What day of the week was Jesus crucified?
Friday is traditionally considered to be the day on which Jesus was crucified. While some current academics believe that He was crucified on Wednesday or Thursday, others believe that He was crucified earlier. The theories’ supporting arguments are discussed in further detail below. The Gospels claim that Jesus died on the day before the Sabbath, which lends support to the notion of a Friday crucifixion. “And when evening had come, because it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself seeking the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus,” Mark 15:42-43 says.
As a result, it appears that Mark is explicitly referring to Christ’s death on Friday.
In Jewish timekeeping, a portion of a day was treated as if it were a whole day.
In Matthew 16:21 and Luke 9:22, we learn that Jesus foretold His own death and resurrection on the third day.
It is in this passage that Jesus declares, “For just as Jonah was swallowed up by a colossal fish for three days and nights, so will the Son of Man be swallowed up by the earth for three days and nights.” Because Jesus was not in the grave for “three nights,” some believe that either Jesus’ prediction was incorrect or that the crucifixion took place sooner than Friday as stated in the Bible.
- The scripture stating that Jesus would be in the grave for three days and three nights does not necessarily imply that He would be in the dead for exactly 72 hours as stated in the Bible.
- Jesus’ connection to Jonah’s story was intended to convey the idea that Jesus, like Jonah, would appear to have passed away from this world.
- In addition, some who argue for a Thursday or Wednesday date believe that there were too many events that occurred between the crucifixion and the resurrection for the time period to be accurate.
- The incidents might have taken place between Friday and Sunday, according to a thorough investigation of the evidence.
- After the first one, which happened on the evening of the crucifixion (Mark 15:42; Luke 23:52-54), the ladies went out and bought spices (Mark 15:42; Luke 23:52-54).
- According to this interpretation, the Passover was the first Sabbath, and the normal Sabbath (Saturday) followed only a few days later.
- And, based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, it appears that He was crucified on Friday, rather than the previous day.
- What are the meanings of Christ’s last seven statements, and what are they about?
What happened to Jesus during the three days that elapsed between His death and resurrection? 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.
On what day of the week was Jesus crucified?
Although the Bible does not specify the day of the week on which Jesus was crucified, the two most frequently accepted theories are that it occurred either on Wednesday or on Friday of that week. It has been suggested that He was crucified on a Thursday, which some believe is a reasonable compromise. “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a great fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the center of the earth,” Jesus declared in reference to Himself (Matthew 12:40).
What’s three days?
Also controversial is the definition of “three days” in the important texts that speak of Christ’s resurrection, which is disputed by certain scholars. When it came to counting days, the Jewish thinking at the time was that even half days were still considered as one day. For those passages, some versions include the phrase “on the third day,” but not all of them. Not to mention the fact that not everyone believes that the phrase “on the third day” is an accurate translation of those texts. In fact, Mark 8:31 states that Jesus will be raised “after” three days, not “before.” In numerous ways, depending on which side of the argument is being advanced, the concept of “three days” can be expanded.
The Argument for Friday
Those who argue for the crucifixion taking place on a Friday do so in the context of the Jewish thinking of the historical period we discussed before, which renders the notion of “day” somewhat ambiguous. To put it another way, it might be considered three days if Jesus was buried for a portion of Friday, all of Saturday, and then a portion of Sunday. Mark 15:42, which states that Jesus was killed “the day before the Sabbath,” is one text that supports a Friday crucifixion. If this was referring to the weekly Sabbath (which is kept on Saturdays), then the crucifixion would have occurred on Friday.
“On the third day,” according to both scriptures, Jesus would be raised from the dead.
The Argument for Thursday
When arguing for the Thursday Crucifixion, proponents employ an enlarged understanding of the phrase “three days.” As an illustration: Consider the following scenario: you visit your friend after school on Monday, but he is missing from school every day until you see him in the morning on Thursday. “I haven’t seen you in three days!” you could exclaim, despite the fact that officially it has only been 60 hours (2.5 days). If Jesus was crucified on Thursday evening, this would explain how they were able to claim that it took three days to execute him.
Some have estimated that up to 20 events take place within the timeframe, with one of those days being the Sabbath (Saturday), during which Jews were ordered to take time off from their work. Having an extra day or two would alleviate the difficulty with the timing.
The Argument for Wednesday
According to the reasoning presented on Wednesday, Jews kept TWO Sabbaths that week due to Passover (Mark 15:42; Luke 23:52-54). The Old Testament has evidence that the high holy days of Passover were referred to as “Sabbath” days, despite the fact that they did not occur on the seventh day of the week. (See Leviticus 16:29-31, Leviticus 23:24-32, and Leviticus 39.) The first Sabbath would have occurred on the evening of Jesus’ crucifixion, according to tradition. The second Sabbath would have been the usual weekly Sabbath, as was the case previously.
- If there were two Sabbaths, they would be able to do so.
- With this interpretation of two Sabbaths and a Wednesday crucifixion, we are able to resolve the problem of the biblical story of the women and the spices while maintaining a literal interpretation of Matthew 12:40.
- The holiday of Passover was observed from sunset Wednesday to sunset Thursday (the first Sabbath).
- In Israel, Jews keep their weekly Sabbath from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday; hence, this was the second Sunday in a seven-day period, and so the ladies would have rested.
- Although the Bible does not specify the precise moment He rose from the dead, we do know that it was before Sunday morning since that is when the women came back.
- One of the problems with the Wednesday crucifixion argument is found in the book of Luke, chapter 24.
- While telling Him about Jesus’ crucifixion (Luke 24:21), they don’t recognize Him and say, referring to the fact that “this is the third day since these things occurred.” If we count the days from Wednesday to Sunday, we have four days in all.
I understand that it’s all a little complicated since we don’t have a specific Scripture reference that tells us what day of the week it is at this point. Scholars attempted to piece together all of the evidence, but came up with a variety of conflicting interpretations. The fact that Jesus was killed on a specific day of the week doesn’t really important when we look at the broader picture, though. It seems likely that God would have made that knowledge available to us quite simply through His Word if it was vital for us to know (1 Corinthians 14:33).
At the end of the day, what counts is whether or not we think Jesus is who He claims to be, that the events that transpired during this time period actually occurred, and what those events mean to us as Christians.
It makes no difference whether Jesus was killed on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. No matter what day it was, we may be certain that it DID happen, and that we have been blessed with the greatest gift that anybody could ever receive: salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Although the Bible does not specify the day of the week on which Jesus was crucified, the most frequently accepted theories are that it occurred on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday of that week. We know that there were three days between Jesus’ crucifixion and His resurrection (Matthew 12:40), but the exact day on which the crucifixion took place is still up for discussion. And it’s completely inconsequential. What counts in the end is whether or not we believe that Jesus is who He claims to be, that the events that transpired during this time period occurred as they were said to have occurred, and what those events signify to us as believers: salvation via Jesus Christ.
Writer/Editor: Catiana N.K.
Cat is the web producer and editor for 412teens.org. She has a background in journalism. She enjoys listening to audiobooks, cooking for the people she cares about, and illuminating a place with Christmas lights. Catiana likes spending time with her two teenage children, five socially awkward cats, and her incredible friend-family when she is not writing, cooking, or sketching.
Was Jesus Crucified on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
Everyone is aware that Jesus was killed on the Friday before Easter, right? And, of course, we’ve always commemorated His crucifixion on the Friday before Easter Sunday, haven’t we, throughout history? Is Friday, however, the proper day? Is a Friday crucifixion permissible according to Scripture? Or do the Feasts of the Lord signal the beginning of a new day? And what about the words of Jesus? Is it feasible that the crucifixion took place on a Wednesday or a Thursday instead of Tuesday? What does the Bible tell about the world?
A Weak Friday
In the Bible, there is virtually little proof that Jesus was crucified on Friday. The following verse provides the most significant support for it: 15:42 (Matthew 15:42) And now that the time had arrived, because it was the day before the Sabbath, which meant it was the preparation day. It is important to remember that the Jewish day began in the evening hours (at dark) and ended at the conclusion of the day’s daylight (signified by nightfall of the next day). Accordingly, on Saturday at nightfall (which we would consider Friday night), the Jews observed their weekly Sabbath, which lasted through Saturday’s late afternoon and evening (which the Jews would consider the beginning of Sunday).
Every weekly Sabbath was preceded by a day of preparation on the day before it.
The day before the Sabbath, according to Mark 15:42, was the day of preparation, and Jesus was crucified on that day.
Is this, however, correct?
Additional Sabbath Days
In addition to the weekly Sabbath, there are a number of additional Sabbaths to observe. Weekly Sabbaths and extra Holy Days of Convocation were proclaimed by God to be a time of rest for His people, and God decreed rest for His people. These Sabbaths are collectively referred to as “seasons” (Genesis 1:14) or “God’s allotted periods” (Leviticus 23:2), and they include the following: Sabbaths are observed on a weekly basis. The Fifty-two Days of Passover: 7 Shavout, the Feast of the Seventh Day of the Weeks (Pentecost) 1st of Teruah (Twelfth of Teruah) (Feast of Trumpets) 1st of October is Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) Sukkot is celebrated for one week (Feast of Tabernacles) Shimini Atzeret is a one-person band from Israel (8th Day of Assembly) 1 day is equal to 70 Sabbaths.
Because Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation, it was thought to have occurred in the afternoon on Friday the thirteenth. There is a logical flaw in this reasoning because the Sabbath mentioned in Mark 15 is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is one of the seven Holy Days of Passover.
The Passover Sabbath
In addition to being known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of the Passover was observed in honor of the Israelites’ liberation from Egyptian slavery. This feast is established for Nisan 15 (Leviticus 23:6), which might fall on any day of the week depending on the lunar calendar. As a High Sabbath (a day of rest), this feast day is also referred to as a High Day, and it was preceded by a whole day of preparation. John 19:31 (KJV) As a result, because it was the Preparation Day, and because the corpses could not be left on the cross on the Sabbath (because it was a holy day), the Jews petitioned Pilate to have their legs severed and their bodies removed from the cross.
Nisan 14 is the date when Jesus was crucified, according to this.
Three Reasons forThursday Crucifixion
I (Shari Abbott, Reasons for Hope* Jesus) believe that Jesus was crucified on Thursday, and I will provide three reasons for this belief, as well as scriptural proof. I will also discuss several of the reasons why a crucifixion on a Wednesday or Friday does not accord with what the Bible tells. Please keep in mind that there are three different points of view on this issue while you read this. Take time to study the Bible and come to your own conclusions, but avoid allowing debates on this topic to become controversial.
What is the most essential lesson to learn from the day of the crucifixion?
Because God did not send his Son into the world in order to condemn the world, but in order that the world could be saved through him.
Why a Thursday crucifixion?
The first and most compelling argument in favor of a Thursday crucifixion comes straight from the teachings of our Lord. Matthew 12:40 (KJV) Because, just as Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man spend three days and three nights in the depths of the earth, according to the Scriptures. For “three days and three nights,” Jesus indicated emphatically that He would be in the”heart of the earth. ” It is my understanding that those words mean exactly what Jesus stated.
To better comprehend this, I’d like to remind you that the Jewish 24-hour day began at nightfall and finished the following day after the daytime hours of the previous day (unlike our day that starts at 12 am and ends 24 hours later). Genesis 1:5 is a verse that describes the beginning of the creation of the world. Moreover, God named the light Day, while the darkness he designated as Night. The first day began in the evening and continued until the morning. In the Genesis story, God split the 24 hour day into two portions, which were referred to as night and day.
His remarks were in reference to the two elements that make up a complete day of work.
The 40 days in the desert were precisely separated into day and night in Matthew’s account: “.
This plainly states that Jesus did not eat throughout the 40-hour period of daytime and 40-hour period of darkness in the New Testament.
Knowing He was brought into the wilderness following His baptism, which occurred during the daytime hours, we may see why He mentioned 40 days before forty nights in the verse above. It all started with a specific time of day (isn’t it wonderful how accurate the Bible is?).
Two Parts to a Jewish Day
Following the pattern established in Genesis 1, the 24 hour day is divided into two sections in Matthew 4:2. A similar conclusion may be drawn from Jesus’ remark concerning the time period following His death and before His resurrection. He stated that he would stay “in the center of the ground” for three days and three nights, according to the Bible. It is important to note that Jesus was not referring to His body being buried in an above-ground tomb. He was referring about His spirit, which left His body at the time of His death (3 p.m.) and entered Abraham’s Bosom, which is the center of the world.
Thursday Crucifixion—Three Days and Three Nights
Follow along with me on this chart as I count down the three days and three nights to the end. (I’ve used this identical chart multiple times throughout the post to make it easier to read and compare as you scroll down the page.) Briefly summarized, precisely as Jesus declared, He remained in the “heart of the earth” for three days—Thursday through Saturday—and three nights—Friday through Saturday and Sunday nights—during the three-day and three-night period. Remember that the nighttime hours came before the daytime hours, yet Jesus declared that it was “.days and.nights” because He entered into “the center of the earth” at the moment of His death, which occurred during the daylight hours.
THE FIRST DAY IS THURSDAY, NISAN 14.
Friday—A High Holy Day Sabbath
NIGHT 1 is on Friday, Nisan 15, at 8:00 p.m. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is celebrated on the first day of the month of Unleavened Bread. DAY 2 is Friday, the 15th of Nisan. It had been a nocturnal feast on Nisan 15, yet it had been a Sabbath—a time of rest—for the whole 24 hour day from sundown to sundown on Nisan 15.
Saturday— The Weekly Sabbath
THE THIRD NIGHT IS SATURDAY NIGHT, NOVEMBER 16. DAY 3 = Saturday, the 16th of Nisan. It would have been the Day of Preparation for both the High Sabbath/Feast of Unleavened Bread (Friday, Nisan 15) and the weekly Sabbath (Saturday, Nisan 16) on Thursday, Nisan 14. (Saturday, Nisan 16).
Sunday—“when it was yet dark”
The third night of Nisan 17 is on Sunday night (remember this precedes the daytime hours). According to Scripture, Jesus resurrected from the grave before the start of Sunday’s daylight hours: Matthew 28:1 (KJV) To visit the tomb at the conclusion of the sabbath, as the sun rose higher in the sky at the beginning of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary arrived. The Bible says in John 20:1 On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene arrives at the sepulchre early in the morning, when it is still dark, and witnesses the stone being removed from the sepulchre.
Jesus resurrected from the dead on Sunday night, before the sun came up (nighttime hours preceded the daytime hours).
Thursday Crucifixion—Three Days and Three Nights
Briefly summarized, precisely as Jesus declared, He remained in the “heart of the earth” for three days—Thursday through Saturday—and three nights—Friday through Saturday and Sunday nights—during the three-day and three-night period (remember Sunday night preceded the daytime hours).
Matthew 12:40 (KJV) Because, just as Jonas spent three days and three nights in the belly of a whale, so will the Son of Man spend three days and three nights in the center of the earth, according to the Scriptures.
In the books of John and Mark, there are two further allusions to the number of days. Jesus used the terms “in three days” and “after three days” to describe his time on earth. There are differences in the counting methods used for each.
“Inthree days”—John 2
John 2:19–21 (NIV) Jesus responded by telling them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will rebuild it back to its former glory.” The Jews then said, “Forty-six years have been spent in the construction of this temple, and you want to erect it in three days?” He, on the other hand, spoke of the temple of his body. This counting system employs six half days–three evenings and three mornings–to equal three full days, which is the shortest possible time. The crucifixion on Thursday corresponds with Jesus’ resurrection “in three days.”
- Thursday day equals 12 hours
- Friday night and Friday day equals 1 day
- Saturday night and Saturday day equals 1 day
- Sunday night equals 12 hours.
Six and a half days plus three days is a total of three days.
“Afterthree days”—Mark 8
Mark 8:31.he started to tell them that the Son of Man would suffer many things, including being rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, as well as being murdered and rising from the dead after three days.he began to teach them that This technique considers each daytime period as a single day, with the resurrection occurring “after three days” according to this method. This begins with the day of Jesus’ crucifixion because the day had not yet come to an end by the time Jesus died in the afternoon.
Problems with aWednesdayCrucifixion
Matthew 12:40 (KJV) Because, just as Jonas spent three days and three nights in the belly of a whale, so will the Son of Man spend three days and three nights in the center of the earth, according to the Scriptures. Wednesday Crucifixion—Four Days and Four Nights of Fasting and Prayer A Wednesday crucifixion corresponds to four days and four nights, in accordance with Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:40 that he would be crucified “three days and three nights.” It doesn’t jive with what Jesus said in the Bible.
In Three Days and After Three Days— Too ManyDays
2:19 John 2:19 Jesus responded by telling them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will rebuild it back to its former glory.”
- A half day on Wednesday
- A full day on Thursday
- A half-day on Friday
- A full-day on Saturday
- A half-day on Sunday.
Total: eight and a half days = four days, which is too many days for a Wednesday crucifixion.
“Afterthree days”—Mark 8
Mark 8:31 (NIV) .he started to tell them that the Son of Man would have to endure many things, including being rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, as well as being slain and rising from the dead after three days. Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday after four days, four days after Wednesday (day 1), four days after Thursday (day 2), four days after Friday (day 3) and four days after Saturday (day 4). This was an excessive number of days for a Wednesday crucifixion.
Problems with aFridayCrucifixion
Matthew 12:40 (KJV) Because, just as Jonas spent three days and three nights in the belly of a whale, so will the Son of Man spend three days and three nights in the center of the earth, according to the Scriptures.
A Friday crucifixion takes place over the course of two days and two nights. It doesn’t jive with what Jesus said in the Bible.
In Three Days and After Three Days—TooFewDays
2:19 John 2:19 Jesus responded by telling them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will rebuild it back to its former glory.”
- Weekends consist of Friday night and Saturday day, with Sunday night and Sunday day consisting of half-days.
Total: four and a half days = two days, which is too few days for a Friday crucifixion.
“Afterthree days”—Mark 8
Mark 8:31.he started to tell them that the Son of Man would suffer many things, including being rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, as well as being murdered and rising from the dead after three days.he began to teach them that After the crucifixion on Friday (day 1) and the resurrection on Saturday (day 2), Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday after just two days—too few days for a Friday crucifixion.
Two further arguments in favor of a Thursday crucifixion will be discussed next week. Finally, let’s go through the “three days and three nights” that we’ve been counting. When it comes to a sign, Jesus says in Matthew 12:39: “An wicked and adulterous age seeks a sign; and there shall be given to it no sign other than the sign of the prophet Jonas.” With such statements, Jesus declared that the period of “three days and three nights”would serve as a “sign” for the people.
Thursday Crucifixion—Three Days and Three Night
The Day of Preparation officially began on Thursday night. There were several significant events, including Jesus’ Last Supper in the upper room, Jesus’ final speech with His followers, and Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. The trials and crucifixion took place during the day on Thursday, and Jesus breathed His last and died at three o’clock in the afternoon.
Review of counting:
Jesus died at 3 p.m. on Thursday, which is Day 1 (afternoon hours). His spirit was transported deep into the earth’s core. His corpse was laid to rest before the sun set. Then the day of the High Sabbath started. NIGHT 1 is the first night of the week on Friday (the High Sabbath) Friday is the second day of the week (the High Sabbath) NIGHT 2 is the night before Saturday night (the weekly Sabbath) Saturday is the third day of the week (the weekly Sabbath) NIGHT 3 is on a Sunday night. On Sunday, Jesus resurrected from the dead before the sun came up.
…He is not here: for he is risen, (Matthew 28:6)
The first and most important reason why I believe the crucifixion took place on a Thursday is because of this. Thursday is the only day that corresponds exactly with Jesus’ statements. Remember that Jesus stated that He would stay “three days and three nights in the center of the earth” before ascending to heaven. The “heart of the earth,” or Abraham’s Bosom, was where His soul was taken at the moment of His death on Thursday afternoon, when he spake these words. His remains was placed to rest in an above-ground tomb (rather than in the ground) before the sun set.
Draw your own conclusions, but keep in mind that it is not about the day of the week on which the crucifixion took place that is important.
All who repent and place their confidence in Him will be granted remission of sins and eternal life.
More than that, brothers and sisters, I disclose to you the gospel which I preached to you, which you also received and in which you now stand, and by which you are also saved, if you hold fast to the word which I preached to you; except you believed in vain.
Moreover, In fact, I imparted to you first and foremost what I had also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that He rose from the dead on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
On what day was Jesus crucified?
QuestionAnswer According to the Bible, Jesus was crucified on any given day of the week although it is not specified. Friday and Wednesday are the days on which the majority of people agree. Some, on the other hand, believe that Thursday should be the day, based on a synthesis of both the Friday and Wednesday reasons. Christ stated in Matthew 12:40, “For just as Jonah was swallowed up by a great fish and survived three days and three nights there, so will the Son of Man be swallowed up by a great fish and survive three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” It is still possible, according to those who argue for a Friday crucifixion, that He may have been considered in the grave for three days if He was executed on Friday.
- In the minds of the Jews of the first century, a portion of a day was regarded to be a complete day.
- Jesus was executed “the day before the Sabbath,” according to Mark 15:42, which is one of the most persuasive reasons in favor of Friday.
- An other argument for Friday is that texts like as Matthew 16:21 and Luke 9:22 teach that Jesus would rise on the third day, and as a result, He would not need to stay in the grave for a total of three days and nights as previously thought.
- Furthermore, according to Mark 8:31, Jesus will be risen “after” three days from the dead.
- The Thursday argument is an extension of the Friday argument.
- That difficulty can be solved by adding a day or two to your schedule.
- He walks into your office on a Thursday morning and you respond, “I haven’t seen you in three days,” despite though it had only been 60 hours since you last saw him (2.5 days).
According to the view written on Wednesday, there were two Sabbaths that week.
According to the Wednesday school of thought, this “Sabbath” was the Passover (see Leviticus 16:29-31, 23:24-32, 39, where high holy days that are not necessarily the seventh day of the week are referred to as the Sabbath).
Please keep in mind that in Luke 23:56, the ladies who had purchased spices after the first Sabbath returned and prepared the spices, after which they “rested on the Sabbath,” as the Bible says.
For those who believe in the two-Sabbath perspective, if Christ was crucified on Thursday, then the high holy Sabbath (the Passover) would have began at sundown on Thursday and finished at sundown on Friday, which corresponds to the beginning of the weekly Sabbath or Saturday.
Consequently, the only interpretation that does not violate the biblical narrative of the ladies and the spices while still adhering to a literal understanding of Matthew 12:40 is that Christ was crucified on Wednesday, according to the Wednesday perspective.
After that, on Friday, the women went out to buy spices and returned to prepare them that same day.
Jesus was laid to rest at sundown on Wednesday, which corresponded to the start of the Jewish calendar week on Thursday.
Thursday night (night one), Friday day (day two), Friday night (night two), Saturday day (day three), Saturday night (night three), Sunday morning (day four) (night three).
According to Jewish tradition, Jesus may have woken as early as right after sunset on Saturday evening, which marked the beginning of the first day of the week.
On the other hand, a possible flaw in the Wednesday viewpoint is that Jesus’ followers walked with Him along the road to Emmaus on the “same day” as His resurrection (Luke 24:13).
The period from Wednesday through Sunday is four days.
Is it really that vital to know what day of the week Christ was killed on?
If it were so significant, God’s Word would have made it abundantly plain what day and hour it will occur and for how long.
What is equally significant is the purpose for His death: He died in order to bear the penalty that all sinners are due.
This holds true regardless of whether He was crucified on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Questions regarding Jesus Christ (return to top of page) When was Jesus crucified, and what day was it?
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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).
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. This comes well within the range of “about thirty years of age.”
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.
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.
|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. Andreas Köstenberger and he have written a book together called The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week in the Life of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived (Crossway, 2014).
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.