The week that changed history

The week in history that changed everything (The newest version)

This is the latest version of this important article that I have written about the events of that week, from what is nowadays called, Palm Sunday, or the Sunday of that week before the Resurrection of Jesus, to His Resurrection on that First Day of the week, which would therefore be the following Sunday in that week.

As for the dating of the events according to the Jewish Calendar, my dating of these events is exactly the same as in my previous articles. But note that my latest dating according to the Gregorian calendar we follow today is somewhat different from my previous calculations in that regard. 

Let's just first put down a few solid points from Scripture and specifically from the Gospels and other New Testament books about these events.


  • On 14 Nissan, a perfect lamb was to be slaughtered for the PASSOVER ("pesach" in Hebrew) (Ex. 12:6). It must then be prepared to be eaten with the rest of the PASSOVER dinner that same evening, so on 15 Nissan, which is counted from 18h00 to 18h00, our time. (See Ex. 12:8).
  • These events, according to Old Testament Torah law, were preceded by a series of events in this regard. Take for example, the events on the 10th Nissan, (four days ahead of time), when a lamb without blemish, had to be chosen and set aside to be slaughtered as the Passover lamb.
  • The day of the PASSOVER dinner itself, according to TORA law, is considered a SABBATH, regardless of on which day it would take place. (See Ex. 12 and Ex. 23:4-8)
  • From the Gospels and other New Testament passages, we know the following: Jesus is called the Lamb in several passages. (See e.g., John 1:29,36; 1 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 5:6,8,12,13; 6:1,9,12,16; 7:9,10,14,17; 8:1; 12:11; 13:8; 14:1,4; 15:3; 17:14; 19:7,9; 21:9,14,22,23,27; 22:1,3)
  • From the Gospel narratives we know that Jesus died on the day of His crucifixion, 15h00. Because the next day was counted as a Sabbath as the first day of the Pesach festival, with its meal that evening, His Body had to be removed from the cross late that afternoon and had to be buried in the tomb that Joseph of Armitea made available.
  • Then we also know that Jesus Himself prophesied, based on Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, that He would be in the grave (or literally "in the inner/heart of the earth") for three days and three nights. (See Matt.12:40; 27:63; Mark. 8:31; 9:31; 10:34; John 2:19)
  • We also know that on the first day of the week, in other words the Sunday morning, after the crucifixion events had passed and the Body of Jesus had already been in the tomb for three days, and after the usual Sabbath was over, the women went to the tomb. (See e.g., Luke 24:1)


Most Christian believers usually commemorate the crucifixion events on Friday, which they then call "Good Friday" for that reason, which would then be followed by the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus on Sunday as the first day of the week.

The reason for celebrating the Crucifixion of Jesus on a Friday is because Luke 23:24 says this: "And this was the day of preparation, and the Sabbath was coming." (Some translations, such as the 1983 Afrikaans Translation, therefore interpreted this verse this way and consequently translated it like this: "It was Friday, and the Sabbath was already beginning to dawn.")

Thus, although one understands why many Christians around the world celebrate the crucifixion events as a "Good Friday" event, it is very clear from the facts of events that the crucifixion actually happened as early as the Wednesday of that specific week in history. (See the explanation following)

Of course, one could very well say that it is, after all, about celebrating these events and that these celebrations give followers of Jesus around the world the opportunity and privilege to be silent with other family members and other Christian believers around a week of events in the life of Jesus that changed the lives of each of us.

But because I believe it is important to show precisely what exactly happened during that historically important week, people need to know exactly what happened and when it happened when these events played out that changed the total history of the entire world. If we cannot even give ourselves a proper account of the actual facts of the events, how can we testify with credibility about them to a lost but very critical and cynical world, which is already wondering about and whether there are credible grounds for the biblical message and specifically about what is said and testified about Jesus the Christ.

Therefore, in this article, I want to give every reader an opportunity to meditate on the detail of the historical events of each day of that vital week.

May the living God Himself, through the working of His Spirit, use these truths to touch and set everyone free anew.

After all, the truth alone sets us free!





Before I talk to you about that Wednesday's events, let's start in our reflections already at the Sunday's events. Palm Sunday, the ecclesiastical world worldwide calls it.

That was the day we read about in Luke 19 and John 12:12. That was the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the city of King David, on a donkey.

We read in these passages how the crowd threw clothes and palm branches before Jesus to show honour to Him who they believe to be the promised Messiah, and therefore a king from the lineage of David. Because that was what the prophecies in Zech. 9:9 and Dan. 9:25 – 27 centuries earlier predicted would happen.

According to Exodus 12, the lamb for the Passover that would be celebrated later in the week, was to be chosen on the tenth of the first month of the Jewish Year, the month of Nissan.

According to the custom in Jesus' day, only lambs coming from the Bethlehem area were considered suitable to serve as a lamb for the Passover celebration. Therefore, during that week in which the Pesach was celebrated, on that particular Sunday, a lamb born in the Bethlehem district was chosen and brought into Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, through the Sheep Gate.

This would then be exactly the same path that Jesus entered Jerusalem on His triumphal march that week on that particular Sunday. (See Matt. 21:1 e.g., Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-38; John 12:12-19)

As He came in, the people shouted: Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Save us, son of David!

So, Jesus from Nazareth, was appointed with great acclamation as the long-awaited Messiah of Israel and in this way, the crowd chose their Lamb for the Passover!

However, according to the Scriptures, this lamb had to be examined first by the spiritual leaders because it had to be a lamb without blemish and spotless in order to be fit to be slaughtered as a lamb for the Passover.

So, we read how Jesus, after His entry into Jerusalem, first went to the temple to teach there. (See Matt. 21:23 e.g., Mark. 11:27-33; Luke 20:1-8.)

While He was there, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and other legal scholars came and tried to catch Him with all sorts of difficult questions to try and portray Him as a liar. But they could find no fault with him.


The dating of these events

Let me honestly confess here that it is very difficult to precisely and correctly date these events, because it was initially dated according to the Jewish Lunar calendar, while we are using nowadays what is known as the Gregorian calendar.

The reason for this is that because the Gregorian calendar (which has been followed since 1582 and which is based on the movement of the sun) has very strict rules and therefore can be easily adjusted and calculated. While, in contrast, the Jewish Rabbis, who determined the Jewish Festivals' dating each year according to the 28-day cycle of the Moon,  sometimes using their own rules and preferences to calculate when a particular festival, such as the Pesach, to be observed as a Sabbath, could happen in a particular year. Furthermore, to make things even more complicated, according to some circles among the Jewish Rabbis, some of these festivals could not be celebrated on a Monday, or a Wednesday, or a Friday, but only on a Sunday, a Tuesday, a Thursday, or a Saturday.

But let's try, according to the best research and calculations, to give a date to these events on that so-called Palm Sunday.

If we start from a dating when the Pesach dinner on that First Day of the Pesach celebrations would fall historically on a Thursday, then our date would be the year 30 A.D.

15 Nissan of that year, according to the Gregorian calendar would then be in the year, 30 A.D.

Then this particular Palm Sunday would have fell on March 31-April 1st, 30 A.D.



On the relevant Monday of the week in which Passover was celebrated, every form of yeast, as a symbol of evil and sin, was to be removed from every home according to the instructions of the Torah. Therefore, every Jewish mother searched her home with a candle for any trace of it on this day.

So, Jesus went to the temple as the house of God on that particular Monday and then chased out all the money changers that were defiling the temple. (Luke 19:45 ff.).



Because Jesus and his disciples were not in Jerusalem itself that particular year but in Bethany, a small town just outside Jerusalem, it was permissible for them to do the preparation and celebrate the Passover meal a day beforehand. (Luke 22:14 ff.; Matt. 26:17-35; and John 13:36-38 tells us about it).

Later that night, Jesus is captured in the Garden of Gethsemane, which lies on the road from Bethany to Jerusalem (Matt. 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-53).



Because it is very important for a correct dating and understanding of the events of this important week, I just want to reiterate here that the week in which Passover was celebrated could sometimes have two Sabbaths if the Passover fell somewhere in the middle of the week.

That specific year, 30 A.D., according to the Jewish calendar, was just such a year. Therefore, we find that in such a week the First Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover meal was celebrated, according to the Jewish festival calendar, would be counted as a Sabbath. Later that week, the usual Sabbath is then observed as usual on the seventh day of the week.

As I said, that was the case during the historic week Jesus was crucified in 30 A.D.

In light of this, let me start posting chronologically for you the rest of the events that week.



According to the Jewish calendar that particular year (30 A.D.), the "day of preparation," in view of the Passover meal that followed later that evening, took place on that Wednesday evening.

Jesus, our perfect Lamb without blemish, had to be prepared to be slaughtered and die on our behalf.

Everything happened that Wednesday morning at 06h00 when Jesus was tried and sentenced by Pilate. (John 19:13-16)



Simultaneously with the events in the temple there in Jerusalem, when the High Priest tied the chosen lamb for the Passover in question to the horns of the altar, on the fourteenth day of the Jewish month, Nissan, Jesus is nailed to a cross at Calvary at 09h00 that morning.

Thus, according to our Gregorian dating, Jesus is crucified on Wednesday, 3rd April, 30 A.D., or 14 Nissan that year according to the Lunar calendar of the Jews.



After a sudden solar eclipse of three hours from 12h00 that afternoon, simultaneously with the time the lamb in the temple had to be cutthroat and slaughtered (according to Exodus 12:6), Jesus died at 15h00 that Wednesday afternoon (Mat. 27:45 ff.). After three hours of "hell," He could say, "It is finished," and could finally breathe His last breath.

Everything needed to happen to make sin forgiveness possible was done. The victory was won, so Jesus was able to peacefully surrender His life to the Father.

Now you and I can say boldly and surely in faith: I have been delivered from the hands of the enemy by the Blood of the Lamb!

But even much more than that happened that historical moment.

Matthew tells us about it in chapter 27, verse 51 and onwards, in his gospel.

It was as if God the Father from heaven wanted to help the people of that time understand that what happened here was of paramount importance. Yes, that the history of the world really changed with these events!

To turn the spotlight fully on exactly what happened at that moment, God took with His own hands the Holiest of sacred objects for the Jew of that time, namely the thick curtain that separates the Holy portion of the temple, from the Holy of Holies in the temple.

Yes, God literally tore it from top to bottom! That same curtain through which the high priest could only walk once a year to the Holy of Holies’ section was suddenly just gone, and suddenly there was no separation left between the Holy and the Holy of Holies, where God sat in His holy presence waiting to speak to His people.

Therefore, the New Testament book, Hebrews, can speak of this boldness with which every believer could now, after these events, himself appear in God's presence. (See Heb. 10:19)

To further emphasize what happened here, God, as it were, uses everything He has, to keep the community talking about these events for weeks and years.

Suddenly there was an earthquake and graves opened. People who had died and been buried lately, suddenly came out of the tombs alive and started walking around the streets of Jerusalem for all to see and to talk to!

It was as if God was just saying, this is an entirely new beginning! The old covenant with all his things was over. A new relationship with Me is now possible. Everything that the Old Covenant, with all its feasts and laws, wanted to remind you of and as signposts wanted to lead you to Me, is now all here!

All of these things from the Old Covenant, served his purpose. Henceforth, the laws would only serve to convince unbelievers that they were sinners and totally lost!

Yes, it would finally remind them that Jesus Christ came as the Messiah and Lamb of God, who had to die this week like the Passover Lamb foretold all previous years.



With the Passover celebration to take place after 18h00 and the Sabbath rest ahead, the believing followers of Jesus had to take His body down from the cross and lay it in the tomb that Joseph of Arimathea had gifted for it. Mark 15:42 and onwards, tells us about it.

(Don't be seduced by the New Afrikaans translation of: "It was Friday". It is not what was written in the original Greek. Go read in the 1953- Afrikaans translation or in the NIV which is exactly what was written in the original Greek).



According to Scripture and the prophecies, Jesus would be in the tomb for three days and three nights.

So, he was there that special Sabbath (or first day of the "feast of the unleavened bread"), which stretched from the Wednesday evening 18:00 to Thursday evening 18:00; followed by the Friday (which stretched from the Thursday evening 18h00 to the Friday evening 18h00); and then also for the normal Jewish Sabbath (from the Friday evening 18:00 to the Saturday evening 18:00).



Sometime early that Saturday evening, after 18:00, at the dawn of the Jewish First Day of the week, Jesus rose from the dead after spending three days in the tomb.

Exactly what time it was, we don't know, because we're not told.

After all, Jesus Himself prophetically declared that He was going to be crucified, die, and be in the tomb for three days, and then rise again.

Thus, many other prophetic passages are also fulfilled, like Hos. 6:1,2; and the sign of Jonah (Matt. 12:40).

That Saturday evening, according to the Jewish festival calendar, the priest also waved the "First-fruits sheaf" of the harvest before God in order to dedicate the new harvest to God (Lev. 23:10-11).

That is why the Risen Jesus is also called the "First fruit" there in 1 Cor. 15:20-23.



Early that Sunday morning, April 7th, 30 A.D., Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, and later also of the other disciples, discovered that Jesus Christ had risen as He himself said was going to happen (Matt. 28:1 e.g.).

Therefore, together with the believers over the centuries, we can say, Hallelujah, we are truly serving a living Lord! (1 Cor. 15). Jesus Christ is truly risen, and He is alive.

Unlike all figures worshipped in other religions, we serve a Living, Risen Lord.

If He didn't really rise, our faith as Christian believers was in vain. (Read 1 Cor. 15 on this.)



Whoever dwells on the realities of this week's events cannot help but reflect on Jesus and who He really was.

Who was Jesus of Nazareth really? Was He just an ordinary person who lived from the 11th of September, 3rd, B.C., to April, the 4th, 30 A.D.?

What, then, of all the remarkable things He said and what He did?

What about the fact that everything He even said about His death happened exactly like that?

He even said that after three days, He would rise from the dead!

Could He then, be just an exceptionally good person or just a prophet, as some would describe Him? Surely it cannot be if the events really happened as I told you.

And if He didn't really rise from the dead, He was a liar and then couldn't really be a true prophet!

Moreover, what about the fact that He claimed to be God who became man!

Whoever really takes all of this seriously and wants to be honest in light of the facts, cannot simply say that He was just another exceptionally good man or prophet.

Either He was the greatest liar and psychopath who ever lived, or He was who He said He was! Namely, God who came to be human, to finally deliver us.

Yes, then Jesus of Nazareth was truly the Savior who came so that everyone who believes in Him, may have life and that more abundantly!