What day of the week did Jesus die, was it really Friday?
Jesus said that He would rise from the dead three days and nights after his
death - Matthew 12:40. But it is not possible to fit this period between Friday
afternoon and Sunday morning. The Bible never says that He died on a Friday,
just that He died on the day before a Sabbath, which is not the same thing. Not
all of the "Sabbaths" were the weekly ones (i.e. the seventh day of the week).
There were special "Sabbaths" or Holy Days linked specifically to the Feasts of
the Lord. These were called "High Sabbaths". John points out that the Sabbath
immediately following Jesus' death was a High Sabbath - John 19:31. We are able
to ascertain that this was the High Sabbath of the Passover or Unleavened Bread
- see Exodus 12:16. This was the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nisan.
The Jewish day starts at Sunset (roughly 6pm). We know that Jesus died at 3pm on
the afternoon of 14th day of Nisan, which is the Day of Preparation for the
Passover. In Jesus' time this was called the Preparation Day - Mark 15:42; Luke
23:54; John 19:14, 42. This occurs on the day immediately before the
commencement of Festival of Unleavened Bread. On the Preparation Day, the
Passover Lamb was slaughtered, prior to the preparation and cooking of the
Passover meal (the Seder), which was ceremonially eaten that evening. This was
immediately following the commencement of the new day - at 6pm on the 15th day
of Nisan, which was the High Sabbath (Holy Convocation, or sacred assembly).
Jewish Festivals such as Passover/Unleavened Bread, do not occur on the same day
of the week each year, but are known as moveable feasts. We are told that Jesus
was risen on the first day of the week - Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:9. There is
another festival (Firstfruits - see Leviticus 23:10-11) during the week of
Unleavened Bread, which occurs on the day after the weekly Sabbath that occurs
during the Week of Unleavened Bread. Thus the Festival of the Firstfruits, a
picture of "new life" or "resurrection, always occurred on the first day of the
Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, while it was still dark, i.e. well before 6am,
by which time Jesus had already risen, see John 20:1, thus He would have been
risen any time after 6pm on the first day of the week (i.e. on the Festival of
Firstfruits), or up to three hours prior to that. Keep in mind the understanding
that the Jewish day commences at sunset (about 6pm). So at virtually any time
between 3pm on the weekly Sabbath, and say 4am the next morning - "the first day
of the week" - Jesus was already risen from the dead. Matthew 28:1 confirms that
there was more than one Sabbath day between Jesus' death and resurrection, by
the use of the Greek plural sabbatoon (Sabbaths), which is incorrectly rendered
singular in our English translations. This verse should read; "Now after the
Sabbaths, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the
other Mary came to see the tomb."
Tracking back three days and nights, from 6pm on the first day of the week, or
Saturday evening, we come to 6pm - full three days previously - to the time by
which Jesus had been hastily buried, having died three hours earlier at 3pm on
14th of Nisan, which was - a Wednesday. Some people, while trying to reconcile
the above facts, have claimed that Jesus may have died on a Thursday. However,
this cannot be correct because Thursday is one of the three days in the week
that the 14th of Nisan does not coincide. According to the standard calculations
of the Jewish festival calendar the 14th of Nisan can fall on Monday, Wednesday,
Friday, or Saturday, but not on a Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday.
Matthew 27:62-66 provides further information, pointing out that the Chief
Priests and the Pharisees had a meeting with Pilate on the day that "followed
the Day of Preparation". This of course means that they met together on the 15th
of Nisan. Matthew is very careful in his wording, and if this were the normal
weekly Sabbath he would have said so. In the opening verse of the next chapter,
he carefully identified when Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, it was "after the
Sabbath, as the first day of the week (Sunday) began to dawn (i.e. while it was
still dark)" - Matthew 28:1. If the meeting of the Chief Priests and Pharisees
with Pilate had taken place on the weekly Sabbath, then Matthew would have said
so. We must therefore conclude, that the day that Jesus died and was buried, was
not the day prior to the weekly Sabbath. There must have been at least one day
between them. They could not have had their meeting with Pilate on the 14th of
Nisan, for a meeting with a "gentile" would have defiled them for the coming
Passover (Seder) celebrations on the evening of the 15th. So they delayed the
meeting until after this crucial event, to a time when it was more acceptable
within the context of their warped sense of sanctification. They met, still on
the 15th Nisan, i.e. on the day after the Preparation Day when Jesus had died.
Jesus would be in the grave for three days and three nights (Matt.12:40). He was
risen from the dead on the first day of the week, and He died mid-afternoon on
John 19:31-33: “Now it was the day of Preparation and the next day was to be
a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses
during the Sabbath they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies
taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who
had been crucified with Jesus, and those of the other. But when they came to
Jesus and found that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.”
There are two general ideas as to the answer to this question:
1. The Gospels of Mark, Luke and John all make it clear that Jesus' burial
occurred shortly after His death on the day of “preparation” (Friday) before the
Sabbath In order for Jesus to have been buried just before the Sabbath
(Saturday), Jesus' crucifixion could only have occurred on Friday.
Jesus predicted that He would be three days and three nights in the heart of the
earth. The expression “one day and one night” was used often by the Jews for a
day, even when it was applied to only a part of a day. Evening and morning, or
night and day, is the Hebrew phrase for a natural day. In computing time a part
of a day was to be computed as the whole.
Christ was dead at three o’clock on Friday, they had before six o’clock, three
hours to bury Him. The Jewish reckoning of time found in Talmud said any part,
an “onan”, of the day is considered a full day. On Friday before six o'clock by
Jewish reckoning, any minute was considered one day and one night. It is likely
that the part of the day (Friday) on which Jesus was crucified, the entire day
He was in the grave (Saturday), and the part of the day on which He rose again
(Sunday), estimated as entire days.
2. Jesus was placed on the cross about 9:00 A.M. our time and was there until
about 4:00 P.M. He was taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb before
sunset-- the beginning of the Sabbath. A "high Sabbath"--a Passover Sabbath came
on Thursday that week. Leviticus 23:5-7 tells us the first day of the Feast of
Unleavened Bread was a Sabbath day. At about sunset on Thursday He had been in
the grave one day and one night. At about sunset on Friday, He had been in the
grave two days and two nights. Then, just after the three full days and nights,
He arose. He arose as it began to dawn the first day of the week (just after
sunset Saturday, our time). The women came early Sunday morning, our time, but
He was already gone.
The Bible says only that he arose on Sunday. Jesus rose early on the first day
of the week (Mark 16:9). The important thing to remember is He arose. In Acts
chapter 1 as the disciples looked on while Jesus ascended into heaven, two men
dressed in white appeared. Their basic message was, “Quit looking at the sky and
get on with the job of spreading the good news that He arose!”
I have heard it argued Wednesday or Thursday. No one can really justify the
good Friday theory because of the following verse:
Jesus gives us the answer in Matthew 12:40, "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."
If Jesus died on Friday afternoon and rose on Sunday, that would not make 3
NIGHTS. No matter how you add it up, you can never get three nights from Friday
to Sunday morning. Friday does not give us enough time for three days and three
nights. We know that Jesus arose from the dead on Sunday, which is the first day
of the week. The key to knowing what day the crucifixion took place is the
"three nights" part. We must not only count the three days but also THREE
I would say that yes it was Friday...they celebrated Passover on Thursday and
Jesus did the Passover meal with his disciples. That night about 1am he was
arrest, and tried. They brought Him to Pilate and Pilate had Him crucified that
day. He died around the 9th hour. Which in Jerusalem time was 3:00 pm. They had
to remove the bodies by sundown because it was the Passover celebration at
sundown. So on Sunday was 3 days when he rose again. That is why we have
Passover every Thursday before Easter Sunday. That is my opinion. Hope it helps.
JOHN 19:31 This day was Preparation Day and the next day was special Sabbath
day. Since the Jew did not want the bodies to a stay on the cross on the Sabbath
So, I think that day was a Saturday not a Friday.
From what research I have done I believe that Jesus died on Wednesday.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say Friday. The Bible does mention the last supper
being on the day before the Passover. By dying on Wednesday Jesus fulfilled the
prophecy of being in the grave 3 days.
I know the bible says Jesus laid in the grave 3 days and three nights. If
this is true he couldn't have risen on Sunday, for from Friday evening to Sunday
evening is not 3 days and nights.
Jesus died on Friday, because Luke 23:56 tells us, "Then they went home and
prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the
I think not. At Sunday school we were always told that the last supper was on
Friday, but I cannot remember where but in Matthew, Mark. They said after the
last supper, the Romans did come from him the next morning. So either he died on
Saturday, or the last supper was on a Thursday not Friday. Also looking at this
Jesus should have risen from the dead on Monday, or Sunday, deepens if he died
on a Friday, or the last supper was on a Friday.
George n. Bybee III
It was the Friday as this verse confirms. John 19:31 "Now it was the day of
Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath." Because the Jews did
not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to
have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.
In Dake's Annotated Reference Bible (King James Version Text) on Matthew
12:40 the commentary says," Christ was dead for 3 full days and 3 full nights.
He was put in the grave Wednesday just before sunset and was resurrected at the
end of Saturday at sunset. Good Friday should be changed to Good Wednesday. No
statement says that he was buried Friday at sunset. This would make him in the
grave only one day and one night, proving his own words untrue (v 40). The
Sabbath of John 19:31 was not the regular weekly one but the special Sabbath of
the feast." Hence, according to this analysis, Jesus was crucified late on
Wednesday afternoon, not Friday.
It was on Friday. Luke 23:52--24:1(Good news version) other version calls it
the preparation day or the sixth day.
I believe that Jesus died on Friday at 3:00 p.m.
Anthony Tan Nguyen