Jesus died on a Wednesday

The important note to make about Jesus’ death, which has been the source of tradition, is the advent of Good Friday, which suggest Jesus died on the cross on a Friday. The reality is that Jesus’ time of death was 3PM - Wednesday AD 31.

When Jesus died He was quickly buried because of the oncoming Feast of Unleavened Bread, a high day which began at sunset on Wednesday to sunset on Thursday - Luke 23:46-54.

“And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on” Luke 23:54

Many have assumed this was the weekly Sabbath and that Jesus was crucified on a Friday. There are two distinct high days or Sabbaths referred to in this week. The weekly Sabbath is sunset Friday to sunset Saturday verses the first day of Unleavened Bread, a high annual Sabbath - Sunset Wednesday to Sunset Thursday.

“for that sabbath day was an high day” - John 19:31 ( also Exodus 12:16-17; Leviticus 23:6-7)

The annual Holy Days usually fall on weekdays, other than the regular weekly Sabbath days, sunset Friday - sunset Saturday.

The women saw Jesus’ body being laid in the tomb just before sunset Wednesday.

“And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.” Luke 23:54-56

They “returned and prepared spices and ointments”

Preparing spices would not have been done on a Sabbath day, Friday - Saturday, since it would have been considered a violation of the Sabbath.

This is verified by Mark’s account, which states, “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 16:1

Again, they would not have purchased these spices on the high-day Wednesday - Thursday.

The women had to wait until this annual “high day” was over before they could buy and prepare the spices to be used for anointing Jesus’ body. After purchasing and preparing the spices and oils on Friday, “they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment” Luke 23:56.

The second Sabbath mentioned in the Gospel accounts is the regular weekly Sabbath, observed from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.

The Two Sabbaths

Mark tells us the women bought spices after the Sabbath, Luke states they prepared the spices before resting on the Sabbath—two different Sabbaths.

The first Sabbath was a “high day”— the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread—which, in A.D. 31, fell on a Wednesday. (John 19:31)

The second was the weekly seventh-day Sabbath - Sunset Friday - Sunset Saturday.

Jesus died at the 9th hour of the day which would be 3PM. (Matthew 27:45-50)

After the women rested on the regular weekly Sabbath sunset Friday - sunset Saturday, they went to Jesus’ tomb early on the first day of the week (Sunday), “while it was still dark” (John 20:1), and found that He had already been resurrected, this eliminates the assumption of Jesus death being on a Thursday (Matthew 28:1-6; Mark 16:2-6; Luke 24:1-3).

Jesus was crucified and entombed on Wednesday afternoon, just before the Sabbath began at sunset. The high-day Sabbath, lasting from sunset Wednesday to sunset Thursday, rather than the regular weekly Sabbath, lasting from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.

Jesus rose anytime from 3PM Saturday - He was already gone early Sunday when Mary arrived. Matthew 28:1-6, Jesus rose precisely three days and three nights after He was placed in the tomb, you can’t get 3 days and 3 nights from Friday to Sunday morning.

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© Tony - W.A.M