-working power, but he does them none the less.
He, however, refuses when people say, “work a miracle.” Do a sign for us nowhere in Nazareth as they say you’ve been doing. He- he refuses to do that. And the fact is that Johannine if he did it, people still wouldn’t believe.
So Jesus works a miracle, how does his audience respond? He never did it.
Now even the Talmudic literature; the Jewish literature Talmud acknowledges he did miracles. In the New Testament, they attribute this to satanic power. He does this through the principle of demons. And Johannine in the Talmudic literature he does it because he learns sorcery in Egypt during his Johannine stay there and so forth.
As to the veracity of the miracles, let me just, in general comment that they were performed openly in the public. They were not done with props around like a magician might do today. They were performed before unbelievers. And Johannine over a period of time and in different circumstances. There’re different kinds and even Jesus himself- his opponents themselves will acknowledge his miracle-working power. Furthermore, when it comes to a miracle such as the resurrection, I think there is strong evidence in favor of its historicity.
Now we are going to go into that, now, but we’ll do that later on at the end of the semester when we come to that point in the life of Jesus.
Just some preliminary comments with regards to the miracles of Jesus Johannine at this point.
Alright, now with regard to chronology we have a rather frustrating and- and humorous kind of situation. And that is when we look at the birth of Jesus he is born before Christ year wise. Well, we say how can that have been? Well, our calendar did not become created on the day of Jesus’ birth. There was no one in Bethlehem when Jesus was born that ran to Western Union sent a wire to Rome and say the calendar change, now everything is B.C. A.D. The calendar that existed was the Roman calendar- A. U. C. [Foreign words] -from the foundation of the city of Rome. That was the decisive turning point in history as far as the Roman Empire was concerned- when the city of Rome was founded.
Now, our calendar primarily was worked by a man named Dionysius Exiguus. He was a monk, a mathematician, theologian, and astronomer, but he worked this out in the 6th century, I believe, if my memory is correct, it’s somewhere around there.
And he came to the conclusion, like many Christians, that the turning point in all of history was not [foreign words meaning founding of the Roman Empire] from the foundation of the city of Rome, but the birth of Jesus Christ.
And as Christianity has become such a dominating Johannine force in the empire, the calendar now- the Christian calendar comes into existence. And so he tried to work it to conform to the birth of Jesus. The problem was he made a mistake.
And he is off. And as to the birth of Jesus, Jesus could not have been born any early than 4 B.C. You say, well, how do you know that? Well, Josephus tells us that Herod the Great- and turn with me here to- yeah, Matthew 2:01, page 8, Matthew 2:01, page 8. “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King.” Jesus is born in the days of Hared the King. Josephus says that Hared the Great died in 4 B.C. on April 4th. April 4th, 4 B.C. Actually, he said [foreign word] 750. That day when you transform it into the Christian calendar that becomes April 4, 4 B.C that’s when that u[foreign word] 750 ends.
Now, the result then is that if Herod dies in Johannine on April 4th, 4 B.C. Jesus has to be born before then. That’s also confirmed in what Josephus says that he died shortly after there was an eclipse and the eclipse he refers to is an eclipse that we can date March 12-13th 4 B.C. So shortly before that April 4th fits very nicely. Jesus Herod dies and Jesus has to be born before then.
Okay. Now. How much before then? Did he die on the day that Jesus was born? Nah- you can’t say that because after Jesus is born, remember wise men come and he wants to find out about this, so Jesus is born before Herod dies.
Now, if we look at the events surrounding his birth, we find that in Luke 2:01 to 20, we have a story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem in Judea. And those wise men, excuse me, shepherds were out in the field and they come to the birth of Jesus. And see him laying in a manger and they Johannine they’re there that first night of his birth.
But when is that? When is that? Now, if you follow the events in the first days of Jesus’ life. Turn to page 9 and we’ll go through them. We have shepherds present at the birth of Jesus. Then Luke 2:21, page 9, “and at the end of 8 days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus. The name given to him by the angel before he was conceived in his womb.” On the 8th day, a Jewish male was circumcised, remember Paul when he talks about his Jewish-ness, his circumcised on the 8th day, as the tribe of Israel and so forth and so forth. So Jesus is circumcised on the 8th day. After which, there is another event.
And that event involves two things. One is his redemption, which is a ceremonial rite. The firstborn of everyone is redeemed and this is the reenactment now in the birth of the firstborn son of the Exodus and the Passover event. So that the firstborn being redeemed with a coin this reminds us that our firstborn did not die in the Passover, but everyone else’s did. Johannine in our celebration of having this firstborn we then give this coin. And it’s a reenactment and the birth and early days of the firstborn child of the Passover event.
It’s wonderful to have rituals like this that relive the experience of your religious history like this. It’s one thing I think that we as Protestants are very poor at. I think, Roman Catholic tradition has lots of these kinds of things that go over and you go through various kinds of rites and it reminds people of these things. Johannine can of course become empty sterile ritual, but if done properly it can be very meaningful.
Now, we read in verse 22, “and when the time came for their purification to- according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. As it is written in the law of the Lord, every man that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord. And to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord.” Now, it mentions here a pair of turtle doves- or two young pigeons now that refers back to the book of Leviticus chapter 12. Let me read to you the opening verses, “the Lord spoke to Moses saying, ‘speak to the children of Israel saying if a woman conceives a male child she will be ceremonially clean for seven days. On the 8th day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. Her time of blood purification shall be 33 days. She shall not touch any holy thing or come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are completed. When the days of her purification are completed, whether for son or for daughter,’” it’s longer for the daughter, “’she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a lamb in its first year for a burnt offering. And a pigeon or a turtle dove for a sin offering.’”
Now, what does that tell you right away about Joseph and Mary with regard to this rite?
They’re poor because it says that shall bring a turtle dove- or a lamb and a turtle dove for sin offering and if they cannot afford the lamb she shall take two turtle doves. And Luke says here that they offer a pair- two turtle doves or two young pigeons. So we have here that they are poor.
Now that indicates, if you take these things seriously, that the wise men haven’t arrived, yet, because when the wise men arrive, we read on page 8, here, and 9 that they come bringing, in verse 11, treasures: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Now, if the wise men have come, you have to envision this, Joseph and Mary go from Bethlehem to Judea, it’s a- from Jerusalem it’s a –you can probably do it in little over an hour. And as they come to the temple JohannineJoseph whispers to Mary don’t tell ‘em about the gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We can get by on two pigeons this way.
That- that doesn’t seem to fit the kind of people Joseph and Mary are, so they don’t have this kind of material available for them.
Now, that means that at least 41 days before Herod dies, Jesus has to be born. But there’s more to this. If you look at Matthew 2 verse 7, “then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared.”
And then when we read about the massacre of the innocence, that occurs on page 10. After the wise men come, they do not go back to Johannine Herod, but they flee and go another way.
We read verse 16, “then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men was in a furious rage and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and all that region who were 2 years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men.”
So there’re two references as to the star having appeared and Herod brings about the slaughter and massacre of the innocence according to that time. So you get the impression that Jesus could be up to 2 years old already at this time.
And it was Johannine say two years and Herod died the next day then you have going from 4 B.C. to 6 B.C. and could’ve been somewhat earlier than that as well.
So when we’re talking about the birth of Jesus if I were to guess, I’d say 7 B.C. plus or minus a year is a good of a guess as any.
So the irony is, is that Jesus is actually 7 years old when he is born. Johannine according to our particular calendar.
Now you say why don’t we change the calendar? We –we could get a little closer, but we still wouldn’t know exactly to which year. We don’t know, so as to the birth of Jesus, probably 7 B.C. or so, somewhere around there.
Now with regard to the day of Jesus birth, Protestants and Catholics celebrate the 25th of December the Greek Orthodox celebrate it on the 6th of January. Now, which is right? Well, my own view is that each one has about a 1 in 365 chance of being correct.
There is nothing in the accounts that give a date. It doesn’t say on the first month an 14th day- nothing like that. If anything it’s probably unlikely that it’s winter, if there are shepherds out in the fields. Now I know you can defend it. There were always crazy shepherds out doing something Johannine in the weirdest times of the year. But the normal shepherding period was in the spring when the rains had come and the weather had warmed up. And they lead the sheep out to pasture to feed on the newly grown grass that had come up.
It may well be that the 25th of December was celebrated by the early church because it was to set up a rival to the worship of the sun god in Mithraism. And that Johannine even as they called the 25th of December the day of the invincible sun, Christians may have as a rivalry said, no, we want to celebrate and remember the day of the Son of God’s birth and chose the 25th of December. It’s impossible to be dogmatic on something of that.
The result is there are people who tend to be rather encumberclastic about that and say, “well, if we don’t know the exact day when Jesus was born, we shouldn’t celebrate it.” And there are some religious groups, I wouldn’t mention their names, that Johannine do capitalize on that. And are anti-Christmas. It’s a pagan holiday Johannine and -the Mithray the Mithraic religion.
Well, I think, practically there are a number of things that say let’s make the most of it. It’s a time of year where people think about the birth of Jesus. Even the non-believers think about it. It’s a time when Christmas carols are being sung. Why not make the most of this as an opportunity of evangelism. Johannine If we can share that, and, I mean, let’s face it, if one of our children said to us- and there was no day we celebrated the birth of Jesus- how come Jesus birthday we don’t celebrate?
You might say, well, let’s make one. What’ll be a good day to celebrate it? And every year we’ll celebrate it this day and recall the birth of the savior of the world. So it practically, I think, and Johannine has some great value. And Johannine let’s use the opportunity and rather to simply be Johannine agnostic and speak against it.
And the second reason that Johannine for some of us, like me, maybe most important, is that I get presents on Christmas. I don’t want to give that up.
So, that’s very practical, remembrance of that way.
Alright. Now, the baptism of Jesus, or the date of the beginning of his ministryJohannine is also somewhat uncertain. But let’s look at page 12. Here you would think that Johannine we have a really exact day to help us understand the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.
Here you have Luke 3:01, “in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Cesar,” that’s good, “Pontius Pilot being governor of Judea, Herod being Tetrarch of Galilee, his brother, Phillip, Tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Taconites and Licentious Tetrarch of Abalone and the High Priests of Anis and Caiaphas. The word of God came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness and he went preaching baptism and repentance” and so forth.
Well, what you do then, is you figure out when Pontius Pilot was Governor, Herod was Tetrarch, Phillip was Tetrarch, Licentious Tetrarch and Anis and Caiaphas the High Priests, well, when you put them all together a lot of these have long reigns. And there’s a large overlapping of years. The only way it looks like it’s very distinctive is the 15 year of the reign of Tiberius Cesar.
Now, when did Tiberius become Cesar? Was it in the 15th year or the 15th year from what? In 11 A.D. Tiberius Cesar became the co-emperor with Cesar Augustus. Cesar Augustus was old, foible, senile and Tiberius became the co-ruler. He didn’t, however, receive sole authority as emperor until September 17th, A.D. 14. That’s when Cesar Augustus died.
So do we begin from 11 or 14 to count the 15th year of his reign?
Okay, its- it’s been an interesting study, recently. And it has suggested that the reason so many of these emperors became senile and crazy at the end of their reign, like Nural, who really started off as a pretty- pretty good emperor, is that being specially privileged they did not have to drink their wine from wooden cups like the poor, but they could drink from lead cups. And they think they got lead poisoning and they went bonkers as a result of that.
So it might be good to be poor, once in a while.
Now, if we take the date September 17th, A.D. 14 that would be the first year. But the second year began less than 2 weeks later on the first of October because any part of the year was considered a year. And the years were counted from October first so that if you had become emperor on the 14th of September and died 2nd of October, you had a two-year reign. So, it’s only 15 days. Hey, I’m not counting days I’m counting years-their years. And so when you put this together, if you start with the date of his becoming sole emperor the 15th year would be sometime around October 1st, A.D. 27 to September 30th, A.D. 28. So, this leaves you somewhere around 27, if you figure out the first year 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Cesar.
In Luke 3:23, page 17, we have another one. We have a time indicator of Jesus’ ministry. “Jesus, when he began his ministry was about 30 years of age. Being the son of Joseph” and so forth and then you have the genealogy. About 30 years.
Well, born in 7 B.C. 27 and you leave out Johannine 0, there is no 0 that way. You have him in the early 30s towards the mid-thirties. And Johannine that would fit reasonably well.
The other indicator is, page 24 of John 2:20 page 24, John 2:20, were Jesus begins his ministry. Jesus says, verse 19, line 28, “’destroy this temple and in three days I’ll raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘it has taken 46 years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?’” So the temple had been in the process of being built in -for -46 years and Josephus, again, tells us, that Johannine Herod began to build the temple-rebuild the temple on the 18th year of his reign. That comes to be about 20 or 19 B.C. and if you put 46 to that again you are around A.D. 27-28 something of that nature.
So, if you’re- you’re going to talk about the date of Jesus ministry, I think, the wises thing would be around 27, 28 in that regard.
Now, the length of his ministry. We have in the Gospel of John, three specific references to Passovers and they’re not the same. They’re different Passovers. So in John 2:13, “the Passover the Jews was in hand and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. “ Then you go to page Johannine 135. John 6:04, “now the Passover, the feast of the Jews was at hand.” Then you go to 281, John 13:01, “Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” So you have three specific clear references to the Passover.
There’s another one in John 5:01, page 129 that refers to another particular Johannine date, but it’s not specific. “After this there was a feast of the Jews and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.” Now usually, when one went up during the Passover, is this another reference to the Passover, or is it a reference to, perhaps, the feast of Tabernacles, or something like that?
And that raises the question of how many years was the ministry of Jesus. Johannine According to John, it’s probably somewhere around 3 years. The irony is that an early church follower, 1 A.D. said it must be 10 to 20 years. There’s no indication like that at all.
The synoptic Gospels look more like a Johannine possibly year, year and a half of ministry. But we talked about the arrangement of the Gospel of Mark being not chronological, but first of all, dealing with the materials that Jesus did in Galilee and the things there. And then Jerusalem materials there’s not a chronology of going back and forth as we find in the Gospel of John.
The other Johannine date that helps us with regard to the Johannine death of Jesus is that after the Passover the next day is the Sabbath. All 4 Gospels say that Jesus is crucified on the Passover day and the next day is the Sabbath. And that’s when the bodies come down from the cross and so forth.
Now, we know through astronomy when the Sabbath would have to take place because it involves the moon. And so you can date the Sabbaths through astronomical observations fairly clearly. There are only four years roughly in that period were the Passover was linked in time with the Sabbath. And they are A.D. 27, A.D. 30, A.D. 33 and A.D 36. A.D. 27’s too early – not possible. A.D. 36 is too late –not possible. So the debate is, then, whether Jesus died in A.D. 30 or A.D. 33. And Johannine I inclined to A.D. 30, but there are a lot of people who’ve argued- tried to argue for A.D. 33. I don’t think one can really be dogmatic on that issue. In some way.
There are a number of people who argue for 33, some Johannine Evangelical friends of mine argue for that. Johannine to me it’s more likely it’s A.D. 30.
When we deal with issues of chronology we have to realize that the Gospel writers don’t seem to be that interested in those things. Sometimes like Luke 3:01 there’s an attempt to do some of that. But they’re not so concerned about when things happened, but what happened. And Johannine our historical interests in chronology and so forth may not necessarily follow theirs.
Finally, let’s talk about the resurrection of Jesus. Johannine Here too we have something of a difficulty. We have Jesus rising on the third day. First Corinthians 15:3 and 4, “I delivered to you what I also received, now that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, buried, on the third day he rose from the dead.” The Passover saying of Jesus that on the third day he would rise from the dead. But for many people, it’s a real problem because Jesus dies late in the afternoon of our Friday and he rises early in the morning of Sunday.
Well, we’re talking about say 36 hours. And three days is not what we would consider 36 hours. That’s a day and a half. But, again, you have to deal with a time understanding of the people of their day. They’re not writing our- using our concept of time, but their own.
The day, the first day, of Jesus burial and death is from Thursday 6 P.M. to Friday 6 P.M. Friday afternoon late dies, the second day is 6 P.M. Friday to 6 P.M. Saturday and the third day begins 6 P.M. Saturday and ends 6 P.M. Sunday by our calendar and, so, he rises on the third day.
And, again, the irony could be that if he died, if they had the precision at the 5:59 on Friday and rose 6:01 on Saturday, that would have been two days. So he could have died at 5:59 Friday and 6:01 Saturday would be three days. 24 hours to minutes the way they count time. But of course, it wasn’t quite like that.
Alright, that gives you an idea of the time. And I –I’ve heard people make references that Jesus had to die on an earlier day. He died Thursday because that’s the only way you can get three days out of it. And I say, “you-, what you’re not doing is not thinking how the author is using time. You’re thinking about how you understand time. You didn’t write this account.” The Gospel writers did. Their understanding is different. They counted time like a dew counts time that any part of the day was a day. So part of Friday is the first, Saturday is the second - Saturday being Friday night’s 6 P.M. to Saturday night’s 6 P.M. -6 P.M. Saturday to Sunday is the third day. And it fits nicely in that regard.