Passion/Easter Week Chronology
The process for figuring out Passion Week’s chronology is simply to catalog all the time references in Passion Week. The key word here is all. In the following chart green is used to mark time references. Using those references like puzzle pieces it is possible to put together the week’s schedule using Gospel references alone. The following chart shows the entire week, with all key events drawn.
It is not possible to change from this schedule while remaining faithful to all of the time references given in the Gospels. Extensive notes follow below.
Passion Week Chronology
Most of the events listed in the chart have more than 1 scripture reference. To conserve space only single references are listed.
The chart is drawn to an accurate scale, 6 hours to the division.
The heavy vertical lines indicate the changes between days, at sunset, in Jerusalem. The Roman system of dates is offset from this by about 6 hours.
This happened in the spring, near the equinox, so days and nights were very close to 12 hour each. (Though it is possible to show that the Bible’s clock is set at noon, and hours are always the same length. Observed sunset is thus unimportant.)
Christians soon began celebrating new years on March 25, which was the custom until the mid 1700s in the English world. That date marks the Sunday of the resurrection and also limits which years could possibly have been the year of Jesus’ crucifixion. Year 31 is the only reasonable candidate, which is the year shown here for the Roman style dates.
The Nisan dates, the Jewish dates, are not possible to reproduce by modern use of computers as at this point in history the Jewish calendar was subjectively, politically, fixed by the Sanhedrin. This was a political process similar to that used by the Senate in Rome which fixed the Roman calendar until 46 BC. The modern Jewish calendar, tightly synchronized to the moon, but determined by equations, was determined in the 300s and finally fixed in the 900s, nearly 1000 years after the Romans had done the same.
The modern Sanhedrin has begun the practice of setting the calendar again, which will likely annul the modern Jewish calendar. The Jewish dates are drawn here by fixing Nisan 14 ending at Sunset on Thursday, March 22, 31 AD, as this is when the Special Sabbath following Passover began.
The day and night cycle indicates when it was daylight and night time.
Green is used on this chart to indicate events that are fixed by time in the Gospel narrative. The most important is Jesus’ arrival at Lazarus’ house before sunset on Friday, March 16, 31 AD. He would not have traveled on the Sabbath and that began at sunset. This arrival is 6 days before the special high sabbath mentioned later in John’s account. It establishes the otherwise questionable nature of a special Sabbath on Friday of the week.
The High Sabbath could not have been 1 day later, since that would put Jesus’ arrival on the Sabbath. The High Sabbath could not have been 1 day earlier, since this would have allowed the women to attempt to put spice on Jesus’ body on Friday, which they clearly did not do.
The events of the week starting with the triumphal entry are a prophetic match to the main time line of the Bible. Jesus was rerunning the entire chronology of the bible at 210 historical years to the hour. The units used in Gospels for time, 1 hour, is also matched to 1 week in his ministry, providing a double confirmation on the timing.
That prophetic match to the historical chronology provides a precise timing and significant editorial on what Jesus was saying and doing across the entire time of Passion Week. The prophetic schedule is much tighter than the hours used in the Gospel accounts, accurate to within a few minutes. This tight timing appears important for future prophetic replays, especially at the 2000th biblical anniversaries of these dates in October of 2028.
Passion Week was week 62 in Jesus’ public ministry. Even though there was a replay within this week, his regular pattern of prophetically replaying history as he went through his ministry continued through this week. The most important time, for the purposes of modern application, is the 3 hours of darkness on Wednesday across noon. Those 3 hours replayed across World War II, and are a prophetic statement of world history at that time. No other time in all of history is as bad, including the end-times.
The week began when Jesus sent out disciples to prepare in various ways. The fetching of the donkey for his ride into the city is the most well known. Matthew’s account includes what amounts to a footnote that there were disciples sent to prepare the Passover on the first day of the week. This was the same time as the donkey was fetched. Note that Matthew’s text does not include the word "week" but Unleavened Bread is the day after Passover, so the "First Day" can be safely inferred as the first day of the week of the celebration of Unleavened Bread.
The triumphal entry is a prophetic match to Adam’s fall. The prophetic stories continue with Jesus cleansing the temple, a match to Enoch’s ascension. Most of the events listed in the table above have known prophetic matches to events along the Bible’s trunk chronology.
The chart above, though, is only drawn to the hour since the original account is only accurate to within 1 hour. Note also that several prophetic series have an implied 1 hour each which is supported by the underlying prophetic schedule Jesus used in this week.
There was significant activity after dark on Tuesday night, indeed this was perhaps the busiest time in his entire ministry. Jesus held his Last Supper that night and then went to pray.
He was arrested later that night and Jewish activity continued until about the time of Peter’s denial about daylight on Wednesday morning. All 4 gospels mention this Wednesday morning time, including importantly the Book of John. John, though continues with important details.
On Wednesday morning, Jesus went to Roman authorities, Pilate and also Herod, where he made several appearances before these men and the crowds across several hours.
One of Jesus’ appearances before Pilate is explicitly recorded in the Book of John as happening about the 6th hour which was on Wednesday about 11:00 AM. (Hour 1 begins at 6:00 AM, if you have not studied this.)
This 6th hour appearance means Jesus could not have been arrested at night and crucified the next day. It spreads out as shown here across Tuesday night and Wednesday.
This same timing likely applies at his return, with additional public presentations at a prophetic timing following the same schedule as he followed with Pilate, Herod, and the attendant crowds. This timing also suggests a considerable wait from the end of the trial until the start of Thursday morning when the Via Dolorosa began. This wait, too, has considerable prophetic significance.
The 3 days and nights in the tomb followed a prophecy about Jesus as the fulfillment of Jonah’s 3 days in the fish. These 3 days came in at about 62 hours total time dead instead of the expected 72 hours. This makes this time into another prophetic match to the core time line of the Bible. In this case the 62 weeks of Jesus’ public ministry are in view. The weeks of ministry are themselves a reflection of the time from Adam’s fall until the general resurrection when Christians will come out of the grave. The prophecy points at 62 * 210 = 13020 AA, or more precisely, the 20 years ending at 13020 AA.
There is considerable additional detail that this level of view cannot hope to display. But, there are enough scripture references in the chart above to allow anyone versed in scripture to reconstruct the key times in Passion Week, even without access to a more complete Bible chronology.
I have previously established that Jesus’ public schedule across passion week was a 210 years to the hour replay of the historical chronology of the Bible.
The chart above neatly overlays the Bible’s master chronology at that special ratio. Using it you can see the Olivette discourse not only matched content wise to Mosaic Law, it matched schedule wise as well.
There are several points where the timing of Jesus’ actions can be graphed tighter than the hour since the underlying schedule has a precision of 210 parts to the hour.
What remains to do is to harmonize these with the master time line which we do next.