When Did Jesus Die? The Year, Day & Time
There has been much speculation concerning the day and year of Christ’s crucifixion and death, owing to the absence of clear day-to-day linkage in the stories of the four Gospels. We know that Jesus died on Preparation Day because it is mentioned in each of the four Gospel narratives. But was it a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday when that happened? In addition, what hour did Jesus die? There has even been discussion over the year in which he passed away. To figure out the day of Jesus’ death on the cross, we must piece together the evidence from his four Gospels and our understanding of his historical period and cultural context.
Cultural Information to Keep in Mind
1. The gospel writers were more concerned with depicting Jesus as a person than they were with the precise chronology of his appearance. Dates have become increasingly important in today’s environment in order to provide proper news coverage. However, the Gospel authors were more concerned with the events themselves than they were with the precise date of the occurrences. They were attempting to introduce Jesus to a variety of audiences rather than providing a thorough biography. It was the day before the Sabbath that was designated as the Day of Preparation.
This is the day on which Jews prepared meals and completed all of the tasks that were prohibited from being completed on the Sabbath but that still needed to be completed.
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What the Gospels Say about Jesus’ Burial
The Gospel of Matthew contains the most detailed account of Jesus’ death and burial (Matthew 27:31-62). In this tale, we learn about Joseph, a wealthy man from Arimathea “who had himself become a follower of Jesus,” according to one piece (Matthew 27:57 b). In Matthew 27:58-61, it is said that Joseph approached Pilate and begged for permission to bury Jesus’ body. “The next day, the day after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate,” we are told in Matthew 27:62. Joseph followed out this plan on Preparation Day.
In the Jewish calendar, it was Preparation Day (i.e., the day before the Sabbath).” (Matthew 15:42 a.) … Consequently, Joseph purchased some linen material, brought the corpse down from the casket, wrapped it in the linen, and buried it in a tomb dug into the rock.
Jesus died on the Day of Preparation, as confirmed by Luke and John: “Then he carried it down, wrapped it in linen fabric, and buried it in a tomb cut into the rock, in which no one had yet been lain.” As it happened, it was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin” (Luke 23:54).
As it happened, they placed Jesus there since it was the Jewish day of Preparation and because the tomb was close by (John 19:42).
What Day Did Jesus Die? Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
Over the years, academics have developed a variety of hypotheses about what occurred during the days of the week preceding up to Jesus’ death on the cross. These versions each offer a different day for Christ’s death, such as Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.
- Wednesday The fact that Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday permits for Him to have been buried for three full days and nights
- Nevertheless, this also means that He resurrected on the fourth day. Furthermore, the Triumphal Entry would have taken place on Saturday, the day of Sabbath rest
- Instead, it took place on Thursday. With a Thursday crucifixion, the Triumphal Entry is moved to Sunday, which makes more sense and removes the necessity for a “quiet day” (a day during thePassion Weekwhen no events were recorded). On the other hand, we know that the Pharisees hurried to put Jesus in the tomb on The Day of Preparation (John 19:34-42), which is Friday, and before the Sabbath began at nightfall (the Jews timed days from the beginning of the nightfall to the beginning of the nightfall). Upon closer examination of the facts, we find that Friday is the most consistent with the Gospel narratives and the historical context. According to the New Testament, Jesus rose from the grave on the third day—not necessarily after three complete, literal days—and was buried on the third day (e.g.,Matthew 16:21
- Acts 10:40). As previously stated, Jesus had to be hustled inside the tomb on the day of preparation because of the crowds. In contrast to a Friday crucifixion, which would demand a “quiet day” (most likely Wednesday), this day gives the Sanhedrin the opportunity to make plans for Jesus’s arrest and following trials. As a result, the day is just “quiet” since we haven’t documented anything significant
What Time Did Jesus Die?
According to Matthew Henry’s interpretation, Jesus was nailed to the crucifixion between the third and sixth hours, which corresponds between nine and twelve o’clock in the morning. After then, he died shortly after the ninth hour, which was sometime between three and four o’clock in the afternoon. Commensurate with the aforementioned practice, the Jews throughout the time of Christ measured days from dusk to nightfall. The Matthew 27:46 KJV, which is the “ninth hour,” can be translated into the Matthew 27:46 NIV, which is the “three o’clock in the afternoon,” according to Bible experts.
Timing of Jesus Death in Mark, Luke, and John
- The Gospel of Mark 15: 33:34, 37 “At midday, darkness descended across the entire region, lasting until three o’clock in the afternoon. Also, about three o’clock in the afternoon, Jesus said, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” in an obnoxiously loud voice. (which translates as ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’). “Jesus breathed his last with a piercing scream.”
- Matthew 23:44-46 ” It was now around midday, and darkness descended upon the entire region until three o’clock in the afternoon since the sun had ceased shining. And the temple’s curtain was split in two by the earthquake. I put my spirit into your hands,’ Jesus said with a resounding voice, calling out to the Father. At the moment he stated this, he exhaled his final breath.” (See also John 19:14-16.) “It was approximately midday on the day of Passover preparations, and it was the day of Passover preparations. ‘Your king has arrived,’ Pilate said to the Jews. They, on the other hand, cried out, “Take him away!” Take him away from me! ‘Put him to death!’ ‘Do you want me to crucify your king?’ Pilate was the one who inquired. ‘We do not have a monarch other than Caesar,’ the leading priests responded. Eventually, Pilate gave him over to them, and they crucified him.”
What Year Did Jesus Die?
During this video, Doug Bookman, a New Testament professor at Shepherds Theological Seminary, shows why biblical academics have reached an agreement about the year Jesus died. “It all boils down to this. Pilate served as prefect of Judea and Samaria from 26 A.D. to 36 A.D., according to the evidence we have. So that’s our view out the window. The following question is: On what day of the week did Passover occur during the year that Jesus died? In the opinion of the majority, it occurred on Thursday or Friday.
Given all of this, the vast majority of researchers will agree that it leads to one of two conclusions: ” Theory 1: Jesus died about the year 30 A.D.
“At this point, the argument becomes pretty technical,” says Bookman of the situation.
I am convinced that the year 33 A.D.
3 Significant Events Shortly After Jesus’ Death
Matthew 27:51-54, Matthew 27:51-54 As a result of this, the temple’s curtain was split in half, from top to bottom. The ground trembled, the rocks cracked, and the tombs burst into flames. Many pious persons who had died were brought back to life by the power of the Holy Spirit. They emerged from the graves following Jesus’ resurrection and proceeded to the holy city, where they appeared to a large number of people. They were startled and cried, “Surely he was the Son of God!” when the centurion and others with him who were guarding Jesus witnessed the earthquake and everything that had transpired.
- The temple curtain had been ripped in half.
- We know from the laws of the Old Testament that entering God’s presence was a severe matter.
- The fact that this curtain was destroyed represented the completion of Jesus Christ’s accomplished work on the cross, which eliminated the barrier between sinful humans and holy God by becoming the ultimate High Priest and the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of all people.
- John Gill’s remark on the event states that “this was a demonstration of Christ’s authority over death and the tomb.” When Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his death, he demonstrated that he had destroyed both the power of death and the permanence of the grave.
- In addition to its grandiose claims, this event is noteworthy because it is a narrative predicting Christ’s second coming to collect the remainder of his people.
Jesus is brought back to life from the dead. This text in Matthew glosses over such a remarkable occurrence, but Christ’s resurrection is told in greater detail in Matthew 28, which is the gospel of Matthew (as well as inMark 16,Luke 24, andJohn 20). Photograph courtesy of Joshua Earle via Unsplash.
When Was Jesus Christ Crucified and Resurrected? : Did He Really Die on Good Friday and Come Back to Life on Easter Sunday?
As recorded in Matthew 12:38, a group of scribes and Pharisees approached Jesus and requested for a sign to show He was the Messiah. However, Jesus informed them that the only sign He would provide would be similar to that of the prophet Jonah: “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the big fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:38). (Matthew 12:40). The question is, how can we accommodate “three days and three nights” between a Friday afternoon crucifixion and a Sunday morning resurrection?
- A number of people feel that Christ’s “three days and three nights” remark does not necessitate a precise period of 72 hours, believing that a portion of one day can be counted as a whole day.
- In this theory, however, only two nights are taken into consideration: Friday night and Saturday night Something is clearly wrong with the traditional perspective of when Christ was buried, and it is not difficult to see why.
- In the event that Jesus remained in the tomb just from late Friday afternoon until early Sunday morning, the sign He delivered indicating that He was the predicted Messiah would not have been fulfilled, as previously stated.
- When we do this, we unearth the true tale of how Jesus’ words were perfectly fulfilled, a story that was previously unknown.
Two Sabbaths mentioned
Take note of the events described in Luke 23. Luke 23:46-53 tells the story of Jesus’ death and burial, which took place in haste because of the approaching Sabbath, which began at sundown that evening. The Bible says in Luke 23:54, “That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath was drawing nigh.” Many have thought that the weekly Sabbath is being referenced here, and that Jesus was killed on a Friday as a result of this assumption. However, according to John 19:31, the impending Sabbath “was a high day”—not the weekly Sabbath (which runs from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset), but the first day of Unleavened Bread, which is one of God’s yearly high, or Sabbath, days (as opposed to the weekly Sabbath) (Exodus 12:16-17;Leviticus 23:6-7).
This high-day Sabbath was observed on Wednesday night and Thursday because, according to Luke 23:56, after witnessing Christ’s corpse being deposited in the tomb shortly before sunset, the women “returned and prepared spices and aromatic oils” in preparation for the final preparation of the body for burial.
As recorded in Mark’s account, “Now when the Sabbath had passed, Mary Magdalene and her sister Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and bought spices, so that they may come and anoint Him” (Matthew 26:35).
The ladies had to wait until the end of this yearly “high day” Sabbath before they could go out and purchase and prepare the spices that would be used for anointing Jesus’ body.
This second Sabbath stated in the Gospel reports corresponds to the ordinary weekly Sabbath, which is celebrated from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset every week.
The first, according to John 19:31, was a “high day”—the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which happened on a Thursday in the year A.D. 31. The second, according to John 19:31, was a “low day.” The second was the weekly Sabbath on the seventh day of the week.
Sign of the Messiah
“While it was still dark,” according to John 20:1, after the ladies had had their normal weekly Sabbath rest, they went to Jesus’ tomb on the first day of the week, Sunday, and discovered that He had already been raised (Matthew 28:1-6;Mark 16:2-6;Luke 24:1-3). It becomes evident when we look at the specifics in all four Gospel texts that the picture is painted in black and white. Jesus was killed and entombed late on Wednesday afternoon, shortly before the Jewish Sabbath began at sunset the same evening.
- The Lord Jesus Christ was buried in the tomb from the evening of Wednesday until the evening of Saturday, when He rose from the dead.
- It couldn’t have happened on Sunday morning since when Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb that morning before daylight, “when it was still dark,” she saw the stone had been moved away and the tomb had been left vacant.
- Exactly three days and three nights after He was laid in the tomb, Jesus resurrected from the dead.
- We recommend that you read our pamphlet, Jesus Christ: The Real Story, for further information.
When did Jesus die and rise?
Updated at 6:37 p.m. on April 12, 2017. The congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Eldorado extends greetings. When did Jesus die and rise from the dead? Yes, I am aware that it is Good Friday and Easter Sunday. But which month, which date, and which year are we talking about? According to Dr. Steve Ware’s book “When Was Jesus Really Born?” the answer provided in this article is correct. In 2013, the Center for Public Health (CPH) announced that it will be holding a conference on “Climate Change and the Environment” (CPH).
- Christian calendars are still based on the Jewish calendar, which is a lunisolar calendar, and the spring equinox, which is why Christians celebrate Easter every year.
- The Christian church has always wished to commemorate the Lord’s resurrection on the day it occurred, and this has been a long-held goal.
- (Numbers 28:16-17 explains that the Lord’s Passover is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the first month (Nisan), and a feast is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the same month.
- During the months of March and April, Nisan will be the month on our calendars (Gregorian).
- However, we require the year of the Passover, during which Christ died and resurrected from the dead.
- Pilate, the Roman ruler of Judea from AD 26 to AD 36, summoned Jesus to come before him.
- However, we can learn more about the Romans from their history.
However, in AD 31, Tiberius, the Caesar of Rome, reversed this trend.
Pilate didn’t have to alienate the governing Jewish body over the presence of an itinerant rabbi if he wanted to preserve his post.
Pentecost is marked by St.
The date of Christ’s death, according to Dr.
As recorded in ancient Babylonian and Chinese astronomical chronicles, that day corresponds to 3 April AD 33 on the Julian calendar and 1 April AD 33 on the Gregorian calendar, respectively, which correspond to the Passover date of 14 Nisan in that year.
Ware’s study, Easter falls on the 5th of April in the year AD 33.
Without a doubt, this is not the case.
Jesus indeed died, and the tomb truly was found to be empty. The spirit instills faith in me, and history supports that conviction. Happy Easter, and best wishes for the season. Pastor Otten is a man of God.
When Was Christ Crucified and Resurrected?
Here is the one and only sign that Jesus presented to indicate that He was the promised Messiah. D o you have any idea just how significant the events surrounding Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection are to you and to the rest of the world? If you identify as a Christian, you must unquestionably believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but have you ever looked into the one and only proof Jesus ever provided for this claim? Have you ever taken the time to thoroughly consider what Jesus said, what actually happened, and how it compares to the teachings of your own religion?
The religious authorities of Jesus’ day were continually putting Jesus’ teachings to the test.
In the New Testament, the nameJonah is derived from the Old Testament character of the same name, whose life narrative is documented in the book of the same name.
The events surrounding the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are crucial to understanding what it means to be a genuine Christian.
Three Days and Three Nights
A number of significant features of Matthew 12:38-40 should be objectively analyzed and examined. It is in verse 40 that Jesus explicitly and expressly states that He will be buried for three days and three nights. This is possibly the most important statement in the Bible. Is this something your church believes? Alternatively, have you been told the tale of a Friday crucifixion and a resurrection on Sunday morning? Make a mental note of the number of nights and days that have passed. From Friday evening until Sunday morning, there will only be two nights and one day available, not three of each kind of accommodation.
- Assuming the teachings of the majority of “Christian” denominations are correct, Jesus was only on the planet for two nights and one day, concluding that Jesus has not been shown to be the Son of God.
- How can you claim that Jesus is the Son of God when His own statements contradict that claim?
- Religious authorities first appeal to the fact that Jesus was executed the day before a sabbath day as evidence of his sacrifice.
- For the record, this demonstrates that those same religious leaders are aware that Saturday is the biblical Sabbath, which we are obligated to keep holy in the Fourth Commandment.
- Secondly, it was predicted that there would be erroneous doctrines that would influence or be accepted by “many” people (e.g.
- Revelation 12:9 reveals that Satan, who has been working to deceive mankind for 6,000 years, is the one who is behind this deceit.
- Your Bible establishes that Jesus was murdered on Wednesday, April 25, in the year a.d.31, not on Friday, as some have claimed.
In addition, it demonstrates that Jesus’ resurrection took place at sunset on Saturday evening, April 28, rather than at daybreak on Sunday morning. Now, let us take a closer look at what actually transpired when Jesus was crucified.
Not Buried Before a Weekly Sabbath
Following two days, the feast of Passover with unleavened bread was celebrated, and the top priests and scribes plotted how they might capture Jesus and put him to death by trickery. (Matthew 14:1). In Israel, this occurred immediately before the start of the spring holy days. The holiday of Passover, as well as the yearly sabbath day known as the first day of Unleavened Bread, were just around the corner. Leviticus 23 contains a list of the yearly sabbaths that are to be observed. (“Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days—Which?” is a free ebook that provides thorough information on the yearly holy days.
- (Matthew 14:12) Jesus was instructing His disciples on how to prepare for the Passover, which is not a religious holiday but rather a hallowed ceremony.
- This is the occasion that is generally referred to as the “Last Supper,” however it is really known as the “Lord’s Passover” (Exodus 12:11, 27; Leviticus 23:5).
- Continue reading through Mark 14, and the sequence of events and the precise moment will become apparent.
- In the evening, Jesus and His followers had the Passover meal and then proceeded to the garden, where Jesus prayed.
- “And they took Jesus away and brought him before the high priest, and with him were gathered all the chief priests and elders and scribes” (Mark 14:53).
- Jesus was carried to Pilate the following morning, as soon as the sun rose.
- Following the farce that passed for a trial, Jesus was found guilty and condemned to death.
And when he had been crucified, they divided his clothing, casting lots to determine which garments each man would get.
The military timepieces, sometimes known as guards, were used to measure the passage of time.
in our current time zone.
And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud cry.
Jesus died at 3 p.m.
Traditionally, the day preceding a holy day is referred to as a day of preparation. This was one of those days. The first day of Unleavened Bread is observed as an annual sabbath, or a holy day, by the Jewish people. The burial of Jesus was followed by Joseph’s death.
Two Sabbaths That Week
It is plainly stated in Luke 23:50-55 that Jesus died and was buried on the day before the Sabbath (sometimes referred to as the holy day) and that Jesus was buried in the tomb of Lazarus (John 19:31). The use of the term “the sabbath drew on” indicates that it was approaching very close to sunset, which is when days begin and conclude according to biblical timekeeping. Take a close look at the following occurrence in the book of Mark. Once the Sabbath had passed, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome had gone out and purchased pleasant spices in order to come and anoint him (Mark 16:1).
It is said in the Anchor Bible on Mark that “after the Sabbath was ended, Mary of Magdalla, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went and bought fragrant oils to go and anoint him,” according to the Bible.
This is according to Lange’s Bible Commentary: “Only the two Marys had been at the grave for an excessive amount of time; hence they could not make their purchases until after the Sabbath had gone.” As has been plainly demonstrated in Scripture, Jesus was buried in the afternoon, right before sunset on the eve of the Jewish Sabbath.
- According to Luke 23:56, they returned and prepared spices and ointments while keeping the sabbath day holy as instructed by the law.
- There is just one possible explanation that is consistent with both scriptures: Following the purchase of the spices, the ladies prepared them for application to the body of Jesus.
- John records that the sabbath following Jesus’ burial was the first day of Unleavened Bread, which was a high sabbath.
- In other words, the Bible is clear that there were two sabbath days the week Jesus was executed, but it requires a little detective effort to figure out which ones they were.
- Take a look at Matthew 28:1 and the Greek word identified byStrong’s as 4521 that is translated as “sabbath” (King James Version).
- There are various plural variants indicated by the comment; nevertheless, Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:2, and John 20:1, 19 are particularly noteworthy.
If you look closely, you will notice that each utilizes the plural form of the term “sabbaths,” as opposed to the incorrect single translation. This illusion is initiated by taking off the “s,” which would otherwise indicate that the wordsabbath are plural.
The sequence of events that took place during that sad and glorious week of Christ’s death is unmistakable. There is only one interpretation that fully fits all of the Scriptures, and there are no conflicts in the Word of God. Follow the only timetable that is consistent with every verse surrounding these events and that is in accordance with the three-days-three-nights promise of Christ. Jesus and His followers observed the Passover on a Tuesday evening, after the sun had set. They then walked to the garden, where Jesus was apprehended and crucified.
- He was crucified at 9 a.m.
- on Wednesday afternoon.
- Jesus was laid to rest on Wednesday evening.
- Friday was the weekly preparation day, and the ladies went out and purchased and prepared spices and anointing oil in order to properly complete the burial of Jesus.
- The ladies arrived at the tomb early on Sunday morning, just as the sun was rising, to discover that Jesus had already risen.
- The days of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday add up to a total of three days in the week.
- It was on Thursday, April 26th, that the first day of Unleavened Bread was observed.
After the feast day, came Friday, April 27—the day of preparation for the weekly Sabbath, during which the ladies prepared the spices for the weekly Sabbath.
Jesus was, in reality, executed on Wednesday, buried shortly after sunset on Wednesday evening, and stayed in the tomb until just after sunset on Saturday night.
On Sunday morning, someone may inquire about the testimony of the angel who appeared at the tomb (e.g., Luke 24:1-6).
The meaning of the original Greek words can be discovered by anybody with a little detective effort, and none of them imply that Jesus was in the process of rising at the time of the writing of the Gospel of John.
It is stated that Jesus appeared to Mary, not that He was rising from the dead.
God’s Word establishes without any reasonable doubt the Messiahship of Jesus Christ.
If you have your own Bible, you can read it plainly as follows: After being buried for three days and three nights, from sunset on Wednesday until sunset on Saturday, when He was raised, Jesus was laid in the tomb.
He is the Christ; He is our Savior; He is the Son of the living God. He is the Son of the living God.
How do we understand the timing of the Great 3 Days?
How can we make sense of three days if Jesus died on Friday and rose from the dead on Sunday? Christians commemorate the salvific events of Jesus Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection over the course of three days, which we refer to as the “Great Three Days” (Triduum in Latin). The gospels all confirm that Jesus rose from the grave on the first day of the week, early in the morning. Matthew 28:1 (NIV): “After the Sabbath, when the first day of the week was beginning to rise.” Mark 16:1-2 (NIV): It was “after the Sabbath had ended.
Have questions?We have answers!
Fill out the form below to ask your questions and to view further FAQs. Luke 24:1 (ASKFAQSLuke 24:1): “It was the first day of the week at the crack of dawn.” “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark,” says John in verse 1. Sunday is the first working day of the week. The day begins with sunset in that culture, as it does throughout the Bible, rather than with dawn or midnight. Saturday’s Sabbath came to an end at dusk. Sunday officially began just after sunset. Three days may not always equate to 72 hours.
It entails three different days, which are distinguished by the arrival and departure of the sun.
- The Last Supper and the Great Commandment will be held on Thursday. The beginning of the first day is marked by the setting of the sun (Eve of Friday). Jesus is taken into custody and tried
- Friday morning: The first day continues with the execution of Jesus, his removal from the cross, and his burial
- Friday night at sundown: The second day has begun. Friday evening/Saturday morning
- Saturday (from dawn to sunset): Jesus is laid to rest in the tomb. The third day begins at sunset on Saturday. Saturday evening
- Sunday morning: The third day continues, and Jesus is risen from the grave
From at least the third century A.D., this method of determining the beginning and end of Holy Week has remained constant in Christian practice, both East and West. It was created by Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, which may be found here.
Why did Jesus Rise on the Third Day?
Derek Hiebert contributed to this article. 1 year ago today
Why did Jesus Rise on the Third Day?
As a matter of tradition, Christians have commemorated the resurrection of Jesus Christ on a Sunday, three days following the commemoration of his crucifixion on Good Friday. This three-day chronology is based on a number of allusions in the New Testament to the Old Testament. Many times, Jesus foretold it, and the apostles included it in their delivery of the gospel message as well (see footnote references). However, why did Jesus’ resurrection take place three days after his death is a mystery.
Is the third day only a coincidental, insignificant element put on to the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection?
The Third Day Matters
Timing is extremely important for Jesus and his apostles because it has significant theological ramifications. When it comes to biblical story, the three-day timeframe is important because it represents the one-of-a-kind day on which God creates new life and activates his covenant with mankind. How did the writers of the New Testament get at this conclusion?
After all, the Hebrew Scriptures have a constant “third day” design pattern, which Jesus and the New Testament authors are using as a model. Investigating this pattern for ourselves can help us gain a better understanding of the Easter celebration.
The Third Day Pattern in the Hebrew Bible
The passages Jonah 1:17 and Hosea 6:1-2 in the Hebrew Scriptures are among the clearest illustrations of third-day resurrection in the whole Bible. Jesus used Jonah’s three days in the belly of the huge fish as a metaphor for his own three days in the belly of the great fish. The prophet Hosea predicted that God’s reviving operation for Israel would take place on the third day. While these are important passages to study, the pattern of resurrection on the third day is established far earlier in the tale of Jesus.
The creation narrative in Genesis 1 and Abraham’s test in Genesis 22 both begin to develop a pattern of new life emerging on the third day.
The First “Resurrection”
The passages Jonah 1:17 and Hosea 6:1-2 in the Hebrew Scriptures are among the most explicit evidence of the third-day resurrection. When Jesus spoke of his resurrection, he made reference to Jonah’s three days in the belly of the huge fish. God’s reviving operation for Israel, according to Hosea, would take place on the third day, according to the prophetic record. However, while these are important passages to contemplate, the pattern of resurrection on the third day is established far earlier in the account of Jesus.
The creation narrative of Genesis 1 and Abraham’s test in Genesis 22 are the first two passages that begin to develop a pattern of new life emerging on the third day.
A Pattern Emerges
There are three major characteristics of the “third day” events in Genesis 1 that serve as a template for subsequent events:
- God creates new life where there once was death (1:11-13
- sGod establishes his covenant with the creatures he has newly created, in this case humans (1:28-29)
- The event takes place in Eden, which we understand as a high place from which a river flows out (2:10-14)
It is impossible to emphasize the significance of this picture and pattern, since it serves as a precedent for future resurrections to come.
Abraham’s Test on the Third Day
Is there any other place where this pattern can be found? Abraham is put to the test by God in yet another “third day” occurrence, which is one of the most interesting events in all of Scripture (Genesis 22:1-19). When God commands Abraham to present his only son Isaac as a burned offering on a mountain, the Bible states that Abraham spotted the location from a distance on the third day and proceeded to complete the test (22:4). God wants Abraham to learn to put his confidence in him when it comes to the covenant and the blessing of offspring in this scenario.
The connection to the “third day” concept is established in this passage by a strikingly dramatic act of atonement on the part of God, in which he substitutes a ram for Isaac (22:13-14).
We learn that this deed is part of a bigger covenant endeavor to increase Abraham’s descendants and, through them, bless the nations, which we will discuss later (22:17-18). On the third day, we notice the same trend as we did on the first:
- God working to bring fresh life, in this case to Isaac by his life being spared and to Abraham with the return of his son (22:11-14). (Genesis 22:17-18) God confirms his bond with Abraham, using language and ideas identical with Genesis 1:28
- (22:2, 14) This event takes place on the summit of a mountain.
Israel’s Third Day at Sinai
At a critical moment in the Bible’s narrative, we discover still another occurrence taking place on the third day. With his people just delivered from decades of tyranny in Egypt, Yahweh is on the verge of entering into another covenant with Israel, this time on a mountaintop (Exodus 19:2-3). God makes it clear that he will descend to Mount Sinai in the presence of all of the people on the “third day” mentioned above. This time is a test for Israel, just as it was for Abraham. Their preparations for entering into covenant with God are to be completed by the “third day,” when they will be ready (Exodus 19:9-16).
As a result of what we’ve seen so far with “third day,” we should have come to assume a specific pattern, which we’ve now witnessed yet another time:
- It is God who brings about new life for his people — in this case, new identity for Israel — just as he did at the creation and with Abraham and Isaac (19:4-6)
- God enters into covenant with his people, specifically Israel (19:4-6)
- God accomplishes all of this on a mountain (19:2)
- And God accomplishes all of this on a mountain (19:2).
And that is exactly what we see in the tale! The rest of Israel’s experience in the Hebrew Scriptures, on the other hand, is defined by rebellion and disbelief, as well as a failure to fulfill their half of the agreement. This leads us back to the prophetic texts that refer to the third day, such as Hosea and Jonah, which we discussed before.
Hosea’s Hope, Jonah’s ‘Resurrection’
By returning to these prophets, we get a more complete picture of the “third day” and the tremendous imagery of resurrection that it evokes, as well as its relationship to God’s covenant with Abraham. A typical prophetic phrase for repentance toward covenant integrity is “return to Yahweh,” which Hosea uses to exhort Israel to do, and he also provides them hope in the form of resurrection language (Hosea 6:1-2). This restoration to the covenant will be marked by a renewal of life, as well as our resurrection as a people into the life of Yahweh, which will take place on the “third day,” in accordance with our pattern.
In many respects, the story of Jonah and his failure is a metaphor for the story of Israel.
In the third day, he vomits Jonah out of the fish, bringing him back to life in one of the most bizarre “resurrections” recorded in the Bible.
Jesus Predicts a Third Day Resurrection
In the Gospels, we find Jesus speaking of a third-day resurrection while he is discussing his death with his followers, which leads us to believe that he would rise from the dead on the third day. In fact, he refers to “three days” a total of 21 times! By now, you’ve undoubtedly figured out that this was not a coincidental choice of words. It is on the third day that Jesus was adamant, since it signifies God’s initiative in the creation of new life and the establishment of a covenant with mankind.
- Specifically, God raises fresh life from the earth (tomb), in this case, Jesus. God acts to bring about the new covenant via Jesus’ atoning death and resurrection, which in this case is for the benefit of everyone who believe in him. The act of atonement performed by Jesus takes place on a hill.
With the imagery of new life coming up from the earth in Genesis 1-2 on the third day, combined with the connection to the divine covenant found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, the imagery of Jesus’ resurrection paints a striking picture of the theological importance of his resurrection. The significance of Jesus’ resurrection is underscored even further on the third day.
It is the culmination of God’s mission of new life and covenant, which has been brilliantly represented since the beginning of time, and which will culminate in the future resurrection of Jesus’ disciples and the restoration of the entire universe at the conclusion of time.
So what does this mean for us?
This year, as we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, we are not just carrying on a centuries-old tradition. We are engaged in a profoundly important theology centered on the third day, with all of the implications of God’s redeeming work that it entails, at this time. The design pattern for the third day serves as a reminder that God has begun the process of reviving individuals to new life and bringing them into his covenant partnership with them. What role are we going to play in it today?
April 3, AD 33: Why We Believe We Can Know the Exact Date Jesus Died
In our book, The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived, Justin Taylor and I make an educated guess as to the date of Jesus’ crucifixion, but we do not argue for or against it. For a variety of factors, virtually all academics think that Jesus was executed in the spring of either AD 30 or AD 33, with the majority preferring the former. As a result of the astronomical data, the alternatives are reduced to AD 27, 30, 33, or 34). However, we would want to present our case for the date of Friday, April 3, AD 33, as the precise day on which Christ died in our place as atonement for our sins.
However, this does not rule out the possibility of understanding or importance.
No one makes this argument more forcefully than Luke, the Gentile physician who became a historian and inspired recorder of early Christianity.
The Year John the Baptist’s Ministry Began
In Luke’s account, John the Baptist began his public ministry soon before Jesus did, and the author provides us with a historical reference point for when the Baptist’s ministry began: “in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign.” (See Luke 3:16). It is known from ancient Roman history that Tiberius succeeded Augustus as emperor on August 19, AD 14 and was approved by the Roman Senate on the same day. He reigned until the year AD 37. “The fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign” appears to be a straightforward date, but there are some ambiguities, beginning with when one begins the calculation.
Most likely, Tiberius’ reign was measured from the day he assumed office in AD 14 or from the first day of January of the following year, AD 15 (whichever came first).
When Tiberius’ “fifteenth year” began, it might have begun as early as August 19, AD 28, and it may have finished as late as December 31, AD 29, depending on the date of his death. So John the Baptist’s ministry began anywhere between the middle of AD 28 and the beginning of AD 29.
The Year Jesus’s Ministry Began
Because the Gospels appear to suggest that Jesus began his ministry not long after John, the most likely date for Jesus’ baptism would be late in AD 28 at the absolute earliest, according to the calculations above. Nevertheless, it seems more likely that it occurred somewhere around the first half of the year AD 29, because a few months had probably gone between the beginning of John’s career and the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (and the year AD 30 is the latest possible date). As a result, Jesus’ career must have began somewhere between the end of AD 28 and the beginning of AD 30 at the earliest.
The most plausible dates for Jesus’ birth are 6 or 5 BC, which means he would have been roughly thirty-two to thirty-four years old in late AD 28 to early AD 30.
The Length of Jesus’s Ministry
To determine how long Jesus’ public ministry lasted, we must first determine how long Jesus’ public ministry lasted. If Jesus’ public ministry lasted two or more years, it appears that the spring of AD 30 cannot be considered as a plausible date for the crucifixion. The Gospel of John records that Jesus attended at least three (perhaps four) Passovers, which were held once a year in the spring and were as follows:
- In Jerusalem, at the beginning of his public ministry (John 2:13–23)
- In Galilee, during the midpoint of his public career (John 6:4)
- And in Bethlehem, at the end of his public ministry (John 6:4). In Jerusalem, at the conclusion of his public ministry, that is, at the time of his crucifixion (John 11:55
- 12:1), there was a final Passover celebration. And it’s possible that Jesus attended another Passover that wasn’t reported in the Gospel of John, but was documented in one or more of the Synoptic Gospels (i.e., Matthew, Mark, and Luke)
This would make a date of a.d. 30 all but impossible as the date of Jesus’ crucifixion, even if there were only three Passovers in all. As previously stated, the earliest possible date for the beginning of Jesus’ career, according to Luke 3:1, is late in the first century AD. The first of these Passovers (which occurred at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry; John 2:13) would happen on Nisan 15 in the year 29 (since Nisan is in March/April, around the beginning of a year), which would be the first of these Passovers in the year 29.
If Jesus’ ministry corresponded with at least three Passovers, and if the first Passover occurred in AD 29, this suggests that he could not have been executed in ad 30, as previously thought.
The Passovers in the book of John would thus take place on the following dates:
|Nisan 15||AD 30||John 2:13|
|Nisan 15||AD 31||Either the unnamed feast in John 5:1 or else a Passover that John does not mention (but that may be implied in the Synoptics)|
|Nisan 15||AD 32||John 6:4|
|Nisan 15||AD 33||John 11:55, the Passover at which Jesus was crucified|
Jesus Was Crucified on the Day of Preparation for the Passover
It is also mentioned by the apostle John that Jesus was crucified on “the day of Preparation” (John 19:31), which corresponds to the Friday before the Sabbath of the Passover week (Mark 15:42). Earlier in the day, on Thursday evening, Jesus had a Passover meal with the Twelve (Mark 14:12), which is referred to as his “Last Supper.” Passover always falls on the fifteenth day of Nisan (Exodus 12:6), according to the Pharisaic-rabbinic calendar that was generally used in Jesus’ day. According to this calendar, Passover begins on Thursday after sundown and finishes on Friday after nightfall.
33, the year in which the crucifixion is most likely to have occurred, the most likely date for Jesus’ crucifixion is April 3 in the year a.d.
33, also known as the year of Jesus’ crucifixion. Accordingly, we created the following chart in The Final Days of Jesus to indicate the dates for Jesus’ final week in the year a.d. 33, which is shown below:
|April 2||Nissan 14||Thursday (Wednesday nightfall to Thursday nightfall)||Day of Passover preparation||Last Supper|
|April 3||Nissan 15||Friday (Thursday nightfall to Friday nightfall)||Passover; Feast of Unleavened Bread, begins||Crucifixion|
|April 4||Nissan 16||Saturday (Friday nightfall to Saturday nightfall)||Sabbath|
|April 5||Nissan 17||Sunday (Saturday nightfall to Sunday nightfall)||First day of the week||Resurrection|
The computations in the preceding section may look difficult, but in a nutshell, the reasoning goes as follows:
|Beginning of Tiberius’s reign||AD 14|
|Fifteenth year of Tiberius’s reign:Beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry||AD 28|
|A few months later:Beginning of Jesus’s ministry||AD 29|
|Minimum three-year duration of Jesus’ ministry:Most likely date of Jesus’s crucifixion||AD 33 (April 3)|
While this is, in our opinion, the most plausible scenario, it should be noted that many people think Jesus was killed in the year AD 30, rather than the year AD 33, as we have said. If, on the other hand, the beginning of Tiberius’ rule is set at the year AD 14, it becomes nearly difficult to fit fifteen years of Tiberius’ reign and three years of Jesus’ ministry between AD 14 and AD 30, as is the case. As a result, some have speculated that Tiberius and Augustus shared co-regency (combined rule) during the last few years of Augustus’ reign.
As a result, we believe that Jesus was most likely crucified on April 3, AD 33, as previously stated.
Because of this, when we celebrate Easter and walk with Jesus every day of the year, we may be certain that our faith is founded not just on subjective personal confidence, but also on solid historical evidence, which makes our faith a perfectly rational faith.
Crossway’s executive vice president and publisher for books, Justin Taylor, holds this position.