Probably the most important events in all history took place that one week including the weekend that followed. Solid eyewitness accounts back at the time by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were also supplemented by records kept by certain recording angels.
Our “Three Day Weekend with Jesus in Jerusalem” commences with Sunset Thursday (actually Friday), moves into Saturday and Sunday all day.
I suggest that the most important events in the history of the world took place pretty much in a rapid cascade on one weekend. The harsh reality of the betrayal, trial, and murder of Jesus is ignored by most of the world to this day. Preachers preach in snippets from the Bible record, ignoring the big picture. But we are all implicated and accountable.
There are some startling aspects to this whole scenario. One is the desertion by the men disciples at the ninth hour of their Leader’s need. Another surprise is the loyalty and care of the women disciples of Jesus.
Please read the accounts by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John referring to each incident. That’s where the details are to be found.
The Passover Dinner
Thursday night (early Friday)
Mark 14:12-17, Matthew 26:17-20, Luke 22:7-16, 24-30.
~6:00 PM Passover Meal at the “Upper Room.” This was probably catered or arranged ahead of time. It may have been held in a rented room near Mt. Zion or perhaps in a borrowed living room?
~6:30 PM Foot Washing by Jesus. (But who washed the feet of Jesus)?
After Dinner Remarks by Jesus
The Betrayal of Judas and Judas leaves
Mark 14:17-21, Matthew 26:/1-25, Luke 22:21-23, John 13:21-30.
Institution of the New Covenant with Israel by Jesus
Mark 14:37-31, Matthew 26:31-35, Luke 22:31-38, John 13:31-38
The Farewell Discourse of Jesus with his eleven disciples
John 13, 14
Jesus and the Eleven then adjourn to the Garden of Gethsemane, on foot by way of vineyards to the South and East above the Hinnom Valley.
Jesus teaches on the Vine and the Branches
John 15, 16
The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus, John 17
A Hymn was sung at the Mt. of Olives and the prayers of Jesus in the the Garden of Gethsemane followed.
Mark 14:26-42, Matthew 26:30-46, Luke 22:39-46, John 18:1
The Arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Mark 14:43-52, Matthew 26:47-56, Luke 22:47-53, John 18:2-12
The Disciples Flee
All night illegal trials of Jesus (six total):
The Jewish Trial before Annas, the retired high priest then before Caiaphas, the current high priest and the Sanhedrin
Night trials with mocking and demeaning
Mark 14:53-65, Matthew 26:57-68, Luke 22:54-65, John 18:24
Peter denies Jesus three times (predawn)
Mark 14:54-72, Matthew 26:58-75, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:15-27.
The Remorse of Judas
Matthew 27:3-10, Acts 1:18-19
Jesus before Pilate (First Appearance)
Mark 15:1-5, Matthew 27:2-14, Luke 23:1-5, John 18:28-38
“Jesus’ silence before Pilate is stunning. The cynical little martinet dares to ask Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Jesus doesn’t even bother answering. He just stares at Pilate, letting him make the next move. You know how the story goes—though Jesus says he could call down more than sixty thousand angels to prevent it, he lets them kill him, and pardons them beforehand for doing it. Because of his extraordinary humility, no one seems to fully grasp just who this is. But nature knows, and cannot bear it—the earth convulses; the sun hides his face. It is only after the resurrection that the full reality begins to dawn on mankind. If it has even dawned on us yet. And then there comes the touching humility of keeping the scars of those wounds—forever. You’ll see them, soon, get to touch them for yourself, just like Thomas. Jesus wears them proudly now.
I think three years of this kind of humble generosity and patience is pretty dang impressive. But Jesus has kept right on at it—for two thousand years. Teaching us, including us in the mission, sharing in the glory, being playful, being honest, helping us along. No wonder when he steps into the heavens to accept the throne the cry goes up, “Worthy! Worthy! Worthy! Make him king!” (John Eldridge)
Jesus appears before Herod Antipas the Tetrarch
Luke 23:6-12, John 19:14
Pilate (2nd appearance)
Mark 15:6-15, Matthew 27:15-26, Luke 23:13-25, John 18:39, 19:16
Jesus Mocked by Roman Soldiers (6-9 AM)
Mark 15:16-19, Matthew 27:27-30
Jesus carries the Cross to Golgotha
Simon of Cyrene assists
Mark 15:20-23, Matthew 27:31-34, Luke 23:26-33, John 18:16-17
Friday 0900. Jesus Nailed to the Cross. Inscription posted
Mark 15:24-32, Matthew 27:35-44, Luke 23:33-43, John 18:18-37
First Three Words from the Cross
Luke 23:34: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Luke 23:43: Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.
John 19:26–27: Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother
The thief next to Jesus forgiven, Luke 23:33-43
Jesus the high priest becomes the sacrifice
Mark 15:33-37, Matthew 27:45-50, Luke 23:44-46, John 19:28-30
Last Four Words of Jesus
Matthew 27:46 & Mark 15:34 My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
John 19:28: I thirst.
John 19:30: It is finished. (From the Greek "Tetelestai" which is also translated "It is accomplished", or "It is complete".)
Luke 23:46: Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.
Events at the time Jesus died
“Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:51-54)
Mark 15:38-51, Matthew 27:51-56, Luke 23:45-49, John 19:31-42
Permission to break legs of the three. Jesus is already dead. His five garments had been divided by the soldiers. (Jesus died naked).
A Centurion pierces the body of Jesus. Women take the body down and cover the body with a sheet or burial shroud.
A tomb is borrowed from Joseph of Arimathea for the weekend.
Spices brought to tomb by the women. Guards set. Tomb sealed
Sunset: The Sabbath came in at 6:00 PM. The women observed the Sabbath (rested) from Friday 6:00 PM to Saturday 6:00 PM.
Mark 15:38-41, Matthew 27:51-56, Luke 23:45-49
The Burial of Jesus (Friday before sundown)
Mark 15:42-46, Matthew 27:57-60, Luke 23:50-54, John 29:31-42
Saturday Sabbath (Friday sunset until Saturday sunset)
The women watch over the tomb. Roman soldiers standing guard. Sunset Friday to Sunset Saturday
The real work of God was carried out behind the scenes. Outside of earth time! The Bible says much about the entire world being reconciled to God in the cosmic sacrifice of Jesus on that very weekend in Jerusalem.
Jesus carries all of the sin of everyone who ever lived (retroactive to Adam and Proactive to the end of time)—out of the universe into eternal hell—unto the cosmic garbage dump. This event was outside of our limited space-time domain, encompassing all time.
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-19)
“...knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:18-21)
“But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
“For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
“Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” (Hebrews 9:11-28)
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.” (1 Peter 3:18-22)
Did Christ Descend into Hell?
Jesus’ Death: Six Hours of Eternity on the Cross
The old creation was in effect entirely replaced by a new by Jesus on the Cross. Wait and see.
Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
A second great earthquake
He Is Risen
Mark 16:1–8; Luke 24:1–12; John 20:1–10, 11-18
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
Appearances of Jesus
John 20:11-28, Matthew 28:9-10
The time guards report to headquarters
Road to Emmaus Sunday afternoon
Mark 16:12-13, Luke 24:13-35.
Sunday evening gathering in Jerusalem
Mark 16:14, Luke 24:36-43, John 20:19-25
Gathering one week later
Appearance in Galilee
Next Forty Days
Appearance to 500 followers
Mark 16:15-20, Matthew 28:16-20, 1Corinthians 15:6,7, Luke 24:44-49, Acts 1:3-8.
Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:9-12
1.The last week in the life of our Lord Jesus was jam packed with events. No attempt is made here to sort out those major events before the Last Supper weekend, Palm Sunday, Monday through Thursday and Friday morning.
2. When God created everything in the modules we know now as “days,” He moved from an evening to a morning each time, Genesis One. This pattern persists today in Israel. A new day begins at sunset and closes at sunset 24 hours later.
3. Some scholars claim there were two sabbaths that particular week, other scholars argue for Wednesday Passover. This is not important for our present synopsis.
4. Piecing together the events of this pivotal weekend with Jesus in Jerusalem is easier with the help of a “Harmony of the Gospels” of which there are several. They don’t all agree. I used A.T. Robertson’s 1922 Harmony based on Mark’s gospel as an anchor. About two dozen Harmonies are listed on Amazon. BlueLetter Bible has a good harmony online.
Please read the Bible passages cited!
Ray Stedman on John
Barry and Helen Setterfield
My friends Barry and Helen Setterfield of Grants Pass, Oregon publisted in April this year their analysis of the momentous events surrounding the events of the Passover week in question. Their interpretation shows many aspects of these events that need to be considered in forming a good view. No one man's analysis covers all! I read their fine analysis after writing the above notes.
Notes added by Bryce Self
I’m for a Thursday crucifixion.
REFERENCES TO THE “THREE DAYS” MT 12:40, 16:21, 17:23, 20:19, 27:63-64; MK 8:31, 9:31, 10:34; LK 9:22, 13:32, 18:33, 24:7,
Part of the centuries-long confusion is neglecting the fact that there were TWO sabbaths involved: the normal weekly sabbath and the festival sabbath. The error can be traced back to the Quartodecoman (14th-ers) controversy of the Second Century when the Roman church repudiated the tradition of celebrating the Resurrection in annual alignment with the Jewish Passover (14 Nisan) as had been ob served from apostolic days by the churches of Judea and Asia Minor Polycarp, the famous martyred overseer of the church at Smyrna and disciple of the Apostle John, traveled to Rome in the late First Century and reached an amicable settlement with them on the issue, but that was later set aside when a new generation of Roman leadership decided to press the issue.
The upshot was that Rome won, and knowledge of the details of how the Jewish calendar worked passed out of general knowledge of churches in the West. There grew a naive and ignorant identification of the Lord’s Day of the NT with the Sabbath of the OT, which in turn resulted in the idea that the Last Supper was on Thursday and the crucifixion on Friday. this plays havoc both with the text of the narrative and well as the Hebrew calendar, not to mention requiring expedient excuses to explain away Jesus' own insistence (based on OT Scripture) of a full and literal three days and three nights in the grave (not one day and night with few extra hours on either side to claim two extra days).
The observances of Good Friday and Easter Sunday have perpetuated the traditional chronology that the crucifixion took place on a Friday, and that the Lord's body was buried on that day at about 6:00 p.m., and that he rose from the dead early on the following Sunday morning.
There are some, however, that feel this tradition is at variance with the Scriptural record. The traditional view seems to conflict with certain prophetic and legal facts.
One of the problems is reckoning "three days" between Friday evening and Sunday morning. I was once co-hosting a national TV show which had the famed apologist John Warwick Montgomery as a guest. This issue came up, and John rendered the traditional rationalization, pointing out that the Jews reckoned a partial day as a whole day.
I turned to my co-host and explained, "You must remember that John is an attorney, and that's the way they bill!" (John almost fell out of his chair laughing - he hadn't realized that I was well aware of his distinguished legal background.) But the difficulty remains. Our Lord's definitive statement is one of the problems:
For as Jonah 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. -Matthew 12:40
The mention of nights, as well as the number of days, makes it hard to render this as simply an idiomatic rhetorical device rather than a statement of fact. Further, when Paul declares the resurrection of Christ to be "according to the Scriptures" in 1 Corinthians 15:4, if this isn't an allusion to Jonah 1:17, then where else? (Perhaps, in Genesis 22, the three days between the "death" of Isaac - when the commandment came - and his "return" to Abraham may have been the macrocode, or typological allusion, that Paul might have had in mind.) (1) Intensifying this controversy was the "three days" issue at the trial of Jesus.
Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, [yet] found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, And said, This [fellow] said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. -Matthew 26:59-61
What did Jesus really say?
Destroy this temple, [of His body] and in three days I will raise it up. -John 2:19
The same phrase reoccurs in the gospels a dozen times. (2) It also seems to frequently reoccur in prophetic patterns. (3)
Nowhere in the Gospels does it assert that Christ was crucified on a Friday. In Mark 15:42, it refers to "...the day before the sabbath." This may be the root of the misunderstanding. The Jews had other sabbaths in addition to the weekly shabbat (Saturday). In addition to the weekly sabbaths, there were seven "high sabbaths" each year, and the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the 15th of Nisan, was one of them. (4) Further, Matthew 28:1 should read, "At the end of the sabbaths ," (5) (which is plural in the Greek), implying there was a plurality of sabbaths that week. If Passover, the 14th of Nisan, fell earlier in the week, the 15th could have been any day prior to Saturday, the weekly sabbath. "When the sabbaths were past" would, of course, be Sunday (actually, Saturday after sundown), in accordance to the Feast of First Fruits. (Some hold to a Thursday crucifixion on a similar basis.)
The 17th of Nisan
Jesus had declared that He would be in the grave three days, and yet was to be resurrected "on the morrow after the sabbath," on the day of the Feast of First Fruits. (6) It is interesting that the authorities, anxious to get the body off the cross before sundown, unknowingly were fulfilling God's predetermined plan, "according to the Scriptures." (7) Noah's flood ended on the 17th day of the 7th month. (8) This month becomes the 1st month at the institution of the Passover.9 Our new beginning in Christ was on the anniversary of the Earth's "new beginning" under Noah! Israel's new beginning, the crossing of the Red Sea, is believed to have been on the 17th of Nisan. Also, in their flight after Passover, Israel retrieved the body of Joseph from his tomb. After Passover, Jesus was retrieved from another Joseph's tomb on this date.
The Jericho Journey
Another problem with a Friday crucifixion is John 12:1: "Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany..." (from Jericho). If the Friday view can be accepted, then six days earlier was the weekly shabbat , and on this day such a journey was legally out of the question for a devout Jew.
As for the Friday or Wednesday issue, there are many good scholars on each side of this controversy. I personally have become rather cynical toward any tradition that is not supported by Scripture. Good Friday is the "traditional" view. The Wednesday crucifixion is known as the "reconstructed view." This article is intended to stimulate study and constructive conversation during this precious season. One attempt to reconcile the chronology of the entire week is shown in the table below inset boxes [Friday-Tuesday] and [Wednesday-Sunday].
Jesus' Final Week (by Chuck Missler)
Friday - At Bethany Six Days before the Passover, John 12:1
Wednesday - Crucifixion,
John 19:14, 31, 42; Mark 15:42; 54.
Preparation Day for Feast of Unleavened Bread, associated with Passover
Saturday - Triumphal Entry (from Bethany a sabbath's day's journey)
Matthew 21:5, 12:7; Mark 11:7; Luke 19:28
Thursday - Beginning of Feast of Unleavened Bread, (Leviticus 23:4-8, lasts 7 days; 1st and last days are high sabbaths)
Matthew 27:62; Leviticus 23:6,7 (Jewish year includes seven high sabbaths, in addition to the Saturday sabbaths.
Sunday - The Fig Tree Cursed,
Matthew 21:18; Mark 11:12;
Friday - Women prepare spices
Monday - Conspirators' Counsel,
Matthew 26:2; Mark 11:20, 14:1; Luke 22:1
Saturday - "And Rested..."
Luke 23:56, "after the sabbaths..." (This is plural in the Greek); i.e., after 6:00 PM
Tuesday - Last Supper (after 6:00 PM)
Passover ("between the evenings"), Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:7; 12; Luke 22:7
Sunday - He is Risen!
Our New Beginning. Matthew 28:11, Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1; John 20:1
“...And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up,
behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said,
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?
This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven,
will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:10-11)
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
has in these last days spoken to us by His Son,
whom He has appointed heir of all things,
through whom also He made the worlds;
who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person,
and upholding all things by the word of His power,
when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
having become so much better than the angels,
as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
For to which of the angels did He ever say:
“You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You”?
“I will be to Him a Father,
And He shall be to Me a Son”?
But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says:
“Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
And of the angels He says:
“Who makes His angels spirits
And His ministers a flame of fire.”
But to the Son He says:
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
“You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
They will perish, but You remain;
And they will all grow old like a garment;
Like a cloak You will fold them up,
And they will be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not fail.”
But to which of the angels has He ever said:
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?
Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”
July 23, 2019
Edited by AL August 4, 2019
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