Jesus Entering Jerusalem. Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Jesus' Final Week
Hal Lindsey. The Week That Changed the World. By permission of "The Hal Lindsey Report".
The Passover Lamb
The last week of Jesus' life on earth is important to bible prophecy because what he did on each of the days is not only a fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy but also the most significant waypoint in understanding God's complete prophetic plan of time.
To understand the last week we need to understand that the Passover lamb was a picture of Jesus. In Exodus chapter 12 there are instructions about the Passover lamb.
[Exo 12:1-6 KJV] 1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 This month [shall be] unto you the beginning of months: it [shall be] the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth [day] of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of [their] fathers, a lamb for an house: 4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take [it] according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take [it] out from the sheep, or from the goats: 6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
A perfect lamb without blemish was to be selected on the 10th day of the first month and then slaughtered on the 14th day of the first month. Jesus Himself was perfect and without fault. He was received into Jerusalem on the 10th day and slaughtered on the cross to pay for our sins on the 14th day.
There are endless discussions about that last week and how it fitted into the calendar. Suffice it to say that the traditional idea of Jesus dying on the Cross on Good Friday has been questioned. One reason for this is that it does not allow for three whole days and nights to pass before Jesus rose on the first day of the week (Sunday). Jesus explained that the sign He would give the world was that he would be in the heart of the earth for three days and nights.
[Mat 12:40 KJV] 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Another reason for questioning Friday as the day of crucifixion is that if Jesus must have entered Jerusalem on Sunday as he would not have entered it on a Saturday (Sabbath day). If the day he was received into Jerusalem was the 10th day of the month then the day he was crucified could not have been Friday as this was the 15th day of the month.
Everything I have said above has been questioned and discussed. Instead of trying to cover all the different viewpoints I will just give an example of one which I heard about through "The Hal Lindsey Report". This is the regular show that Hal Lindsey is still producing at the time of writing. See the section on "Hal Lindsey. The Late Great Planet Earth". The episode I saw was called "The Week that Changed the World".
Building on the initiation of the Feast of Passover in Exodus 12:1-2 (above) we see that when the lamb was sacrificed its blood was to be applied to the lintel and the doorposts of the houses with hyssop. We can now see that in this way the sign of the cross was applied to each house. When the blood was applied the Angel of Death would pass over the house.
Traditionally Jesus is thought to have been crucified on a Friday because several gospel passages such as Mark 15:42 tell us he was crucified on the day before the Sabbath. However this Sabbath was a special Sabbath or a "High Day" because it was the Feast of Unleavened Bread. That is, it was not a regular Saturday Sabbath but a special one.
[Jhn 19:31 KJV] 31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and [that] they might be taken away.
The Feast Days are recorded in Leviticus 23. In particular Leviticus 23: 4-7 explains about the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread.
[Lev 23:4-7 KJV] 4 These [are] the feasts of the LORD, [even] holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. 5 In the fourteenth [day] of the first month at even [is] the LORD'S passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month [is] the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. 7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
The 14th day from twilight is the Lord's Passover.
The 15th day is the Feast of Unleavened Bread when no laborious work is to be undertaken, as on a regular sabbath. In other words the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a sabbath no matter what day of the week it falls on.
Another point about the Passover sacrifice is that it was not allowed in any town except the one where the Lord put his name (i.e Jerusalem). Deuteronomy 16:5-6.
[Deu 16:5-6 KJV] 5 Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee: 6 But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.
[Mat 12:38-40 KJV] 38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
The time between the crucifixion and the resurrection was three full days and three full nights. We can see from all the above that to fulfill prophecy Jesus needed to be selected/chosen on the 10th day of the first month. He had to be crucified on the 14th day of the first month, in Jerusalem, and be in the grave for three full days and nights. We can also see that the gospels tell us that he was crucified on the day before a special Sabbath.
The following is one interpretation of how all this was fulfilled.