The Chronology of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ said He would be in the tomb for three days and three nights. What is the biblically accurate chronology of Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection? This time line perfectly accommodates three full nights (Wednesday night, Thursday night and Friday night) and three full daylight periods (Thursday, Friday and Saturday). This is the only time that fits Jesus' own prophecy of how long He would be in the tomb. And fits perfectly with all the details recorded in the Gospels.

Rolling-stone in from of tomb.
Source: DesignPics


Jesus Christ ate an evening Passover meal with His disciples (at the beginning of Nisan 14, Jewish reckoning) and instituted the New Covenant symbols (Matthew:26:26-28). Jesus was then betrayed by Judas, arrested and during the night brought before the high priest.


Jesus was crucified and died around 3 p.m. (Matthew:27:46-50). This was the preparation day for the annual —not weekly—Sabbath, which began at sunset (Mark:15:42; Luke:23:54; John:19:31). Jesus' body was placed in the tomb just before sunset (Matthew:27:57-60).


This was the high-day Sabbath, the first day of the biblical Feast of Unleavened Bread (John:19:31; Leviticus:23:4-7). It is described as the day after the "Day of Preparation" (Matthew:27:62). Wednesday night and the daylight portion of Thursday were the first of three days and nights Jesus' body was in the tomb.


The high-day annual Sabbath now past, the women bought and prepared spices for anointing Jesus' body before resting on the weekly Sabbath day, which began at Friday sunset (Mark:16:1; Luke:23:56). Thursday night and the daylight portion of Friday marked the second of three days and nights Jesus' body was entombed.


The women rested on the weekly Sabbath day, according to the Fourth Commandment (Luke:23:56; Exodus:20:8-11). Jesus rose near sunset, exactly three days and three nights after His body was placed in the tomb, fulfilling the sign of Jonah and authenticating the sign He gave of His messiahship.


The women brought the prepared spices early in the morning while it was still dark (Luke:24:1; John:20:1). Jesus had already risen (Matthew:28:1-6; Mark:16:2-6; Luke:24:2-3; John:20:1). He did not rise on Sunday morning, but near sunset the day before— three days and three nights after being put in the tomb, just as He foretold.


debrajoy's picture

Where in the Bible does it state Jesus rose near sunset?
Did He just hang out near the tomb until Mary saw Him the next day?

Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

Hi Debra,

Joseph asked for the body “[w]hen it was evening” (Mat:27:57a, 62b ESV 2011): ‘the [annual] Sabbath was beginning:” (Luke:23:54 ESV)--& “because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there” (John:19:42 ESV).

In biblical reckoning, full ‘days’ (the 24-hour combination of night & daylight hours) begin, not at midnight (per Roman reckoning), but at sunset:

Note the ‘Sabbath’ being referred to here is the annual Festival of Unleavened Bread’s first holy day (John:19:31)—“which, in A.D. 31, fell on a Thursday”:

Also see:

Similarly, another annual holy day, Atonement, is also called a ‘Sabbath’ (Lev:23:32 ESV)—even though it falls on a Wednesday in 2015:

Now, count “three days and three nights” (Mat:12:40 ESV) forward:


Arrott's picture

Jesus could not have eaten the Passover with the disciples since he was already in the tomb at Passover. The Passover started even on the 14th also the High Sabbath started and the 1st day of unleavened bread, Jesus had a last supper with his disciples on the 13th at even and was early that morning on the 14th Jesus was captured and by noon that day he was crucified and place in the tomb before sunset, the Passover lamb was always killed at twilight on 14th, Ex. 12

Rudy Rangel

Rudy Rangel's picture

You and I measure time from midnight to midnight. God in the bible doesn't measure time in the same way. All of his Holy days and the Sabbath begin at sundown and ends the following evening. You said that He and the disciples ate the Passover on the 13th. If you count from midnight to midnight you would be correct. But God and Jesus have always counted a new day beginning at sundown. So the Passover is kept the evening before. Jesus and His disciples ate at the very beginning of the 14th. Here is a good article for some biblical reference. I hope this helps. Take care.


lewis.vanausdle's picture

Arrott, Jesus clearly ate the Passover with the disciples because He said He would (Mt26:18). They ate at the beginning of the 14th as commanded in Lev 23. He was crucified during the daylight hours of the 14th. The Jews would have prepared their passover near the end of the 14th, possibly killing their lambs at the same time Jesus died. Once sunset came, the 15th began and so did the 1st day of unleavened bread, a holy day. By tradition the Jews ate the Passover at the end of the 14th and in modern days actually at the beginning of the 15th. It sounds like there are 2 Passover meals happening in this story. Jesus kept it at the beginning of the 14th so that's when I keep Passover.

Bob Gv

Bob Gv's picture

Can anyone find out what year it was that Passover occured on a Thursday?

Bob Gv

Bob Gv's picture

I see where you say Passover occured on a Wed in the year 31AD. However, if Passover was the first full moon after the vernal equinox, it does not fit with 31 AD. Can you explain, please?

Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

Hello Bob Gv,

“Equinoxes are not mentioned in Scripture”:

“‘[D]espite efforts in Asia Minor to maintain the Jewish [P]assover date of 14 Nisan for Easter…the Council of Nicaea adopted the annual Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox (March 21)’ [Evangelical Dictionary of Theology]”:

“As the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains…‘At the Council of Nicaea in 325, all the Churches agreed that Easter…should be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon…after the vernal equinox’ (1995, p. 332). Up until this time, many believers had continued to commemorate Jesus' death through the biblical Passover as Jesus and the apostles had instructed”:

“‘In…honor [of Easter, goddess of spring,] sacrifices were offered at the time of the vernal [spring] equinox’ [ISBE]. [P]agan rites…[were] incorporated into the Easter liturgy of Rome”:

Ivan Veller

Ivan Veller's picture

“‘In Rome Easter was celebrated on the Sunday following the full moon after the spring equinox’ [Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity]…The date of Easter, as part of the mixing of the ancient fertility and resurrection celebrations with the death and resurrection of Jesus, was heatedly debated during the 2nd century after Christ, especially by…the Quartodecimans…[who] insisted on observing Passover on the 14th of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar.

‘In the mid-second century…some Gentile Christians began to celebrate it on the Sunday after 14 Nisan…regardless of the date on which it fell. The resulting controversy…reached a head in A.D. 197, when Victor of Rome excommunicated those Christians who insisted on celebrating Easter [actually Passover] on 14 Nisan.

‘The dispute continued until…Constantine [required] the…observing [of] Easter on the Sunday following 14 Nisan, rather than on the date itself [of the actual Passover]’ [Harper's Bible Dictionary]”:

It was “supplanted by nonbiblical traditions”:


Gus's picture

The true Sabbath seems to be a major stumbling block for Christians today. Keeping traditions of man over commands of God is sin. Clearly God created the Sabbath as the 7th day. Man has no authority to change what God decrees. And in that day you shall do no work. The mark of the beast is in the hand,(work) or in the forehead,(thought). The Sabbath day is set aside to give prayer (thought) to the father. Abstaining for work and praising the father on the proper day fits well with the mark of the beast.

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