How Long Was Jesus on the Cross?
Anyone who is familiar with the Easter story recognizes that Jesus’ death on the cross was a terrible event for a variety of reasons, including his humanity. There are few things that can be said about the crucifixion that do not make you cringe at the physical and mental suffering that Jesus went through, let alone witnessing it in person through a Passion Play or film such as “The Passion of the Christ.” Although we are familiar with the events surrounding Jesus’ death on the crucifixion, we may not fully comprehend the length of time Jesus was forced to suffer the agony and humiliation of the cross.
We can, however, discover the solution by investigating the Easter tale through the lens of numerous stories in the Gospels.
on a wooden beam and then hanged on a cross for three hours: 22They took Jesus to a spot known as Golgotha (which literally translates as “the place of the skull”).
24And then they nailed him to the cross.
- 25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they nailed Jesus on the cross.
- And the temple’s curtain was split in two by the earthquake.
- When he had finished speaking, he took his last breath.
- As a result, Jesus was crucified for almost 6 hours.
- According to historical records, it was customary for victims of Roman crucifixions to remain on their crosses for two or three days before succumbing to their injuries and dying.
- So, what caused Jesus to die in such a short period of time, only six hours?
- One hypothesis is that Jesus was subjected to a tremendous amount of suffering and abuse at the hands of the Roman soldiers before being nailed on the cross of Calvary.
- What ever the circumstance may be, we must never forget that nothing was taken away from Jesus on the cross.
All He did was offer His life consciously and freely so that everyone might have an equal shot at experiencing forgiveness from the consequences of their sins and spending an eternity with God in paradise. This is the gospel’s message to the world.
Why Jesus Died So Quickly on the Cross
Of the many non-Christian explanations for the Resurrection, the “Swoon Theory” is amongst the most popular. If Jesus didn’t really die on the cross, His alleged “resurrection” is really nothing more than a remarkable “resuscitation”. Those who doubt Jesus’ death often point to the short amount of time Jesus spent on the cross prior to dying. Victims of crucifixion typically died slowly as a result of their pain, exposure to the environment, and lack of food or water. But Jesus only spent six hours on the cross; his rapid death was unusual given that some historical references to crucifixiondescribe it as lasting several days.
The Apostle John said the two criminals crucified alongside Jesus were still alive six hours after they were crucified so “the soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other” to make sure they would die before the Sabbath (John 19:31-34).
- Why then, did Jesus die so quickly on the cross?
- Jesus pre-crucifixion experience was unusual given Hisidentityandclaims.
- This wasn’t the case for every victim of crucifixion.
- When he refused to answer the high priest in the manner they expected, Jesus was struck by an officer: John 18:21-22 “Why do you question Me?
- Not every prisoner made these kinds of assertions.
- They Scourged Him In another unusual turn of events, Pontius Pilate received Jesus from the Jewish rulers and appeared troubled about sentencing Jesus to crucifixion.
- But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?” So they cried out again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas.” Now Barabbas was a robber.
Pilate said to them, “Behold, the Man!” So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.” Pilate scourged Jesus violently in an effort to pacify a crowd that wanted to kill Jesus.
- Mel Gibson’sPassion of the Christlikely captured the brutality of the whipping.
- A beating with a Roman scourge left victims bloody and severely injured.
- Jesus was likely scourged to within an inch of His life.
- They pushed a crown of thorns on his head and eventually beat Him with a reed: Matthew 27:30 And after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they kneeled down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!
- They Forced Him to Carry His Cross Jesus was now injured dramatically, yet the Roman soldiers demanded He carry His cross to the site of the crucifixion in spite of his condition.
- As a result, Simon of Cyrene was pressed into service to help Jesus carry the cross: Matthew 27:32 And as they were coming out, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon, whom they pressed into service to bear His cross.
- His path to the cross was very different than theirs, however.
And sitting down, they began to keep watch over Him there.
As a result, his early death is reasonable and expected.
Anyone beaten as badly as Jesus in the hours prior to his crucifixion would surely have suffered circulatory shock and heart failure in a short period of time on the cross.
Jesus died more quickly than other crucifixion victims because of his unique pre-crucifixion experience.
We can be confident Jesus died on the cross and was truly resurrected rather than resuscitated.
This book teaches readers ten principles of cold-case investigations and applies these strategies to investigate the claims of the gospel authors.
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How Many Hours Did Jesus Suffer on the Cross?
Generally speaking, it is believed that Jesus endured on the Cross for three hours before to His death. Although this assertion is incorrect, it is also predicated on the assumption that the testimony of the synoptic Gospels (St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke) contradicts the testimony of St. John’s Gospel. Ultimately, the goal of this article is to determine what is causing the confusion about the length of time that Jesus suffered on the Cross, to determine the actual length of time that our Lord suffered on the Cross, and to resolve the issue by demonstrating that there is no contradiction between the testimonies of St.
- It appears that there is a conflict between the Gospel of St.
- John over the date on which Jesus was crucified, which is the basis of the uncertainty.
- Mark 15:25 expressly specifies that Jesus was crucified at the “third hour,” which corresponds to 9:00 a.m.
- Saint John’s Gospel claims that Jesus was on trial and turned over to be executed at the “sixth hour,” which would be noon if St.
- As a result, because St.
- Mark 15:33-37, and St.
- John 19:14 from the Gospel of St.
- However, according to the Gospels of St.
- Mark 15:33, and St.
- For example, how is it possible that the Gospel of St.
- It appears that the synoptic Gospels are in accord on the specifics of the Crucifixion in this passage:
- When Jesus was crucified, the world went dark during the “third hour” (9:00 AM) — St.Mark 15:25
- When Jesus was hanging on the Cross, the world went dark during the “sixth hour” (12:00 PM) — St.Matthew 27:45
- When Jesus died on the Cross, the world went dark during the “ninth hour” — St.Matthew 27:46-50, St.Mark 15:33-37, and St.Luk
While the Gospel of St. John appears to be at odds with the synoptic Gospels in the following ways: It was the sixth hour of the day of preparation for the Passover, and it was the day of preparation for the Passover. “Behold your King!” he said to the assembled Jews. They chanted, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” they screamed out. “Do you want me to crucify your King?” Pilate inquired of them. As a response, the leading priests said, “We have no sovereign save Caesar.” Then he gave him over to them, who crucified him on the cross.
He carried his own cross to this location.
That is where he and two others were crucified alongside him with Jesus sandwiched in the middle between the two. 14-18 (St. John 19:14-18) (RSV) As a result, the assertion that Jesus suffered on the Cross for three hours must be taken to imply three things:
- Concerning the time of the events surrounding the Crucifixion, the evidence of the synoptic Gospels is at odds with the witness of John’s gospel. The Gospel of John provides accurate information about the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, but the synoptic Gospels provide inaccurate information. The synoptic Gospels are right regarding the date of Jesus’ death, despite the fact that they were incorrect about the day of His crucifixion and the date on which the world went black.
These three fundamental assumptions, on the other hand, are extremely troublesome since the Catholic Church holds that Sacred Scripture is without error. “Since, therefore, all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as being affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, desired to be confided to the Sacred Scriptures,” states paragraph 107 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).
- John cannot be reconciled with the testimony of the synoptic Gospels, including the specifics of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.
- John’s witness and the testimony of the synoptic Gospels, assuming they cannot be in contradiction?
- What if St.
- What if St.
- As a result, if the synoptic Gospels are referring to Jewish time and the Gospel of John is referring to Roman time, the Gospel stories are completely consistent.
- St.John 19:14states that Jesus is still on trial and is turned over for crucifixion during the “sixth hour” Roman time (6:00 AM), i.e., He begins bearing His Cross
- St.Mark 15:25states that Jesus was crucified during the “third hour” Jewish time (6:00 AM) (9:00 AM). There are three hours between the conclusion of Jesus’ trial and the time He is actually nailed to the Cross
- St. Matthew 27:45, St. Mark 15:33, and St. Luke 23:44state that the world turned dark during the “sixth hour” Jewish time (12:00 PM)
- St. Matthew 27:46-50, St. Mark 15:33-37, and St. Luke 23:44-46state that Jesus gave His life during the “ninth hour” Jewish time (3:00 PM)
With this perspective, we can clearly see that there is no conflict between the Gospel of St. John and the synoptic Gospels, and as a result, this interpretation sustains the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture, which the Church recognizes in CCC 107. Please study the following chart, which depicts the approximate link between Jewish time and Roman time, and always remember that the Gospel of St. John refers to Roman time, whilst the synoptic Gospels relate to Jewish time: Hours and Watches, for a better understanding of this.
” Recognition of these truths exposes something quite intriguing!
However, the manner in which we count hours and days differs from the manner in which the people of Jesus’ day numbered hours and days.
A counting series, on the other hand, always began with the number one. So, what precisely does that imply and imply? The distinction is as follows:
- Modern counting is as follows: 9:00 AM equals 0 hours
- 10:00 AM equals 1 hour
- 11:00 AM equals 2 hours
- 12:00 PM equals 3 hours
- 1:00 PM equals 4 hours
- 2:00 PM equals 5 hours
- 3:00 PM equals 6 hours.
- For example, if you are counting during the time of Jesus, 9:00 AM is one hour, 10:00 AM is two hours, 11:00 AM is three hours, 12:00 PM is four hours, 1:00 PM is five hours, 2:00 PM is six hours, and 3:00 PM is seven hours.
“The History of Zero:How was zero discovered?” by Nils-Bertil Wallin provides further information on the origin of the zero placeholder. Jesus’ suffering on the Cross lasted seven hours, according to the Gospel writers and their intended audience, which is a considerable amount of time in history. Why? The reason for this is because Jesus simultaneously fulfilled the Old Covenant while also transforming it into a new covenant, and the Old Covenant was comprised of seven agreements between God and man.
- Isn’t it fascinating how God works in mysterious ways?!
- When the Gospel stories are read in their correct context, this knowledge is gained.
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How long was Jesus on the cross?
QuestionAnswer Jesus was nailed on the cross for almost six hours. “He was ridiculed by the top priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.” The critics pointed out that he had saved others, but that he was unable to save himself! He’s the king of Israel, after all! Allow him to come down from the cross at this time, and we will believe in him. He places his faith in God. ‘Let God rescue him now, if he so desires, for he has declared himself to be the Son of God,'” Matthew 27:41–43. The crucifixion was a way of carrying out the death punishment in the ancient Roman Empire for people judged guilty of a deadly charge.
- In order to destroy Jesus and keep their authority, the Jewish theocrats planned a strategy to persuade Roman authorities that Jesus had to be slain, which they executed (Mark 14:1; cf.
- The Jewish authorities accused Christ of inciting revolt and establishing Himself as King, charges that he denied and denied again.
- Crucifixion was intended not just to kill, but also to deter others from engaging in illegal activity.
- The cross had a stigma attached to it, and Jewish law stated that it was a curse (Galatians 3:13; 5:11).
- Following their nailing to a cross, some persons may be able to survive for several days afterward, depending on the circumstances.
- The Jewish calendar is used by Matthew, Mark, and Luke to keep track of time.
- In accordance with Jewish tradition, Mark writes, “They crucified him and divided his clothing among themselves, casting lots for them to choose what each should receive.” When they crucified Jesus, it was the third hour, according to Mark 15:24–25 (New International Version).
Matthew, who also used the Jewish method of timekeeping, states that “from the sixth hour to the ninth hour, there was darkness over all the country” (Matthew 6:6-9).
That is, from 12:00 noon to 3:00 P.M., there was complete darkness.
Then, at the conclusion of that period, “after Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he surrendered his spirit” (Matthew 27:50).
For a total of six hours, Jesus had been hanging on the cross, beginning at roughly 9:00 a.m.
The Gospel of John includes the information that Jesus’ trial before Pontius Pilate was taking place at “around the sixth hour,” according to Roman time (John 19:14, ESV).
As a result, using the Roman system, “around the sixth hour” equals approximately 6:00 a.m.
Then, according to the Jewish calendar, “the third hour” is 9:00 a.m.
“the sixth hour” is equivalent to 12:00 p.m.
The night has come.
Jesus is put to death.
Putting everything together, Jesus’ trial came to a close about 6:00 a.m. Approximately three hours later, his crucifixion began, and He died approximately six hours after that. Questions regarding Jesus Christ (return to top of page) What was the length of Jesus’ time on the cross?
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How long was Jesus on the cross?
ClarifyShareReport Asked Anonymous on July 1, 2013 (via GotQuestions) The responses from the community are arranged according to how many people voted for them. The greater the number of votes, the higher the position of an answer on the list. Jesus was nailed on the cross for almost six hours. “He was ridiculed by the top priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.” The critics pointed out that he had saved others, but that he was unable to save himself! He’s the king of Israel, after all!
- Responses received on July 1st, 20132 Vote for it, share it, and report it.
- Jesus was nailed on the cross for around 6 hours.
- Because of his foresight, Jesus, on the other hand, was under increasing and tremendous stress in the days leading up to His death.
- In the course of a single night, he was detained, tied, and hauled through various court appearances while being beaten, tortured, and tormented by his captors.
- Jesus was a tough specimen, in contrast to the slender and effeminate image that is sometimes presented.
- Having rock-hard hands and feet, he would have seemed to be robust and untamed.
- The equivalent of walking around the world over steep semi-mountainous terrain, traveling gravel, dirt, and rock roads, by the time of his death had been completed by the time of his death.
His core would have been tight and powerful, and his walk would have been upright, with his shoulders square to the ground.
When walking on concrete like that at the Temple, his grasp would be firm and his footfall would be light and springlike.
As a result of this, the troops were forced to use dice to split his clothing because there was no easy method to divide it and it would lose its worth if it was torn apart.
Kenneth Heck is an American businessman and philanthropist.
to 3 p.m.
However, because Christ was already dead, one of the soldiers punctured his side, puncturing his heart.
After this, Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate to take away the corpse of Jesus, as it was then known he had died; Pilate consented, so he took the body from the cross in preparation for burial.
November 01 20160 responsesVote UpShareReport Jack GutknechtABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church Jesus was then hung between 2 convicted thieves and, according to the Gospel of Mark, died some 6 hours later.
Jesus calls out to God, then gives a shout and dies.
June 09 20190 responses Vote for it, share it, and report it.
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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.
How many hours was Jesus on the cross?
The Romans devised the crucifixion as a method of execution in order to murder, torment, and humiliate their victims. Some victims died after being nailed to a cross for several days. Jesus was crucified for around six hours before he was killed. The Romans began each day’s hours at the stroke of midnight. According to the Roman calendar, Jesus’ trial began about the sixth hour, or 6 a.m., according to the gospel of John (John 19:14). Every day begins at 6 a.m., according to the Jewish calendar, which the Gospel writers Matthew, Mark, and Luke follow.
- From the sixth hour to the ninth hour, or from midday to 3 p.m., according to Matthew, the day changed to nightfall (Matthew 27:45).
- A Roman soldier poked a spear into Jesus’ side to determine whether or not He was indeed dead, and He was thereafter brought down from the cross (John 19:34–38).
- to approximately 3 p.m., Jesus was hanging on the cross.
- What day of the week did Jesus die on the cross?
- What are some of the reasons why I should believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
- Return to the page: The Truth About Jesus Christ.
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.
The level of craftsmanship with which The Gospel According to Matthewwas written never ceases to astound me. This isn’t simply some haphazard attempt by a lone individual to document the events of his life. No, Matthew wasn’t a shady writer in the traditional sense. Mattew put together a masterpiece that, like any genuinely great narrative, instills perspective and inspires understanding while constantly directing us to the true Christ. He was inspired by the Holy Spirit and learned from Jesus’ brilliance by actually walking with Him and learning from His teaching.
Matthew’s Gospel points us in the right way in this regard.
Revealing Christ is our current series where we are delving further into the Scriptures of Matthew 15:29 – 17:23, where Peter declared Jesus to be “the Christ, the Son of God,” and where Peter, James, and John witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration.
As we approach the first of three instances on which Jesus prophesied both His death and resurrection to His followers, I’d like to take a minute to look forward to these three occurrences in particular.
3 Times Jesus Foretold His DeathResurrection
It is in Matthew 16:21 (ESV) that we find the first prophecy, which states: “From that point on, Jesus started to teach his followers that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elder and chief priest and scribes, and be crucified, and on the third day be risen.” (Matthew 16:21, English Standard Version) Matthew distinguishes this section from the others by beginning it with the words “From that time.” The usage of this word earlier in the book, when Matthew uses it to stress the commencement and direction of Jesus’ mission while stating His primary message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” may bring this phrase back to your memory (Matthew 4:17 ESV).
- In the same way, Matthew used the word in this passage to call our attention to the direction in which Jesus’ ministry is now heading.
- “You are the Christ, the Son of God,” Peter responded when Jesus went further and asked who the disciples believed He was (Matthew 16:16 ESV).
- This prophecy of His own death and resurrection aimed to let people recognize Him as Christ in the proper light, for to confess Him as Christ while denying Him the cross would be to have incorrect expectations of what He was capable of.
- I promise you that this will never happen to you” (Matthew 16:22 ESV).
I can’t help but think of the scene from The Chronicles of Narnia: When it comes to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, In the middle of the night, Susan and Lucy are strolling with Aslan through the woods, gripping his mane and falling in love with him, only to realize that they are actually travelling with him to the Stone Table.
- Of course, the news that Jesus imparted would be devastating to Peter and the rest of the disciples.
- There is good news beyond Jesus’ death, although it appears to have escaped Peter’s awareness, and that good news is that Jesus will be risen from the grave on the third day.
- Death, on the other hand, having been overcome, shows Him to be the genuine and better King; the suffering Servant promised by the prophet Isaiah.
- Not only do we read the recorded interaction between Jesus and His followers, but as we read the tale, our gaze is drawn to the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ as well.
- In Matthew 17, Jesus foreshadowed the events leading up to His own death and resurrection for the second time.
- Matthew, on the other hand, goes on to describe two further events in which Jesus disclosed these truths to His followers.
A few of the disciples had just witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration and heard the voice of the Father saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” In this second instance, the disciples had actually just witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration and heard the Father say, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; listen to Him” (Matt.
At the very least, Jesus’ motivation to live and die in complete surrender to His Father’s will, knowing that His Father’s goals and mission are the best shows itself in this prophecy when considered in its context.
You will notice that there was no reply this time; there was simply distress, and because Matthew’s account moves on to a different scenario directly after this paragraph, we should feel the weight of this essential pause at the end of this verse in Matthew 17:22-23 (ESV): In Galilee, while they were assembling, Jesus appeared to them and told them, “The Son of Man is going to be put into the hands of mankind, and they will murder him, and he will be risen on the third day.” And they were in a great deal of anguish.
Third and last point: Jesus’ prophecies about His own death and resurrection add to the dramatic tension of this most ultimate of redemption stories.
Let’s get ready.” After that, the Son of Man will be handed up to the chief priests and scribes, who will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles to be ridiculed, flogged, and crucified, after which he will be resurrected on the third day.” Jesus and His followers had embarked on a journey to the city of Jerusalem from Galilee.
- Jesus had not informed them when or where His death and resurrection would take place; all He had told them was that it was coming, that it was essential, and that He was fully committed to the mission.
- By the time they arrived at their final objective of Jerusalem, which they were well on their way there, the time for these occurrences would have come.
- To some extent, this proof of His foresight speaks volumes about His divinity, and Matthew is surely conveying this point for his audience with this storyline.
- The betrayal and execution of Jesus would be gruesome, with beatings, blood, and a crucifixion among the many horrors that would befall him.
There would be no such thing as a half-hearted belief. You’d have to be completely convinced that Jesus is who He claims to be, that His is the only path to genuine life, and that it’s definitely worth it to push through the muck and gloom in order to see the beauty.
Moving Forward Together
When we reach this third passage at Redemption Church, as we make our way through Matthew, we will be beginning to observe Lent together. We don’t usually do a lot in the way of observing Lent here, but as Advent is to Christmas so Lent is to the Passion of Christ and Resurrection Sunday. It is a time of preparation, and we will be encouraging us all to walk through that season with some intentionality; knowing that at the end of the road there is a bloody cross and our Saviour, who rose from the grave and is God with us.
As we see Jesus more clearly as the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior, may we see that for any of that to be true He had to go the way of the cross.
May we prepare ourselves on purpose then to answer the call for His glory and our joy as we find that there is plentiful grace and redemption for us all as we lean into the brokenness and mess that lies before us.