The Crucifixion Of Jesus
The Timing Of The Night Before The Crucifixion
Jesus was actually “tried” six times during the night before the Crucifixion. Jesus was probably having the last supper at about 6 pm at the start of the Passover celebrated by the Essenes, which was celebrated on a different day from the Passover ordained by the Sanhedrin.
Jesus was probably staying at the home of the Essenes in Jerusalem, of whom John the Baptist was a member. A clue to this is found in Mark 14:12-16,
“Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?” And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water ; follow him. Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”‘ Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.”
So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.”
In the culture of the day it was most unusual for a man to carry water. The Essenes were however a strict male only religious group who distanced themselves from the corrupt Sanhedrin, and were mostly based in Qumran on the shores of the Dead Sea. The fact that the disciples met a man carrying water makes it highly likely that Jesus was in fact staying with the ultra Orthodox Essenes.
The start of the Passover celebrated by the Essenes was at 6 pm, so it was likely that Jesus and His twelve disciples were sitting down for the last supper by 6 pm.
Jesus had a great deal to say during the Last Supper, as recorded in John Chapters 14 -16.
It seems unlikely that Jesus appeared at Gethsemane before about 9 pm at the earliest, and probably nearer 10 pm.
The timing of the trials can be pinpointed with some accuracy by the crowing of the rooster, as recorded in Matthew 26:74, 75, “Immediately a rooster crowed . And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.”
A rooster normally crows about 1 hour before daybreak, which was possibly at 5.00 am at that time of year (April of 33 AD). Thus the three religious trials occurred some time between Jesus’ arrest at 10.30 pm approximately, and Peter’s denial of Jesus at approximately 4.00 am.
Jesus was actually nailed to the Cross on the “third hour” which is 9 am. Thus the three secular trials of Jesus probably took place between 5 am and 7 am, to allow for time for the Scourging, and the Carrying of the cross to Golgotha between 7 am and 9 am.