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Daily Reading: Sunday 31st January 2016

John 19. 12-16 cont.

12 From this Pilate sought to release Him; but the Jews cried out saying: “If you release this man you are not a friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”

13 The Pilate hearing these words brought Jesus outside and sat on the judgement seat in a place called the Stone Pavement, which in Hebrew is Gabbatha.

14 Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover, it was about the sixth hour; and he said (says) to the Jews: “Look your king.”

[15] They then cried out: “Take Him away, take Him away; crucify Him”. Pilate said (says) to them: “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered: “We have no king except Caesar.”

16 Therefore, he handed Jesus over to them so that He might be crucified. Then they took Jesus.

John said that the time when this happened was the day of preparation for the Passover. This is different from the accounts that the other three gospels give. It also means that the meal that is commonly called the Last Supper would not have been the Passover Meal. In the other gospels it is clear that the Last Supper is identified as the Passover Meal:

On the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover was sacrificed, His disciples said to Him: “Where do you want us to go and prepare the Passover we are going to eat?” – Mark 14.12.

This passage makes it clear that they celebrated the Passover in what we call the Last Supper (the Lord’s Supper).

There have been many suggestions about harmonizing the differences, and they get quite complicated. It is clear that there were two Sabbaths that week: one being for the Passover celebrations, and the other being the normal Sabbath at the end of the week.

We have to take into account that Jesus said he would be buried in the earth for three nights and three days:

“For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so I, the Son of Man, will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights” – Matthew 12.40 (NLT).

My notes on Mark 15.42-47 read: We know that God raised Jesus from the dead after three days; since Sunday is not three days after Friday, it is unlikely that Jesus was crucified on Friday. It is possible that His crucifixion took place on the Wednesday and that He died at 3.00 pm. He was taken down from the cross before sunset, which is when the next day (Thursday) began. Most likely this was a Sabbath that was attached to Passover and not the Saturday Sabbath. His being raised after three days would, therefore, be Sunday (starting on what we know as Saturday after sunset, 6.00 pm, although we know He was raised early on the first Day).

However, we are still left with the fact that John states that Jesus was tried on the day of Passover. This is something we may never be able to figure out. The most important thing is that Jesus died to pay the price of our sins, and to bring us forgiveness and salvation.


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