Did Christ Die on Friday?

Some Christians believe that Christ died on a Friday because the next day after His crucifixion was a Sabbath.  But this Sabbath was NOT a weekly Sabbath; it was an annual Sabbath.  See Jewish Holy Days. 

The problem with the "Friday burial hypothesis" is that the length of time from Friday evening to Sunday morning is not 72 hours  (3 days and 3 nights); it is only 1 1/2 days.  

Jesus on the road to Calvary

With this assumption, there are not 3 full  nights. In fact, there is only one full night -- Saturday.  There are not 3 full  days, but only one full day -- Saturday, and we cannot count any daylight hours of Sunday because Yeshua/Jesus  was already resurrected before daybreak  of Sunday.

John 20:1  "To the first of Sabbaths  [SUNDAY] Mary Magdalene came to the sepulchre early, while there was STILL DARKNESS, and she beheld the stone already taken away from the sepulchre." 

So we can not count any daylight hours of Sunday because as John 20:1 says, when Mary Magdalene came to the tomb, the sun had not yet risen.

If you are wondering why the text says "First of Sabbaths" instead of "First day of the week," read both: Two Sabbaths  and The Resurrection.

We need to have exactly 3 days and 3 nights between Yeshua's BURIAL and His RESURRECTION, because Jesus said that He would be buried "in the heart of the Earth" for 3 days and 3 nights.

Matthew 12:40  "..the Son of man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights." 

This is the sign of Jonah, the only sign Yeshua/Jesus gave to identify Him as the true messiah. 

Matthew 12:39  "A wicked and adulterous generation keeps on seeking for a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet." 

For more information on this topic, read Sign of the Messiah.

We know that for Him to be the true messiah He must be INSIDE THE EARTH for three whole days and nights. That means not only dead, but also BURIED.  Counting back from Sunday morning 3 days and 3 nights, we arrive at Thursday morning as the time of His finished burial.  All we need to do is find out if all the passages of the bible fit into this time frame.

Sequence of Events:

1.  Tuesday night around 7:00 PM -- Christ sits down to eat the Passover with his disciples

The last supper

Matthew 26:19-20 and the disciples did as Jesus ordered them, and they got things ready for the Passover.  When now it had become evening, He was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples.

2.  Tuesday night around 8:00 PM -- Jesus washes the feet of the apostles.

Jesus washes the feet of the apostles.

John 13:3-12  He...got up from the evening meal and laid aside his outer garments.  and, taking a towel, he girded himself.  After that he put water into a basin and started to wash the feet of the disciples and to dry them off with the towel...when now he had washed their feet and had put his outer garments on and laid himself down at the table again, he said to them 'Do you know what I have done to you?'

3.  Tuesday night around 10:00 PM -- Jesus and his disciples go to the Mount of Olives.

Matthew 26: 30-31  Finally, after singing praises, they went out to the Mount of Olives.  Then Jesus said to them: all of you will be stumbled in connection with me on this night.' 

4.  Tuesday night  around 10:20 PM -- Jesus goes to Gethsemane to pray for the first time

Mark 14:32-34 So they came to a spot named Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples: ' Sit down here while I pray' And He took Peter and James and John along with him....and He said to them 'my soul is deeply grieved, even to death. Stay here and keep on the watch '

Jesus prays at Gethsemane.

5.  That night around 11:20 PM   -- Jesus finds the apostles sleeping 

Mark 14:37 And He came and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter 'Simon, are you sleeping?  Did you not have strength to keep on the watch one hour?'

Jesus prays

6.  That night around 11:30 PM --Jesus goes to pray for a second time

Mark 14:39 And He went away again and prayed



7.  That night (already Wednesday) around 12:30 AM -- Jesus goes to pray for a third time and finds the Apostles sleeping again.

Mark 14:41  And He came the third time and said to them 'At such a time as this you are sleeping and taking your rest! It is enough! The hour has come! Look! The Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

8.  That night around 1:30 AM  -- Christ is taken prisoner.

Mark 14:42-43  Get up, let us go.  Look! My betrayer has drawn near.  And immediately, while He was yet speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived and with him a crowd with swords and clubs from the chief priests and the scribes and the older men.  Matthew 26:47-48   ....Judas, one of the twelve, came and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs from the chief priests and older men of the people.  Now his betrayer had given them a sign , saying: 'whoever it is I kiss, this is He; take Him into custody.'


The kiss of Judas.
Judas betrays Jesus

9.  That night around 2:00 AM -- Jesus is taken to Annas.

John 18:12-13  Then the soldier band and the military commander and the officers of the Jews seized Jesus and bound Him.  and they led Him first to Annas; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.

10.  Around 2:30 AM -- Peter and another disciple follow Jesus into the courtyard.

Matthew 26:58  But Peter kept following Him at a good distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and after going inside, he was sitting with the house attendants to see the outcome.

John 18:15  Now Simon Peter as well as another disciple was following Jesus.  That disciple was known to the high priest, and he went in with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter was standing outside at the door.  Therefore the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper and brought Peter in.

11.  Around 3:00 AM -- Peter denies Jesus for the first time

Luke 22:57  ...'I do not know Him woman.'  

John 18:17  the servant girl, the doorkeeper then said to Peter 'you are not one of this man's disciples, are you?'  He said 'I am not.'

12.  Around 3:00 AM -- Peter sits down with them around a fire.

Mark 14:48  ...and he [Peter] was sitting together with the house attendants and warming himself before a bright fire.

13.  Around 3:00 AM -- Jesus is questioned by the chief priest Annas.

John 18:19 And so the chief priest questioned Jesus about His disciples and about His teaching. 

14.  Around 4:00 AM -- Peter denies Jesus a second time.

Luke 22:59 -- and after an hour intervened, a certain other began insisting strongly 'for a certainty this also was with Him, for in fact He is a Galilean, but Peter said 'man I do not know what you are saying.' 

15.  Around 4:00 AM -- Jesus is mocked.

Luke 22:63  Now the men that had Him in custody began to make fun of him, hitting Him and after covering Him over they would ask and say 'prophesy, who is it that struck you?'

16.  Around 4:30 AM -- Jesus is bound to be sent to Caiaphas, the high priest.
John 18:24  Then Annas sent Him away bound to Caiaphas the high priest.


Jesus before Caiaphas, the high priest

 Caiaphas was the high priest, son in law of Annas


17.  Around 4:30 AM -- Peter denies Jesus for the third time.


 John 18:25  ... Simon Peter was standing and warming himself.  Then they said to him  'you are not also one of His disciples, are you?'  He denied it and said 'I am not'  One of the slaves of the high priest [Caiaphas], being a relative of the man whose ear Peter cut off, said: 'I saw you in the garden with Him, did I not?'  However Peter denied it again and immediately a cock crowed.

The cock crowed!
Peter Denies Jesus 

18.  At dawn, around 6:00 AM Christ is taken to the Sanhedrin. 

Matthew 27:1  When it had become morning, all the chief priests and the older men of the people held a consultation against Jesus so as to put Him to death

Mark 15:1  And immediately at dawn the chief priests with the older men and the scribes, even the whole Sanhedrin, conducted a consultation...

Luke 22:66  At length, when it became day, the assembly of older men of the people, both the chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they haled him into their Sanhedrin hall.

Notice that Yeshua was taken to the Sanhedrin when it was already morning.  Morning during Passover week occurs about 6:00 AM, so these verses point out an EXACT  time reference from where to piece together the next sequence of events that occurred that morning.

Judas returns the silver pieces.

19.  Wednesday morning around 7:00 AM -- Judas returns the thirty pieces of silver.

Matthew 27:3-7 Then Judas, who betrayed Him, seeing He had been condemned [by the Sanhedrin] felt remorse and turned the thirty silver pieces back to the chief priests and older men...After consulting together they bought with them the potter's field...

Christ taken before Pilate "Are you King of the Jews?"  "You said it!"

20.  Wednesday morning around 8 AM Christ is taken to Pilate where He is questioned.  

John 18:28 ... they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Governor's palace [the pretorium].  It was now EARLY IN THE DAY. Luke 23:1 So the multitude of them rose, one and all, and led Him to Pilate.  John 18:29 Therefore Pilate came outside to them and said :  'what accusation do you bring against this man?'

Pilate interrogated Jesus for a long time and finding no fault in Him went back to the crowds and told them "I find no crime in this man."

Luke 23:5-7  But they began to be insistent saying 'He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea even starting out from Galilee to here.  On hearing that, Pilate asked whether the man was a Galilean, and after ascertaining that He was from the Jurisdiction of Herod, he sent Him on to Herod...

21.  Wednesday morning around 9:00 AM  Christ is taken to Herod where He is questioned for a LONG time.

Christ taken to Herod.

Luke 23:8-9  When Herod saw Jesus he rejoiced greatly, for over a considerable time he was wanting to see Him because of having heard about Him, and he was hoping to see some sign performed by Him.  Now he began to question Him with a good MANY WORDS...

22.  Wednesday morning about 10:00 AM Christ is taken back to Pilate

Luke 23:11-12 Then Herod together with his soldier guards discredited Him, and he made fun of Him by clothing Him with a bright garment and sent Him back to Pilate.  Both Herod and Pilate now became friends with each other on that very day; for before that they had continued at enmity between themselves.

Obviously, Pilate and Herod had a long talk that morning, which also took time in the sequence of events that led to the crucifixion.

23.  Wednesday morning around 10:15 AM -- Pilate's wife tells him about the dream she had with Jesus.   

Matthew 27:19  While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, "Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him."

24.  Wednesday morning about
10:30 AM -- Pilate is sitting  at the judgment seat in the stone pavement (Gabbatha) and the angry crowd asks Pilate to release Barabbas and kill Jesus.

Matthew 27:20-23  But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death.  But the governor said to them, 'Which of the two do you want me to release for you?' And they said, 'Barabbas.' Pilate said to them, 'Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?' They all said, 'Crucify Him!'  And he said, 'Why, what evil has He done?' But they kept shouting all the more, saying, 'Crucify Him!'

Matthew 27:24  When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, 'I am innocent of this Man's blood; see to that yourselves.'

Pilate washes his hands.

Matthew 27:25  And all the people said, 'His blood shall be on us and on our children!'

Luke 23: 18 But with their whole multitude they cried out, saying: 'take this one away, but release Barabbas to us.'

Matthew 27:26  Then did he release to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered [Him] up that He may be crucified;

Pilate tried over and over to convey to the angry mob that he did not find in Jesus  any cause deserving punishment.  

Luke 23:24-25  So Pilate gave sentence for their demand to be met, he released the man that had been thrown into prison for sedition and murder and whom they were demanding, but he surrendered Jesus to their will.

25.  Wednesday around 10:45 AM. -- Pilate gives sentence to Jesus and Jesus is whipped.

Mark 15:15  At that, Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them, and after having Jesus whipped, he handed Him over to be crucified.

26.  Wednesday around 11:45 AM -- After the scourging, Jesus is led into the Pretorium and is given a crown of thorns.

Mark 15:16-19  The soldiers now led Him off into the courtyard, that is, into the Pretorium, and they called the whole body of troops together, and they decked Him with purple and braided a crown of thorns and put it on Him.  And they started greeting Him 'good day you king of the Jews' also they would hit Him on the head with a reed and spit upon Him and bending their knees, they would do obeisance to Him.

John 19:4  Pilate therefore went forth again, and said unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that you may know that I find no fault in him.

John 19:5  Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And [Pilate] said unto them, Behold the man!

John 19:6-8  When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify [him], crucify [him]. Pilate said unto them, Take you him, and crucify [him]: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.  When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;

John 19:9-10 And went again into the judgment hall, and said unto Jesus, Where are you from? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then said Pilate unto him, You are not talking to me? Don't you know that I have power to crucify you, and have power to release you?

John 19:11  Jesus answered, You could have no power [at all] against me, except it were given you from above: therefore he that delivered me unto you has the greater sin.

John 19:12-14  And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If you let this man go, you art not Caesar's friend: whosoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Stone Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.  And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the SIXTH hour and he said unto the Jews, Behold your King!

This is a quote that tells us exactly what time it was when Jesus was with Pilate at the Stone Pavement.  It can not be 6:00 AM, because we know Jesus was taken to the Sanhedrin about that time (dawn).  It can not be 6:00 PM because at that time it is sunset and there would not be any trials.

The explanation is that John is using the Hebrew way of counting time, the first hour  being one hour after dawn and therefore, six hours from dawn being noontime.  Therefore, the  sixth hour in Hebrew time corresponds to 12:00 noon of our time.

Also compare what is said by Mark 15:25 It was now the third hour, and they crucified Him.  Mark is using the Roman  way of reckoning time, the same as we use nowadays.  Mark states that the crucifixion occurred at 3:00 pm in the afternoon.

It was at noontime that Pilate says to the crowd:

John 19:15-17 But they cried out, Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him. Pilate said unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led [him] away....  

27.  Wednesday afternoon around 12:30 PM -- Christ is stripped off the purple garments and given his outer garments to wear.

Mark 15:20  Finally when they had made fun of Him, they stripped Him of the purple and put His outer garments upon Him and they led Him out to crucify Him.

28.  Wednesday afternoon around 1:00 PM -- Christ is given the cross to carry.

 John 19:17 And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called [the place] of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:


Simon of Cyrene helps Christ carry the cross.

29.  Wednesday afternoon around 1:30 PM -- Simon of Cyrene carries the cross for Jesus.

Mark 15:21  Also they impressed into service a passerby, a certain Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, that he should lift up His cross.

Luke 23:27 And there followed Him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented Him.

The Jewish people cared about Jesus.  They knew about the miracles He had performed.  It was Caiaphas and the other religious leaders who hated Jesus out of envy. They  delivered Jesus to Pilate, and instigated a mob to ask for his crucifixion.
Luke 23:28 -29  But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.  For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed [are] the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.

Luke 23:30-31  Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.  For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?

Luke 23:32  And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.

These were the two robbers that were crucified along with Christ.

John 19:18
... they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

.  Wednesday afternoon around 2:00 PM --  A title is made in 3 languages and is placed on the cross.

John 19:19-20  And Pilate wrote a title, and put [it] on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.  This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, [and] Greek, [and] Latin.

31.  Wednesday afternoon at
3:00 PM Christ is crucified

Mark 15:24-25   And they crucified Him and distributed His outer garments by casting the lot over them as to who takes what.  It was now the third hour, and they crucified Him.

There were two thieves crucified with Jesus.

This is another verse that tells us exactly the time it was when Jesus was nailed to the cross.

Mark 15:27  Moreover, they crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left.

32.  Wednesday at  6:00 PM -- Darkness falls upon the earth.

Luke 23:44-45  Well by now it was about the sixth hour, and yet a darkness fell over all the earth until the ninth hour, because the sunlight failed; then the curtain of the sanctuary was rent down the middle. 

Darkness fell from 6 to 9 PM

Mark 15:33  When it became the sixth hour a darkness fell over the whole earth until the ninth hour.  

These are two other verses that give us exact time for our timeline.

The darkness that fell between 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM could be observed because on that day, Nisan 14/ Passover, there is always a full moon.  At a time when no electricity existed, variations in the light were very obvious.

33.  Wednesday night at 9:00 PM -- Jesus side is pierced, He dies, an  earthquake occurs, and the curtain of the sanctuary is rent in two pieces.  This verse gives us EXACT time of His death.

Christ died at 9:00 PM.

Mark 15:34-37   And at the ninth hour Jesus called out with a loud voice; 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani' which means when translated: 'my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? And some of those standing near, on hearing it, began to say: 'See, He is calling Elijah' but a certain one ran, soaked a sponge wit sour wine, put it on a reed, and began giving Him a drink, saying: 'Let Him be.  Let us see whether Elijah comes to take Him down.  But Jesus let out a loud cry and expired.

Matthew 27:49-54  But the rest of them said: 'Let Him be.  Let us see whether Elijah comes to save Him.'  Another man took a spear and pierced His side, and blood and water came out.  Again Jesus cried out with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit ...and the curtain of the sanctuary was rent in two... but the army officer and those with him watching Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things happening, grew very much afraid, saying: 'Certainly this was God's Son.'

Mark 15:34 tells us exactly the time it was when Jesus died -- the Ninth hour.

We have listed the major events in order to help the reader realize that the hypothesis that states that: 

1. Christ died on a Friday

2. He was crucified at 9:00 AM in the morning and died at 3:00 PM in the afternoon 


So Yeshua/Jesus, our Messiah, did NOT die on a Friday.  If He did, He is not the true Messiah.  He died on a Wednesday  night (Roman time) / Thursday night (Jewish time).

Christ did not die at 3:00 PM Roman time.  He died at 9:00 PM.  We know from reading the Holy Scriptures that it was already morning when Jesus was taken to the Sanhedrin.  All the listed events from the time He went into the Sanhedrin to the time He was actually crucified cannot happen in three hours from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM.  Besides, this erroneous  assumption would contradict the statement made by the apostle John that it was the sixth hour (12:00 PM noon, Roman time) when Jesus was with Pilate in the Gabbatha, John 19:13. It would contradict the statements made by Mark, Mark 15:24-25  that Yeshua was crucified at the third hour (3:00 pm Roman time) and  Mark 15:33-37  that Yeshua died at the ninth hour (9:00 pm Roman time).  Here is the correct timeline:

timeline for crucifixion of Christ

To continue the story from Jesus' death to His finished burial, read Time of Christ's Burial.

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