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Crucifixion Week and the Harmony of the Gospels - Section IV Paras 23-25

Section IV

Paragraphs 23 through 25




23.a. We can determine that the Calendar of Scripture was being used by Christ Yahoshua, and the Bible, and the Pharisees at the time of the crucifixion. It can also be determined from the Scriptures that a biblical day which begins at sunrise was also being used by all of the Jews during crucifixion week.


23.b. Remember, the Jews were concerned that the bodies be taken down from their execution stakes prior to the sabbath. Let us look at John 19:31, which we already discussed above in the section labeled THE DAY OF THE CRUCIFIXION IS PREPARATION DAY FOR PASSOVER, NOT THE DAY OF PASSOVER.


John 19:31 KJV, "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the [stakes] on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away."


Rather than repeat the previous discussion, I would like to point out that the goal of the Pharisees was to get the bodies down before the sabbath. If the sabbath began at sundown (which it does not), then they would need to be removed before the second even of the day, which is sundown. The fact is, that the bodies needed to be taken down prior to the next sunrise. 


23.c. We know that the bodies were taken down prior to the next sunrise, because they were taken down after sundown the previous evening according to Matthew 27:57-58.


Matthew 27:57-58 KJV, "57 When the even (Stong's G3798 opsios) was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was [Yahoshua's] disciple. 58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of [Yahoshua]. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered." Parallel passage is Mark 15:42-43.


The time marker in this passage is "When the even was come", which means the second even of the day had passed. This means that sundown was already behind them. So Joseph did not even approach Pilate until it was after sundown. Therefore, of course Christ's body had not been taken down yet in accordance with the Pharisees' request in John 19:31 above. So, the fact that the bodies were not taken down until after sundown, but were taken down prior to the next sunrise, fulfilled the goal of the Pharisees that the bodies be taken down before the sabbath.


23.d. Mark 15:42-43 KJV, "42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of [Yahoshua].


This Scripture was addressed earlier in this teaching. One of the time markers in this passage is "even". This means that Thursday day was behind them and now is was after sundown and it was now Thursday night. Another time marker is "the day before the sabbath". The sabbath of Passover will begin when the sun rises tomorrow morning.


This Scripture explains that Yahoshua was crucified on the preparation day, not on Passover, which was the last preparation day for the upcoming Passover. And of course, if this was crucifixion day, then the Last Supper was yesterday. 


23.e. If anyone should suggest, "Perhaps His body had been taken down before Joseph retrieved it." Then read Mark 15:46 KJV, "And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre." Parallel passage is Luke 23:53-54.


Luke 23:53-54 KJV, "53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. 54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on." Parallel passage is Mark 15:46. "And that day was the preparation". In other words, Yahoshua was crucified on preparation day for the Passover, not on the Passover. And, the Last Supper was the day before His crucifixion. "The sabbath drew on", is a time marker meaning that sunrise was coming which was to be the day of Passover.


24.a. There are two passages of Scripture that can be perplexing without a good understanding of time markers in the Bible; i.e., Mark 15:25 and John 19:14.


Mark 15:25 KJV, "And it was the third hour, and they crucified him."  


John 19:14-16 KJV, "14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! 15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. 16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took [Yahoshua], and led him away.


(Once again, yet another Scripture - John 19:14 - that identifies that the Last Supper was yesterday, today was crucifixion day and preparation day, one day prior to the Passover, and tomorrow would be Passover).


24.b. These Scriptures do not mean that Christ's crucifixion occurred at that instant in time, be it the third or the sixth hour. The time markers in these Scriptures are estimates. In John, there was a discussion taking place, then they all agreed to a course of action, and Yahoshua was led away. How long did this take, one minute, 15 minutes? And how long did it take for Christ to arrive at Golgotha? In other words, the crucifixion did not occur at exactly the sixth hour. There is no reason to believe that in Mark that the crucifixion occurred at exactly the third hour either.


24.c. Christendom teaches that the third hour is 9 AM in our modern way of keeping time. The third hour actually begins at 8 AM and ends at 9 AM. 


Christendom teaches that the sixth hour is noon. The six hour actually begins at 11 AM and ends at noon.


Nevertheless, at first glance it would appear that we have a contradiction in the Scriptures. Most say that John is incorrect and they invent scenarios to explain the difference with Mark's time. I ask, "Why not invent scenarios to explain that Mark is wrong and John is correct?"


24.d. There is an easy answer. Both Mark and John are correct and they are not in disagreement with one another. In fact, they both provide important information so that we have a complete picture and not a partial one. Remember, as I taught earlier, we must consult the whole counsel of God and not pit one Scripture against another, rather we must add the information together to receive a full understanding of that which the Holy Ghost is teaching us. 


24.e. Please refer to our teaching Counting Hours. I will not provide the entire teaching here. I will simply state the way it works.


The third hour frequently did not mean 8-9 AM. The third hour was frequently used to mean the time between sunrise and midmorning. The sixth hour frequently did not mean between 11 AM - 12 PM. The sixth hour was frequently used to mean the time between midmorning and high noon. Both Mark and John were not wearing wristwatches that day, so they estimated quarter days by the position of the sun. Mark estimated that it was still in the first quarter of the day. John estimated that it was in the second quarter of the day. Where do the first and second quarter days meet? They meet at midmorning. So one disciple estimated that the glass was half empty, the other that the glass was half full near midmorning. That means, these two passages taken together, give us an excellent estimate that the crucifixion was beginning (starting with the walk from Pilate to Golgotha) at midmorning. In our modern time frame, that would be about 9 AM.


25. We welcome constructive input supported by Scriptures from the Bible. Please contact us by using the contact icon. Copyright © 2010, rewritten Copyright © 2013. Richard Douglas Mauck and/or Sandra Faye Mauck. All rights reserved. This material is copyrighted to protect the integrity of this work. Permission is hereby granted to copy this treatise in its entirety as long as no editing is done, no charge is made to those with whom it is shared, and full credit is given to the authors.

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