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Happy Easter!
He is risen. He is risen, indeed!

Christians traditionally identify Friday of Easter week as the day of Jesus' death. But, just like claiming there were three kings at Christmas, this calendar may be a matter of tradition.

The Easter week must align with the prototypes of Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Feast of First Fruits given in the Mosaic Law. Christ, being the Lamb of God, must fulfill the requirements of the Passover lamb.

Exodus 12 defines Passover.

Here is how everything nicely aligns, when you put aside the tradition and just look at Scripture.

10th Day of Nissan (Sunday) - Select the Lamb
** Jews were to select the Passover lamb. They would then keep it around and observe it to make sure it had no blemish or fault.
** Jesus entered the city. The people selected Him as their hopeful political saviour. But, more importantly, God selected Him to be the Passover lamb for the world.

11th Day to 14th Day of Nissan (Monday to Thursday)
** Days of observation and trials to test the lamb.
** Days that Jesus spent most of the daylight hours in the Temple area being confronted and observed by everyone, including the religious leaders.
** Jesus underwent the most exhaustive trials during the night and early morning of Thursday when He was brought before various authorities six separate times. Eventually, being declared not guilty and blameless by Pilate.

14th Day of Nissan (Thursday) - Day of Preparation
** Before the end of the day (sunset), Israel was to kill the lamb and eat the Passover meal. This day is known as the Day of Preparation in the Law. The blood of the lamb was to be put on the doorposts before sunset.
** Jesus and His Disciples eat the Passover meal on Wednesday night. Because they did so after sunset, they did satisfy the Law by eating the meal on Passover Day. A Jewish Day runs from sunset to sunset, not midnight to midnight as in Western calendars.
** Jesus was crucified on Thursday from 9am to 3pm. As a result, He satisfied the Law requiring that the lamb be killed before the end of the Day of Preparation.

15th Day of Nissan (Friday) - Special Sabbath of Feast of Unleavened Bread
** This is the start of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In Lev 23:6-7, this day is always a Sabbath (whether it falls on Saturday or not).
** John 19:31 makes it clear that Friday was the day after the Day of Preparation. Therefore, Friday was a special Sabbath. Part of the confusion about the calendar is caused by this back-to-back Sabbaths.
** Furthermore, it was necessary for the crucifixion to take place on Thursday instead of Friday in order for Jesus' statement in Matt 12:38-40 about the sign of Jonah and being in the earth for 3 days and 3 nights.

16th Day of Nissan (Saturday) - Regular Sabbath
** This is a regular Sabbath.

17th Day of Nissan (Sunday) - Feast of First Fruits
** This is the start of the Feast of First Fruits. Seven weeks (49 days) follow leading to a special Sabbath celebration.
** Jesus' resurrection is called the First Fruits of the elect and those to be resurrected unto eternal life. This was followed by seven weeks during which Jesus made His presence known to many -- the Disciples, 500 in Galilee, and many others.


So, as we see, there is a beautiful harmony of the prototype of Passover lamb and the fulfillment of God's Lamb.

Looking at a calendar
The Gospel account is very clear that the crucifixion occurred on the Day of Preparation (Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:14,31,42)

Regarding the calendar. Jesus was crucified during the daylight period of the Day of Preparation, which Exodus 12 defines as the 14th day of Nissan.

So, for fun, I found a Hebrew religious to Gregorian calendar calculator and plugged in some dates. Here is what I found for the daylight period of 14 Nissan.

14 Nissan 3787 => Thursday, 7 April 27 AD
14 Nissan 3788 => Tuesday, 27 March 28 AD
14 Nissan 3789 => Sunday, 14 April 29 AD
14 Nissan 3790 => Thursday, 3 April 30 AD
14 Nissan 3791 => Tuesday, 24 March 31 AD
14 Nissan 3792 => Tuesday, 12 April 32 AD
14 Nissan 3793 => Saturday, 1 April 33 AD

Given that Jesus was born between 6 and 4 BC and was about 33 years old when crucified, that would support either the 27 AD or the 30 AD dates, which are .. ta da .. Thursday!

In fact, it turns out that the Hebrew calendar was aligned in such a manner that the daylight period of the Day of Preparation could never occur on a Friday!

Summary perspective
I do want to point out, that much like Christmas, nitpicking over the specific date is a minor issue and one that has no bearing on a person's salvation or the important doctrines of The Faith. Whether Thursday or Friday, the historical facts are the same - Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose before sunrise on Sunday morning.

Thanks. I was attracted to the Good Thursday idea. This is helpful.
God is good
jpu

Only a Wednesday Passover allows them women enough time to purchase and prepare burial spices without breaking the Sabbath - either the Annual Sabbath, or the Weekly Sabbath.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/15665385/The-Sign-of-the-Prophet-Jonah

(I wrote that article, so I take responsibility for it)

I agree with the date of 30 AD, but the Jewish calanders I have access to both say that Nisan 14 (on AD 30) was a Wednesday.

Incidentally, it appears likely that Mary Magdalene actually came to the sepulchre twice. The first time she came alone after sunset on Saturday evening, which was reckoned as the beginning of Sunday. (John 20:1). The Greek word "iti" translated as "yet", (while it was yet dark), should be translated as "after that", therefore the passage should read: "The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, after that it was dark, unto the sepulchre ..." That's when Christ first appeared to her and she was not allowed to touch Him. However, when she returned "as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week" she and other women who were now with her, were allowed to hold Him by the feet and worship Him. (Matt. 28:9).

14 Nissan 3793 => Saturday, 1 April 33 AD
that is totally NOT true!!!

please check out
http://www.cgsf.org/dbeattie/calendar/?roman=33
(never mind the Roman calendar side)

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