Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Was Yeshua Condemned to Death on the Day of the Passover?
Many believe that Yeshua was tried, judged, condemned, and put to death -- all on the same day -- that is, on the day of the crucifixion. Yet the Gospel of Mark says he was nailed to the tree at 9:00 AM in the morning (Mark 15:25). And the Gospel of John says he was finally judged by Pilate and condemned at about "the sixth hour" -- that is, twelve o'clock NOON (John 19:14)! Could Yeshua really have been condemned by the Sanhedrin, and Pilate, and put to death, all on the SAME DAY -- on Nisan 14, the eve of the Passover?
by HOIM Staff
Those who believe that Yeshua had his last supper with his disciples at the beginning of Nisan 14, and that he was arrested that night, and condemned by the full Sanhedrin the next morning -- Nisan 14 -- and then also condemned by Pontius Pilate on the same day -- have a very serious problem with the truth. Why? Because, according to Jewish law, the Sanhedrin of the Jewish high court was prohibited from both judging and condemning a man on the same day! That is to say, in a capital case, where the death penalty was going to be issued, the court by law had to hear the case and render judgment on one day, but the execution had to occur on the following day! This was an iron-clad rule of Jewish jurisprudence. The Mishnah states in very plain language regarding the Sanhedrin:
"In property cases, they try the case by day and complete it by night. In capital cases, they try the case by day, and complete it [by] day.
"In property cases they come to a final decision on the same day [as the trial itself], whether it is for acquittal or conviction. In capital cases they come to a final decision for acquittal on the same day, BUT ON THE FOLLOWING DAY FOR CONVICTION" (Sanhedrin 4:1, The Mishnah, a New Translation, by Jacob Neusner, p. 590).
In other words, in ancient Judaea, civil cases of law were tried during the day and may be completed at night. However, criminal cases were tried during the day and must be completed during daytime. If the accused is acquitted, and found innocent, the criminal trial may be completed on one and the same day, and he could go free. But if he is found guilty, then the court is adjourned to the next or following day, on which judgment will then be pronounced.
Therefore, it would have been absolutely contrary to Jewish practice for the Sanhedrin to accuse, condemn, and crucify Yeshua the Messiah all on one day! Such a thing was counter to their every instinct and custom. By their own standards of judicial practice, they stipulated in the very Mishnah that two days were required in all capital cases where a man was determined to be "guilty," for him to be sentenced. Therefore, since the Sanhedrin found Yeshua guilty early in the morning, soon after sunrise (see Matt. 27:1-2, Luke 22:66), they would not have been able to execute him until the FOLLOWING DAY! Therefore, if Yeshua the Messiah was brought before the Sanhedrin on Nisan 14, therefore, by Jewish law itself, his crucifixion would have occurred until Nisan 15 -- the next day. But this is impossible, since the Scriptures tell us he was put to death BEFORE the high holy day -- the 15th of Nisan arrived (see John 18:28; 19:14, 31). Jewish law would have required that they at least hold him over to the next day, following their determination of his guilt, before they could carry out the sentence. But, since he was plainly condemned on a preparation day BEFORE the high holy day, this requires that his final appearance before the Sanhedrin be the PREVIOUS DAY -- on Nisan 13th -- and that he was condemned by Pilate on Nisan 13 -- two days before the Passover Festival!
Furthermore, the Jewish Mishnah is even more explicit in explaining when criminals in capital cases could and could not be tried and sentenced. We read in the same tractate, Sanhedrin 4:1, part "L":
"Therefore they DO NOT JUDGE [CAPITAL CASES] either on the EVE of the Sabbath or on the EVE OF A FESTIVAL" (The Mishnah, a New Translation, by Jacob Neusner, p. 590).
This fact alone is devastating to those who want to argue that Yeshua's last supper was on the eve of the Passover, at the beginning of Nisan 14, and that he was arrested that very night, and condemned the following morning, early, and sentenced to death and nailed to the tree by 9:00 AM that same morning! Nonsense! This fundamental principle of ancient Jewish jurisprudence and legal requirements completely destroys the notion that the Messiah was tried, judged, condemned, and crucified all on the same single day -- Nisan 14. Since Yeshua was put to death on Nisan 14, at the very time the Jews were killing their Passover lambs, and since he was nailed to the tree at 9:00 AM in the morning (Mark 15:25), his trial and sentencing had to have been on the previous day -- that is, on Nisan 13. This also explains how he could have been standing before Pilate, receiving his final sentence, at "about the sixth hour" (John 19:14) -- which, by Hebrew reckoning, was 12:00 NOON by our western time standards.
The common idea is that Yeshua was arrested at night, appeared before Annas the former High Priest, then Caiaphas the current High Priest (John 18:13, 24), then before the whole Sanhedrin at daybreak (John 18:28; Matt.27:1; Mark 15;1; Luke 22:66), and then they led him to Pilate (Luke 23;1-2; Mark 15:1-2; Matt.27:2), who sent him to king Herod (Luke 23:6-12), who examined him and then returned him to Pilate (Luke 23:13-16). All this required TIME. It was not done in a mere "instant."
When all the facts are carefully examined, we see that Yeshua must have been condemned on Nisan 13, in the evening, arrested that night, was sentenced by the Sanhedrin the following morning (still Nisan 13), and finally was condemned to death by Pilate at noon, whereupon he was scourged, whipped and beaten, and remanded to prison -- the dungeon -- until Nisan 14, when he was led out to the Mount of Olives and crucified. All the technical requirements of the "law" were fulfilled, a cording to the Mishnah's stipulations -- except one -- they condemned and executed an innocent man guilty of no crime whatsoever!
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