When Did Jesus Die?

Q. Thanks so much for your web site, it has been a blessing. Once again, here is another thought about the timing of our Christ being crucified. I’ve read a lot of the articles, and they all make good sense, however I never seen in any of them a couple of scriptures that are very important.

Some suppose it was Good Friday, you say Thursday is the only day, while others say Wednesday. The gospel accounts all added together give us the clearest picture of all, setting aside Jewish traditions. Some say you must account for the traditions, I say the Holy Bible alone will give you the answers. Studying the Gospels, in conjunction with the old testament, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday that He went into the temple for the first day of inspection. Therefore the three day inspection ended on Tuesday.

The reasons I believe this are the two scriptures in Mark and Luke. The gospels say there was and earthquake when Jesus gave up His Spirit. The graves were open. The following day they could do no work. The day of the resurrection there was another earthquake. This leads to Friday.Luke 23:55 say the women followed to see where Jesus was laid, vs. 56 says “they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.” Some believing this Sabbath to be Saturday correctly.

Mark 15:47 says the women beheld where He was laid. Mark 16:1 says, “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.

My question is how the could buy and prepared the spices before and after the sabbath, if the Sabbaths were not Thursday and Saturday? Was Jesus therefore crucified on Wednesday? Thank for your answer.

A. You’ve read my article on the Holy Week events so you know I think the Bible says that Thursday is the only possible day. Exodus 12:3 says that the 10th day was for selecting the Lamb. Then came 3 days of inspection, the 11th, 12th, and 13th, and then Passover the 14th.

Palm Sunday was the day of selection. It was the only day in His life that He allowed them to call Him the Messiah and can’t be counted in the inspection process. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were for inspection, and that makes the Crucifixion on Thursday, Passover. Friday was the Feast of Unleavened bread, a special Sabbath where no work was allowed, Saturday was the regular Sabbath, and Sunday was the first day of the week when the women went to the tomb and found it empty.

Neither Luke 23:55-56 nor Mark 15:47-16:1 contain anything to dispute that. Assuming they didn’t know in advance when Jesus was going to be executed, the women had two opportunities to buy spices after the time He was condemned to death and before they saw the open tomb. The first was anytime Thursday before sunset, and the other was Saturday evening after sunset when the second Sabbath ended. John 19:39-40 supports the earlier purchase, saying that Nicodemus and Joseph had 75 pounds of spices with them when they laid the Lord in the tomb. The fact that Mark 16:1 says that the women had bought spices, which implies some time before Sunday morning, gives further support to the early purchase.

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