The hours between when Jesus was arrested and when He died.

This is part of a larger study of What Day of the Week Was Jesus Christ Crucified?

The following is an attempt to correlate events from Jesus' arrest to His crucifixion and death. As we saw earlier Jesus went out to the Garden of Gethsemane after dinner on the evening (beginning) of Nisan 14. The dinner probably took a few hours. Then Jesus prays while his disciples sleep--presumably this entailed a few hours also.

Nisan 14 - From Arrest to Crucifixion

Matthew Mark Luke John

Jesus arrested

Jesus was arrested (Matt 26:50) Jesus was arrested (Mark 14:46) Jesus was arrested (Luke 22:54) Jesus was arrested after dark (John 18:3, 12)

Please notice that John indicates this happened after dark. It could have occurred anywhere between 10 PM to dawn (or 4 AM) (see below).

Jesus taken to High Priest

Jesus taken to Caiaphas. Elders and Teachers of Law call a meeting. They call false witnesses (Matt. 26:57-60). Jesus taken to High Priest and all Chief Priests and elders and Teachers of the Law came together to court yard of the High Priest (Mark 14:53-56). Jesus taken to High priest. At daybreak the council of elders, chief priests and teachers of law called a meeting (Luke 22:54-66). Jesus was taken to Annas first (father-in-law of Caiaphas the high priest) (John 18:12) and then to Caiaphas (John 18:24).

The word "daybreak" in Luke is Strong's #2250 "hemera" and means "the time space between dawn and dark." Notice it does not say sunrise, but dawn. Dawn can be anytime the light from the sun first appears which occurs before sunrise. If sunrise occurs at 6 AM then Jesus could have been taken to the High Priest as early as 4 AM.

Peter denies Jesus

Peter denies Jesus then the rooster crows. (Matt. 26:74). Peter denies Jesus, and the rooster crowed the second time. (Mark 14:72). Peter denies Jesus at one hour and then again an hour later, and then the rooster crows. (Luke 22:59, 60). Peter denies Jesus and a rooster begins to crow (John 18:27).

All four Gospel accounts state that Peter denied Jesus and THEN the rooster crowed. According to Mark 13:35 the cock crows before dawn (anyone who has ever raised roosters can confirm this). Baker's Encyclopedia of the Bible indicates there were 4 watches during the night. The first was called the evening watch and ended at 9 pm; the second was called the midnight watch and ended about midnight; the third or Cockcrow watch ended at 3 am; and the forth or morning watch ended about sunrise. Therefore the cock could have crowed any time between 3 AM and 6 AM.

Jesus is condemned by High Priests and beaten by temple guards

After Jesus admits he is the Son of God the High priest accuses Jesus of Blasphemy. Jesus is condemned to death. They spit at him, and strike him with their fists (Matt. 26:65-68). After Jesus admits he is the Son of God the High priest accuses Jesus of Blasphemy. They condemn Jesus to death. They spit on him, blindfolded him, and struck him with their fists. The guards beat him (Mark 14:63-65). After the cock crowed Jesus was mocked, beaten and blindfolded by the guards. At daybreak the council of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law met together and questioned Jesus. Jesus admits he's the Son of God. They conclude their trial (Luke 22:63-71). John doesn't mention the trial other than Jesus was taken to Annas and then Caiaphas (John 18:12-14).

The same word for "daybreak" is used in both of Luke's passages. Notice that the trial begins at daybreak in the chart above and concludes at daybreak also. Therefore it didn't take them long to falsely convict Christ--their Messiah. We can safely assume the trial ended shorly before 6 AM.

Chief Priests Take Jesus to Pilate

The chief priests and elders decide to put Jesus to death early in the morning. They bound him and took him to Pilate, the governor (Matt. 27:1,2). Very early in the Morning the chief priests and the elders, teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin condemned Jesus and took him to Pilate (Mark 15:1). Then the whole assembly [council of elders, chief priests and teachers of the law] rose and led him off to Pilate (Luke 23:1). The Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor [Pilate}. By now it was early morning (John 18:28).

Both Matthew and John use Strong's # 4405 "proia" which means "day-dawn" or early morning, while Mark uses another form of that word #4404 "prio" which also means at dawn or early morning. Therefore all three of them must be talking about just before Sunrise when Jesus is taken to Pilate.

Crucify Him!

When Pilate asked what to do with Jesus the Jews said CRUCIFY HIM!. Give us Barrabas. Pilate had Jesus flogged and handed him over to be crucified (Matt 27:21-23). when Pilate asked what to do with Jesus the Jews said CRUCIFY HIM! Give us Barabbas. Pilate had Jesus flogged and handed him over to be crucified (Mark 15:12-15). Luke is the only one that mentions Pilate sends Jesus to Herod. Herod's soldiers beat him and send him back to Pilate. When Pilate questioned the accusation of Jesus the Jews yelled CRUCIFY HIM! Release Barabbas. Pilate surrendered Jesus to their will (Luke 23:6-25). Pilate had Jesus flogged. Soldiers beat Jesus. Jews yell CRUCIFY HIM! Pilate turns Jesus over to them to be crucified. It was about the sixth hour (John 19:1-16).

All four Gospel accounts are almost identical relating this event. Although John appears to indicate Jewish time is other parts of his Gospel (John 1:39; 4:6; 4:52, 53) in this instance he can only be talking Roman time because, as we will see in the next frame according to Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus is nailed to the cross at the 3rd hour or 9 AM Jewish time. Therefore, for John to mean Jesus' trial ended at the Jewish 6th hour, or Noon, would not make sense because he would have been tried after he was hung on the cross. Therefore, it appears John indicates Pilate was through trying Jesus by the 6th hour Roman time, or 6 AM, or sunrise.

John Leeper in "A Prelude to Glory" shows how all these trials between Annas, Caiaphas, Herod and Pilate could have occurred within a few hours because they all lived within five to twenty minutes of each other.

Jesus is Crucified and Dies

Jesus is crucified. Darkness occurred over all the land from the sixth hour until the ninth. Jesus died at the ninth hour (Matt. 27:32-53). Jesus is crucified at the third hour. Darkness occurs over the whole land from the sixth hour till the ninth. Jesus dies at the ninth hour (Mark 15:25-38). Jesus is crucified. Darkness came over the whole land from the sixth hour until the ninth. Jesus died (Luke 23:32-46). Jesus was crucified and dies (John 19:18-30)

Mark indicates Jesus was crucified at the third hour (9 AM), and both Matthew and Mark indicate he died at the ninth hour (3 PM) and that darkness covered the land from the sixth hour until the ninth (noon till 3 PM). John doesn't mention a time for any of these events.

Not one of the four Gospels give even one clue that another day occurred in between the arrest and death of Christ. In other words, all these events occured on the 14th of Nisan and spanned a time period of eighteen to twenty hours.

Return to What Day of the Week was Christ Crucified

Lori Eldridge
Copyright May 8, 1999 - updated 2-17-19