Chronology of the last supper and crucixion

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Ordinary Guy (TM)
I am looking for a chronology of the events of the Last Supper to the Resurrection.

Looking for details about:

-The eating of the Passover meal by Jesus and the disciples in comparison to most other Jews at that time.

-The slaughter of the passover lambs compared with the death of Christ.

-John's Gospel in comparison to the synoptics on these events.

Here's a Catholic website:

The Perpetual Sacrifice in the Temple: 9a.m. and 3 p.m.

So, is there any cultic significance to the hour of Jesus' passion and death? Did Jesus' death on Calvary correspond to any sacrifices in the Temple?

I would suggest there is, and that it is the Synoptic evangelists who have brought this out. For while the Synoptic Gospels make it explicit that the Passover lambs were slaughtered twenty-four hours before Jesus' death (cf. Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7), there was one other sacrifice that was going on in the Temple when Jesus was crucified on Good Friday: the perpetual sacrifice, known as the Tamid.

Strangely, this sacrifice, which is forgotten by almost everyone, was arguably the most memorable of all the Jewish sacrifices, since it happened every day, twice a day. According to the Torah itself, twice a day, in the morning and the evening, an unblemished male lamb was to be sacrificed in the sanctuary, and offered along with an unbloody sacrifice of flour and wine (see Num 28:1-8; Exod 29:38-42).

Now, although the Old Testament does not say exactly when the morning and evening sacrifice took place, according to ancient Jewish sources outside the Bible, the morning offering of the Tamid took place at 9 a.m., while the evening offering took place at 3 p.m. (See Mishnah, Tamid 3:7; Josephus, Antiquities 14.4.3; Philo, Special Laws, 1:169).

The New Tamid

With that information in mind, go back to the Synoptic accounts of Jesus' death on Good Friday. Remarkably, the Gospel of Mark makes very clear that Jesus' passion and death coincided with the offerings of the perpetual sacrifice:
And it was the third hour (9a.m.), when they crucified him (Mark 15:25).
And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour (3 p.m.). And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"... And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last. (Mark 15:33-37)

Notice that Mark twice states that Jesus expired at the ninth hour, 3 o'clock. Why the emphasis? Apart from historical accuracy, what is Mark trying to communicate?

I would suggest that both chronological references are meant to tie Jesus' passion and death to the perpetual sacrifice being offered in the Temple: the bloody sacrifice of the unblemished lambs and the unbloody sacrifice of cakes and wine. In other words, Mark is showing us that Jesus is the true Tamid, the true perpetual sacrifice, who replaces the atoning power of the Temple cult. Perhaps this is why he stresses the effect of Jesus' death on the Temple:

"And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the veil of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom." (Mark 15:37-38)
In short, there is no reason to strain to connect the hour of Jesus' death with the Passover lambs that had been offered Thursday afternoon. For there was another sacrificial lamb, that was directly linked to atonement, which was being offered at the very hours of his crucifixion and death.
Now, I should probably stop here. But since it's Good Friday, I'll make one last point.
What Were the Jews in the Temple Praying for when Jesus Died?

According to ancient Jewish tradition, as found in the Mishnah and Talmuds, the daily Tamid was not just about sacrifice; it was also accompanied by prayers, which Jews everywhere would say while the sacrifices were being offered in the Temple. According to these traditions, a series of blessings, commonly known as the "Eighteen Benedictions," were being said by Jews everywhere in union with the Tamid (b. Ber. 26b; Gen. R. lxviii). Remarkably, the Rabbis claim that this was taking place even during the Second Temple Period (see Babylonian Talmud, Ber.33a, Meg. 17b.)--with the exception of the benediction against the "heretics," which the Rabbis say was added by Gamaliel II at Yabneh after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70A.D. (see b. Ber. 28b).

Now, before you balk at the idea of using Talmudic traditions to reconstruct Second Temple practices, recall that the New Testament itself tells us that Jesus own followers would go up to the Temple at the hours of the perpetual sacrifice to pray. This is explicit in the book of Acts:
Now Peter and John went up to the Temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour (=3p.m.) (Acts 3:1; cf. 2:15).

The question is: What prayers were Jews saying while the Tamid was being sacrificed in the first century? On the one hand, we could say, 'we don't have any idea'. On the other hand, ancient Jewish tradition, provides a rather concrete answer: it tells us that the Eighteen Benedictions were being prayed at that time.

What is striking about these prayers is this: If these ancient Jewish traditions are correct--and I realize that this is disputed--then what follows below are the kind of things the Jews in the Temple would have been praying for while the Tamid was being sacrificed and while Jesus was dying on the Cross:

1. According to Jewish tradition, at 9a.m. and 3p.m., the Jews in the Temple would have been praying for redemption:
"Look upon our affliction and plead our cause,and redeem us speedily for your name's sake, for you are a mighty redeemer. Blessed are you, O Lord, the redeemer of Israel." (7th Benediction)

2. According to Jewish tradition, at 9a.m. and 3p.m., the Jews in the Temple would have been praying for the forgiveness of sins:
"Forgive us, O our Father, for we have sinned; pardon us, O our King, for we have transgressed; for you pardon and forgive. Blessed are you, O Lord, who is merciful and always ready to forgive." (6th Benediction)

3. According to Jewish tradition, at 9a.m. and 3p.m., the Jews in the Temple would have praying for the coming of the Messiah:
"Speedily cause the offspring of your servant David to flourish, and let him be exalted by your saving power, for we wait all day long for your salvation. Blessed are you, O Lord, who causes salvation to flourish." (15th Benediction)

4. In fact, according to Jewish tradition, at 9a.m. and 3p.m., the Jews in the Temple would have been praying for the resurrection of the dead:
"You, O Lord, are mighty forever, you revive the dead, you have the power to save. You sustain the living with lovingkindness, you revive the dead with great mercy, you support the falling, heal the sick, set free the bound and keep faith with those who sleep in the dust... Who resembles you, a king who puts to death and restores to life, and causes salvation to flourish? And you are certain to revive the dead. Blessed are you, O Lord, who revives the dead." (2nd Benediction)

In short, if these traditional prayers do in fact go back to the Second Temple period, then something remarkable emerges. For we find a plausible explanation for why Mark emphasizes Jesus' crucifixion and death as corresponding to the hours of 9a.m. and 3p.m.. We find that ancient Jews were praying for the very things Christians believe were dispensed by Jesus on the Cross, at the very hour he was dispensing them.

The Sacred Page: Was Jesus Really Crucified with the Passover Lambs?

and here is another website: Time Elements of the Passover: Type and Antitype


Staff member
I can't comment on any Hebrew or Catholic perspective, but I have spent quite a bit of time in John lately, emphasizing the period you mention.

We all know there are different purposes in writing the different gospels, but it seems that John in particular is trying to comfort believers. You see his fatherly compassion in his letters -- "my dear children..." and it seems consistent that he would set forth the things that Jesus said that would comfort the early church in its early travails.

John's gospel is strikingly different from the synoptics in that he goes to great lengths to record what Jesus said as he comforted his disciples in the upper room discourses and shows Jesus at prayer as he begins to grapple with his dark hour to come. Yet, Jesus brought his disciples before the father in great concern for them. The other gospels essentially leave the disciples arguing among themselves about who is greatest.

If I may give a simple interpretation, it seems that Jesus is saying: look guys, you have a more difficult time ahead of you than you can ever imagine, but all three persons of the trinity are working actively on your behalf. You are not alone. (These passages have a fascinating pattern of the father giving -- or saying -- something to the son who in turn does, gives, or says something to his people. The Paraclete is held out as a great, long-term hope.) How encouraging it must have been for the early church to receive these writings. Most would have had no knowledge that Jesus said all this.

The other striking difference between John and the synoptics is his mention of Mary's interaction with the angel/Jesus in the garden, though I haven't dug at the significance yet. I am particularly interested in her being addressed as "woman" rather than by name.
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