The last days in the life of Jesus begin near sunset. His trip to Lazarus' house in Bethany began in Jericho, which is 17 miles (27.3 kilometers) away. In the early evening, after arriving in the home, he has supper (John 12:1 - 2). After supper Lazarus' sister Mary anoints his feet with very expensive ointment. Judas (who carries the group's money bag) complains that what was spent on ointment could have been used to help the poor. The REAL reason Judas complained to Jesus was that he was a thief who wanted more money to steal (John 12:3 - 11).
Thursday, March 30
Jesus, in the morning, travels from Lazarus' house in Bethany to Bethphage, which is a Sabbath day's journey (1,000 yards or .91 kilometers) away from Jerusalem. In the village he mounts a colt for his triumphal entry into the city. As he travels the multitudes begin to praise him and God (Mark 11:9 - 10). The crowds gathering and following him place their clothes and cut palm tree branches on the road in front of him. The Pharisees (religious leaders) hear the crowd's praises and ask him to tell them to SHUT UP! Jesus replies that if THEY did not cry out praises the stones would (Matthew 21:1 - 11, Mark 11:1 - 10, Luke 19:29 - 40, John 12:12 - 19)!
As Jesus nears Jerusalem he begins to weep. He is heard saying that, because the city did not accept him as Savior, it would soon be utterly destroyed (Luke 19:41 - 44). He goes to the temple and returns in the evening to Bethany (Mark 11:11). He teaches daily in the temple (Luke 19:47 - 48).
Friday, March 31
Jesus, as he travels during the morning back to Jerusalem, becomes hungry. He spots a fig tree and goes to it hoping to find figs. Finding only leaves he says to the tree "Let no one eat fruit from you ever again" (Mark 11:14). He arrives at the temple and casts out the money changers and dove sellers, saying the following.
"'It is written, 'My house is a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves'' " (Luke 19:46)
Money changers, notorious for being corrupt, exchanged currency for the Temple's half-shekel coin needed to pay the yearly temple tribute. Those who were poor bought doves and used them to make a temple offering. While Jesus heals many at the temple children begin to shout "Hosanna to the Son of David!" (Matthew 21:15). The chief priests and scribes, hearing the children, make themselves VERY ANGRY and tell him to make them stop. He corrects them by stating the children are fulfilling prophecy (Matthew 21:12 - 16, Mark 11:12 - 17, Luke 19:45 - 48). He returns to Bethany for the night (Matthew 21:17, Mark 11:19).
In the morning, while traveling to Jerusalem, the disciples notice that the cursed fig tree is dried up (Matthew 21:19 - 22, Mark 11:20 - 26). Some Hellenist Jews, in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast, ask Philip if they can see him. When told of the request Jesus states his time has come to be glorified (John 12:20 - 27). He asks God the Father to glorify His (the Father's) name. A thunderous voice from heaven states God had, and will again, glorify His name (John 12:28 - 30). He states that NOW is the judgment of the world and that the prince of this world (Satan) will be cast out (John 12:31 - 36). He leaves the city again and hides himself for the remainder of the Sabbath (John 12:36).
Sunday, April 2
In the morning, at Jerusalem's temple, the chief priests, scribes and elders, for the final time, confront and challenge Jesus' authority (Matthew 21:23 - 24:2, Mark 11:27 - 13:2, Luke 20:1 - 21:4). The confrontation lasts from morning to late afternoon.
Late in the afternoon Jesus and the disciples start to leave the temple area for the Mount of Olives. As they exit he reveals that Jerusalem's temple will soon be destroyed (Matthew 24:1 - 2, Mark 13:1 - 2, Luke 21:5 - 6). On the Mount of Olives he prophesies about the events to occur just before his second coming to earth and the completion of the age (Matthew 24:3 - 26:2, Mark 13:3 - 7, Luke 21:7 - 38).
Near evening, the disciples are told that the Passover is after two days (Matthew 26:2, Mark 14:1). The chief priests, scribes, elders, etc. of the Great Sanhedrin, who HATE him, meet at the palace of Caiaphas the high priest. They meet to discuss how to have him killed "by trickery" (Matthew 26:5). Jesus travels to Bethany and stays at Simon the Leper's house. While eating a woman comes in and anoints his head with very expensive ointment. Some of the disciples roundly criticize the woman for buying such costly ointment instead of using the money to help the poor. He, however, first chides the disciples for being overly critical then states the woman was anointing him for his burial (Matthew 26:6 - 13, Mark 14:3 - 9).
Monday, April 3
Judas betrays Christ to the chief priests for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14 - 16, Mark 14:10 - 11, Luke 22:3 - 6).
Tuesday, April 4
The disciples prepare for the Passover (Matthew 26:17 - 19, Mark 14:12 - 16, Luke 22:7 - 13). At sunset, they observe the last Passover Jesus will partake of (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, John 13). After the service is completed they sing a hymn then walk to the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:30, Mark 14:26).
At roughly 9 p.m., while walking to the Garden of Gethsemane (at the foot of the Mount of Olives), Jesus tells the disciples he is the True Vine (John 15:1 - 27). He offers his final words of encouragement (John 16:1 - 31) and again states that the disciples will leave him (John 16:32 - 33). They arrive at the Garden of Gethsemane, where Peter, James and John are taken to stand watch while Christ prays for three hours. The disciples, though asked to stay awake while he prays, quickly fall asleep. Although he initially prays that the "cup" of suffering and death awaiting him be taken away, the Lord ultimately accepts whatever the Father wills (Matthew 26: 36 - 44, Mark 14:32 - 40, Luke 22:39 - 46, John 17).
Wednesday, April 5
After midnight, when (according to the Roman calendar we use today) it becomes Wednesday, Judas arrives in the Garden of Gethsemane accompanied by armed officers and other men provided by the religious leaders. Judas, as a signal of which person to arrest, gives Jesus a kiss (Matthew 26:45 - 49, Mark 14:41 - 45, Luke 22:47 - 48, John 18:1 - 8).
At approximately 2 a.m. the High Priest questions Jesus about His disciples and teachings but does not receive an answer. Frustrated, he adjures him by the living God to state whether or not he is the true Son of God (Matthew 26:62 - 63). The answer he receives so angers him that he tears his clothes and cries out that Christ has committed blasphemy. The priest then immediately asks the council for a verdict, to which they unanimously shout that the death penalty should be carried out (Matthew 26:59 - 68, Mark 14:55 - 65, Luke 22:63 - 65). Peter then denies him three times (Matthew 26:69 - 75, Mark 14:66 - 72, Luke 22:56 - 62, John 18:17, 25 - 27).
At approximately 5 to 6 a.m., because Jewish law demanded two sessions of the Sanhedrin hear and try a defendant, a second trial of Jesus was held around 5 a.m. This second trial, however, seems little more than than a "rubber stamp" or automatic approval of the first trial's decision. He is bound and sent to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Prefect of Judea, for punishment around 6 a.m. (Matthew 27:1 - 2, Mark 15:1, Luke 22:66 - 23:1, John 18:28)
At sunrise Judas repents and hangs himself. The Chief Priests decide to buy a potter's field with thirty pieces of silver Judas gave back to them (Matthew 27:3 - 10, Acts 1:15 - 19)
At approximately 7 a.m., instead of blasphemy, the Jewish leaders bring Jesus to Pontius Pilate under the charge of treason against Rome. His enemies want the ROMANS to do the dirty job of "legally" murdering him! Pilate questions him (Matthew 27:11 - 14, Mark 15:2 - 5, Luke 23:2 - 4, John 18:29 - 30). Pilate discovers he is from Galilee and sends him to Herod Antipas (Tetrach of Galilee and son of Herod the Great) for judgment. Herod questions him but receives no answers. Herod and his soldiers mock him, put a splendid robe on him, and send him back to Pilate (Luke 23:5 - 12).
At roughly 8 a.m. Pontius Pilate tells the Jewish religious leaders that he and Herod Antipas find Jesus innocent. Pilate wishes to release him (Luke 23:13 - 15, John 18:31 - 38). Unable to do so because of the crowds, he releases the prisoner Barabbas. He then has his soldiers severely beat and scourge Jesus. The soldiers take him to Golgotha, also known as Calvary and the Place of the Skull, to be crucified. Along the route they force Simon of Cyrene to carry his cross (Matthew 27:32 - 33, Mark 15:21 - 22, Luke 23:26 - 31, John 19:16 - 17).
From 9 a.m. to noon Jesus is nailed to the cross. He is crucified along with two thieves. (Matthew 27:38, Mark 15:27 - 28, Luke 23:32 - 33, John 19:18). He wine (vinegar) mixed with gall while on the cross. (Matthew 27:34, Mark 15:23). Roman soldiers for his clothes. He asks God the Father to forgive those that are killing him (Matthew 27:35 - 36, Mark 15:24 - 25, Luke 23:34, John 19:23 - 24). Pontius Pilate has the charge against him written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin and put on his cross.
Some in the crowd, where Christ is crucified, stare at him in amazement. Others such as Roman soldiers, members of the Sanhedrin (chief priests, scribes, elders) and even the two thieves also being crucified, mock him. Many family and friends, at a distance, watch Jesus suffer on the cross. These include his mother Mary, her sister, Mary Magdalene and the apostle John (Matthew 27:39 - 45, 55 - 56, Mark 15:29 - 33, 40 - 41, Luke 23:35 - 44, 48 - 49).
From noon to 3 p.m. darkness covers the entire land. Jesus tells his mother, Mary, to now consider the apostle John her son and tells John to take care of his mother Mary (John 19:25 - 27).
At 3 p.m. Jesus Christ, the Savior of man, is forsaken by God and cries out with a loud voice: "Eli Eli, lama sabachthani?" Some in the crowd think he is calling out to the prophet Elijah (Matthew 27:46 - 47, Mark 15:34 - 35). He is offered and accepts vinegar (sour wine). A spear is thrust into his side. He cries out with a loud voice "It is Finished!" His last words are: "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit."
The Jews, desiring the death of those crucified before the high Holy Day starts (around 6 pm), asks Pilate to break their legs. Pilate agrees. The legs of those crucified with Jesus are broken, but his are not since he is already dead (John 19:31 - 37).
Pilate, just before sunset, allows Joseph of Arimathea, a rich member of the Sanhedrin, to take the body of Jesus. Joseph and Nicodemus wrap his body in fine linen with a mixture of myrrh and aloes and bury him in the brand new tomb Joseph had made for himself (Matthew 27:57 - 61, Mark 15:42 - 47, Luke 23:50 - 55, John 19:38 - 42). At sunset the First Day of Unleavened Bread, a high Holy Day where no work is allowed, begins.
Thursday, April 6
The Chief Priests, along with the Pharisees, visit Pontius Pilate out of fear that Jesus' disciples will secretly steal his body then claim he has risen from the dead. The religious leaders request that Pilate use his troops to have the tomb secured. Pilate, however, gives them permission to use THEIR OWN guard for the task. The garden tomb is made secure, the stone at the entrance of the tomb is sealed, and a guard is placed near it (Matthew 27:62 - 66). At sunset the high holy day ends.
Friday, April 7
Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome buy and prepare spices for the body of Jesus. They also make preparations to rest on the weekly Bible Sabbath which begins at sunset (Mark 16:1, Luke 23:56).
Saturday, April 8
Late in the afternoon of the weekly Sabbath, Mary Magdalene and the "other Mary" check on where Jesus is buried (Mark 16:1). Just before sunset he is RESURRECTED FROM THE DEAD after spending precisely three whole days and three whole nights (72 hours), from sunset Wednesday to sunset Saturday, in the tomb!
Sunday, April 9
Early in the morning Mary Magdalene and other women go to Jesus' tomb with the spices they had prepared for his body. When the women arrive at the tomb they see the angel that moved the stone sitting on top of it. The angel tells the women to enter the tomb. In the tomb they see a young man, clothed in a white robe, sitting on the right. The man shows them that the body is gone. He tells the women to inform the disciples, especially Peter, that Jesus is ALIVE.
Mary Magdalene runs to tell Peter and John what has happened. Peter and John run to the tomb and see his linen cloths lying inside the tomb in one place and the cloth put over his head neatly folded and placed by itself (Matthew 28:2 - 8, Mark 16:2 - 8, Luke 24:1 - 12, John 20:1 - 10). Mary Magdalene is the FIRST human to see Jesus alive after his resurrection. He tells Mary not to touch him as he has not yet ascended to God the Father (Mark 16:9 - 11, John 20:11 - 18).
Sometime during the day some Roman soldiers, who guarded the tomb of Jesus, go to the chief priests and report all that had happened. The priests meet with the elders to decide what to do next. They decide to BRIBE the soldiers with a large sum of money to have them tell an incredibly ABSURD story as to what happened to the body (Matthew 28:11 - 15).