Was Christ really dead for three days?

apr11I wrote in a previous post about scoffers who made fun of the descriptions of hell in the Bible. Just as wrong-headed is the notion that Christ wasn’t crucified on Good Friday. People who hold to that view say that Jesus was in Joseph’s toomb for seventy-two hours. What they don’t realize is that first-century people told time differently than we do.

In all four gospel accounts, Christ was crucified on the day before the sabbath. After the sabbath was the first day of the week. And as you can read in the first chapter of Genesis, sundown was reckoned as the beginning of the new day.

The Jews also were told not to leave a dead body unburried on the sabbath. As John 19:31 and 32 (KJV) explains, “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. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.” Since Jesus was already dead, a soldier shoved a spear into his side to make sure he was deceased.
These things were done before sundown to fulfil the law. Not yet being the sabbath, the day was claimed as a full day without any fussing about  hours and minutes. This meant that Christ was put into the tomb on that first day, his body was there on the sabbath, and he rose early on the third day.

Assuming that it had to be exactly seventy-two hours and zero minutes is foolish at best and prideful at worst. Misapprehensions like that come from ignorance of the customs, laws, and regulations of the time in which the scriptures were being written. This is why Bible readers must learn all about the times and ways of the folks to whom the books of the Bible were written.
When I get out of debt and save up enough money, I want to publish my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? Many people mistakenly claim various ideas as biblical when they actually arent. Additionally, naive believers fall for these blasphemous lies. My hope is that my writing will prevent them from falling for spiritual scams.


ImageNo person is a hundred percent evil. This fact was aptly demonstrated in the life of the leader of a cultic house church. Though Brother Herald, as I called him in my How I Was Razed memoir, did hurt my feelings and taught me blasphemous lies, He also had a zany sense of humour.

One way of showing his comic sensibilities was to catch people in their own words. I once mentioned to Brother Herald that I planned to get a hair cut. “Why don’t you get them all cut?” he joked.

Before one Wednesday evening Bible study, he also pointed to the hole in my sock and said, “I see your toe is feeling better.” When I asked why, he said, “It’s coming out. Perhaps he thought we should have a “coming out” party for it.

Brother Herald delighted in pestering his cat. When that feline wanted out, he would open the door from the kitchen to the enclosed porch and close it after him. Then the cat would realize that he also needed the outside door opened. When he meaowed for Brother herald to open the door, he opened the inside one but shut it quickly after the cat strolled into the kitchen. This game continued for several more times before the cat gave up and went looking for somebody else to let him out.

Brother Herald had a fiendish way of treating fussy pussies. When his cat refused to eat what was served to him, Brother Herald would carefully spoon it back in the tin and present his cat with the empty plate. When the cat sniffed the plate and meowed for food, our minister carefully took the cat food tin out of the fridge and meticulously spooned the rejected amount back onto the plate. This game continued until the frustrated feline gave up and ate the food or stalked off in disgust.

Brother Herald also had a way of getting back at the cat when he became a pest. Grabbing the feline and holding him in his arms, he would speak softly into his ears, “Poor Puddy.” The puff of his breath would irritate the cat’s ears and he’d flick them. Then Brother Herald would let the annoyed cat go.

One time, the cat had the last laugh. He strolled up to Brother Herald and demanded pets. Our minister started petting his coat against the grain. The clever feline turned his body around so that he was now being petted the proper direction.

Sometimes people would blunder and Brother Herald would take full advantage of their verbal mistakes. His wife once said, “It wasn’t me. It was some other idiot.” You can imagine what fun our minister had with that remark.

Brother Herald also had fun with Bible verses. “Did you know that suspenders were mentioned in the Bible?” he asked as we ate lunch after Sunday service. “Ecclesiastes chapter four and verse ten says, “For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.'” He also humoursly justified his wearing of suspenders with that verse.

On rare occasions, I had the last laugh as well. “You shouldn’t pester the cat like that,” Brother Herald admonished after supper one Wednesday evening.

“How should I pester him?” I joked. That quip left our minister speechless.

I wrote much about that house church and the bizarre doctrines which Brother Herald taught in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity.” Read more about it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.


ImageI wrote recently about how hilarious little mistakes or quips can become during formal events such as church meetings and weddings. Humorous things sometimes happened after church too.

One of these happened in the spring of 1978. I had made a candle in the shape of a cake for a friend who helped run the house church. As she lit its wick and placed it in the centre of the table at which we ate lunch, my brother asked, “Who’s birthday is it?” I had a difficult time not roaring with laughter at his question. My disguised candle was obviously more convincing than I intended it to be.

At that same house church, Sister Roberta busily retrieved bread and sausage slices for us from her kitchen. After making sure everybody had something to eat and drink, she declared, “Now I’m going to eat, myself.” I couldn’t resist such a tempting straight line. “You’re going to eat yourself?” I exclaimed in mock astonishment. Everybody roared with laughter at the absurdity of my quip.

One Sunday after church, we had finished lunch and were deep in conversation. Bessie, an occasional at tender, remarked how hearing aids irritated her ear canal. When she mentioned that it was because the instrument was a foreign object, I quipped, “Yeah, made in Japan.” A couple of minutes passed as we rocked with laughter.

After one meeting, I told the congregants gathered around the kitchen table about a trick I played on the cat. Brother Herald, the minister at the house church, admonished, “you shouldn’t pester the cat like that.” I couldn’t resist that straight line either. “How should I pester him?” I quipped. Everybody groaned at that.

Brother Herald got me back once. “I see your big toe is getting better,” he said as he pointed at my feet. When I asked why, he said, “It’s coming out.” I hadn’t noticed that one of my socks had a hole in it and my toe was sticking out.

Then there was the incident of the sighing coffee maker. Each morning, Sister Roberta and Sister Eileen would start the coffee perking before getting ready for work. As they busied themselves, the machine made a sighing noise. Each woman thought the other was sighing until one morning when they were in the same room as the machine. When Sister Roberta told me why it made that sound, I couldn’t stop laughing for at least five minutes. The absurdity of both women thinking the other was sighing seemed deliciously zany.

Since the purpose of my How I Was Razed memoir was to tell how I went from cultism to Christianity, I didn’t include vignettes such as these. Nevertheless, the memoir is worth reading. Check out the Virtual Bookworm site for details.


ImageI’ve noticed that the more formal the situation, the funnier mistakes become. For example, babies burp all the time but that isn’t usually a laughing matter. But it was in one situation that I witnessed.

At a church in Edmonton which I attended a dozen or more years ago, the pastor asked a rhetorical question during his sermon. In the silence that followed, a baby belched. “That’s quite the amen,” the minister joked as the congregation roared with laughter. He struggled mightily as he held in a giggle. After a minute, he resumed his sermon.

I used to attend a house church a few decades ago. One of their practices was to let congregants stand in front of the members and give a word from the Lord. I was about to launch into my exhortation when Sister Roberta crept up to me and whispered, “Your zipper is undone.” I blushed as I turned around and zipped it up. Though I spoke what was on my heart, I thought about how I came all the way to the church on the bus with my fly undone.

An embarrassing incident happened to my sister once During a sermon at a Lutheran church. I thought at first that I heard an airplane. Then I realized that it sounded to “thin” to be an aircraft. As I turned my head to find the sound, I realized it was Diane’s stomach growling. She had neglected to eat breakfast before we left for church. As the reverend droned on, I held my lips together to hold in the guffaw that desperately tried to escape. As I leaned forward in the pew to hide my face, a few snorts escaped from my nostrils. I managed to get myself under control after a few minutes but the damage, for my sister at least, was done. Diane complained bitterly about the incident afterward and swore never to go to church without eating breakfast again.

Weddings aren’t immune to hilarious goofs either. Jay, one of the house church members, answered the questions confidently and made no mistakes until the minister mentioned  the word “troth.” Poor Jay became confused and asked what that meant. The whole congregation burst out laughing as he blushed.

I just published a memoir of my time in that house church called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Read more about this testimony of God’s amazing grace at the Virtual Bookworm site.