Today is Nissan 14th, Preparation Day the day before the High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread. In 33 AD Jesus was killed and buried on Passover the 14th of Nissan (Also called Preparation Day, A Wednesday*). It has been argued by Bible scholars what day He died, whether a Wednesday Thursday or Friday. I agree the act is more important than the day, but the day is crucial to His fulfilling of the Spring Feasts!
Here’s a little of what happened on Nissan 14th, 33 AD 1,981 years ago.
Nisan 14, 33 AD (A Wednesday, Preparation Day)
-Preparation day for the annual, not weekly, Sabbath.
-In the morning, Jesus was brought before Pilate the governor.
-Jesus was crucified at 9AM and dies around 3PM
-Great darkness covers the land around 12 noon till 3PM.
-Around 3 PM: At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. (Matthew 27:51-53 NIV)
-Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb at twilight
Luke 23.44 shows that Jesus died around the ninth hour or approximately 3PM. He would have been buried before sunset because of the approaching Sabbath, for that Sabbath day was a high-day (John 19.31).
NIGHT ONE IN THE GRAVE: Annual Sabbath begins at sunset. Sunset at this time of year in Jerusalem, is about 6:30 to 7:00 PM.
John 19.31 mentions that the day following Jesus’ crucifixion was a high day as opposed to the weekly seventh-day Sabbath. TWO Sabbaths – first an annual Holy Day and then the regular weekly Sabbath – are mentioned in the Gospel accounts. Compare Mark 16.1 with Luke 23.56
Trial, Crucifixion, & Burial:
-John 18:28-John 19
The Feast of Passover although always on Nissan 14th moves on the days of the week. In 33 AD the timing was perfect to allow exactly 72 hours (3 days) from His death on Passover to His resurrection on First Fruits! The terms of the Feasts were interchangeable, in reality Passover consisted of three Feasts; Passover (Prep Day, day the Passover lambs were killed), Unleavened Bread (7 day feast), & First Fruits (Resurrection Day)
**Passover is observed on the 14th of Nisan every year (Leviticus 23:5). Days are calculated from sunset-to-sunset, not midnight-to-midnight.
***All accounts of Scripture are correct, the terms of the day we’re interchangeable. The Gospel of John provides better understanding on exactly what day the crucifixion took place.
Although John provides times easier to understand, it lacks the rich detail of the other three Gospels. It is best to read all four accounts in secession.