Holy Week .. An Interesting Study on Which Day was Jesus Crucified

So traditionally, we hold that Triumphant Entry (Palm Sunday) was Sunday then the Last Supper was Thursday then Jesus was Crucified on Friday (which was also Passover) and finally Jesus rose on Sunday. However, does this timing line up with Scripture? Let’s take a deep dive and take a look.

In order to begin our study, we have one overriding rule. Let us use Scripture to interpret Scripture and only bring in other sources when absolutely necessary. With this in mind, we need to find a concrete point to work from. That point is the resurrection because it is clearly marked.

Crucifixion Sky

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord”s passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

Leviticus 23:1-8  (KJV)

1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

Mark 16:1-7  (KJV)

Starting here, we know a few key pieces of information. First, the sabbath had past. In Jewish culture, the sabbath is Saturday (officially from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday). Second the first day of the week in Jewish culture was Sunday (officially sundown on Saturday to sundown on Sunday). This would mean that Jesus rose from the dead at some point from sundown on Saturday to very early in the morning Sunday. This will give us the concrete point to begin our study and as it happens also falls exactly where we traditionally hold the resurrection celebration.

With this in place, we need to backtrack and look at when Jesus was crucified. Again, traditionally this is Good Friday.

40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale”s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Matthew 12:40  (KJV)

‘And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. ‘

Mark 8:31 (KJV)

In both cases, we have the words of Jesus himself that between his death on the cross and his resurrection (which we now know was some time Saturday night) was three days and three nights. Since the Jewish culture begins counting a day at sundown, we would need to back up from Saturday at sundown and see where we wind up.

Backing up one day would bring us to Friday at sundown.

Backing up two days would bring us to Thursday at sundown.

Backing up three days would bring us to Wednesday at sundown.

That would mean that the crucifixion would have happened during the day on Wednesday.

‘Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; ‘

Matthew 27:45-51 (KJV)

in Jewish culture, the sixth hour was noon and the ninth hour was 3pm. Given what Matthew has recorded above, we know that Jesus gave up his spirit around 3pm well before sundown. We know from above that it was on Wednesday.

Now wait a minute there. The scripture also says.

62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate

Matthew 27:62  (KJV)

The day of preparation for the sabbath was the day immediately before the sabbath. So if the sabbath is Saturday, the day of preparation would be Friday. This means that Jesus was crucified on Friday. Right?

It would, except.

13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.  14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. 16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.

John 19:13-16  (KJV)

‘Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.’

Luke 23:53-54 (NKJV)

Passover is not a Sabbath. It is the day of preparation for the High Sabbath that is the first day of the (seven day) Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus died on Passover, but was removed from the cross before sunset, which began the High Sabbath, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord”s passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

Leviticus 23:1-8  (KJV)

If Passover is the day before a high holy day and if that high holy day was Thursday during that week, then all the scriptures above continue to hold and connect that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday.

If then Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, the night before would have been Tuesday night during the holy week just prior to the start of passover and the high holy week with the feast of unleavened bread.

So then, if Jesus was crucified on Passover on Wednesday, when was his triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.

12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. ‘

John 12:1,12-13 (KJV)

Six days before the Passover, with Passover Wednesday, would be Thursday. The next day would be Friday before Jesus was crucified. One could say that the Triumphant Entry was the real Good Friday.

With this last piece of information, according to Scripture, the holy week would have looked more like this.

FridayTriumphant Entry
TuesdayLast Supper
WednesdayPassover / Crucifixion
ThursdayFirst Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread
Saturday NightJesus Resurrection
SundayEmpty Tomb Discovered

23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

Luke 3:23  (KJV)

Because I love this stuff. I decided to look back on a calendar and see when passover fell on Wednesday somewhere around 30 AD. Looking on the web, I found that this site states that the year that Passover was on Wednesday was 31 AD with Passover on Wednesday April 25th (14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan.

We can see that Jesus was crucified on

Wednesday April 25, 31 AD

And that is a Biblical truth revealed.

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