7

John 19:14 seems to indicate that Jesus had been arrested, and brought before the priests, and then Pilate, and was then being sent for crucifixion on the day of preparation for the Passover.

Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Look, your King!” (John 19:14, NASB)

But Mark 14:12 seems to indicate that Jesus had not even been arrested by the time the Passover lamb was being killed. Which is as I understand it is during twilight at the end of the day of the preparation for the Passover.

12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?” (Mark 14:12, NASB)

Is there an interpretation in which these two verses are not contradictory? And if so, what is it?

6
  • 1
    Based on Leviticus 23:5-14, Mark 14:12-26 appears to observe Torah laws (on the 15th of Aviv). - - Instead of the revised account of John 19:14 which changes the events in order to make Jesus’ sacrifice symbolic of the Lord’s Passover from Leviticus 23:5. - clever alteration of timelines in John’s Gospel removes Jesus’ attempt at observing Torah in Mark’s Gospel. Dec 17, 2020 at 3:43
  • @ חִידָה If I have understood you correctly you do think that the Mark and John accounts are contradictory, and you think that it is the John account that has been changed.
    – Glenn
    Dec 18, 2020 at 2:55
  • * Where is the Shema (שְׁמַ֖ע) in John's Gospel? - Notice how important the Shema is to Jesus in : [ Mark 12:29-30, Matthew 22:37-38, Luke 10:27 ] - * But in John's Gospel, Jesus disregards the Shema. - * Notice [John 13:34] claims Jesus offered a "new" (καινὴν) "commandment" (Ἐντολὴν) - contrary to the synoptic gospels which give credit to [Leviticus 19:18]. - John's Gospel as a later 'more correct' reflection of Jesus' authoritative teachings, greater miracles (Lazarus' resurrection) & 3-year ministry (instead of 1-year ministry) Dec 18, 2020 at 14:23
  • @חִידָה Thanks for your feedback. "Hear, Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one" only appears in Mark, and the commandments referred to in Mark 12:29-30, Matthew 22:37-38, and Luke 10:27 are previous commandments, but the commandment in John 13:14 is not. It is different to the Leviticus 19:18 commandment. I assume you are highlighting differences to support the idea that it is the John account that has been changed.
    – Glenn
    Dec 20, 2020 at 18:59
  • 1
    @חִידָה Thanks again for your response. I don't know whether you have seen the answer given by Olde English below ("Time of Jesus' crucifixion in relation to the Passover"). Olde English agrees that the verses aren't compatible, but suggests that it is the Mark 14:12 verse that is wrong, based on the idea of a 33AD crucifixion date. I assume you disagree with that crucifixion date.
    – Glenn
    Dec 21, 2020 at 18:30

8 Answers 8

3

Does it relate to Exodus 12:15

15 For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove dough with yeast from your houses; for whoever eats anything with yeast from the first day until the seventh day, that [a]person shall be cut off from Israel.

where the preparation day seems to be considered the first day, and involve the idea that in Mark 14:12, it is not indicating that the events were simultaneous to the time the lamb was being killed, but rather indicating that it was on that day, the preparation day that the lamb was being killed? Such that the events described were taking place early on the preparation day.

1
  • 1
    Not sure first day can be the 14th. As Lev. 23:6-7 seems to make the 15th the first day. I would not be surprised if the tradition of removing dough with yeast on the 14th, is in some part to provide a behaviour compatible with both Ex.12:15 and Lev.23:17. It isn't compulsory in Ex.12:15 to have dough with yeast in your house. By getting rid of it the day before, there is no work to do regarding that, and therefore no conflict with the Lev.23:7 command to do no laborious work. Plus it stops any being inadvertently eaten during the first day.
    – Glenn
    Dec 18, 2020 at 3:10
2

A literal translation from Greek is something like: It was Passover's preparation (day). There are two ways of understanding the Greek genitive as the BDAG dictionary suggests: παρασκευὴ τοῦ πάσχα day of preparation for the Passover (or Friday of Passover Week). The day called paraskeuē is only used in the NT to designate a Friday, the day before the Sabbath. It occurs 6 times in the NT, 3 of them in John. It is even explained in Mark 15:42: "it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath"(KJV). By the time John wrote it had become a fixed expression for Friday, and it is still used in Modern Greek for Friday. It is to my knowledge never used as the day before a festival. Hovewer the Jews could talk about the "eve" of the Sabbath as well as the "eve" of a festival. This is probably the background for the suggestion that the Greek paraskeuē could also refer to the eve of the Passover. The word pascha has several different senses depending on context. It can refer to the Passover lamb slaughtered on Nisan 14, the Passover meal, celebrated after sunset on Nisan 14 (the beginning of Nisan 15) and the weeklong Passover festival. Originally, the Passover was only one day, Nisan 14, followed by the 7 days of Unleavened Bread, but we see in the NT that the two had merged, so pascha could refer to both festivals as a unit. Since Nisan 14 would fall on different weekdays, there would always be a Sabbath somewhere within the Passover week. It is therefore likely that the correct understanding here is that it refers to the Friday within the Passover week. This agrees with the fact that Jesus was crucified on a Friday, and in this verse in John, Jesus stands accused in the early morning before Pilate. It also allows for Jesus having celebrated the Passover meal like most other Jews the evening before, Thursday evening. Another question is whether the "sixth hour" is by normal everyday and Jewish counting of hours, meaning at noon, or by the Roman counting sometimes used in historical and official records, meaning 6 a.m. Alfred Edersheim (THe Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah) and other scholars have in my view convincingly shown that John uses Roman time in all the 4 places in the gospel where he specifies a time of day. We ned to remmber that John wrote in a Greek-Roman environment long after the fall of Jerusalem. It would be too much here to go into all the arguments about this controversial issue, but anyone interested might search for "When was Jesus Crucified" where I say a lot more about this. (https://www.academia.edu/37253590/When_was_Jesus_crucified)

7
  • Thanks for the response. You suggest that the 14th perhaps became known as the preparation day of the Passover because it was the "eve" of the festival. Ignoring that it was/is the traditional preparation day for the Passover. You wrote "The day called paraskeuē is only used in the NT to designate a Friday, the day before the Sabbath", but that seems to assume your conclusion that it didn't refer to 14th Nisan. What evidence is there for the statement "by the time John wrote it had become a fixed expression for Friday"?
    – Glenn
    Dec 20, 2020 at 19:05
  • I was further wondering what your understanding was of the John 19:31 report that the following sabbath was a "high day"?
    – Glenn
    Dec 20, 2020 at 19:11
  • I am not suggesting that the 14th became known as the preparation day because it was the eve of the festival. The Greek expression is never used for the eve of a festival, only the eve of a Sabbath (a Friday). However, there is a Hebrew and Aramaic expression which is similar and means the eve of Sabbath/festival. This was used to translate the Greek into Aramiac. When that Sabbath was called great, I assume it was because it fell within a weeklong holiday period, so it was both a full Sabbath holiday and a half holiday in a holiday week. There were two things to celebrate in one day. Dec 21, 2020 at 7:33
  • thanks again for your response. Not sure what you mean by a half holiday. As I understand it the first and seventh days of the Feast of Unleaven Bread are sabbaths, and there is no respite from work on the other days of the feast. Do you accept that the Passover has a traditional preparation day, and that day is the day before the first day of the Feast of Unleaven Bread?
    – Glenn
    Dec 21, 2020 at 17:41
  • 1
    Thanks. I did take the tour rather quickly, but I did not find instructions for formatting. I am learning slowly. This was my first attempt. Dec 22, 2020 at 10:49
2

The expression "the Passover lamb was being sacrificed" is unique to the NASB translation. Others say "when they sacrificed the Passover lamb" or "when they killed the Passover lamb".

Mark was writing to a Roman audience, whose knowledge of Judaism would be limited to the more obvious and blatant activities associated with it. From a public perspective, the time of Passover would be known as the time of year when the Jews killed an unusually large number of lambs, all on one day. Everything else associated with Passover happens indoors, where it wouldn't become general knowledge among the Romans.

Mark could be using the phrase "when they killed the passover lamb" to remind the Roman people of what Passover was. Today, it would be similar to speaking to a Hindu audience and saying "Christmas, when they decorate evergreen trees" to remind them of when Christians make a big public display of the season. There is no intended implication that the tree decorating was done specifically on Christmas day itself.


Now consider Mark 6:11:

… It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment …

or Acts 2:20:

… that great and notable day of the Lord …

In these cases, "day" isn't necessarily a single 24 hour period. It could mean "time of judgment", "age of judgment", "period of judgement", etc.

Similarly, "day of unleavened bread" could refer to that time of year, the Passover season, not to a specific day.


So Mark 14:12 could be read as: "at the beginning of the festival of unleavened bread (when Jews kill the lambs) …".

John wrote his gospel well after the others, and was writing for a larger more general audience. His details and timing are more precise (e.g. he points out that the day of preparation was for a high sabbath, not the weekly sabbath, a detail the others omit), perhaps in response to the vagueness and confusing ambiguity of the other three.

In general, rather than playing with the first three gospels and then finding that the conclusion conflicts with what John says, it's better to use John as the basis for the timing of events, and to then see how the other gospels fit in with his details, keeping in mind the intended audiences of each of the first three gospels (Jews, Romans, and Greeks).

6
  • @ Ray Butterworth - Thank you for that perspective. The commencement of the festival of UB is so confusing, I guess because of it's vagueness and confusing ambiguity. Those three gospels had me going back and forth like you wouldn't believe. I'm therefore with you on John. I think that you maybe quoted the wrong scripture with regard to Sodom and Gamorrah however. Your answer is also somewhat limited in it's scope but appreciated never the less, at least by me. Dec 24, 2020 at 23:10
  • @ Ray Butterworth - Are suggesting that "the first day of the feast of unleavened bread" did not actually mean the first day of that seven day festival? If so are you suggesting that a Jewish author would have described some other day as the "first day of the feast of unleavened bread"?
    – Glenn
    Dec 27, 2020 at 17:06
  • @Glenn, I'm suggesting that πρῶτος (protos) could be translated as "beginning" rather than "first", as it is in 2Peter 2:20 (KJV: "…the latter end is worse with them than the beginning" — NIV: "…they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning"). Note that I'm saying "could", not necessarily "should", but things fit together more nicely if is. Dec 27, 2020 at 19:00
  • @ Ray Butterworth - Sorry I was being a bit slow, thank you that does help. So in Luke 22:14-15 Jesus and his followers were not eating the Passover meal that he had instructed his followers to prepare for in verse 8?
    – Glenn
    Dec 27, 2020 at 20:12
  • @Glenn, as I (and some denominations) understand it, the Last Supper took place a day before the ceremonial Passover Meal. Remember, when Jesus was crucified the next day, it was still the Day of Preparation and he was killed at the same time as the lambs were being sacrificed for that official Passover meal. Dec 27, 2020 at 21:07
2

Great question! This made me scratch my head too.

Let me share my personal understanding, if you keep reading, you'll see what happened next in a later verse:

Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, 
that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath 
(for that Sabbath was a high day), 
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, 
and that they might be taken away.

(John 19:31 - NKJV)

It was clearly stated that this is the preparation day before Sabbath. Now with verse 14, (https://www.biblestudytools.com/john/19-14-compare.html):

  • there are 17 versions translating it as "preparation of the passover"
  • there are 9 versions translating it as "preparation for the passover".

Personally it's convincing to me that this verse is referring to:

the Preparation Day of Sabbath during the Passover Week.

I by no means am claiming to have the truth here but let's pray for understanding and continuously grow spiritually by meditating the Word of God.

3
  • Hi Daniel Deng, welcome to Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. Good insight. Please be sure to take the site tour and read up on how this site is a little different than other sites around the web. Thanks! May 3, 2021 at 2:57
  • Thanks @HoldToTheRod, much appreciated. I pray that everyone can learn the scripture and grow spiritually here together. May 3, 2021 at 12:30
  • @Daniel Deng Thanks for the interpretation.
    – Glenn
    Sep 2, 2021 at 13:56
1

Time of Jesus' crucifixion in relation to the Passover

Jesus' crucifixion happened in 33 AD, on April 3rd (Nissan 14), a Friday, at 3:00 pm (the 9th hour), the day before Passover, but not just any Passover, as it was actually a Great Passover.

NB - Great Passovers were always on a Saturday and never on any other day of the week. [Mark 14:12, relates to a week day Passover, the LAST SUPPER in actual fact].

According to some (but apparently not all) historical records, the Vernal Equinox, of 33 AD was on March the 20th (18;47 GMT, or 21:47 local time), with the New Moon actual sighting (Nissan 1) being right on time for the appropriate Full Moon of Saturday, April the 4th. And, if that wasn't all, the Full Moon not only became a Blood Moon but was preceded by a Total Solar Eclipse (some 2 weeks previously--though the eclipse wasn't total in Jerusalem) and accompanied by an Earthquake. All in all, an unmistakable marking of prophetic time.

I can hear the "naysayers" already: But, by most all accounts, Jesus' ministry commenced in 27 AD, in the 15th year of Tiberius, so how could he have died in 33 AD ??

Tiberius Caesar, was inaugurated in 14 AD, regardless of the apparent fact that he was co-regent with his ailing father for two years prior...

           Year 1  09/18/14 to 09/17/15
           Year 15 09/18/28 to 09/17/29

When Luke talks about the 15th year of Tiberius, he is talking, 28 AD/29 AD. John the Baptist, started preaching in the Spring of 29 AD, in the same year of Jesus' baptism (the actual time of the commencement of Jesus' ministry), with Jesus being baptized in the Fall of 29 AD, and then crucified (3 and a 1/2 years later), in the Spring of 33 AD.

[A certain chronologist by the name of Rainer Riener suggested that 12 AD should be considered as the start of Tiberius' rule. His suggestion, however, is considered less likely, as all the major Roman historians who calculated the years of Tiberius' rule - namely Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio - counted from 14 AD, the year of Augustus' death. In addition, coin evidence shows that Tiberius started to reign in 14 AD]

Passover from Ex.12 culminating in John 19:14 - 37

Ex. 12:6, NASB, Passover lamb to be killed at *twilight (after sunset but before darkness), on Nissan 14...

*Note from Ryrie Study Bible...twilight, considered between sunset and nightfall (about 6 - 7pm), or between the sun's decline and sunset (about 3 - 5pm).

... to be eaten (after roasting) that same night and with "Unleavened Bread" and bitter herbs....it is the LORD'S PASSOVER - Ex. 12:11 [First day from twilight on Nissan 14 to twilight on Nissan 15, first day to be a holy assembly, as must be the seventh day of "Unleavened Bread", i.e. Nissan 15 thru Nissan 21]

Matt, 26:2, Jesus to his disciples... "You know that after two days (said on the Wednesday) the Passover is coming, and the "Son of Man" is to be delivered up for CRUCIFIXION" [two days from Wednesday would be Nissan 14, Friday, the evening of which would commence Nissan 15]

Matt, 26:17 (similarly in Mark and Luke) - Now on the first day of "Unleavened Bread" the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?" [on the eve of Nissan 13 (Thursday), but start of Nissan 14, the following daylight hours to be the Friday].

So here we are in the "twilight" of Thursday evening (start of Nissan 14 [33 AD]) witnessing the LAST SUPPER, which would suggest that the "UB" started on Thursday evening, albeit start of Nissan 14 and therefore not Nissan 15. Some 21 - 24 hours later (6 - 7pm, or 3 - 5pm), Jesus is dead. Check out Benson Commentary (in Biblehub) on Luke 22:7, where he points out that the "UB" actually lasts 8 days (not 7) and started with the LAST SUPPER

John 19:14 - Here Jesus is before Pilate, during the daylight hours of Friday, Nissan 14 (after the previous evening's LAST SUPPER), "Preparation Day", for the following day's Sabbath, Nissan 15, which of course would begin that Friday evening.

So we have a Passover meal on Thursday eve, instigated by Jesus himself and then the "traditional" Passover meal on Friday eve, and Jesus is crucified in between the two.

REFLECTION

In the HCSB(LESB), on Page 92, we have Dr. Gene A Getz', Principle to live by #12 - Christ the Passover Lamb, and quote:

When God instructed the children of Israel to sacrifice a perfect lamb and mark their doors with blood (Ex. 12:22), he introduced the world to an event that vividly portrays Christ's death on the cross.

Centuries later, when John the Baptist saw Jesus, he said, "Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (Jn. 1:29). Later, Paul identified Jesus Christ as "our Passover" who "has been sacrificed" (1 Co. 5:7). Peter also captured the connection between the tenth plague and the death of Christ:

For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. (1 Pt. 1:18-19)

The Lord Jesus Christ became our Passover lamb. When we sincerely accept him as our personal Savior, "the blood of Jesus...cleanses us from all sin" (1 Jn. 1:7)... end quote.

19
  • Thanks for your response. I think it is debatable what year Jesus' crucifixion happened in, but if the Passover was on a Saturday, then the Friday would be the day before the first day of the Feast of Unleaven bread. I assume you don't think the Mark 14:12 account is compatible with a 33AD crucifixion date and is therefore incorrect.
    – Glenn
    Dec 21, 2020 at 18:16
  • @Glenn - You will find that a lot is explained in the following link: ncregister.com/blog/… Dec 22, 2020 at 0:31
  • Thanks for the link, but there seem a couple of problems with it. Clue #4 seems to ignore that not only the weekly sabbath had a traditional day of preparation, but also the Passover, the day before the Feast of the Unleaven Bread starts, when leaven bread is removed from the home. Clue #5 seems to ignore that in 34AD the 14th would have fallen on the same day as the Spring Equinox which led Isaac Newton to believe the previous year would have been a leap year, and the 14th would have instead been on Thursday 22nd April.
    – Glenn
    Dec 22, 2020 at 1:21
  • I appreciate that I was wrong to assume that you were thinking that Mark 14:12 was incompatible with a 33AD date though, as the article mentions an alternative which seems to be that either Jesus didn't observe the Passover meal on the correct date, or that he did, and that the Priests were eating it on the incorrect date.
    – Glenn
    Dec 22, 2020 at 1:42
  • @Glenn - Firstly, I guess Clue #4 ignores the other day of preparation because of being immaterial. The Friday before the (great) Sabbath is the only prep day to be focused on. Secondly, You raise a good point re clue #5, Nissan 1 would have been way too early for the barley if Nisan 14 fell on the Spring equinox, so Sir Isaac was probably right. But, it's "by the way" for the sake of argument here. Is it not?? We have to be talking about a Friday, after all. April 3rd of 33 AD, just has to be the date, if only for all the other reasons I brought up. Dec 22, 2020 at 5:56
0

I. The Time Line That Appears in the Three Feast Days and the Gospels.

Scripture confirms for us that Jesus died on Friday afternoon and rose again early Sunday morning. This equates to one full day and parts of two days, one full night and part of another night.

A. Matthew 26:17

“Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?’”

The day is Passover. This was a day of unleavened bread but is not to be confused with the Feast of Unleavened Bread which would begin the next day. Still, this is called the “first day of Unleavened Bread.” This is the time Jesus takes the Passover meal with His disciples.

  1. The Passover was to be observed each year on the 14th of Abib. Exodus 12:6

“You shall keep it (the Passover lamb) until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.”

The Passover lamb was to be eaten on the 14th day of the first month in the evening.

  1. Immediately following the Passover, on the 15th of Abib came the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Exodus 12:15-18 “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. ‘On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you. You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore, you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.”

The day after the Passover was to be a Sabbath, a holy day, and the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The disciples called the Passover the first day of Unleavened bread because unleavened bread was eaten on that day as well. The eating of unleavened bread would continue through the 21st day of Abib which was 8 days in all. Thus, the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread were linked.

  1. Luke 22:7-9,

“Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.’”

This preparation happened on the actual day of Passover. Jesus had the last supper sometime after the beginning of the 14th day of Abib rather than at the end of the Day as the Law required.

  1. That same night Jesus was in the Garden with his disciples. He was later taken to Annas,

“Having arrested Him, they led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest.” Luke 22:54.

  1. He was then taken before the Sanhedrin where he was questioned and abused.

“When it was day, (the same day) the Council of elders of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber,” Luke 22:66.

  1. In the morning of the same day, they took him to Pilate. Luke 23:1-2 says,

“Then the whole body of them got up and brought Him before Pilate.”

John provides us with an important piece of the puzzle in John 18:28,

“Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled but might eat the Passover.”

The priest did not want to defile themselves because they wanted to eat the Passover on that day. Christ had already eaten the Passover at the beginning of the day. Matthew 26:20 says that Jesus sat down with the 12 at evening which was some time after sunset. Now this is important. The Jewish day went from sunset to sunset. So, that evening Jesus spent with his disciples was the beginning of the 14th day of Abib – Passover. Jesus and his disciples were eating the Passover on the right day but they were eating it at the beginning of the day rather that at the end of the day as the Law stipulated because by the end of the Passover day Jesus would already be dead.

  1. The Passover lamb was killed between the two evenings, Exodus 12:6 says.

“You shall keep it (the Passover lamb) until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.”

According to Ellicott and others, the word translated ‘at twilight’ actually means between the two evenings. This would seem to agree with the traditional time of the offering of the Passover lamb which was at 3pm or the 9th hour of the day. This is important. Remember, Jesus had eaten the last supper after sunset which was early at the beginning of that day. He was with Pilate the morning after the last supper on the day of Passover which the priests were going to observe in the evening.

  1. Pilate offered to release Jesus because of a standing Passover tradition.

“Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour” (noon), John 19:14-16.

It is preparation time because the Passover would be sacrificed in the temple in about 3 hours. They then took him away to be crucified. Luke tells us that darkness fell from the moment they led him away to be crucified until the ninth hour when he died, Luke 23:44.

“It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour.”

This was the very hour when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed in the temple.

  1. God expresses His satisfaction over the event.

Luke 23:44-46 says,

“...and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last.”

So, Jesus died at the 9th hour – 3PM. This is the exact time the temple veil was torn declaring the fulfillment of everything under the sacrificial system.

II. The Burial and Resurrection

Jesus died at the 9th hour which means only 3 hours remained until the end of Passover and the beginning of the weekly Sabbath. The body of Jesus had to be properly prepared and in the tomb before the end of the Passover.

A. The burial

The ladies had gotten all the necessary spices during this three-hour period either from the market or were using leftover spices from those provided by Nicodemus. John 19:39 tells us that

“Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight.”

The women had been to the tomb to see where Jesus was to be buried and still had time to return home to finish preparing additional spices before the Sabbath arrived. Luke 23:56 confirms that,

“Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath, they rested according to the commandment.”

B. The resurrection - Luke 24:1 says,

“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.”

It is now Sunday, the first day of the week, and Jesus had risen early in the morning perhaps around sunrise. Luke’s account shows that Jesus had the last supper sometime after sunset with his disciples. He was then crucified the same day. He was then buried on that same day and then the weekly Sabbath immediately followed. Jesus spent the entire Sabbath day in the tomb. On the very next day following the Sabbath, which was the first day of the week, Jesus rose from the dead. We know this is accurate because of how the Old Testament organized the events of the three consecutive feast days.

III. The Three Feast Days, 17-25

A. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Number 28:16-25

“Then on the fourteenth day of the first month shall be the Lord’s Passover. On the fifteenth day of this month shall be a feast, unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days. On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. You shall present an offering by fire, a burnt offering to the Lord: two bulls and one ram and seven male lambs one year old, having them without defect. For their grain offering, you shall offer fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for a bull and two-tenths for the ram. A tenth of an ephah you shall offer for each of the seven lambs; and one male goat for a sin offering to make atonement for you. You shall present these besides the burnt offering of the morning, which is for a continual burnt offering. After this manner you shall present daily, for seven days, the food of the offering by fire, of a soothing aroma to the Lord; it shall be presented with its drink offering in addition to the continual burnt offering. On the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work.”

The Passover was a one-day observance which fell on the 14th day of Abib. Numbers 28 is a much more detailed description of the Passover described in Leviticus 23. In Exodus 12:15, Israel was told they were to continue to eat unleavened bread for seven days following the Passover.

B. The Feast of Weeks and the offering of the First-fruits, 26-31

“Also, on the day of the first fruits, when you present a new grain offering to the Lord in your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. You shall offer a burnt offering for a soothing aroma to the Lord: two young bulls, one ram, seven male lambs one year old; and their grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for each bull, two-tenths for the one ram, a tenth for each of the seven lambs; also, one male goat to make atonement for you. Besides the continual burnt offering and its grain offering, you shall present them with their drink offerings. They shall be without defect.”

The Feast of Weeks was to be observed on the 16th and 17th of Abib, Exodus 34:25-26 and Leviticus 23:10-14. It began on the second day of the Feast of Weeks and required the same catalogue of sacrifices as the new moon and the feast of unleavened bread. This was not a holy convocation day. There was no restriction on servile work. This was the beginning of the barley harvest and the first of that harvest was being waved before the Lord, Leviticus 23:10-11.

Here is a point many people miss. In 1 Corinthians 15:20 Paul tells us,

“But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.”

Being the first-fruit defines the first produce of the harvest. Jesus became the first, the προς τον τυπον – the one for the pattern. He is the prototype of a new society of those who by faith, become sons of God, Romans 8:29. These sons of God are those of whom John says in John 1:12-13,

“are born not of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God.”

Jesus became the forerunner, the older brother, the first-fruit among the sons of God through his resurrection.

So, we have the Passover on the 14th, the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the 15th, and then the offering of the First-fruits on the 16th which was on the day after the Sabbath. Jesus followed this exact pattern. He died on the day of Passover. The next day was a high weekly Sabbath and Jesus was resting in the tomb. The next day after the Sabbath was the offering of first-fruits and Jesus rose on that day after the Sabbath. This tells us that the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread – a special Sabbath and the weekly Sabbath fell on the same day that year. That is why John says in John 19:31

“Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.”

  1. On Passover, on the 14th of Abib, the lamb of God was slain.

  2. The following day, the 15th of Abib, was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a holy convocation, a day of rest. Jesus was resting in the tomb.

  3. On the following day, the 16th of Abib, was the beginning of the Feast of Weeks with the waving of the first-fruits. Jesus is raised on this day as the first-fruit.

The sequence of these feasts proves beyond any doubt that Jesus died on Friday and rose early Sunday morning. The argument that there had to be three literal days and nights (72 hours) in the grave simply does not fit the prophetic time line of these three feast days, nor does it fit the timeline presented in the Gospels. According to the sequence of the three feast days, there could not be a 72-hour period between the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread and the day of First-fruits. These were consecutive days. The argument that there had to literally be three days and nights in the grave between the Day of Unleavened Bread and the offering of the First-fruit simply cannot fit the typology of the feast days. Jesus died on Friday around 3pm. He was in the grave from sometime just before sunset Friday until sunrise Sunday morning. By the Jewish reckoning of time, this can constitute three days, but there is no way it can constitute three nights, I don’t care how one may try to manipulate it. Since the timeline presented to us in the Gospels and in the three feast days demonstrate that Jesus did not literally spend three days and three nights in the tomb, this means the phrase “in the heart of the earth” must have a meaning that cannot be derived from the grammatical structure of the statement or from the Lexical use of words. If it cannot be understood as literal then it has to be something else.

IV. What is the Meaning of “in the heart of the earth?”

How are we to understand the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:40,

“For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth?”

Mark 8:31 says,

“And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again”

In Matthew 17:22-23 Jesus gives definition to his use of “in the heart of the earth” in chapter 12.

“And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.’ And they were deeply grieved.”

The text tells us under no uncertain terms that Jesus rose on the first day of the week. In Matthew 12, Jesus uses the term “in the heart of the earth.” He does not say “in the tomb” or “in the grave.” He does not use the term for grave or tomb. He uses the word 'ges' which means earth, ground, or world, but is also used very often to refer to the human collective. This is how it is used in Matthew 10:15

“Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land (ge) of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” Jesus was not talking about the land; he was talking about its inhabitants.

Revelation 13:3 says

“And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world (ge) marveled and followed the beast.”

It was not the globe of the planet that marveled. He is talking about its inhabitants.

As the Greek Scholar John Bengel explained, “Heart of the earth” is an idiom. An idiom is

“an expression in the usage of a language that is peculiar to itself either in having a meaning that cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements or in its grammatically atypical use of words.” (Merriam-Webster)

Jesus himself provides the meaning of the idiom. Jesus was talking about his time of suffering which began Friday with his arrest in the garden and ended when he rose on Sunday morning. In other words, Jesus was three days and three nights in the hands of men. This is precisely how Jesus explains this experience in Luke 24:7,

“…that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”

In the heart of the earth is the same thing as “into the hands of men.” From the time Jesus was arrested at about 2AM Friday morning to the time he rose from the tomb sometime Sunday morning was indeed three days and three nights. But even this does not equal 72 hours. This is still only two full days and one partial day, two full nights and one partial night.

Jesus himself provides the meaning of the idiom. Jesus was talking about his time of suffering which began Friday with his arrest in the garden and ended when he rose on Sunday morning. In other words, Jesus was three days and three nights in the hands of men. This is precisely how Jesus explains this experience in Luke 24:7,

“…that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”

In the heart of the earth is the same thing as “into the hands of men.” From the time Jesus was arrested at about 2AM Friday morning to the time he rose from the tomb sometime Sunday morning was indeed three days and three nights. But even this does not equal 72 hours. This is still only two full days and one partial day, two full nights and one partial night.

4
  • Thank you for the response. You claim that when Matthew 26:17 mentions the "first day of Unleavened Bread" it isn't referring to the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread which has seven days. How many days does this other unleavened bread thing have and what are the sources for your claim? Also I thought the passover lamb was slaughtered on the 14th at dusk and then eaten on the 15th. That the lamb wasn't to be slaughtered before the 14th at dusk (Exodus 12:6). But you seem to have Jesus and his followers eating it earlier on the 14th.
    – Glenn
    Oct 19, 2022 at 19:01
  • Yes, as I explained in the post, there were actually 8 days in which unleavened bread was to be eaten. It was eaten on the day of Passover and for the 7 consecutive days of the feast of unleavened bread. As to the other question, Jesus explained why they ate the passover at the beginning of the day rather than at the appointed time. When the appointed time came to eat the passover meal, Jesus would already be dead. This was all covered in the post in more detail.
    – oldhermit
    Oct 19, 2022 at 20:50
  • I think I understand now. You are suggesting that in Mark 14:12-16 all took place during the night. And when Mark 14:17 mentions Jesus and the 12 turning up in the evening, it was actually that same night. Which while extraordinary, given that as you mention it would have broken the Law, it wasn't something any gospel author thought to specifically mention. Just seems a bit implausible to me. If it had happened like that I would have thought at least one would have pointed out how extraordinary the event was, perhaps in an attempt to explain it.
    – Glenn
    Oct 20, 2022 at 4:38
  • The scriptures lay it all out for us. I provided adequate scripture for everything I said. His death burial and resurrection had to follow the pattern of the three feast days.
    – oldhermit
    Oct 20, 2022 at 9:09
0

I previously believed Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Why? Because, I yearly went to Good Friday services observing Christ's Friday crucifixion,-- tradition. Did I have questions? Yes, Matt 12:40 3 days and 3 nights, raised on the third day or after 3 days, were the main questions.

If you ask any church member:

  1. What day of the week do you believe Jesus was crucified?
  2. Why do you believe that day? and
  3. What if any questions do you have about that day?
    I would guess 90%+ would answer similarly to my response above.

Now, after 2 years study, I have 3 reasons to believe/know Jesus was crucified on Friday and answers to my questions.
I am not trying to create division or discord, but trying to give a complete picture of crucifixion related items - historical [OT] and Jesus current day [NT] I put all the data I am aware of out for review and ask for correction wherever the reader feels it is needed. My goal is to be able to give an answer for what I believe.

REASON # 1

Need to know facts about Passover [exodus 12:1-13 and 14-28] [days run sunset to sunset 12 hrs dark, 12 hrs light] [ Nisan 10 == Nisan is1st month of Jewish year, 10 is day of the month]

GOD'S PLAN [from Exodus 12] JESUS FOLLOWING GOD'S PLAN [from 4 Gospels] Nisan 10 Passover lamb chosen Nisan 10 Sunday after sunrise, Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt 21:2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.) [Jesus starts PLAN!] Nisan 11 till sunset - the lamb is kept in the house for inspection Nisan 11 Monday till sunset Jesus is inspected by Jewish leaders cursed fig tree on way to Jerusalem Nisan 12 till sunset - the lamb is kept in the house for inspection Nisan 12 Tuesday till sunset Jesus is inspected by Jewish leaders next day fig tree withered Nisan 13 till sunset - the lamb is kept in the house for inspection Nisan 13 Wednesday till sunset disciples prepare for Passover meal [Mark 14:13-16 Jesus Implementing more PLAN details] Nisan 14 at sunset lamb is slaughtered by the family, prepared for Passover meal, blood is spread on doorframe Nisan 14 Wednesday evening after sunset Jesus and disciples eat the Passover meal, went to Gethsemane, He was arrested Nisan 14 [ex 12:12] " On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals [midnight] Nisan 14 Thursday Midnight till sunrise, Jesus on trial by Jewish leaders [all 4 gospels]
Nisan 14 Thursday at sunrise start of Jesus trial before Pilate. [Cast into the heart of earth's ruling government Matt 12:40 ]
Nisan 14 Thursday noon John 19:14 "at the 6th hour" Pilate turned Jesus over to be crucified. Nisan 15 at sunset 1st day of "Feast of Unleavened Bread" a Sabbath day, or 2nd day of 8 day "Passover" celebration. Nisan 15 Thursday sunset Jesus under Roman government guard till Friday morning. a Sabbath day [My take] Nisan 15 Friday after sunrise, Mark 15:25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. a Sabbath day Nisan 15 Friday pre sunset, Mark 15:46 Joseph took down the body, placed it in a tomb, rolled stone against the entrance a Sabbath day Nisan 16 regular day, unless it is a Saturday Sabbath Nisan 16 Friday sunset start a Sabbath, Jesus body in the tomb Nisan 16 Saturday a Sabbath, Jesus body in the tomb Nisan 17 regular day, unless it is a Saturday Sabbath Nisan 17 Saturday after sunset, Jesus body in the tomb Nisan 17 Sunday before sunrise, Jesus body in the tomb Nisan 17 Sunday sunrise, HE IS RISEN Nisan 18 regular day, unless it is a Saturday Sabbath Nisan 19 regular day, unless it is a Saturday Sabbath Nisan 20 regular day, unless it is a Saturday Sabbath
Nisan 21 Last day of "Feast of Unleavened Bread", a Sabbath day, and 8th day of "Passover" celebration.

REASON # 2

Luke 24:1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.

REASON # 3 Jesus walking with 2 disciples on road to Emmaus Luke 24:17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

Possible answers to long ask questions. A B & C A Matt 12:38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” Matt 12:39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. Matt 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. There is no support for 3 days in the "GRAVE" as some claim.

Jonas cast into sea by shipmates Jesus cast into Roman government Nisan 14 Thursday sunrise Jonas spewed out of fish onto beach Jesus RAISED TO LIFE Nisan 17 Sunday sunrise Nisan 14 Thursday sunrise to Nisan 17 Sunday sunrise is 3 days and 3 nights.

B

NIV Matt 17:22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief. They [Gentiles] killed Him on Friday Nisan 15, He was raised on Sunday Nisan 17 = on the 3rd day

 C

NIV Mark 8:31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. They [ elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law] rejected Him on Thursday Nisan 14, He was raised on Sunday Nisan 17 = after 3 days

NOTE: Hopefully, this has been beneficial to you. Feel free to respond to [[email protected]] with your additions, corrections, and or comments.

My goal is to be able to give an answer for what I believe.

My early questions Matt 12:40 three days and three nights? What does "in the heart of the earth" mean? No one ever gives support for "in the grave" Matt 16:21 on the third day be raised to life? Mark 8:31 after three days rise again? 2 unresolved issues Matt 27:62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day John 19:31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. I believe the church does not TEACH EFFECTIVELY how these 5 interact: Need to know facts about Passover Holy Week events Question Areas 2 unresolved issues Jesus walking with 2 disciples on road to Emmas What do you think?

Please let me know of any errors, omissions or adjustments you find need to be made. PS What I get told is, "don't worry about which day Jesus was crucified. The important thing is that he was crucified for me and rose from the grave on Easter morning." However, I think we need to be aware that the "Wednesday crucifixion" proponents are critical of all who are not of their persuasion. 1 peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, My goal is to be able to give an answer for what I believe.

If you would like, I could send you my detail 2 year study, an excel file, which addresses 4 crucifixion scenarios: Which day? 1. Thursday trial/Friday crucifixion, 2. Friday, 3.Thursday, 4. Wednesday The file has 11 tabs which are listed here:

  1. Why I did this study [short 120 lines]
  2. Compares Jonah situation to Jesus situation [Jonah 2:1-9 he prayed while in fish. He was alive in the fish] 12 lines [reff Matt 12:40]
  3. Four crucifixion scenarios [ by Nisan date, day of week, and events during Nisan 10-17] 135 lines
  4. Nisan 13-17 Passover meal to Resurrection (by verse) [challenge: est Jesus trial time - col E starting line 91-189] 330 lines [hide col d & f till you enter your times]
  5. The 4 verses starting trial with Pilate and 4 verses ending trial 35 lines
  6. commentaries on "after 3 days" + verses in Greek [one person claimed the word "after" is in error] 64 lines col a-z
  7. Sunday resurrection day the 4 Gospels [side by side] 56 lines a-z
  8. "John" article on John by Ernest L Martin PHD 1979 (Wed cru) 418 lines
  9. "The Passover Contradictions" by Ernest L Martin PHD 1979 (wed cru) 219 lines
  10. commentary on Luke 24:21 43 lines
  11. nickcady 05272022 a pastor's blog 367 lines apr17, 2017-current

covered in tab 3 of my file Raised on third day
Matt 16:21 Matt 17:23 Matt 20:19 Matt 20:33 Raised after three days Mark 8"31 Mark 9:31 Mark 10:33

chuck tebow 82 year old retired accountant. Likes to reconcile dates, days, times and events.

2
  • Thanks for the response. You mention "Nisan 14 Thursday Midnight till sunrise, Jesus on trial by Jewish leaders [all 4 gospels]". But how is Mark 14:12 compatible with that? When it indicates that on the first day of unleavened bread (the 15th I would have thought) he hasn't yet been arrested.
    – Glenn
    Oct 19, 2022 at 19:28
  • Thanks again. When you state "Nisan 14 Wednesday evening after sunset Jesus and disciples eat the Passover meal, went to Gethsemane, He was arrested" I presume you are also suggesting that the preparation of the meal in Mark 14:12-16 also took place during that same night? Don't you think it strange that if that is what happened none of the gospel writers tried to reconcile such behaviour with the Law, given that it would seem to breech it and be extraordinary?
    – Glenn
    Oct 20, 2022 at 5:01
0

There is.

Passover started on Abib 14th in the evening and ended on Abib 21st.

Mark 14:12 occured on Abib 14th (corresponding to Friday). It was the Day of Preparation for the first Holy Convocation of the Passover week, on Abib 15th.

John 19:14 occured on Abib 20th (corresponding to Thursday). It was the Day of Preparation for the second Holy Convocation of the Passover week, on Abib 21st.

The only question I cannot answer is when in history the unfortunate interpretation of the fast-track-trial came up.

3

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.