- Passover, or Last Supper: Our Savior was crucified on Wednesday, which actually began at 6:00 P.M. on Tuesday. The Passover Feast was prepared in the last hours of Tuesday, between 3:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M. It was then partaken of at the Last Supper, just after 6:00 P.M.; or the beginning of Wednesday. Therefore, the feast was observed in the early hours of Wednesday; and Christ partook of the Passover on the same day He gave Himself to be the crucified Passover Lamb. This is substantiated by Matthew 26:19-21.A. Verse 19: Preparation of the Passover (Tuesday),"And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they MADE READY the Passover."B. Verse 20: Parting of Days (“even,” 6:00 P.M.)
"Now when EVEN was come, He sat down with the twelve."
C. Verse 21: Partaking of the Passover (Wednesday),
"And as they DID EAT, He said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me."
For further information on the Passover, read Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23. The Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread were actually two feasts in one. Passover began on the 14th day of Nisan (Abib ) and continued through the next day, on which began the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This feast continued for seven days, making a total of eight days for the combined feasts. A lamb without blemish was selected and sacrificed. This was in type of the Lord Jesus Christ who sacrificed Himself for our sins. 1 Peter 1:18, 19, and John 1:29,
..."Behold, the LAMB of God which taketh away the sin of the world."
2. Praying in the Garden: It is called “Gethsemane” in Matthew 26:36. It was located on the Mount of Olives and was a place Jesus customarily resorted to (Luke 22:39). Christ was in the Garden within the first few hours of Wednesday, which began at 6:00 P.M. Three times our Lord prayed,
"...O my Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44).
The significance of this is—Christ had been with the Father for all time and eternity. He was saying, "If there be a way we would not be separated while I am paying for the world's sin, then let it pass.” He did not want to bypass paying for sin; but to bypass separation from the Father in doing so. Christ suffered separation from the Father; so you and I, by faith, would never be separated from Him.
3. The Arrest: Details of the arrest are only given in John. The arrest took place at night (Matthew 26:31) as the arresting officers came forth with "...lanterns and torches and weapons." (John 18:3). This was probably between 6:00 P.M. and Midnight, the early hours of Wednesday.
A point of interest concerning Judas being saved or lost! In Matthew 27:3 it is said that Judas “repented himself,” therefore, some believe he was saved. The answer lies in the meaning of the Greek word translated in our English, "repented." The Greek word for "repented" in Matthew 27:3 is "metamelomai" and means "sorrow" or "regret." The Greek word translated “repent,” when used in reference to salvation, is always metanoia and means "a change of mind." Judas was (metamelomai) sorry when he saw that Christ had been condemned to death (Matthew 27:3); but he never (metanoia) changed his mind about Christ being his Savior. Judas died a lost man.
4. First Taken to Annas, the High Priest: (John 18:13) "And led him away to Annas first..." Remember Annas and Caiaphas were co-reigning high priests (Luke 3:2). Prior to Christ’s arrest, they had conspired against Christ to kill Him (Matthew 26:3,4). It was Annas and Caiaphas whom Judas dealt with for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14,15). Their hatred was intensified when Malchus’ ear was cut off by Peter, as they were attempting to arrest Christ (John 18:10). Malchus was related ("kinsman") to either Annas or Caiaphas (John 18:26). After a preliminary hearing, Annas bound Christ and delivered him to his son-in-law, Caiaphas.
5. Appears Before Caiaphas: Christ was brought into the palace of Caiaphas, (Matthew 26:57,58). The palace was not the temple, but the dwelling place of an important official. His treatment of Christ is described in verses 59-68. These events probably took place sometime between Midnight and 3:00 A.M. on Wednesday. The late night and early morning hours were cold, as the servants and officers had built a fire to warm themselves, while the high priest was conducting the pretense of a trial (John 18:18).
6. Peter’s Three Denials of Christ: These are recorded in Matthew 26:69-75, also in Luke 22:57-62. Peter had bragged about himself in Matthew 26:33,35 and Luke 22:33,34. A few hours later, he denied Christ three times. His denials were overheard!
“And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord…Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice… (61) And Peter went out and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:61,62 ).
After the Resurrection, the Lord gave him opportunity to confess Him three times (John 21:15-17). Even after Peter’s denial, Christ used him greatly on the Day of Pentecost and thereafter, including the writing of two epistles. We can learn two great lessons from this:
A. We should never be overconfident and think of ourselves as impregnable. (Galatians 6:1-4)
B. Even after we let the Lord down, He is still willing to use us if we will allow Him. Remember, he came unto Jonah the second time (Jonah 3:1). How many times has Christ come unto us to serve Him? Thank God for his grace to us and his patience with us.
"...But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." (Romans 5:20b ) .
7. Caiaphas Sends Christ to Pontius Pilate: (John 18:28) .
"Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment (the palace of the Ronan Governor, there were many): and it was EARLY..."
This was probably about 4:00 A.M., Wednesday morning. Just prior to this, the chief priests had held a consultation with the elders, scribes, and Sanhedrin (the council) to put Him to death. They bound him and sent Him to Pilate. (Mark 15:1, Matthew 27:1,2).
Matthew 27:1 and Mark 15:1 both state it was morning and John says it was “early” when Christ was turned over to Pilate. In John 19:14, it was about the sixth hour. John uses Roman time, being six hours from Midnight; therefore, it was 6:00 A.M. on Wednesday. Matthew, Mark, and Luke use the Jewish time (from 6:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.) in stating the times when Pilate released Christ to be crucified. (We know it was Wednesday, as John 18:28 states,
“Then led they Jesus 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 would give Pilate about 2 hours from 4:00 A.M. to 6:00 A.M., Wednesday, in his dealings with Christ. Pilate made several trips from the hall of judgment, where Christ was, to the Jews waiting outside.
A. (OUT) John 18:29-31. When Christ was first brought to Pilate, he went out to the Jews to ascertain what charge they had against Him.
B. (IN) John 18:33-37. Pilate went back in and questioned Christ.
C. (OUT) John 18:38. Pilate went out again and declared he found no fault with Christ.
D. The Jews replied to Pilate that Christ had stirred up all the people in Judea, starting from Galilee. (Luke 23:5). Since Herod Antipas (Antipater), the ruler of Galilee, was in Jerusalem, Pilate sent Christ to him for judgment. Christ, being a Galilean, would be under his jurisdiction. This was Pilate’s way out! Antipas found Him innocent, mocked Him, and arrayed Him with a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to the judgment hall for Pilate. (Luke 23:7-15).
E. (IN) John 19:1-3. Pilate went back in to Christ. The soldiers placed a crown of thorns on His head and struck Him.
F. (OUT) John 19:4. Pilate went out to the Jews again, declaring "I find no fault in Him."
G. (IN & OUT) John 19:5-8. Jesus was led out in view of the Jews, chief priests and officers. They cried, "Crucify him!"
H. (IN) John 19:9-12. Pilate took Jesus and went back into the hall of judgment (9) where he continued to question Christ.
I. (OUT) John 19:13. Pilate brings Christ out again to the judgment seat in the courtyard (Pavement). Pilate’s wife sent a message to him and declared Christ innocent to her husband in Matthew 27:19,
".. .Have nothing to do with that JUST man..."
8. Pilate Releases Christ for Crucifixion: About the sixth hour, Christ was released by Pilate for crucifixion (John 19:14). Keep in mind that John uses the Roman time, Midnight to Midnight, while Matthew, Mark and Luke use the Jewish time in dividing the day from 6:00 P.M. to 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Therefore, Christ was released for crucifixion at about 6:00 A.M., Wednesday morning, just after being scourged by Pilate. (Matthew 27:26).
9. From 6:00 A.M., Wednesday Morning, to 9:00 A.M.: Within those three hours the following took place:
A. Christ taken to a common hall, striped of His clothing, which was replaced with a scarlet robe. (Matthew 27:27,28).
B. The crown of thorns placed on His head. (Matthew 27:29).
C. A reed placed in His right hand as they mocked Him as King. (Matthew 27:29).
D. They spit on Him and hit Him on the head with the reed, a measuring rod about 9 feet long. (Matthew 27:30).
E. Christ’s robe removed and original attire replaced. (Matthew 27:31).
F. Christ is forced to carry His cross. (John 19:17). Our song containing the words "he fell beneath the cross" has no scriptural foundation.
G. After a distance was covered heading toward Golgotha, Simon, a man of Cyrene, was compelled to carry Christ’s cross the remainder of the way. (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26).
10. Christ is crucified the Third Hour: This being from 6:00 A.M., Jewish time; therefore, 9:00 A.M., on Wednesday morning. (Mark 15:25). The next three hours are filled with the events found in Mark 15:26-32 and Matthew 27:35-44.
11. The Sixth Hour to the Ninth Hour: This was from Noon to 3:00 P.M., Wednesday. There was darkness over the whole land while Christ was still upon the cross. Very shortly after 3:00 P.M., Christ submitted Himself unto death (Mark 15:34-37).
12. Let us recapitulate for a moment. On Wednesday, Pilate releases Christ for crucifixion at 6:00 A.M. Three hours later, he is placed on the cross at 9:00 A.M. After being on the cross three hours, darkness covers the earth for the next three hours He is there. Therefore, Christ was on the cross from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., Wednesday. Shortly after 3: 00 P.M. he was taken down. Three days later, between 3:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M., Saturday, He had arisen!
This is only a brief picture of events that may help us visualize what took place some 24 hours before Christ’s death on the cross.
Note: You can read online; or, download and print a copy of "The Resurrection - Charts and Comments" by Pastor Younce here: The Resurrection