What Day of the Week Was Jesus
C R U C I F I E D ?
By Jan Lilleby
As I worked on diverse facts about times and years regarding my article on Daniel’s Seventy Weeks, I happened to read up on Passover and the dramatically days when Jesus was crucified. Studying moon-phases and Jewish holidays can be exciting – and can enlighten your understanding of the reality of the Passover the year that Jesus died and thereafter was raised from the dead.
Therefore I shall use this little article to clarify certain Biblical facts in the topic.
THE PASSOVER – WHICH IS ALWAYS THE SAME IN JEWRY
First we shall have a look upon which year it was when Jesus actually was crucified. Therefore we must notice that it was 14th of Nisan, which always is the Passover – and it is decided by the present Moon-Phases for each year, which day of the week it falls on. All according to the Law of Moses (the Tora).
That is why the Passover can one year fall on March, another year it is April, and yet – another year it is early May. Decided by the position of the Moon.
I have used below a listing of 9 years in row, inside which we are guaranteed to catch the correct year and day for the 14th Nisan on which Jesus died. Those are the years from 26 AD to 34 AD.
I am using 1 Nisan and 14 Nisan for each of the nine years to give you a wider sense of understanding dates, and the respective week-day names for each,
26 AD - 1 Nisan is Monday 8th of April. 14th of Nisan Sunday 21th of April.
27 AD - 1 Nisan is Saturday 29th of March. 14th of Nisan Friday 11th of April.
28 AD - 1 Nisan is Thursday 15th of April. 14th of Nisan Wednesday 28th of April.
29 AD – 1 Nisan is Tuesday 5th of April. 14th of Nisan Monday 18th of April.
30 AD – 1 Nisan is Saturday 25th of March. 14th of Nisan Friday 7th of April.
31 AD – 1 Nisan is Thursday 12th of April. 14th of Nisan Wednesday 25th of April.
32 AD – 1 Nisan is Tuesday 1 April. 14th of Nisan Monday 14th of April.
33 AD – 1 Nisan is Monday 20th April. 14th of Nisan Sunday 3 May.
34 AD – 1 Nisan is Friday 9th of April. 14th of Nisan Thursday 22 April.
THE CRUCIFIXION, THE BURIAL AND THE RESURRECTION
Now we will be confronted with an important fact: It is ONLY the week day of WEDNESDAY the 14th of Nisan – the Passover – which could possibly be the day that Jesus was crucified. All four Gospels testify of this.
The four Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, clearly states that He laid three days and three nights in the grave, and the women came there on an early Sunday morning (the first day of the week) after the Sabbath, while it dawned of day. Mat. 27:57, 58 gives us Joseph of Arimathea who on Wednesday evening asked for the body of Jesus, before Pilate. He was granted this. Mat. 28:1 gives us the Sunday morning, and the women arriving at an empty grave.
There is no doubt that it was Wednesday the 28th of April 28 AD, the 14th of Nisan.
Wednesday is the only day which fits into the collective history of these Gospels. Mat. 12:40 says three days and three nights. From Wednesday at sundown until Saturday at sundown. After the sun has gone down, the next day has come. NOTICE: When the women came to the grave this was very early at dawn Sunday morning, and it says nothing of Jesus rising at that hour. He could have risen right before 19.00 Saturday, or right after it had shifted to Sunday at sundown – we don’t know – but it is highly probable. The two angels who revealed themselves to the women on Sunday morning, reminded them of what exactly Jesus had told them before he was crucified,
Luke 24:6, 7,
“He is not here, but has risen! Remember how He told you while He was still in Galilee - - That the Son of Man must be given over into the hands of sinful men (men whose way or nature is to act in opposition to God) and be crucified and on the third day rise (from death).”
They had no clocks at that time in history – and the angels could not therefore say, for instance…Well you see, Jesus rose from the dead around Saturday evening at 19.00 – which was the third day still. The sun went down at 19.19 PM.
It had to be sufficient that the women got to know that the Lord HAD RISEN ALREADY, before they arrived at the grave. He DID NOT RISE at Sunday morning. This is very simple, and also it is true.
According to charts for Sunrise and Sundown in Jerusalem on the 1st of May (17th Nisan in 28 AD), the sun actually goes down at 19.19. The following Sunday morning it rises at so early as 05.53. The sun is a constant in the time-factor whether rising or going down, any which year we have. Same time as for the 17th of Nisan (1st of May) Year 28 AD – which was Saturday, as for 1st of May this year 2021 – only with a minimal adjustment of a few minutes each leap year (one day extra in February every fourth year).
The doubts and discussions on what day the crucifixion happened derives from the fact that it was TWO SABBATHS that week. The first was at Thursday 29th of April (15th of Nisan), and the second was the regular Sabbath at Saturday 1st of May (17th of Nisan).
It is Mark 15:42, Luke 23:52-54 and John 19:31 that mention it was Sabbath AFTER the crucifixion. But this was just the extra Sabbath, at 15th of Nisan, which is always the ‘First Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread’. The regular Sabbath is always on Saturday.
In the Greek original text for Matthew 28:1 where we read of the women arriving at the grave, it says correctly plural tense for the Sabbath: Sabbaths. Most translations are just in singular tense, sorry to say. So, Jesus was not crucified on a Friday. It is quite impossible, given the Gospel texts.
That extra Sabbath on the 15th of Nisan, can be found in Lev. 23:4-8 and Num. 28:16-18.
In Luke 23:55, 56 it says that the women went to buy spices and ointments (perfume oil) BEFORE the Sabbath, while in Mark 16:1 it is written that they bought the goods AFTER the Sabbath. In other words: They bought the spices and ointments BETWEEN the two Sabbaths – namely Friday 16th of Nisan, or April 30th in our calendar. The shops were closed on these two Sabbaths but was open on that Friday – business-as-usual.
For this to come to pass – the ‘Before’ and the ‘After’ constellation – it leaves us only the Wednesday, and that day only, for the crucifixion of Jesus. This really kills the debate that has been going on whether Jesus was crucified on Friday.
CHECK OUT MY SCHEDULE DRAWING HERE VISUALIZING THIS:
A little correction to my schematics:
Jesus being laid into grave between 16.oo and 18.oo PM took TWO hours
max of course, and not THREE as I wrote. Sorry!
THE TWO ALTERNATE WEDNESDAYS IN MY LIST ABOVE
You will already have noticed my emphasized line regarding 28 AD and 31 AD calendar years, in which we can find that the 14th of Nisan fell on a Wednesday.
A well-known and famous Christian writer and Bible expositor (and a host of others holding same views) made a real unfortunate blunder, as he held forth the year 32 AD as the year when Jesus was crucified. None of them are foolish or dumb, they are all believers like you and me. But we have often made blunders because we forget (is it a stress-syndrome?) to check – and double check important issues. But no such mistakes have any influence negatively regarding our salvation by faith. Thank God.
If you now do check out the year 32 AD (which that famous Bible expositor must have forgotten) – you will notice that it is completely impossible that Jesus could have died that year. Simply because the 14th of Nisan – the Passover – was that year on Monday the 14th of April! It is likewise therefore impossible that Jesus could have risen a few hours before Sunday morning, for that Sunday would come six days after He died. But the Gospels say He rose on the third day.
And, to be open and honest: I did that kind of error myself, if I go several years back. I once held the view that Jesus died in 32 AD…and thus we count the Book of Acts as a story beginning in that same year and ending in 62 AD when Paul was two years in Rome. A period of 30 years. But in real correct time, it was from 28 AD to 62-63 AD – a period of 34-35 years. But that is an entirely different issue. I should have checked the year, and then checked it again, of course, but I did not. But from here on, that is what I will do every time there come up a topic in which correct dates are essential. I promise.
The only alternative year to 28 AD, was 31 AD since the 14th of Nisan was on a Wednesday that year as well. But here we come to face another time-issue due to the manipulation made by the ancient Catholic Church.
They managed to alter the Lord’s birthday from September 28th or 29th – to December 24th, - plus they altered the year to be 5-6 years (some believe it was 2 or 3 years only) later than the actual year of birth. Jesus was born five years earlier, maybe six years. But this means – because of the calendar proven, that He could only have died in 28 AD, because this will fall in with the fact that the Gospels say He was around 30 years when He started ministry, and it lasted for three years. If He died in 31 AD, Jesus would have been 36 years of age, and we know it would be wrong. If we go for the 5-year model, He would die at the age of 38 years. So anyway, whether Catholic Church manipulated 3 years, or 2 years, or 5 years, result will still be so wrong that He could not die in Year 31 AD. Using the 2-Year model leaves Jesus at an age at death of 35 years. The Bible says He died at 33 years of age, period. It is irrefutable and non-negotiable.
It is good to know the real facts in regard to our Bible studies, don’t you agree? Even if it does not really disturb our standing with the Lord, and our salvation by faith alone.
Jesus died as a matter of fact on Wednesday 28th of April 28 AD at an age of almost 33 years. He ascended to heaven about ten days before Pentecost, which was at Sunday 20th of June 28 AD. (Jesus left for heaven around 8-10 June…)