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A simple, yet detailed timeline of Jesus’ last week of earthly ministry. From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, each day had significant events.
Six days prior to the crucifixion, Jesus traveled to Bethany
Nisan 9 — The weekly Sabbath
A day of rest a the home of Jesus’ friends.
Nisan 10 — The Triumphal Entry
On Sunday, the day after the weekly Sabbath, Jesus returned to Jerusalem and rode into the city on a donkey (Matt 21:1-9, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:28-40, John 12:12-19). And the people heralded His arrival by waving palm branches and proclaiming Him to be King.
This was the day of which the Prophet Daniel prophesied. It was the end of 69 weeks (Daniel 9:25-26a), when the Messiah would be cut off (killed) but not for Himself (for His people). (Read more about the What is the Seventieth Week of Daniel?)
The prophet Zechariah also prophesied of this day:
Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Was this the King the people waited for? As Jesus beheld the city, He wept over it (Luke 19:38). Jesus did not come as a conquering king with power and a sword (Luke 19:41). After this, a number of events turned the people from proclaiming Jesus as King to doubting who He truly was.
Sunday, Nisan 10 is one of the most significant days in the Bible. It was the day each family selected a lamb for the Passover sacrifice and presented it to the priest to be inspected and declared worthy to be sacrificed. Nisan 10 was also the day that Jesus presented Himself to His people (Luke 19:28-37), entered the Temple, and was questioned by the authorities for the next few days. This was the day when God revealed to His people where their peace would come from (Luke 19:42a). But the Jews failed to recognize their Messiah. And so they were held accountable for not knowing “the time of [their] visitation” (Luke 19:42-44)
The next day, after Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, He cursed the fruitless fig tree (Mk 11:13-14) and cleansed the Temple (Mk 11:15-19, Lk 19:45-46).
- Peter saw the withered fig tree (Mk 11:21);
- Jesus walked in the Temple (Mk 11:27);
- Jesus’ authority was questioned (Mt 22:15-45, Mk 11:27-12:27,35-40, Lk 20:20-47); the widow’s mite (Mk 12:41-44, Lk 21:1-4);
- Jesus left the Temple (Mk 13:1, Mat 21:1)
- Jesus talked with His disciples: The Olivet Discourse (Mat 24, Mk 13, Lk 21)
Jesus returned to Bethany and had dinner at the house of Simon the leper in Bethany (Mat 26:2). While there, an unnamed woman anointed Jesus’ head (Mat 26:7-13). The authorities plotted to kill Jesus (Mt 26:1-5, Mk 14:1-2). Judas agreed to betray Jesus (Mt 26:14-16, Mk 10-11).
Nisan 14 — The Day of Preparation
The Last Supper was during the nighttime hours, preceding the daytime hours. (Mat 26:17) It was “before the Feast of the Passover” (John 13:1); After the supper, Jesus and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane (Mat 26:36, Jn 18:1). Jesus betrayed by Judas (Mat 26:48-49); Jesus arrested and taken to the High Priest Caiaphas (Mat 26:57); Peter denied Jesus three times (Mat 26:69-75
Daytime hours: Pilate said to the Jews, “here is your King” (Jn 19:14-15). They asked that Barabbas be released and Jesus be crucified (Mat 27:15, Jn 19:15). Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified (Jn 19:16)
At the same time that the Passover lambs were slain, Jesus hung on the cross and gave up His life.
- Six hours of darkness on the cross: 9am-3pm.
- In the grave before sundown (Jn 19:31)
- Three days and three nights in the grave (Matt 12:40)
Nisan 15 — The Feast of Unleavened Bread
The Passover feast, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was observed during the nighttime hours of Nisan 15.
Nisan 16 — Weekly Sabbath—a day of rest.
Nisan 17 — Resurrection Day!
The first day of the week, the Feast of Firstfruits; He is not here: for he is risen (Mt 28:6, Mk 16:6, Lk 24:6)
Feast of First-fruits
1 Cor 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
In life, Jesus was sinless—making Him the pure Passover Lamb and in death, He was the Lamb who died to atone for the sins of mankind. In the resurrection, God glorified Jesus and showed that the payment for sins was accepted and sufficient.
This opened the way for man to be forgiven, to be declared righteous, and made worthy of eternal life in Heaven.
Was Jesus crucified on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
Thursday Crucifixion? Do these two reasons “nail” it?
Why do we call it good [Friday]?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
How is Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the Crimson Worm? A Remez In Psalm 22?
Who do you need to reconcile with today?
Who Killed Jesus?
Since Jesus was the Passover LAMB, Why Didn't God Provide a Lamb in Genesis 22?
Did Pilate Proclaim Jesus to be God?
Was Jesus Forsaken by His Father?
The centurion's song from the foot of the cross: “Surely This Was a Righteous Man”
Journey to the Cross: Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
How Do We Know Psalm 22 Is About The Cross?