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					  Truth or Tradition?

A Biblical Exposition of
 The "Passion Week"

  A Biblical Exposition of
   The "Passion Week"
                       Written and Published by
                            Bro. Steve Smith
                            601 Grant Street
                            Atwood, Kansas
                             (785) 626-3273

    The material presented here is not an exhaustive study of this
subject nor is it intended to be. This pamphlet summarizes what I
believe to be true. This study is the result of a diligent search for the
truth. Please read it with an open heart. Scripture quotations are from
the King James Bible.

   The word of God (not man's tradition) is the final authority in all
matters of faith and practice (II Timothy 3:16,17). I will prove beyond a
shadow of a doubt that "Palm Sunday" and "Good Friday" are based
solely on man's tradition and have absolutely no Biblical foundation.
   I challenge you to compare your sincerely held beliefs to the Bible.
We should search the scriptures to find out if we are holding on to truth
or man-made traditions. What does your pastor teach? I also
challenge you to compare his beliefs to the Bible. I am praying that the
Holy Spirit will use this short Bible study to enlighten your hearts and

                           A Closer Look at
                            "The Sabbath"
   It is often repeated that Jesus was crucified on Friday because the
next day was the sabbath day. Let's take a closer look at the sabbath
from a Biblical standpoint. We will compare scripture with scripture.
   Exod. 20:8-11 - "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six
days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the
sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou,
nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant,
nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days
the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and
rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day,
and hallowed it."
   Exod. 35:2,3 - "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day
there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD:
whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no
fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day."
   Lev. 23:2,3 - "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them,
Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy
convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done:
but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye
shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your
   Deut. 5:12-14a - "Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD
thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all
thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God:"
   The weekly sabbath is the seventh day of the week. It is a holy day
set aside for rest and worship. God gave the Jews specific guidelines
concerning what they could and could not do on the sabbath day:
         #1 - They were not permitted to do physical labor.
         #2 - They were not permitted to have others working.
         #3 - They were not permitted to have a household fire.
         #4 - They were to rest and worship as a congregation.
   Besides the regular weekly sabbath, God gave them special
sabbaths to observe. One of them is the feast of the unleavened
   Lev. 23:4-8 - "These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy
convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. In the
fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover. And
on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened
bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In
the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile
work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD
seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no
servile work therein."
    The feast of the unleavened bread immediately follows passover. It
is called a "holy convocation" which means that it is a special sabbath
day. It is the "high day" spoken of in John 19:31. The children of Israel
were to observe this day as a sabbath day (a day of rest and worship).
   A proper understanding of the sabbath is the key ingredient for this
study. It is important that we put these things in a Biblical perspective.
Please do not let tradition keep you from coming to the knowledge of
the truth. We should take heed to Col. 2:8 - "Beware lest any man
spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of
                           A Closer Look at
                            "Palm Sunday"
   "Palm Sunday" (as traditionally held) is the time when Christ made
his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is called "Palm Sunday" for two
reasons: the palm branches that were spread on the ground and that
the event supposedly occurred on Sunday. We shall now examine
what the Bible says about this particular event. Look at John 12:1-3:
1 - Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where
Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
2 - There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus
was one of them that sat at the table with him.
3 - Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and
anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the
house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

        Notice several things mentioned in this passage:
        #1 - This event occurred six days before the passover.
        #2 - This event included the fixing and serving of a supper.
        #3 - This event included Mary anointing the feet of Jesus.
   Why is this important? Christ was crucified on passover. Counting
backwards 6 days before the passover, if Christ was crucified on
Friday (as traditionally held) then this event took place on the Saturday
before his crucifixion. This supper would have been in direct violation
to the clear command of God in regards to the sabbath day. The
obvious speaks loud and clear. It should be evident to the reader that
tradition is wrong!
   You may be asking, "What does this have to do with Palm
Sunday?" Let's read John 12:12-15 and we will find the answer to the
    "On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when
they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of
palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed
is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus,
when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not,
daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt."
    Notice the words on the next day. This event took place the day
after the supper and Christ's first anointing. It is my contention that the
triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem could not have happened on a
Sunday because the supper which occurred the day before would not
have been held on the Sabbath day in violation of God's clear
   You can argue all you want, but I believe that the scriptures bear
witness that the triumphal entry did not occur on Sunday. "Palm
Sunday" is not a Biblical event. It is a tradition that is based on false

                           A Closer Look at
                            "Good Friday"
    Now we are going to examine what is commonly called "Good
Friday." It is traditionally believed that Christ was crucified on Friday.
This is where we get the name "Good Friday." We have already seen
solid evidence from John 12 that a Friday crucifixion is not Biblically
possible. I believe that it is important to have a full understanding of
the scriptures.
   Let's look at Matt. 12:38-40 and see what Jesus told the Pharisees:
   "Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying,
Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said
unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and
there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For
as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall
the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the
   Jesus gave the Jewish leaders a sign. The purpose of this sign was
to prove once and for all that he was their Messiah. You might call it a
show of strength. Christ said that as Jonah was in the belly of the
whale three days and three nights so he would be in the grave three
days and three nights. Was Jonah in the belly of the whale three days
and three nights?
   Jonah 1:17 - "Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow
up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three
   I would say that the Bible speaks loud and clear. If you believe that
Christ was crucified on Friday then how do you account for three days
and three nights? At times Jesus used the phrase "three days." There
are those that teach that a part of a day is counted as a whole day.
What about the three nights? I am sorry to say this, but tradition fails
us again!!
   Here is the Bible explanation. The Jewish day began in the evening
at 6:00 PM. The first day of the week actually began on Saturday
evening at 6:00 PM. Counting backwards three days and three nights,
we find that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday not on Friday. Does
this surprise you? I have included a table that accounts for the three
days and three nights.
                       A Biblical Timeline for
                       3 Days and 3 Nights
        1st Night          2nd Night                  3rd Night
  6:00 PM Wed (14th) 6:00 PM Thurs (15th)         6:00 PM Fri (16th)
         through            through                    through
  6:00 AM Thurs (15th) 6:00 AM Fri (16th)         6:00 AM Sat (17th)

        1st Day               2nd Day                  3rd Day
  6:00 AM Thurs (15th)    6:00 AM Fri (16th)      6:00 AM Sat (17th)
        through                through                 through
  6:00 PM Thurs (15th)    6:00 PM Fri (16th)      6:00 PM Sat (17th)

   Christ arose from the dead sometime after 6:00 PM on Saturday
evening. Both "Palm Sunday" and "Good Friday" are nothing more
than man-made traditions. The triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem
occurred on the Friday before his crucifixion. The crucifixion of Christ
occurred on Passover, which was on a Wednesday. On the last page
you will find a table that gives us a Biblical timeline for the "Passion

                       Easter – Is it Biblical?
    In Acts 12:1-4 we read “Now about that time Herod the king
stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed
James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it
pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were
the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him,
he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers
to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.”
   This passage tells us that “Easter” was an event after the days of
unleavened bread. Some try to say that this is a mistranslation and
that the word “Easter” should have been the word “passover.”
However, referring to Lev. 23:4-8 we find that the passover occurred
before the days of unleavened bread. The word “Easter” is used here
because it is referring to a pagan holiday that King Herod observed.
    If Easter is a Christian holiday then why does the date change
every year? Biblically speaking, resurrection Sunday is the Sunday
following the passover. Lev. 23:5 tells us that the passover is always
on the 14th day of the first Jewish month (which would be our month
April). Concerning the date of Easter, here is what I found on the
   “Easter is an annual festival observed throughout the Christian
world. The date for Easter shifts every year within the Gregorian
calendar. The current Gregorian ecclesiastical rules that determine the
date of Easter trace back to AD 325 at the First Council of Nicaea
convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine. At that time the Roman
world used the Julian calendar (which was adopted by Julius Caesar in
45 BC).
   The Council decided to keep Easter on a Sunday, the same
Sunday throughout the world. To fix incontrovertibly the date for
Easter, and to make it determinable indefinitely in advance, the
Council constructed special tables to compute the date. In 1582 Pope
Gregory XIII completed a reconstruction of the Julian calendar and
produced new Easter tables. One major difference between the Julian
and Gregorian calendar is what is called the "leap year rule". By the
1700's most of Western Europe had adopted the Gregorian calendar.
The Eastern Christian churches still determine the dates of Easter by
using the older Julian calendar.
    The usual statement, that Easter day is the first Sunday after the
full moon that occurs next after the vernal equinox, is not a precise
statement of the actual ecclesiastical rules. The full moon involved is
not the astronomical full moon but an ecclesiastical moon (determined
from tables) that keeps, more or less, in step with the astronomical
moon. The ecclesiastical rules are: Easter falls on the first Sunday
following the first ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or after the
day of the vernal equinox; this particular ecclesiastical full moon is the
14th day of a tabular lunation (new moon); and the vernal equinox is
fixed as March 21. Easter can never occur before March 22 or later
than April 25.”
     Here is an interesting observation: the date of Easter is determined
by the “first ecclesiastical full moon” and requires a special table of
dates (to determine when the ecclesiastical full moon occurs). It would
appear that Easter is a carry over from the pagan worship of the moon.
It is definitely not Biblical and ought not to be observed by professing

   As I bring this study to a close, I want to ask you, dear reader, are
you following tradition or are you following God's word? You may think
that it doesn't matter but it does matter. Listen to what the scriptures
Matt. 4:4 - But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by
bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of
Mark 12:24 - "And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not
therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of
   Jesus said that it is a grave error to ignore the truth of God's word.

              A Biblical Timeline of the "Passion Week"

  Date              Event                            Scripture
                1st Anointing of
Thu. 8th                              John 12:1-11
                Jesus - His feet
               Triumphal Entry        Matt. 21:1-11; Luke 19:28-40;
Fri.   9th
                into Jerusalem        Mark 11:1-10; John 12:12-50
               Christ Observes
                                      Mark 11:11
                 in the Temple
                The Cursing of        Matt. 21:17-22;
Sat. 10th
                  the Fig Tree        Mark 11:12-14 (read also 20-26)
               Christ Weeping         Matt. 23:34-39;
               Over Jerusalem         Luke 19:41-44
                The Cleansing         Matt. 21:12-16; Luke 19:45-48
                 of the Temple        Mark 11:15-19;
                Christ Teaching       Matt. 21:23 to 23:33; Mark 11:27
Sun. 11th
                 in the Temple         to 12:44; Luke 20:1 to 21:4
             The Olivet Discourse     Matt. 24:1 to 25:46;
             End Times Prophecy       Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-38
              Conspiracy by the       Matt. 26:1-5; 14-16; Luke 22:1-6;
Mon. 12th
              priests to kill Jesus   Mark 14:1,2; 10,11
               2nd Anointing of
                                      Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9
               Jesus - His head
               The Upper Room      Matt. 26:17-35; Luke 22:7-38
Tue. 13th
               The Last Supper     Mark 14:12-25; John 13:1 to 16:33
             Prayer in the Garden  Matt. 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-46
                of Gethsemane      Mark 14:26-42; John 17:1-26
                                   Matt. 26:47 to 27:61;
             The Betrayal, Peter's
Wed. 14th                          Mark 14:43 to 15:47; Luke 22:47 to
              Denial, Crucifixion
                                   Luke 23:56; John 18:1 to 19:42
                                   Lev. 23:4-8 - "holy convocation"
              Sabbath - Feast of
Thu. 15th                          John 19:31 - notice the phrase "for
              Unleavened Bread
                                   that sabbath day was an high day"
             The extra guards are
                                   Matt. 27:62-66
              placed at the tomb
             No activity recorded This was the day that the women
Fri. 16th
               Tomb is Guarded bought and prepared their spices.
              A Regular Sabbath No recorded activity. Tomb is still
Sat. 17th
              Legal Day of Rest being guarded by Roman soldiers.
            The Resurrection of Matt 28:1-8; Luke 24:1-12;
Sun. 18th
            Christ & OT Saints Mark 16:1-8; John 20:1-18

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