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What tree was Christ crucified on?

A Reader asks:
The cross that Jesus was crucified on, was it made from the Dogwood tree?
Also, the wreath of thorns that Jesus wore, what was it made from? And could you please direct me as to where it is located if anyplace in the Bible.

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None of the well-known Bible Dictionaries speculates on the type of wood used for the cross.

The Bible does not state what type of wood was used to make the cross. Nor does it state what type of plant was used for the crown of thorns. Smith’s Bible Dictionary has this to say about the crown of thorns:
Crown of thorns,
Matthew Our Lord was crowned with thorns in mockery by the Roman soldiers. Obviously, with some small flexible thorny shrub, perhaps Capparis spinosa. “Hasselquist, a Swedish naturalist, supposes a very common plant naba or nubka of the Arabs, with many small and sharp sines; soft, round and pliant branches; leaves much-resembling ivy, of a very deep green, as if in designed mockery of a victor’s wreath.” –Alford.

None of the well-known Bible Dictionaries speculates on the type of wood used for the cross.

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Why Talk About Good Friday At Christmas?

Why Talk About Good Friday At Christmas? What is Good Friday? Was it really on Friday? Can we pinpoint a day and year? Why do we celebrate the birth of Christ?  Because of his death and resurrection.  Without the death and resurrection, the birth is meaningless.  That’s why it makes sense to talk about Good Friday at Christmas.

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What is Good Friday?

Good Friday recognizes the sacred day when Christ began the completion of the mission He came to fulfill – to die for us and to pay for our sins.  It is observed, in the spring during the Easter season or Holy Week.  It coincides with the Jewish Passover, the symbol of the promised Messiah and saving by blood.

Was it really on a Friday?

Traditional Christian denominations honor Friday as the day of Christ’s death. Some Baptist, Pentecostal, many Sabbatarian and non-denominational churches observe the Crucifixion on Wednesday to coincide with the Jewish sacrifice of the Passover Lamb. A Wednesday Crucifixion of Jesus Christ allows for Christ to be in the tomb (“heart of the earth”). For three days and three nights as he told the Pharisees he would be (Matthew 12:40), rather than two nights and a day if he had died on a Friday. There is some basis in this idea in the Gospel of John, which has Jesus crucified on a Thursday evening (14 Nisan on the Hebrew calendar) instead of the Friday morning found in the Synoptic Gospels. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Friday) More detailed calculations are found here http://www.xenos.org/classes/chronc.htm

Can we pinpoint a day and year?

According to Ussher’s chronology, the basis for the Amazing Bible Timeline, Christ was born in 4 BC.  If his ministry began when he was “about 30” as Luke states rather than at exactly 30 he would have been 32 in 29 AD and died in 33 AD after his 3 year ministry. Paul mentions a moon of blood suggesting a lunar eclipse.  According to astronomers, such an event occurred on Friday 3 April 33 AD.

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What Are The Names of the Thieves Crucified With Christ?

The two thieves are not named in the Bible. However an apocryphal book, The Book of Nicodemus, which Bible scholars date to the fourth century AD on the Biblical timeline names the repentant or good thief Dysmas or Dismas and the thief who mocks Jesus is named Gestas.

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‘Crucifixion by Hans von Tübingen showing the good thief on the right side of Christ, and the impenitent thief on the left side of Christ with a devil. Others portrayed are the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint John, and the three Marys (Mary Cleophas, Mary Salome and Mary Magdalene).

You can read more about the Book of Nicodemus or read an English translation of the Book of Nicodemus online (it’s only 24 pages.)

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Why Wave Palm Leaves?

Question sent in by Janie. Palm Sunday the people greeted Jesus back from the desert waving palm leaves. WHY?

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'Jesus enters Jerusalem, and the crowds welcomes him, by Pietro Lorenzetti, 1320.'

Why Wave Palm Leaves There are a couple of explanations. One is that it was common practice in the ancient world to welcome home a king or war hero by laying out a path of branches for him to ride/walk on - similar to rolling out the red carpet today in English-speaking countries. Others suggest that Romans honored champions of the games and the military with palm branches Another explanation is that it is a reminder of the Festival of the Booths commanded in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

For this festival the Israelites were commanded: “And you must take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, the fronds of palm trees and the boughs of branchy trees and poplars of the torrent valley, and you must rejoice before Jehovah your God seven days.” The palm branches were used as a mark of rejoicing. The temporary booths were a reminder that Jehovah had saved his people out of Egypt, to live in tents in the wilderness. “The alien resident and the fatherless boy and the widow” shared in this festival. All Israel was to “become nothing but joyful.”­Leviticus 23:40; Deuteronomy 16:13-15 However others believe there is no connection between this festival that occurred months after Passover and the triumphal entry into Jerusalem by Christ just before his death and resurrection. Another interesting fact: Why did Christ ride in on a donkey or ass? 

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Why Does The Date for Easter Change Every Year?

Why does Easter always fall on different days, and sometimes different months, when Christmas is ALWAYS 12/25, and Mother’s day and Father’s days are ALWAYS in May and June, and Thanksgiving and Halloween always in Nov, and Oct? Bible Question from a reader.

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Our Answer Each holiday is calculated differently. For example, some are always on a certain date, i.e., Christmas is December 25th, Halloween is October 31st, New Years is January 1st. Other holidays are on certain days – in the US, Mothers Day is always the second Sunday in May, Fathers Day is the third Sunday in June and Thanksgiving, by Federal law, is always the fourth Thursday in November.  (Other countries celebrate those holidays on different dates.)

Easter

Finally, some holidays are based when certain lunar and solar events occur. One of these is Easter. It is on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.  First, you find which day is the vernal equinox, then factor in the lunar cycle and then it’s the first Sunday after that. It’s a bit more complex than that. If you want to know the calculation of the full cycle, which by the way, only repeats itself every 5 million years or so go here http://www.webexhibits.org/calendars/calendar-christian-easter.html By the way,  Happy Easter!