Was Jesus crucified on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?


What follows is a chronology of the events surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ presented in a plausible and logical way in an effort to resolve that question.To begin, at what time of day does the Bible say that Jesus died on the cross? ...
Mat 27:46 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?
Mat 27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Mark 15:37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
The scriptures tell us that the Messiah died sometime around the 9th hour of the day (9 hours after the sun had risen). The ninth hour would be about our 3pm in the afternoon and He was put in the sepulchre before sunset. Bear in mind that the reason they were in a hurry to bury Jesus was because the Sabbath would begin at sundown...
Luke 23:54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
... this is because the Hebrew day begins and ends at sunset, as the Bible makes plain, and Jews practice even today-
Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the *evening and the morning* were the first day.Lev 23:32 ... from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
Anchor point #1: Jesus died at 3pm and was buried on the preparation day (the day before the Sabbath) before sunset, which would begin the Sabbath day.
Now exactly which Sabbath day, the first day of Unleavened Bread, or the Seventh day (Saturday) Sabbath?
Luke 23:52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
Luke 23:53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
Luke 23:54 And that day was the preparation [Friday], and the sabbath drew on.
Luke 23:55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
Luke 23:56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. [seventh day Saturday sabbath]
Luke 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week [Sunday], very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Mark 16:1 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.
Mark 16:2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
The women viewed the sepulchre and the body of Jesus on the preparation day (Friday evening before sunset) and then rested according to the 4th Commandment, on the Saturday Sabbath. When the Saturday Sabbath had past, the women returned to the tomb at sunrise, and that day was the first day of the week (Sunday). Clearly then, Jesus was crucified on Friday afternoon, the preparation day for the Saturday Sabbath.

  Friday Preparation
6th day - Exo 16:5
Saturday
7th day Sabbath
Sunday
1st day of Week
Matthew 26:20 - 27:61 27:62 - 27:66 28:1 - 28:15
Mark 14:17 - 15:47 16:1 16:1 - 16:13
Luke 22:14 - 23:56 23:56 24:1 - 24:53
John 13:1 - 19:42 - 20:1 - 20:23

This Friday preparation day (paraskeue:G3904) is mentioned in Mat 27:62, Mk 15:42, Lk 23:54, Jn 19:14, 19:31 and 19:42. It is important to note that in the Bible, only the 6th day of the week is defined as the preparation day (Exo. 16:5) for the 7th day Sabbath, but not the day preceding a non-seventh-day festival sabbath. The term always means what we call Friday, in both scriptural and non-scriptural usage:

2. "Caesar Augustus, high priest and tribune of the people, ordains thus: Since the nation of the Jews hath been found grateful to the Roman people, not only at this time, but in time past also, and chiefly Hyrcanus the high priest, under my father Caesar the emperor, it seemed good to me and my counselors, according to the sentence and oath of the people of Rome, that the Jews have liberty to make use of their own customs, according to the law of their forefathers, as they made use of them under Hyrcanus the high priest of the Almighty God; and that their sacred money be not touched, but be sent to Jerusalem, and that it be committed to the care of the receivers at Jerusalem; and that they be not obliged to go before any judge on the sabbath day, nor on the day of the preparation to it, after the ninth hour. — Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVI, Chapter VI, 2.

Also note that in Leviticus 23 there is this important distinction made between the seventh day sabbath and the first day of unleavened bread: no work was to be done on the seventh day sabbath (v. 3), and no servile work on 15 Abib / Nisan (v. 7). Servile work is done for an employer or as an occupation, for a living or wages so to speak.

Lev 23:1-3 (KJV)

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2
 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.
3
 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.

Lev 23:6-7 (KJV)

6
 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.
7
 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

So non-servile work was not permitted on the seventh day sabbath, but it was permitted on 15 Abib / Nisan. Presumably the burial could have been done after sunset if it were only 15 Nisan, but not on a seventh day sabbath. Therefore the "no work" on the seventh day sabbath was the reason for burial before sunset, because that began the seventh day sabbath (which coincided with 15 Nisan that year, making it a high sabbath).

Anchor point #2: The seventh-day Saturday Sabbath was the day after the crucifixion, and we know this because the women rested that day according to the fourth commandment of God. Therefore, the crucifixion had to have occurred on a Friday.

Now here is the logic some people will give for a Wednesday crucifixion -

One cannot get three days and three nights (Matt 12:40) from "Good Friday" to "Easter Sunday." Friday and Saturday nights are two nights, and Saturday is one day. This is only one day and two nights, what about the other two days and one night? Friday can't possibly be the day Jesus died.

This is the result of trying to use literal western thinking and applying it to the text, implying that there should be a full 72 hours between the crucifixion and the resurrection. But that is not the intent of the passage. For proof lets look at what the Gospels and other books have to say about the matter -

Mat 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again *the third day*.

Mat 17:23 And they shall kill him, and *the third day* he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.

Mat 20:19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and *the third day* he shall rise again.

Mark 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise *the third* day.

Mark 10:34 And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and *the third day* he shall rise again.

Luke 9:22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised *the third day*.

Luke 18:33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and *the third day* he shall rise again.

John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in *three days* I will raise it up.

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Acts 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
Acts 10:40 Him God raised up *the third day*, and showed him openly;

1 Cor 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1 Cor 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again *the third day* according to the scriptures:

Anchor point #3: Jesus was resurrected ON the third day after His death and burial, not after three literal days. If He rose after 72 hours, then all the above verses would read on the FOURTH day.

So now, just WHICH day was the third day? Notice the following verses from the 24th chapter of Luke:

Luke 24:1 Now *upon the first day of the week*, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Luke 24:7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and *the third day* rise again.

Luke 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, *to day is the third day* since these things were done.

Luke 24:46 And (Jesus) said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead *the third day*:

This passage makes plain that on Sunday the *first day of the week* (v. 1), the two angels at the tomb said He would rise *the third day* (v. 7), and on the same day on the road to Emmaus the two disciples stated it was *the third day* (v. 21), and Jesus says he would rise *the third day* (v. 46). So clearly Sunday was the third day the angels and Jesus were speaking of, the day on which Jesus rose from the grave. With that in mind, note this verse:

Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

Those who advocate a Wednesday crucifixion must adhere to a Saturday afternoon resurrection, but the above verses, in conjunction with Mark 16:9, refute that very nicely.

Yet, some will still point to Matthew 28:1 to show that the women first came to the tomb late on the sabbath (Saturday) near sunset:

Mat 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

This point is quickly clarified by looking at Mark's account:

Mark 16:1 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.
Mark 16:2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
Mark 16:3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

Clearly the women came to the tomb at sunrise, finding the tomb empty. So what about the strange wording of Matthew 28:1? The explanation can be found in the division of the text into verses. The original Greek texts contain no punctuation, or chapter or verse markings. These were later added as a convenience to the reader. By merely reorganizing Matthew 27:66 and 28:1 as follows, the apparent ambiguity completely disappears:

Mat 27:62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
Mat 27:63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.
Mat 27:64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
Mat 27:65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

Note that in verse 62, the request for a guard on the tomb was made on a Sabbath (the day after the preparation) and that the request was for a guard until the third day. Now, here is how the following verses should be printed:

Mat 27:66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch in the end of the sabbath.
Mat 28:1 As it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

Note that the wording is not changed, merely the dividing point of the verses is changed by moving the period ending verse sixty-six. It was the watch guarding the tomb that began at the end of the sabbath! This shows that Matthew and Mark agree completely as to when the women came to the tomb: just before the rising of the sun at dawn, the first day of the week, Sunday.

Since Jesus was to rise the third day, the Roman guards were put in place immediately at the end of the Sabbath, because they anticipated the body being stolen by the Jews sometime on Sunday, the third (and next) day. Had they anticipated the theft on Saturday, then the guard would have been in place by Friday evening, (the preparation day).

Anchor point #4: Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday, the first day of the week`, which was the third day since His trial, death and burial (Luke 24:21).

Luke 24:18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
Luke 24:19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
Luke 24:20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
Luke 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

Sunday, as we have seen, actually began at sunset on Saturday evening, and by Jewish reckoning any part of day is counted as a day. So working backwards:

Note that in Luke 24:18 - 21, the events of the three days begin with the arrest and trial of Jesus, not with His burial!

Jesus was crucified on Friday and died at 3 p.m. He rose from the dead somewhere between Saturday after sunset and sunrise on Sunday morning. There is absolutely no way to push the crucifixion back to Wednesday and fit scripture. A Wednesday crucifixion is clearly impossible.

Three days and Three nights.

Oh, but then what of these apparently troublesome verses, don't they preclude a Friday crucifixion?-

Mat 12:40 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.

Mat 27:63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, *After three days* I will rise again.

Mark 8:31 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.

These verses are appealed to in order to propose a full 72 hours in the grave. They do seem to say a full 3 days and 3 nights don't they? How can this possibly be reconciled with the traditional chronology? If you believe the Bible cannot contradict itself, then these verses MUST be harmonized with the rest of scripture on the subject. Well, please note the following story in 1 Kings-

The third day (inclusive reckoning)

1 Ki 12:5 And he said unto them, Depart yet *for three days*, then come again to me. And the people departed.

1 Ki 12:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam *the third day*, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again *the third day*.

The king tells the people to depart for three days, but they return ON the third day, not on the fourth!! Why? Because the king did not mean to be gone for a full 72 hours. The counting of days was inclusive in nature. The same day that the king told them to leave was the first day. The second day they stayed away, and then they returned the third day, as the king had intended. This is the exactly the same manner of counting used for the resurrection. It is inclusive in nature, with whatever portion of the first and last days being counted as full days.

Just for good measure, this same story is told in 2 Chronicles-

2 Chr 10:5 And he said unto them, Come again unto me *after three days*. And the people departed.

2 Chr 10:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam *on the third day*, as the king bade, saying, Come again to me *on the third day*.

Note the way this is worded compared to 1 Kings. Come again unto me after three days, depart yet for three days, and Come again to me on the third day, these all mean exactly the same thing, which is NOT a full three days or a full 72 hours.

Here is a similar situation of inclusive reckoning in the book of Esther:

Est 4:16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
Est 4:17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.
Est 5:1 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.

Note that here in Luke 13, the third day clearly means the day after tomorrow, not after 3 full days:

Luke 13:31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.
Luke 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
Luke 13:33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

So, in light of all the evidence, Matt 12:40, 27:63 and Mark 8:31 do not really mean a full literal three days and nights or 72 hours, since Jesus clearly rose ON the third day. By Jewish understanding, referred to as inclusive reckoning, three days and three nights, and after three days, simply meant the same thing as ON the third day.

Anchor Point #5: Jesus was resurrected ON the third day, not after 72 literal hours.

In The Heart of the Earth

Note these passages:

Mat 12:40 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.

Mat 17:22 And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:
Mat 17:23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.

Mat 26:45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Mark 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

Mark 14:41 And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Luke 24:7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

Luke 24:18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
Luke 24:19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
Luke 24:20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
Luke 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

Note that the "things" include Jesus' betrayal and being put on trial. See also:

Matt 16:21; Matt 20:18-19;
Mark 8:31; Mark 10:33-34;
Luke 9:22; Luke 18:32-33; Luke 24:46.

So the phrase "in the heart of the earth" does not begin with burial in the tomb, as some suppose, but rather with Christ being betrayed into the hands of sinners for trial, on what we would call Thursday night (by Jewish reckoning the early evening hours that began Friday, 14 Nisan, Passover). That was the beginning of the 3 days and 3 nights.

The Lord's Passover

Next, lets look at when the Passover really begins. Sometimes in the Bible, the phrases "Feast of Unleavened Bread" or "Passover" are used to describe the combination of 14 Nisan (The Lord's Passover) with the subsequent week long Feast of Unleavened Bread. So the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (in this general sense), would then be 14 Nisan. This habit can cause some confusion if you are not careful, as follows:

Mat 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?

Mark 14:12 And the first day of unleavened bread, *when they killed the passover*, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?

Luke 22:1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.
Luke 22:7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, *when the passover must be killed*.
Luke 22:8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.

The above verses seem to say that the Passover lamb was to be slain on the first day of unleavened bread, or 15 Nisan (but actually refer to 14 Nisan, as will be shown) Now, the following verse refers to the Passover meal as occurring on 15 Nisan, the evening after the crucifixion, also 15 Nisan:

John 18:28 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.

This confusion can be cleared up by looking in Exodus, Leviticus and 2 Chronicles -

Exo 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
Exo 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening [afternoon of the 14th].
Exo 12:7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
Exo 12:8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night [early hours of the 15th], roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
Exo 12:9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.
Exo 12:10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.

Exo 12:18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.

Lev 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's passover.
Lev 23:6 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.

2 Chr 35:1  Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the LORD in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.

The Hebrew for Exo 12:6 and Lev 23:5 literally reads "between the evenings" (H996 & H6153). The first of these two evenings is when the sun begins its descent from its zenith at noon, and the second when the sun sets at 6 pm. So between the evenings refers to 3 pm, which also called the ninth hour.

Clearly the Passover lamb was to be slain on the afternoon of the 14th of Nisan and eaten in the night of the 15th of Nisan. Yet, according to Exodus 12:18, unleavened bread was also to be eaten beginning on the 14th of Nisan, known as the Lord's passover, which is the day before the Festival of Unleavened Bread (this is the reason for some confusion).

So this was the time the Lord's supper took place - on what we would call Thursday night, which was the 14th of Nisan, which consisted of bread and grape juice, but no roast lamb. Later that very same day, in the afternoon about 3 pm, the Passover lamb was to be slain. That the Passover lamb was to be slain in the afternoon of the 14th can be confirmed elsewhere in Exodus. Note when the daily sacrifice of lambs was to take place:

Exo 29:39 The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even:

Here it is plain that the daily sacrifices included two lambs, the first in the morning, and the second in the "evening", meaning the afternoon before sunset (Again the Hebrew literally reads "between the evenings" (H996 & H6153). The Jewish historian Josephus confirms that the Passover lambs were slain from the ninth hour to the eleventh hour, that being from 3pm to 5pm.

So these high priests, upon the coming of that feast which is called the Passover, when they slay their sacrifices, from the ninth hour till the eleventh, but so that a company not less than ten belong to every sacrifice, ... 
Wars of the Jews
, Book VI, Chapter IX, Section 3

 Therefore, the two events, the time for the killing of the Passover lamb and the death of Jesus, coincided precisely on that Friday afternoon the 14th of Nisan, the Lord's Passover, at 3pm.

This is further confirmed by the timing of the original Passover in Egypt:

Exo 12:29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, ...

Num 33:3 And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.

Israel Freed From Bondage
14 Nisan
The Lord's Passover
15 Nisan
1st Day of Festival of Unleavened Bread
A Sabbath day
NIGHT   DAY NIGHT   DAY
Unleaven Bread first eaten Passover lamb slain about 3pm, blood put on the door posts and lintel Passover lamb eaten

Death Angel slays the firstborn of Egypt at midnight

Israel set free in the morning

Clearly the Passover slaying of Egypt's firstborn occurred at midnight on the 15th of Nisan. So the reference in John 18:28 to the Passover meal being observed on the day after the crucifixion is speaking of the meal in which the Passover lamb would be eaten, which would occur at the early hours of 15 Nisan, the Paschal lamb symbolic of Jesus having been slain a few hours earlier on the afternoon of the 14th. As a result, Matthew 26:17, Mark 14:12, and Luke 22:1, 7-8 all are actually referring to the 14th of Nisan (in a general sense) calling it the first day of unleavened bread.

Anchor Point #6: Jesus was crucified late on 14 Nisan, the Lord's Passover.

What follows now is a chronological listing of the events of the crucifixion and resurrection, that puts all the pieces of the puzzle together in a way that satisfies all the accounts.

14 Nisan/Abib (The Lord's Passover, not a Sabbath)
Friday (Beginning our Thursday night)

Luke 22:7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.
Luke 22:8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.

Preparation for the Passover - Mat 26:17-19, Mark 14:12-16, Luke 22:7-13.

Lev 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's passover.

The 14th of Nisan is to be the Lord's Passover, and it was just after sunset (the beginning of that day) that the Passover meal of unleavened bread was celebrated by Jesus with His disciples. That would correspond to our present day Thursday evening (when using Midnight to Midnight).

In the morning of Friday (but still 14 Nisan) the trials took place, and the crucifixion began at about 9am (the third hour- Mark 15:25). Jesus died at the very moment the Passover lamb was to be slain at the Temple, the ninth hour (our 3pm) on the 14th of Nisan (our Friday). From the moment Jesus was laid in the tomb, until sunset, the Jews reckoned to be the first day in the grave, even though it was only a few hours. All of this took place on what was the preparation day - not only for the 7th day Sabbath, but also for the upcoming Feast of Unleavened Bread. Note - that particular seventh day Sabbath was a "high" day ...

John 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for *that sabbath day was an high day*,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

15th of Nisan/Abib (A double "high" Sabbath day)
Saturday, which began at sunset on our Friday night.
First day of the week long Festival of Unleavened Bread.

... it was a "high" Seventh day (Saturday) Sabbath because it was ALSO the 15th of Nisan/Abib, a feast day Sabbath ...

Lev 23:6 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.
Lev 23:7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

The Messiah rests in the tomb, observing the Sabbath day rest the entire day. This is the second day in the grave.

16th of Nisan/Abib (The day of first fruits, Resurrection day)
Sunday, which began at sunset - our Saturday night.
Not a Sabbath day in type or antitype.

The resurrection takes place at some time after the beginning of the day (at sunset) but before the morning sunrise. Just exactly when after sunset the resurrection took place is uncertain, but that it happened on what we today call Sunday is really quite clear as Luke 24 showed, but here is more evidence-

1 Cor 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the Firstfruits of them that slept.

So just how does this verse relate?-

Lev 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the Firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
Lev 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

The wave sheaf represented the first fruits of the resurrection, the Messiah (1 Cor 15:20), and the day it was presented was the day AFTER the Sabbath as Lev 23:11 just proved. (The Sabbath meant here is 15 Nisan/Abib, the first day of Unleavened Bread [Lev 23:6-7]). Clearly then, since the first day of Unleavened Bread coincided with the Seventh day Sabbath that year, the resurrection of Jesus (the first fruits), happened on 16 Nisan/Abib the day AFTER the double or high Sabbath, on the first day of the week, Sunday. (Because it represents the resurrection, the day of Firstfruits must clearly occur on the third day after the crucifixion [14 Nisan], to fulfill scripture.)


The Manna A Prophecy

For even more evidence that the commonly accepted chronology is correct, one must really understand the principle of type and antitype. Jesus drew this parallel between Himself and manna:

John 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
John 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
John 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
...
John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
John 6:48 I am that bread of life.
John 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
John 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
...
John 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

Just as the manna did not spoil on the Sabbath day (Exo. 16:23-26), the body of Jesus did not see corruption as He rested that day in the tomb (Psa. 16:10, Acts 2:27, 31). The symbolism of the manna specifically prophesies that Jesus would spend the seventh day Sabbath, Saturday, at rest in the tomb in an incorrupt state, because His body was without sin. This is why unleavened bread is the only bread used during Passover week, because it represented the incorrupt body of Jesus. If Jesus had been crucified on Wednesday, that would have been the day the extra manna would have occurred, and it would have not spoiled for the subsequent multiple days in the tomb, for which there would be no new manna provided. However, the typology of the manna clearly does not allow that scenario.

The sequence of days to be observed for Passover was set down in scripture as the "type". This sequence was symbolic of what was to come when the crucifixion of the Lamb of God actually took place, which is the "antitype". So the type and antitype must match precisely:

An example of Israel keeping this precise scenario is found in the book of Joshua:

Josh 5:10 And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.
Josh 5:11 And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day.
Josh 5:12 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

14 Nisan 15 Nisan 16 Nisan
Passover Old Corn and
Unleavened Bread Eaten
Manna Ceased
First Fruits of Canaan Eaten

Compare with the above as we consider the following scenarios.


PROPOSED WEDNESDAY CRUCIFIXION - TYPE DOES NOT MATCH ANTITYPE
Wednesday
14 Nisan
Thursday
15 Nisan
Friday
16 Nisan
Saturday
17 Nisan
Sunday
18 Nisan
NIGHT   DAY NIGHT   DAY NIGHT   DAY NIGHT   DAY NIGHT   DAY
Lord's Passover 1st Day of Festival
of Unleavened Bread
A Sabbath day
Women prepare
spices to anoint
the body
7th day Sabbath The Third Day??
(Luke 24:21)
Day of Firstfruits?? Day of Firstfruits?? Day of Firstfruits??
 Crucifixion and Burial
before sundown
 Rested in the tomb
Roman guard set?
 Rested in the tomb  Resurrection
late in the day
before sunset
Tomb discovered
to be empty
at dawn

(The Wednesday Crucifixion is taught by Dr. Frederick K. C. Price of Ever Increasing Faith Ministries.)


The Wednesday Crucifixion and the problem of Firstfruits

Friday Firstfruits?

Note that with a Wednesday crucifixion and literal 72 hours in the grave, the resurrection would occur on a Saturday Sabbath, which should precisely match the day of Firstfruits (16 Nisan) but does not. With a Wednesday crucifixion, Firstfruits (16 Nisan) will fall on Friday, meaning the resurrection should also be on Friday. This however, is a day short of the 72 hour span they are bound to, so they obviously can't put Firstfruits on Friday.

Saturday Firstfruits?

Proponents of a Wednesday crucifixion are really forced into a Saturday resurrection by their maintaining strict adherence to the the 72 hour - 3 day 3 night scenario. Saturday then, if it is the resurrection day, should also be the day of Firstfruits. But this violates what is set forth in Lev. 23:11 which states that Firstfruits occurs the day after the sabbath, meaning the day after the 15 Nisan sabbath (1st day of Unleavened Bread, v.7). So, Firstfruits could not have been on Saturday, since as indicated in the above chart, it would clearly not be after a sabbath. So Saturday is clearly disqualified from being Firstfruits.

Sunday Firstfruits?

Neither by the Wednesday theory, could Firstfruits occur on Sunday, though that would place it after a sabbath, because that again places the resurrection on Sunday, which extends past the 72 hour rule they wish to adhere so rigorously to (A Sunday resurrection would make it the fourth day after the crucifixion). Proposing a Wednesday crucifixion and Sunday Firstfruits means adding two days to the scenario and again denying that 16 Nisan is the resurrection day and day of Firstfruits, thus breaking the type-antitype pattern. Since Sunday cannot possibly be called "the third day" since Jesus' crucifixion and burial under the Wednesday crucifixion theory, and can't be 16 Nisan either, it must also be disqualified as the day of Firstfruits.

It would seem to be clear that under the Wednesday crucifixion theory, Firstfruits (16 Nisan) can't be fitted in anywhere and remain harmonious with scripture. Therefore, this completely excludes the possibility of a Wednesday crucifixion and 72 hour theory that some would promote.


PROPOSED THURSDAY CRUCIFIXION - TYPE DOES NOT MATCH ANTITYPE
Thursday
14 Nisan
Friday
15 Nisan
Saturday
16 Nisan
Sunday
17 Nisan
NIGHT   DAY NIGHT   DAY NIGHT   DAY NIGHT   DAY
 Lord's Passover 1st Day of Festival
of Unleavened Bread
A Sabbath day
7th day Sabbath  Firstfruits
The Preparation Day

Crucifixion and Burial
before sundown

Women prepare spices?

Rested in the tomb
Roman guard set

Rested in the tomb
Roman guard continues
 Resurrection
before sunrise
Tomb discovered
to be empty
at dawn
The Third Day??
(Luke 24:21)

Those who advocate a Thursday crucifixion propose that there were back-to-back Sabbaths the year of the crucifixion, as shown above. This is based on an interpretation of the word "Sabbath" in the crucifixion narratives in its plural sense, which it is proposed, indicates that there were two separate and consecutive Sabbath days observed, rather than a single "high" Sabbath day.  This proposed chronology has several problems:


FRIDAY CRUCIFIXION
TYPE MATCHES ANTITYPE
14 Nisan
Friday - Preparation Day
15 Nisan
Saturday - 7th day Sabbath
16 Nisan
Sunday
Lord's Passover 1st Day of
Festival of Unleavened Bread
The Omer - Day of Firstfruits
NIGHT DAY NIGHT DAY NIGHT DAY
1st day unleavened bread is eaten Passover Lamb slain in the evening (afternoon) A High double Sabbath day The Third Day!
(Luke 24:21)
Lord's Supper

Christ arrested in Gethsemane
and put on trial

 Crucifixion and burial before sundown

Women prepare spices.

Rested in the tomb Rested in the tomb

Roman guard set by end of the day

Resurrection before sunrise

Tomb discovered to be empty just before sunrise

 
  Matthew Mark Luke John
14 Nisan
Friday
26:20 - 27:61 14:17 - 15:47 22:14 - 23:56 13:1 - 19:42
15 Nisan
Saturday
27:62 - 27:66 16:1 23:56 -
16 Nisan
Sunday
28:1 - 28:15 16:1 - 16:13 24:1 - 24:53 20:1 - 20:23

CONCLUSION

The only chronology that can be reconciled with scripture on all points is the Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection. It is the only scenario in which the typical festival days and their fulfillment match exactly, without a single discrepancy!

See The Biblical Feast Days - God's Calendar for more specific information on this topic.

Protestants Declare Their Catholicity On Easter



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