The Passion Chronology - A Study

Easter (Paschal) Week Chronology

6 days before Passover

Friday – Nisan 8 – late afternoon - Jesus arrives in Bethany from Jericho (John 12:1)

Friday – Nisan 9 – sunset – Sabbath supper at home of Lazarus (John 12:1-3)

5 days before Passover

Saturday – Nisan 9 – Sabbath - Jesus rests in Bethany; multitudes come from all over to see Jesus and Lazarus; chief priests and Pharisees plot to arrest both Jesus and Lazarus (John 12:9-10)

4 days before Passover

Sunday – Nisan 10 – Palm Sunday, Jesus enters Jerusalem; lambs selected for Passover; Jesus cleanses Temple for the 2nd time; leaves Jerusalem and spends the night in Bethany (Matthew 21:1-17, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-46, John 12:12-19)

3 days before Passover

Monday – Nisan 11 – Jesus teaches the multitudes (Matthew 21:18)

2 days before Passover

Tuesday – Nisan 12 – Jesus’ denunciation of Jerusalem; Mt. Olivet discourse (Matthew 24:1- 26:2)

1 day before Passover

Wednesday – Nisan 13 - no record in Gospels how Jesus spent the day; possibly in Bethany and last night spent there

Wednesday – Nisan 14 – at sunset Jews begin to search their homes with candles for leaven


Thursday – Nisan 14 – morning – no leaven eaten after 10:00 a.m.

Thursday – Nisan 14 –noon– leaven ceremonially destroyed by burning or by dispersing to

the winds

Thursday – Nisan 14 – afternoon – lambs sacrificed from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Seder prepared

1st Day of Unleavened Bread

Thursday – Nisan 15 – evening – Passover eaten (roasted Passover lamb and 1st Passover Chagigah {breast and shoulder of voluntary thank-offering}); the Lord's Supper instituted

Thursday – Nisan 15 – night – Jesus arrested, brought before priests and elders

Friday – Nisan 15 – early morning – Jesus brought before Pilate

Friday - Nisan 15 - 6:00 in the morning - Jesus rejected by the people

Friday – Nisan 15 – 9:00 in the morning – Jesus crucified

Friday – Nisan 15 – 12:00 noon– darkness

Friday – Nisan 15 – 3:00 in the afternoon – Jesus dies

Friday – Nisan 15 – late afternoon – Jesus' body placed in tomb

Friday - Nisan 15 - before sunset women purchase and prepare spices for Jesus' burial (festival sabbaths allowed certain work necessary for preparation for the feasts, shops were allowed to be open to provide pilgrims with necessary items to keep the feast

Exodus 12:16); High Sabbath (Weekly Sabbath that fell during festivals) preparations made

Weekly Sabbath (a "High Day")

Friday – Nisan 16 – sunset – High Sabbath begins (2nd feast at which mandatory 2nd Passover Chagigah is eaten which Pharisees would have been excluded from eating had they become defiled that morning)

Friday – Nisan 16 – night – women rest

Saturday – Nisan 16 – Sabbath – women rest

Saturday - Nisan 17 - night - Rabbinic Law requires that no work be resumed during night following the Sabbath

1st Day of the Week

Sunday – Nisan 17 – morning early – women come to tomb, Jesus is risen

Primary Sources:

The Gospels

Talmudic Tractate "Pesachim"

Josephus "Antiquities"

Secondary Sources:

The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Alfred Edersheim

The Temple and It's Services, Alfred Edersheim

Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, Joachim Jeremias

Sketches of Jewish Social Life, Alfred Edersheim

Daily Life in Bible Times, Packer/Tenney/White

Manner and Customs of Bible Times, Ralph Gower

and many more

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