Description of Day-by-Day Happenings From Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday

This issue always comes up at Easter time. So I humbly put forth a document I prepared for my Sunday School Class. It is a little different from most discussions on the matter as it also emphasizes what is going on in the Jewish Community at large. It also emphasizes that The Last Supper and The Crucifixion both occurred on the same Jewish Day. Anyway here is some of Dan bloviating on Holy Week for your review. comment, and discussion. I welcome all to help me with bringing this to my class in the future.

Description of Day-by-Day Happenings From Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday

Introduction
The Gospels describe almost as many events and discourse of Jesus as all the rest of the 3-year ministry of Jesus. It is clear the Holy Spirit inspired the Gospel writers to emphasize this time in the Life of Jesus.

To gain a unique depth of understanding of this time it is important to understand 3 major points.

  1. The authors spoke in terms of Jewish Days not the days we use today. That is a day begins and ends at sundown rather than at midnight. This often-overlooked fact has significant meaning during this time. Additionally, Passover occurred on the 14th day of Nissan of the Jewish Lunar Calendar not Thursday or any other day of our modern week. It is true that Thursday night is the best time for our celebration of the Last Supper, and Friday the Crucifixion, and Sunday The Resurrection; But this is fitting these events into our modern calendar and we should not use the modern calendar as a means of critically establishing/questioning doctrine or the traditions of The Church at large.

  2. This time is Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. While there are many principle actions going on described in the Gospels, there are also events going on not described in them. Knowing these events are not required to understand and receive the Gospel, but there is a depth and richness gained of understanding of what is going on in Jewish Families and Culture in relation to the events of Jesus.

  3. Finally the culture at the time counted differently than we do today. The number 0 did not exist. Thus the count did not start with 0 but with 1. Translations and Translators have a hard time communicating this from Ancient Hebrew to Modern Languages. Additionally there are days that are Sabbaths that are not necessarily the 7th or last day of the week. As an example, the first day & last day of Unleavened Bread is a Sabbath Day (Lev 23: 5-7). Finally, the Jews (and The Old Testament) counted any part of a day as a full day that is a night and a day.

Final Note: In Mathew 28:1 the translation is usually Sabbath but it is actually plural and would normally be Sabbaths. This is because there is the normal 7th Day Sabbath and the 1st Day of the Feast of Unleavened Day Sabbath. This does not mean necessarily though that these were 2 separate days, they could have been both on the same day and thus Sabbaths still be used by Mathew.

Day 0 (Sunset Friday to Sunset Sunday) The Sabbath before Holy Week known as Sabbat HaGadol. The next day (Palm Sunday) is when all the lambs for Passover come into Jerusalem and Temple. Traditionally the teaching in the Synagogues are based on Exodus 12:3-6 where each family is to select a lamb for Passover 4 days before its sacrifice in order for the lamb to become “their Lamb” rather than just a lamb. Note that just as the family will select a lamb for sacrifice on Palm Sunday so all Israel selected a The Lamb of Sacrifice at that time also. Another Reading on this day in the Synagogues is Malachi 3:4-4:6 which begins with a promise that the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to The Lord and ends with The Lord will send them Elijah. The Jews to this day understand that these sections of Scripture speak of the coming of The Messiah and that The Messiah is the Lamb of God

Day 1 (Sunset Saturday to Sunset Sunday) The Royal Procession of Palms & Entrance of the Lambs:
• Jesus in the Evening: Spent night in Bethany (Probably at home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus): John12, Lk 10:38 (reference that Martha was somewhere He stayed)
• Jesus during the Day: Jesus arrives in Jerusalem on donkey and is greeted with Hosannas and Palms. A King’s welcome: John 12, Matt 21, Mark 11, Lk 19:28
• Major Jewish Activity: The Passover Lambs are being brought to Temple for inspection. The people begin getting their Lamb for Passover

Day 2 (Sunset Sunday to Sunset Monday) Teaching in the Temple & Examination of Lambs
• Jesus in the Evening: Spent night in Bethany Mark 11:12
• Jesus during the Day: Begins Teaching in Temple after emptying it of money changers and is examined by The Jews: Mk 11, Mat 21-24, Lk 20-21
• Major Jewish Activity: Passover Lambs being examined for perfection. The beginning of the cleaning of all homes including removal of leaven. (We get spring cleaning from this)

Day 3 (Sunset Monday to Sunset Tuesday) Teaching in the Temple & Examination of Lambs
• Jesus during the Evening: Spent night in Bethany Mk 11:20
• Jesus during the Day: Teaching in Temple and is examined by The Jews (Leaders, Pharisees, Sadducees) with these events: (See Day 2 for references on teaching)
o Olivet Discourse
• Major Jewish Activity: Passover Lambs being examined for perfection. Homes being cleaned
Traditional View of Holy Week
Day 4 (Sunset Tuesday to Sunset Wednesday) Teaching in the Temple & Examination of Lambs
• Jesus in the Evening: Spent night in Bethany and is anointed with Oil. (probably)
• Jesus during the Day: Teaching in Temple and is examined by The Jews (Leaders, Pharisees, Sadducees) Some say He stayed in Bethany
• Major Jewish Activity: Passover Lambs being examined for perfection. Homes being cleaned

Day 5 (Sunset Wednesday to Sunset Thursday) The Day of Preparation for Passover
• Jesus in the Evening: Spent night in Bethany (probably)
• Jesus during the Day: Teaching in Temple and is examined by The Jews (Leaders, Pharisees, Sadducees). Upper Room is prepared
• Major Jewish Activity: Passover Lambs being examined for perfection. Lambs not suitable for Passover are isolated. Homes being Cleaned. This is the final day that a selected lamb can be with a Jewish Family and Home Cleaning. It is a day that parents are preparing their young children for the sacrifice of the lamb and Passover. Put this discussion with the Gospels on this day particularly in Mt chapters 24-26.

Day 6 (Sunset Thursday to Sunset Friday) Last Supper and Crucifixion & Preparation for Day of Unleavened Bread. All this occurred on the same Jewish Day
• Jesus in the Evening: Last Supper; A Passover Supper, Arrested in Gethsemane.
• Jesus during the Day: Tried and Crucified and buried
• Major Jewish Activity: Passover, Inspection of Homes to ensure no Leaven during the day
• Major Note: Matt 27: 52-53 Tombs Opened at point of death of Jesus
• Major Note: The Temple Veil (Curtain) to the Holy of Holies was torn in two Mt 27:51 at the Earthquake that happened thus opening The Holy of Holies to all persons.
• Major Note: Darkness covered the land Mt 27:45. This is not a normal darkness but a sign of the judgement of God. The implication in the Scripture is that there was no light similar to Exodus Judgement of Darkness. You could not see your hand in front of your face.

Day 7 (Sunset Friday to Sunset Saturday) The beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. 1st Day of Unleavened Bread & 7th Day of the Week Sabbaths; Interlude and Grieving
• Jesus in the Evening: In the Tomb
• Jesus during the Day: In the Tomb
• Major Jewish Activity: Sabbaths: Sabbath and Beginning of Feast of Unleavened Bread
• Major Note: This is a Day of Celebration for the Jews. The whole purpose and activity of Passover is spoken of in the Synagogues. It should be a Day of Somber Celebration for the Christians as it is first day of Remission of Sin

Day 8 (Sunset Saturday to Sunset Sunday) Resurrection Day, The Lord’s Day
• Jesus in the Evening: In Grave and Rises (Traditionally at Sunrise
• Jesus during the Day: Goes to Father and then walks on road to Emmaus with Disciples
• Major Jewish Activity: 2nd Day of Feast of Unleavened Bread
• Major Note: Jesus conquers Death on this Day for all of us.
• Major Note: Matt 27: 52-53 Holy People rise from the Dead

Double Sabbath View of Holy Week: This is a popular but non-traditional view of Holy Week. It has some Scriptural & Historical support, but this support is not as strong as the traditional view. Its only purpose is to explain 3 nights and 3 days in the grave in a literal and modern view of time. The traditional view is fully consistent with 3 days and 3 nights in the grave when understood within the system of counting by the Jews (and the Old Testament) which counted any part of a day as a night and a day. Another issue is that while this view has Jesus rising in about 60 hours it is on the 4th day of Jewish Tradition not the 3rd day.

Day 4(Sunset Tuesday to Sunset Wednesday) Teaching in the Temple & Examination of Lambs
• Jesus in the Evening: Spent night in Bethany and is anointed with Oil.
• Jesus during the Day: Teaching in Temple and is examined by The Jews (Leaders, Pharisees, Sadducees) Some say He stayed in Bethany
• Major Jewish Activity: Passover Lambs being examined for perfection. Homes being cleaned

Day 5 (Sunset Wednesday to Sunset Thursday) Last Supper and Crucifixion & Preparation for Day of Unleavened Bread
• Jesus in the Evening: Last Supper; A Passover Supper, Arrested in Gethsemane.
• Jesus during the Day: Tried and Crucified and buried
• Major Jewish Activity: Passover, Inspection of Homes to ensure no Leaven

Day 6 (Sunset Thursday to Sunset Friday) Sabbath of First Day of Unleavened Bread; Interlude and Grieving
• Jesus in the Evening: In the Tomb
• Jesus during the Day: In the Tomb
• Major Jewish Activity: Special Sabbath of Beginning of Feast of Unleavened Bread

Day 7 (Sunset Friday to Sunset Saturday) 7th Day of Week Sabbath; Interlude and Grieving
• Jesus in the Evening: In the Tomb
• Jesus during the Day: In the Tomb
• Major Jewish Activity: 7th Day Sabbath (Normal)

Day 8 (Sunset Saturday to Sunset Sunday) Resurrection
• Jesus in the Evening: In Grave and Rises (Traditionally at Sunrise
• Jesus during the Day: Goes to Father and then walks on road to Emmaus with Disciples
• Major Jewish Activity: 2nd Day of Feast of Unleavened Bread

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I couldn’t agree more that this is best understood in light of what went on in the 1st century in Palestine.
I am still noodling on what you have written. I am sure that there will be some comments.
To help folks understand the calendars here is a link to a date converter.
I have also included a graphic from a study guide that I use to give a visual.

This is an edit: The today date on the graphic is today 4-4-2020.

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I liked your connection of Palm Sunday to Exodus 12:3 when the lambs were inspected four days before the Passover - and the application to Christ during His triumphal entry being accepted by the House of Israel. I think I’ll use it this coming Sunday - a very timely insight - thank you!

And how did that inspection period turn out for Him? It was officially declared over and over, “I find no fault in him at all!”

And Leviticus 1:4 says that those who offer an atonement will place their hands on the head of the sacrifice and the atonement will be accepted for them - and both Jews and Gentiles had a hand in the sacrifice of Christ!

Cool calendar @Jimmy_Sellers - I’ve seen similar before, but never one that tracks the current day on it - thanks!

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