Crucifixion Week and the Harmony of the Gospels - Section II Paras 7-10
Paragraphs 7 through 10
THE LAST SUPPER, THE DAY BEFORE CRUCIFIXION DAY
7.a. We know that the Last Supper was eaten the night before crucifixion day. Therefore, it was eaten on Wednesday Abib 12 the day before preparation day. Afterwards, Yahoshua was arrested, then brought before the authorities, and crucified the next day, which was Thursday Abib 13. Please keep in mind - as shown in section I, TIME MARKERS - that each new biblical day begins at sunrise, not at midnight as we now count days on the Gregorian calendar, nor at sundown as the Jews currently count days on their Rabbinic Judaism calendar.
7.b. Matthew 26:20 is the beginning of the story of the Last Supper on Wednesday Abib 12 followed by crucifixion day on Thursday Abib 13. The story of this sequence of these two days is told in Matthew 26:20-27:2.
7.c. Mark 14:17 is the beginning of the story of the Last Supper on Wednesday Abib 12 followed by crucifixion day on Thursday Abib 13. The story of this sequence of these two days is told in Mark 14:17-15:5.
7.d. Luke 22:14 is the beginning of the story of the Last Supper on Wednesday Abib 12 followed by crucifixion day on Thursday Abib 13. The story of this sequence of these two days is told in Luke 22:14-23:49.
7.e. John 13:1 is the beginning of the story of the Last Supper on Wednesday Abib 12 followed by crucifixion day on Thursday Abib 13. The story of this sequence of these two days is told in John 13:1-19:42.
8.a. We also know that when eating the Last Supper meal, Yahoshua told His disciples that He would not eat the Passover Feast with them this year.
8.b. Matthew 26:29 KJV, "But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." The meaning behind this Scripture is not apparent, nor is the meaning behind Mark 14:25. But I put these two verses in here because they are parallel verses with Luke 22:15-18. And the reading of Luke makes it clear what is being said.
8.c. Mark 14:25 KJV, "Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
8.d. Luke 22:15-18 KJV, "15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come." They were eating the Last Supper meal and were not eating the Passover Feast. Yahoshua was expressing His desire to eat the upcoming Passover with His disciples, but explaining to them "I will not any more eat thereof." In other words, "I want to, but it's not going to happen." One must already know that the Passover Feast is two days away to understand verses 15 and 16 properly. Yahoshua did not have to explain Himself to the disciples. He did not have to say in verse 15, "With desire I have desired to eat this (upcoming) passover with you before I suffer." Why? Because, the disciples already knew that the Passover was upcoming in two days, they already knew that the meal they were currently sitting at was not the Passover Feast.
Let us look at Luke 22:16 in another translation that makes the point even more clear. Luke 22:16 TIB, “For I say to you that never in any way I will eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” The TIB is JP Green’s translation directly from the Textus Receptus with all the Greek, plus a word for word translation under the Greek words, plus in the margin he has taken the sentences and rearranged them in a manner that makes more sense to us in modern English.
But, in addition to this information we have the Book of John, chapter 13, verse 29. By adding all the information together in all four gospels it leaves no question that the disciples and Yahoshua knew, during the Last Supper meal, that the Passover was in the future.
8.e. And in another passage in John we can see that the disciples knew at the Last Supper in which they were currently sitting, that it was not the Passover Feast.
John 13:29 KJV, "For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that [Yahoshua] had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor."
Yahoshua had told Judas Iscariot to go quickly. Judas left to betray Yahoshua. But the disciples did not know this. So, they were speculating as to why Judas left in John 13:29. One of their speculations was that Judas went to buy some needed items for the feast. This of course must mean the Passover Feast. There is nothing special that is needed to be bought for the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, thus this was not the feast they speculated about. Besides, the Passover Feast was still two days in the future and the first day of the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was three days in the future.
This conclusion is reinforced by John 18:28 KJV "Then led they [Yahoshua] from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.” This verse shows, yet again, one day after the Last Supper, that Passover was still in the future - actually one more day in the future.
THE DAY OF THE CRUCIFIXION IS PREPARATION DAY FOR PASSOVER, NOT THE DAY OF PASSOVER
9.a. In the four gospels, when preparation day is spoken of, it always is referring to the last preparation day prior to and for Passover. John 19:14 KJV, "And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!"
9.b. The last preparation day for Passover is the day prior to Passover. Therefore, the last preparation day is always Thursday Abib 13. The Bible, in all four gospels, teaches that Christ Yahoshua was crucified on preparation day. This preparation day is spoken of as the day of crucifixion in all four gospels: Matthew 27:62, Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, and John 19:31.
9.c. Matthew 27:62-63 KJV, "62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate. 63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again." As you can see, these passages show that the crucifixion took place yesterday on preparation day for the Passover. The day time of Thursday Abib 13 and the nighttime of Thursday were now behind them. They were now in day 2 of His death, which is Passover Friday Abib 14.
9.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 explains that Yahoshua was crucified on the preparation day, not on Passover, which was the last preparation day before the upcoming Passover. 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.
9.e. 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." The first time marker in this passage is "And that day was the preparation". In other words, Yahoshua was crucified on the preparation day before the Passover, not on Passover. The second time marker "the sabbath drew on" is, of course, the day of Passover. And to say it "drew on" meant that it was nearing sunrise. In other words it was late Thursday night; i.e., in the early morning hours of the night, prior to sunrise Friday.
9.f. 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." Once again, we are told that the preparation day was the day of the crucifixion. And the Jews did not want the bodies to remain upon the execution stakes on the sabbath day. We know this was Passover because it was described as a high day. Only Passover is a high sabbath day*. It is the first and chief day of all the sabbaths in Scripture. It is the only Holy Convocation day that does not require the Hebrews to refrain from servile work. It is the high sabbath that spared the life of every Hebrew that applied the blood of the lambs to their doorposts, while the first born of all of Egypt's men and animals died. Furthermore, we know that the bodies were not taken down until after sunset because of Mark 15:42 above.
*NOTE. In Leviticus 23 Passover is listed with the other six holy convocation days. All seven of these days or time periods are referred to as sabbaths in Scripture. In fact, they generally have three words used to describe them: holy convocation, sabbath, and feast. Leviticus 23:2,5 KJV, “2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of [Yahowah], which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. 5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is [Yahowah’s] passover.” A two-fold stumbling block for some is that it is not until the New Testament that (1) the word sabbath is actually applied to the day of Passover; and, (2) Passover is the only holy convocation day that does not forbid servile work from being done.
10.a. Why do we know that neither the Last Supper nor the day of the crucifixion can possibly be the same day as Passover? Because we can count the 3 days and 3 nights in which Yahoshua's body was dead. We know that He was crucified on the day before Passover. Since Passover is always Friday Abib 14, then He must have been crucified on Thursday Abib 13. Now, let us count 3 days and 3 nights.
Thursday Abib 13 was the last day He was alive, but it is also the first day in which He was dead.
Thursday day of Abib 13 counts as the first day.
Thursday night of Abib 13 counts as the first night.
Friday day of Abib 14 (the day of Passover) counts as the second day.
Friday night of Abib 14 counts as the second night.
Saturday day of Abib 15 (the first day of the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread) counts as the third day.
Saturday night of Abib 15 counts as the third night.
We cannot count Sunday day of Abib 16 as resurrection day because that would necessitate the count of a fourth day. Therefore, He must have risen from the dead sometime Saturday night prior to Sunday sunrise. And this is exactly that which the Bible teaches.
10.b. We know that Yahoshua's resurrection did not occur after Sunday sunrise and that it must have occurred sometime Saturday night, most likely in the fourth watch of the night; i.e., between our current day 3 AM and sunrise. We will now examine four parallel verses that show this is that which the Bible teaches. There are a number of time markers in these four passages. I will itemize them now in advance.
1) After the sabbaths
2) at the dawning
3) into the first of the sabbaths
4) the sabbath passing
5) very early on the first of the sabbaths
6) the sun rising
7) upon the first of the week
8) deep dawn
9) very early in the morning
10) on the first of the sabbaths
11) came early
12) darkness yet being on it
10.c Matthew 28:1 TIB, "After the sabbaths, at the dawning (Strong's G2020 epiphosko) into the first of the sabbaths, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the grave." "After the sabbaths" refers to the two sabbaths of (1) Passover and (2) the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which was an annual sabbath as well as a weekly sabbath. "At the dawning" means that there was evidence on the eastern horizon that the sun was soon to come into view. In fact, the Greek word for dawning is epiphosko and its meaning is to begin to grow light. "Into the first of the sabbaths" means that the coming day was Sunday Abib 16 (Sheaf Wave Day*), and that it was the first day of the first week in which the counting of seven perfect* sabbaths was to begin. What all of this shows is that it was still Saturday night Abib 15, prior to Sunday Abib 16 sunrise.
*NOTE: Leviticus 23:15 TIB, "And you shall number to you from the next day after the sabbath, from the day you bring in the sheaf of the wave offering; they shall be seven perfect sabbaths;”.
10.d. Mark 16:1-2 TIB, "1 And the sabbath passing, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome, bought spices so that coming they might anoint Him. 2 And very early (Strong's G4404 proi) on the first of the sabbaths, the sun rising, they came upon the tomb." "And the sabbath passing" means that it was the Saturday sabbath that was passing and sunrise was approaching but the new day had not yet dawned. "And very early on the first of the sabbaths" means that the coming day was Sunday Abib 16, and that it was the first day of the first week in which the counting of seven perfect sabbaths was to begin. But we need to look specifically at the Greek word proi that was translated as early. Proi is Strong's G4404 and it means the day-break watch. In other words it was still the fourth watch of the night, which in our time was approximately 3 AM to sunrise. There can be no mistaking that the Marys arrived at the tomb prior to Sunday sunrise on Abib 16. "The sun rising" means that there was evidence on the eastern horizon that the sun was soon to come into view. What all of this shows is that it was still Saturday night Abib 15, prior to Sunday Abib 16 sunrise.
10.e. Luke 24:1-2 KJV, "1 Now upon the first day of the week, very (Strong's G901 bathus) early (Strong's G3722 orthros) in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre." "Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning" really has no different meaning than Mark 16:1-2. "Very early in the morning" means that sunrise had not yet taken place. Actually, the two Greeks words inserted into the passage above mean deep dawn. Strong's G901 bathus means deep and G3722 orthros means dawn. Therefore, the beginning of this verse could have been translated as "Now upon the first of the week, at deep dawn, they came unto the sepulchre…". The meaning of deep dawn is that it was just beginning, and the evidence of the sun starting to rise was barely perceptible. In other words, it was the beginning of dawn, not the middle, not a full blown dawn, not the last few seconds prior to sunrise - instead, it was deep dawn.
So, why call it the first day of the week, which is Sunday? Let us suppose that sunrise was at 6 AM. We are arriving at the tomb at 5:30 AM. Even though it is not officially Sunday yet, would it not be acceptable to express that it was the first day of the week, very early in the morning? What wording would you prefer? Possibly, the sun was rising and any minute the Sabbath would be over and we are now arriving at the tomb. Even today, if we got up to go fishing at 3 AM, we would say early in the morning we will go fishing, not at all meaning that it was sunrise yet. Likewise, if the following morning we got up at 3 AM because we got sick from eating rotten fish, we would tell our fishing buddy that we got up in the middle of the night. So, which is it? Is 3 AM the middle of the night or is it early in the morning? Both answers are acceptable, depending upon the circumstances. So, Luke is consistent with the other three gospels in describing an event that began on Saturday Abib 15.
Let us place ourselves into the first century. Was time told in minutes? This is a highly doubtful proposition, even ridiculous. What technical capabilities did they possess to enable them to estimate time in minutes? The answer is none that they could carry around with them - no wristwatches or cell phones. So, in a society that must use time markers, instead of a watch to indicate time, we can expect that one would say things such as, "Now on the first of the week, very early in the morning", or better still "Now on the first of the week, at deep dawn". And this would not mean that the previous day was officially over (because the sun had not yet come into view), it would mean that a new day is coming on, or approaching.
But please remember this. This scene being described in these four gospels is not a static scene. The Marys were indeed arriving at the tomb prior to sunrise. At this time the stone was already rolled away and the tomb was empty. Even though they arrived prior to sunrise, it is easy to see that sunrise probably occurred while they were at the tomb. After all the scene is not static, it is active and moving, time is progressing. The resurrection must have taken place prior to sunrise and therefore it took place on the night of Saturday Abib 15.
10.f. John 20:1 TIB, "But on the first of the sabbaths Mary Magdalene came early (Strong's G4404 proi) to the tomb, darkness yet being on it. And she saw the stone had been removed from the tomb." John's gospel helps us understand, perhaps more than the other three, exactly how this scene played out. But remember, as we are doing, all the Scriptures, the full counsel of God must be consulted, before we have the full story. John's gospel is not in opposition to the other gospels, it is complimentary to them. So, that the fours gospels together give us the complete picture that we need.
"But on the first of the sabbaths" means that the coming day was Sunday Abib 16, and that it was the first day of the first week in which the counting of seven perfect sabbaths was to begin. "Came early" means that the sun had not risen and the new day had not yet officially begun. Remember that we just explained above that proi translated as early means the day-break watch. "Darkness yet being on it" leaves zero doubt about the position of the sun - it had not risen yet because it was still dark. This parallel passage in John affirms the exegesis that I have given all along in all the four gospels regarding the time markers used to describe the time of day in which the Marys arrived at the tomb.
10.g. Our final conclusion, based partly on that which is taught in these four parallel Scriptures, is that Christ Yahoshua was resurrected from the dead late Saturday night Abib 15 and prior to sunrise on Sunday morning Abib 16. This satisfies all the requirements given in Matthew 12:40 and all the other Scriptures that describe the number of days in which our Savior was in the heart of the earth.