Good Friday or Passover?

As some celebrate Passover, millions of people are preparing to celebrate Good Friday. What is Passover and what is Good Friday? Is Passover for the Jews and Good Friday for the Christians? Where does these days originate from? Did Yeshua(Hebrew name of Jesus) die on Good Friday? or did He die on Passover? are both these days the same? Does it even matter which day we celebrate it on, as long as we remember it? We will delve in to the subject of Yeshua’s death today, and try to answer some of these questions. Keep an open mind, and let God’s Word show you the truth as some of the things you read here might probably shock you.

What is Passover?
Passover in one sentence, was the “Act of God”that brought Israel out of the bondage of Egypt bringing them salvation from slavery to Pharaoh, through the sign of the Blood of a Lamb. From Exodus 7-10, God brings 9 plagues on Egypt and Pharaoh, through Moses. After enduring much destruction and pain, Pharaoh would still not let “Israel – God’s People” go. Finally, God tells Moses that He will bring one more Plague on Egypt(Ex 11:1-6). In Ex 12:21-30, Moses explains that Israel had to kill a Lamb, and apply it’s blood as a sign so that death would not come into their houses. God also said that this is His Passover(Ex 12:11), not Israel’s passover. And that it was an Ordinance/Appointment Forever(Ex 12:14).

A few Biblical Facts before we proceed
1) A Biblical day consists of 12 Hours of Day and 12 Hours of Night (John 11:9)
2) The Biblical day is from one Sundown to the next Sundown (Lev 23:32, Neh 13:19, Judge 14:12,18, Luk 23:54, Joh 19:31) Calculating the start of the day from midnight was a later adaptation from the Roman time system
3) We know that Yeshua for a fact died on the Evening of the Passover. (John 18:28, 19:14)
4) Yeshua died around the 9th Hour of the Passover day (3pm in Modern day time)
(Mat 27:46-50, Mar 15:33-37, Luk 23:44-46)
5) Yeshua said that He will be in the Tomb for 3 days & 3 nights (Mat 12:40, 17:23, 20:19, 26:61, 27:40,63,64, Mar 8:31, 9:31, 10:34, 14:58, 15:29, Luke 9:22, 18:33, 24:7,21,46, Joh 2:19)

Good Friday
Even though it is never mentioned as such in the Scriptures, almost all Christians have been taught that Yeshua died on a Friday. Is this belief Scriptural? What is the reason for this belief? Let us see.

Death before the Sabbath
In John 19:31, we see that the Jews asking Pilate to bring the bodies down from the crosses before the Sabbath.
In Mark 15:42,43, we see that evening had come, and it was close to the Sabbath when Joseph of Arimathaea went to see Pilate.
In Luk 23:52-54, we see that Joseph laid Yeshua’s body in the Tomb and the Sabbath was about to start (Remember, that according to the Biblical day, the Sabbath would be from Sundown to Sundown. So at Friday Sundown, it is the start of the Sabbath).

So according to these 3 verses, we understand that Yeshua died before the Sabbath. There is no argument between any Historians or Biblical Scholars, that the day which is called “Saturday” in modern times, is the day which was called “Sabbath” in Yeshua’s time. (Check any Biblical Encyclopedia). So accordingly, it made perfect sense to proclaim that “Friday” as the day Yeshua died. Let us also check the other facts concerning His death before we conclude that it is, in fact Friday.

Yeshua rose after the Sabbath According to Mt 28:1-6, Mar 16:2-4, Luke 24:1-3, Joh 20:1,2
The women came to the tomb on the day after the Sabbath, to see it empty.

So According to these verses, we see that Yeshua had risen when the women went to the Tomb on Sunday. So accordingly, we celebrate His “Rising from Death” on Sunday.

He said He would be in the tomb for 3 Days & 3 Nights according to Mat 12:40
If He died on a Friday around 3pm, and was buried before Sundown, before the Sabbath started, and He rose before Sunday Morning, Where are the 3 Days? Friday eve to Sunday Morning is only 1½ Days. Even if we took the whole day of Sunday, it would still be 2 Days. According to a Friday Evening Death and a Resurrection before Sunday Morning, Yeshua seems to have not accomplished what He said He would. And I believe, that He never said anything contrary to what He did. Some say that it doesn’t matter. If it matters to you that you know the Truth, read on. And you will see why it is important to understands the Feasts/Appointments God gave to Israel. (We will do a separate study on the Feasts of God in the near future, where I will cover all of the feasts mentioned in Lev 23, including Passover.)

A very brief look at the Feast/Appointment of Passover which God gave Israel
God told Israel to Kill the Passover Lamb on the Evening of the 14th day of the 1st Month (Ex 12:2,6, Lev 23:5, Num 9:3)
2) God told Israel to eat the Lamb with Unleavened Bread and Bitter Herbs
(Ex 12:8, 13:3, Num 9:11)
3) God told Israel to eat bread that is Unleavened for 7 days after the Passover
(Ex 12:15, 13:7, Deut 16:3)
4) God told Israel that the 1st day and 7th day of this week of Unleavened Bread were days where you rest from your regular work (Ex 12:16, Lev 23:6,7,8, Num 28:18,25) Special Sabbath*

Every year on the 1st Month according to God’s Calendar:
14th Day – Passover (Lamb was killed and meal was taken in the evening)
15th Day – 1st Day of Unleavened Bread – Special Sabbath*
16th Day – 2nd Day of Unleavened Bread
17th Day – 3rd Day of Unleavened Bread
18th Day – 4th Day of Unleavened Bread
19th Day – 5th Day of Unleavened Bread
20th Day – 6th Day of Unleavened Bread
21st Day – 7th Day of Unleavened Bread – Special Sabbath*

What day would Passover fall on? Was it Friday?
God’s Calendar has no connection to the Roman Gregorian Calendar of today. (We will delve into the nitty gritties of God’s Calendar when we study the Feasts of God). God’s Calendar works from new moon to new moon. The word that is translated in the Old Testament as “Month” actually means “New Moon” in Hebrew. (H2320 – חדשׁ – chôdesh – kho’-desh – From H2318; the new moon; by implication a month: – month (-ly), new moon) What this would mean is that when God said “First Month”, He meant “First New Moon”. And as the New moon does not appear on a fixed day, the 1st day of the 1st Month of God’s Calendar could fall on any day, meaning it could fall on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Because of this, the 14th day could be any day of the week. Effectively, Passover could fall on anyday. For Example, Sunday this year, Wednesday next year and Friday the next. It would not fall on a fixed day of the 7 day week.

*What is this Special Sabbath
Because the 14th Day, which is Passover would fall on any day of the week, the 15th Day which could be any day of the week as well, would be a Sabbath which could fall on any day rather than the fixed Sabbath which always falls on Saturday. For this Reason, These days were called Special Sabbaths.

Another look at the death of Yeshua
So with all of this information, which I know is a bit too much to take in one go, (But remember, that if we grew up knowing these things, it would be simple for us) let us try to take another look at Yeshua’s Death. We know a few new facts about Yeshua’s Death.
Yeshua died on a Passover (14th Day) which can be any day of the week, and the next day (15th Day) would be a Special Sabbath Day. (Eg. If Passover fell on a Wednesday, the next day which is Thursday, is a Sabbath).

The key to it all
In John19:31, The Jews asked for Yeshua’s body to be removed before the start of the Sabbath. And it highlights an important fact here. John writes, “for that sabbath day was an high day”. The word “high” used here, is translated from Strong’s Greek Concordance – G3173 – μέγας – megas – meg’-as – meaning big, exceedingly, great (-est), high, large, loud, mighty, strong. This Greek word is translated as “Great” in almost all instances of the New Testament. This would effectively make this a “Great” or “Big” Sabbath, different from the 7th day Sabbath.

So what does all of this mean?
It means that according to the Old Testament Feast we checked, The day after Yeshua’s death would have been a Sabbath that did not have to fall on a fixed day like the regular Saturday Sabbath. The week which the Passover was held, would always contain 2 Sabbaths. One would be the Regular Fixed Sabbath. The other would be the 15th day which could fall on any day from Sunday to Saturday. This way, He would die on the Passover(which could fall on any day), before the High Sabbath(which is not a fixed Sabbath, and would always fall on the day after Passover) and He could rise after 3 Days & 3 Nights after the Fixed Saturday Sabbath.

How Yeshua died before the High Sabbath. How His body was in the Tomb for 3 Days and 3 Nights. And how He rose after the Fixed Saturday Sabbath.
Since Passover could fall on different days of the week each year, in that Particular year in which Yeshua died, for all the Scriptures to not have any inconsistencies, Passover would have fallen on a Wednesday.

Wednesday – 14th of 1st Month – Passover (Yeshua dies and is buried before eve)
Thursday – 15th of 1st Month – 1st day of Unleavened Bread – High/Special Sabbath
Friday – 16th of 1st Month – 2nd day of Unleavened Bread
Saturday – 17th of 1st Month – 3rd day of Unleavened Bread – Fixed /Regular Sabbath
Sunday – 18th of 1st Month – By the time the women came, Yeshua had risen

Wednesday Sundown to Thursday Sundown – 1st Day (1Day + 1Night)
Thursday Sundown to Friday Sundown – 2nd Day (1Day + 1Night)
Friday Sundown to Saturday Sundown – 3rd Day (1Day + 1Night)

Good Wednesday instead of Good Friday?
Am I saying that we should start commemorating Yeshua’s death on Wednesday instead of Friday. Not at all. I am merely showing how all the Scriptures are working together to reveal the truth. He could not have died on a Friday. But is Wednesday better than Friday? No. The better question to ask would be, whether we should Celebrate Passover instead of Good Friday. It is better to remember His death on the day He died, which was the Passover, than on Friday. (Passover does not fall on Wednesday every year)

But Isn’t it a Jewish Feast?
No one can own the Passover, but God Himself, as He said “it is my Passover”(Ex 12:11, Lev 23:2). It was given to “God’s people -Israel”, not only to the Jews. It is generally called “The Jewish Passover” only because the Jews are the only people commemorating it.

Greatest reason to Commemorate Passover: Yeshua, our Passover Lamb
When God commanded Israel to commemorate Passover, it was partly about the salvation that they got from Pharaoh and slavery in Egypt as well as, a future Redemption that He had planned. Yeshua would become a Passover Lamb, so that whoever was covered with His blood was “Passed over” by Death. Is this a making of my imagination? A forced connection? I will showcase the facts for you, that you can make up your own mind.

1) The Lamb had to be without spot or blemish (Ex 12:5)
Yeshua was a Lamb without Spot or Blemish (1Pet 1:19)
2) The Lamb was to be killed in the evening of Passover (Ex 12:6)
Yeshua died on the evening of Passover (Mat 27:46-50, Mar 15:33-37, Luk 23:44-46)
3) According to the size of the Lamb any number of households could get together to share one Lamb (Ex 12:3,4)
Yeshua would be the Lamb which could die for the Sin of the whole world(John 1:29)
4) The Blood of the Lamb was a token for Israel to be saved from Death (Ex 12:13,23)
Yeshua saved us from death through His Blood (Rom 5:9)
5) The Lamb’s bones were not to be broken(Ex 12:46)
Yeshua’s bones were not broken, and John specifically mentions this, saying this is the fulfillment of this scripture (John 19:33,36)

Just as Israel was redeemed of Slavery from Egypt and Pharaoh through the Blood of the Passover Lamb, we are also redeemed through the Blood of the “Passover Lamb – Yeshua” from the slavery to Sin and Satan. God did not give the Feasts/Appointed times in Lev 23 for no reason. Each of these appointments are Prophetic Shadows of Yeshua. (We will do a separate study on the Feasts of God in the near future, where I will cover all of the feasts mentioned in Lev 23, including Passover and How Yeshua fulfilled each of these Appointed times to the T.)

Some say that Passover was only a Commandment given to Israel. That as Christians, we do not need to keep a Jewish Passover. First of all, I would ask such people to understand the definitions of Israel, Jews & Christians. Then they should notice what God said in Ex 12:11 and repeated in Lev 23:2, That the Passover is HIS. Not Israel’s or of the Jew’s.

Finally, I would also like to leave a question with you? Was the Ten Commandments given to Christians? or Israel? Who told us that we could choose what to Accept out of His Commandments & what to Reject? Remember that Passover was also a Commandment of God(Lev 23). And no, Paul did not say it was alright to discard God’s Passover. (We will study on this at a later date as well).

Jews who do not accept Yeshua as Messiah keep the Passover in commemoration of the redemption from slavery of Egypt. The Jews who believe in Yeshua (Messianic Jews) commemorate the Passover in remembrance of Yeshua, the Passover Lamb who redeemed all from Sin. Shouldn’t we, as Christians who believe in Yeshua keep the Passover instead of Good Friday in remembrance of Yeshua in the same way? Yeshua did not celebrate Good Friday. But He did commemorate Passover.

In conclusion, I hope that you have understood the Fact that Yeshua could not have died on a Friday. He died on the Passover day, as the Passover Lamb. The Passover does not belong to the Jews, but to God Himself. Passover and Good Friday is not the same, as one is instituted by God and the other by man. On the question whether it matters to God or not, I would say, if it does not matter, why would He have instituted these specific days? Start reading and searching. May He show you the Truth. And hopefully, this study has helped you to see through the common misconceptions we are surrounded with.


37 thoughts on “Good Friday or Passover?


      1. rameshdesilva Post author

        Hi Andrew,

        Yes. I am saying that a Wednesday passover death is what the New Testament accounts point out to. But I have never said that we need to count Saturday night as well. Please see my explanation below.

        Fact No.1 – The Biblical day is from one Sundown to the next Sundown (Lev 23:32, Neh 13:19, Judge 14:12,18, Luk 23:54, Joh 19:31) Calculating the start of the day from midnight was a later adaptation from the Roman time system. Which means the biblical day starts at roughly around 6 pm in the evening compared to the 12 midnight start of the day which is commonly used today.)

        Fact No.2 – A Biblical day consists of 12 Hours of Day and 12 Hours of Night (John 11:9)

        If we say that sundown is roughly 6pm – Let’s do the math again
        Wednesday 6pm to Thursday 6am is 1 night. Thursday 6am to Thursday 6pm is 1 day
        Thursday 6pm to Friday 6am is 1 night. Friday 6am to Friday 6pm is 1 day
        Friday 6pm to Saturday 6am is 1 night. Saturday 6am to Saturday 6pm is 1 day
        That’s 3 days and 3 nights!

        At sundown on Saturday (The seventh day Sabbath), The 1st day of the week(Sunday) is starting.(according to the bible). By the time the women came in the morning, the Tomb was already open. Yeshua would have risen at the end of the 7th Day(Saturday- not 12 midnight. at sundown).

        A Thursday evening death would give you only 2 days and 2 nights. (Even if you count till Sunday morning, you will get only 2 days and 3 nights).

        Hope this explains your question. Using US-English math can be erroneous. We need to do the math according to the bible. If you have further questions, please comment.

        May you be a blessing to others!!!!

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  16. john angel

    thank you brother for ur clean explaintion…but i had doubt could you plz clarify !!
    if see passover comes on 14th day of month and den next we see unleavened bread festival …it is almost 8 days festival..jesus died on passover day (i.e on wednesday) and den next day is special 1st sabbath day…on sunday it is fourth unleavened bread day den where is 7th special sabbath day ??does god didnt followed unleavened bread festival of 7 days??

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear John,
      Passover fell on the 14th day of the 1st month according to Gods’ Calendar. Yeshua died on Passover eve, and was buried as the 1st day of Unleavened bread was about to start(Luk 23:52-54). In our modern way of telling time, this would have been Wednesday eve (Please remember that God’s day is from sundown to sundown). In the year Yeshua died it was a Wednesday eve – not that Passover falls on Wednesday each year, as you know. So like you said, He rose at the end of the weekly Sabbath day (Saturday evening) which was the start of the first day of the week or Sunday as we call it. This was the start of the 4th day of Unleavened Bread that particular year.

      Yeshua rose on the “feast of First Fruits” which will always fall after the regular weekly Sabbath of the Passover week. So effectively, He died on Passover, was buried by the start of the 1st day of Unleavened Bread and rose on the day of first fruits. These are the first 3 feasts, the 4th being Pentecost.

      Now for your question, about the significance of the 7th day of Unleavened Bread – which was a special Sabbath. YHVH is the one who established the feasts, calling them “the Feasts of YHVH”. So there is no chance that He would not follow the 7 days of unleavened bread. We must remember that the 7th day which is a Special Sabbath, is not a separate feast, but the end of the Week of Unleavened Bread. Even though nothing important happened on the 7th day of Unleavened Bread, this does not mean it is unimportant. The core of the feast was the removing of leaven (sin) – and that was completed by Yeshua in this time period, starting from His burial on the 1st day. This was the same in the time of slavery in Egypt. The people were saved from death on Passover, and came out of Egypt on the 1st day of unleavened bread. there is no mention of a significance of the 7th day of unleavened bread, here either. It just signifies (using the number 7) that it is the completion of redemption and salvation from Sin.

      Hope this answers your question
      Be a blessing to all around you!
      Love and Peace

      1. john angel

        thank you soo much brother …i got awesome answer …
        i had small doubt again …according to death jesus it is on wednesday i agree and it is accpeted according to matt 12:40 son of man need to stay in heart of earth for 3 days and 3 nights…here is my doubt jesus said to disciple dat he rose on third day (matt 20:19)…according to this jesus has to rise on 3rd day…but we see 4th day here??

      2. rameshdesilva Post author

        Dear John,

        I know what you mean. Some verses say 3 days & 3 nights, some say 3 days, some say on the 3rd day. So which one is it? 🙂

        The best answer I could give you is “which one of these fulfills scripture”? Because there is only one scripture that is given as a sign for His resurrection regarding the time span He will be in the earth. That is Jonah 1:17 – which is the “Sign of Jonah”. I cover this subject further in the post given below:

        About the 4th day – According to scripture Yeshua would have stayed in the earth until the end of the 3rd day of Unleavened Bread. Yes, it is the start of the 4th day, but that does not make it 4 days in the earth. please see below link:

        May you be a blessing to all around you
        Love & Shalom

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    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Rannzida,
      The name of Good Friday comes from the particular Friday being “Good” or “Holy” because of Christ’s death. What everyone fails to see is that He did not die on a “friday” but on Passover – which can fall on any day of the Week. The idea of Friday comes from the Gospel accounts that Yeshua die before the Sabbath… But further inspection would reveal that it was not the 7th day Sabbath but the High Sabbath of the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread.
      Be a mighty blessing to everyone around you!!

  20. Adrian

    Shalom. I just wanted to thank you for this excellent post and also for clearly convincing me as a worshipper of HaShem the one true living God and His Holy son Yeshua Hamashiach, I am indeed also Israel and share in the blessing and covenant made by HaShem with Israel. I pray that Adonai Elohim bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you. As a side comment, this year, my wife and our two sons have decided to follow the jewish calendar and celebrate Pesach in April 22 and thereafter celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Yeshua Hamashiach three days after Pesach. Chag Purim Sameach.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Adrian,
      Thank you for the encouraging words. I believe that Passover according to the Biblical Calendar (signs of Abib & Moon) coincide with the Jewish calculated calendar – So I hope to celebrate same as you and your family in April.
      May you be a mighty blessing to everyone around you!

  21. Kusnan denang

    Well done, I studied this topic in the recent years and found out the deception that the devil has brought into the Christian world as a result of replacing biblical feasts with pagan feasts.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Kusnan,
      More and more of His sheep are hearing His voice and turning back to Him and His ways… to God be the Glory!!!
      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

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  24. Jhong Tulio

    I would like to quote from your point of views , you’ve said that

    the 14th Day, which is Passover would fall on any day of the week, the 15th Day which could be any day of the week as well, would be a Sabbath which could fall on any day rather than the fixed Sabbath which always falls on Saturday. For this Reason, These days were called Special Sabbaths.

    but in your conclusion you said that Yeshua could not have died on a Friday.
    pleas clarify.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Jhong,
      We know that the the Feast of Firstfruits always falls on a Sunday(1st day of the week) which was the day that Yeshua rose on. If you count back 3 days and 3 nights, on the year He died, Yeshua would have died on a Wednesday Evening. That particular year, Passover would have fallen on Wednesday, so that His Words on the Prophecy of Jonah would have come true. But Passover can fall on any day, which means the gap between Passover and FirstFruits(which is always a Sunday) could be 1-6 days.
      Hope my response makes sense
      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

      1. Jhong Tulio

        Your wrong. it says that Christ was crucified as the Sabbath hour was drawing night. The Sabbath for the Jews started on sundown Friday evening and ends on Saturday evening at sunset. That is why they wanted to get the body prepared, before the Sabbath.

      2. rameshdesilva Post author

        Dear Jhong,
        You are right about the weekly Sabbath. But did you know that the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread (Which starts on Passover eve) was a special Sabbath day? A High Day? Consider following “Joh 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.” John specifically says that the Sabbath Day which was about to start was a “High Day” – a “High/Special Sabbath”. The issue here is that we as Christians were never taught about God’s Feast days. These were not Jewish Feasts as God clearly says “My Feasts” (Lev 23:2,4,37,44).
        So to summarize Yeshua died on the Passover and was buried as the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread began (this was a High Sabbath as no one was allowed to work on this day according to Lev23:7). Then 3 days and 3 nights pass, and He resurrects as the Weekly Sabbath (which is Friday eve to Saturday eve as you have rightly pointed out) comes to an end. Died before the Sabbath. Rose after the sabbath. but also accomplished the prophecy of Jonah by staying in the heart of the earth for 3days and 3 nights.
        Be a blessing to everyone around you!

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