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Jesus, Time of Crucifixion


The timing of the Passover meal and sacrifice in the Temple corresponded to the Passover meal and the crucifixion of Jesus. The Synoptic gospels followed the Jewish calculation of time; whereas John followed the Roman time that we also follow in the modern times. The events that happened at the crucifixion according to the Roman time are:

Thursday 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.: The priests sacrificed the lambs in the Temple that people bring for their Passover meal (Mk 14:12, Lk 22:7). The people then took home the sacrificed Passover lamb to celebrate the Passover meal. Along with an unblemished male lamb, they offered flour and wine (Ex 29:38-39; Num 28:1-8). Jesus also had his Passover meal with his apostles and the establishment of the Holy Eucharist with bread and wine during this time.

The soldiers arrested Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane and took him to the high priest’s palace on Friday before 3:00 A.M. when the “cock crow” (Mk 13:35). According to scholars, “cock crow” was the usage of an official siren at 3:00 A.M. for shift change of soldiers, before which Peter denied Jesus three times. Rearing cock within Jerusalem was forbidden. Annas, Caiaphas, and Sanhedrin finished questioning Jesus before 6:00 A.M. and presented him to Pilate. Trial before Pilate and Herod, mocking by soldiers, and way to Calvary took place before 9:00 A.M. The crucifixion of Jesus was around 9:00 A.M. and he was on the cross for six hours from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. The darkness happened for three hours from noon to 3:00 P.M.

The time of crucifixion and death of Jesus corresponded to the daily Perpetual Sacrifice (Tamid) in the Temple at 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. During the Tamid sacrifice, people used to pray for redemption from their sins. So, the timing of Jesus’ sacrifice, its beginning and end at 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M., coincided with the Perpetual Temple sacrifice for the redemption of sins. The sacrifice of Jesus replaced the Tamid sacrifice in the Temple, especially with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.


Jesus sacrificed his own life to save humans who would believe in him and replace the animal sacrifices in the Temple. Thus, he saved the lives of innocent animals that would have been killed in the Temple for centuries. The animal sacrifices could not save humanity from original sin. What Jesus expects from us is our sacrificial service for the remission of our personal sins and for the wellbeing of the people who need our care.


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