The scriptural chronology of crucifixion week
Truly, when was Jesus crucified?
And why is this exact day so important?
- Jesus had to be in the ground (Hades) “three days and three nights” (Matt. 12:40). This would be the sign of Jonah (Matt. 12:39; Jonah 1:17) and the only sign of his Messiahship given to the Pharisees (Matt. 12:38).
- His resurrection happened before daylight—“early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark”—i.e., Sunday morning before 6:00 AM (John 20:1; Luke 24:1-3; also see Mark 16:2-9)
- There were two different Sabbaths during that week—“a special Sabbath” / “high day” (John 19:31, NIV/KJV) and the regular weekly, seventh-day Sabbath.
- Jesus died “about the ninth hour” (Matt. 27:46-50) on a day of Preparation (John 19:14, 31; Luke 23:54; Matt. 27:62-66).
- But there were two different days of Preparation prior to each Sabbath day (Mark 16:1; Luke 23:56).
The solution: (Remember, the Jewish “day” begins with night at 6:00PM)
- Wednesday – the first day of Preparation. Jesus was crucified and died about 3:00PM. His body was placed in the tomb prior to the start of the special Sabbath at 6:00 PM.
- Thursday – the special Sabbath (a high day—the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and often called Passover) began at 6:00PM (our Wednesday)
- Friday – the second day of Preparation began at 6:00PM (our Thursday). This was when the women purchased the spices to anoint Jesus’ body (Mark 16:1).
- Saturday – the regular weekly Sabbath began at 6:00PM (our Friday).
- Sunday – Resurrection Day – “the first day of the week” begins at 6:00PM (our Saturday). The empty tomb was discovered prior or around to 6:00 AM Sunday morning.
Night & day numerical recap:
If Jesus was crucified on Friday, as is traditionally held, and his body was only in the grave from Friday afternoon to sometime early Sunday morning, then the sign He gave that He was the promised Messiah was not fulfilled. The claim of his Messiahship rests on the fulfillment of his words (Matt. 12:38-40). This is a serious matter.
The only way all the demands and accounts in the Gospels can be harmonized and synchronized is with a . .
Good Wednesday crucifixion.
Other time statements of Jesus have also been misunderstood, ignored, or contradicted by Christian tradition, such as: Matt. 10:23; 16:28; 24:34; 26:64; Mark 1:14-15; Luke 21:20-22; Rev. 22:7, 10, 12. The resultant confusion has discredited both the clarity and authority of Scripture, as well has cast doubt upon the deity of Christ in the minds of many.
A ‘come-now’ suggestion:
The Apostle Paul had it right when he wrote: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (
5:6). Paul’s “at just the right time” refers to exact, literal, chronological, and sequential fulfillment of Daniel’s 70-week (490 years) time prophecy (Dan. 9:24-27)—no gaps, no gimmicks. Rom.
If I may suggest, everything else God the Father and Jesus the Son promised and time-restricted also occurred “at just the right time.” Unfortunately, this aspect of divine perfection and precise fulfillments still await discovery today by most Christians and non-Christians alike. “Come now, let us reason together” (Isa. 1:18).
Blessings, John Noē, Ph.D.Prophecy Reformation Institute