Good Friday Timeline

Whenever a loved one asks for prayers, it’s common that we may respond with a question such as, “What’s his name?” or, “What day are you traveling?” or, “What time is the surgery?”

Something about the details makes us feel connected… especially if we are thinking about that person on the specific day, at the specific time. For me, the events of the Triduum are no different.

This week, I’ve been piecing together approximate timelines, both by reading the Scripture passages themselves, and by seeking help from scholars who are much smarter than me and have already done this. It was moving when I left the house at 6:00am this morning to think: “2,000 years ago at this time… Jesus was arriving at Pilate’s palace for his trial.” 

It helps me, in prayer, to know these details. I feel more present in the sacrifice. Currently I am looking at the clock, and my heart is heavy… as this was about the time all those years ago that Pilate washed his hands and handed Jesus over to be crucified…


Good Friday Timeline

1AM

  • Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26:47-5, Mark 14:43-45, Luke 22:47-48, John 18:1-8)
  • Jesus is arrested (Matt 26:50, Mark 14:46, Luke 22:54, John 18:12)
  • Peter cuts off the ear of Malchus, the High Priest’s servant; Jesus rebukes Peter (Matt 26:51-54, Mark 14:47, Luke 22:49-51, John 18:10-11)
  • The Apostles flee (Matt 26:55-56, Mark 14: 48-50)
  • Jesus is taken to the house of Annas, the high priest of the previous year. (John 18:12-13) *based on what scholars know about these locations, it was a 10-15 minute walk

1:15AM

  • Jesus stands trail before Annas; receives the first of his recorded abuses (John 18:19-23)
  • Peter denies Jesus (Matt 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:15-18)
  • Jesus is taken to the house of the current high priest, Caiaphas. (John 18:24)*most likely a house next door which shared a courtyard with Annas

1:30AM-3AM

  • Jesus is questioned by Caiaphas and the rest of the Sanhedrin (Matt 26:57-60, Mark 14:53-60)
  • Jesus receives abuse (Matt 26:67-68, Mark 14:65, Luke 22:63-65)
  • Peter denies Jesus (Matt 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:15-18)
  • Jesus is found guilty of blasphemy (Matt 26:61-66, Mark 14:61-64, Luke 22:66-71)
  • Peter denies Jesus (Matt 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:15-18)

3AM-5:30AM

  • Imprisonment in Caiaphas’ palace

5:30AM-6AM

  • The whole Jewish council held a consultation at the home of Caiaphas (Mark 15:1)
  • Jesus (most likely) walks to the home of Pontius Pilate (John 18:28-32) *Pontius Pilate lived at Caesarea (on the coast) but went to Jerusalem during major festivals. The Antonia Fortress stood next to the Temple. Pilate probably did not stay there but rather in the palace old palace of Herod the Great (King Herod’s dead father). Herod’s palace was about 400 meters or a five minute walk from the Temple.

6AM

  •  Pontius Pilate finds no guilt in Jesus (Matthew 27:11-14; Mark 15:2-5; Luke 23:1-5; John 18:28-37)
  • Since Jesus is a Galilean, Pilate sends Jesus to be tried by King Herod, who is probably nearby, possibly even staying in another wing of the same palace (Luke 23:6-7)*history refers to this as “Herod’s palace,” the Gospels refer to it as the “governor’s palace.” Both men answered to Rome and thus could have been staying in the same location because of the Passover.

7AM-7:30AM

  • Jesus refuses to answer any of the king’s questions (Luke 23:8-9)
  • Mocked by the Chief priests and Herod’s court (Luke 23:11)
  • King Herod returns Jesus to Pilate (Luke 23:11)

7:30AM-9AM

  • Judas hangs himself (Matt 27:3-10)
  • Pilate questions Jesus (Matt 27:11-14, Mark 15:2-5, Luke 23:13-15, John 18:29-38)
  • Jesus is sent to be scourged; Pilate hopes to appease the angry crowd (Luke 23:16)
  • Pilate lets the crowd pick their Passover gift: the release of Jesus, or the release of Barabbas. The crowd chooses Barabbas and calls for Jesus’ crucifixion (Matt 27:15-23, Mark 15:6-14, Luke 23:18-25, John 18:39-40)
  • Fearing an uprising, Pilate gives into the crowd, washes his hands, and sentences Jesus to death. (Matt 27:24-26; Mark 15:15; Luke 23:23-24; John 19:6-16)
  • Roman Soldiers mock Jesus, beat him, and crown him with thorns (Matt 27:27-31, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:1-5)

9AM-11:30AM

  • Jesus is forced to carry his own cross (John 19:17) *Golgatha is about 4km away. If one is walking quickly, you could probably do it in about 40 minutes. However, Jesus has been up all night, hasn’t eaten anything, has been beaten, has lost a lot of blood, and is carrying a giant cross… it takes him a little longer.
  • Jesus falls the first time
  • Jesus meets his mother
  • Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross (Matthew 27: 32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26)
  • Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
  • Jesus falls a second time
  • Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem (Luke 23:27-31)
  • Jesus falls a third time

11:30AM

  • Ascends the hill of calvary
  • Jesus is stripped on his garments
  • Jesus is nailed to the cross

12PM

  • Jesus is crucified
  • Soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ garments (Matt 27:35, Mark 15:24, John 19:23-25)
  • Jesus promises Paradise to the good thief (Luke 23:43)
  • Jesus gives his mother to the Church and the Church to his mother (John 19:26-27)

3PM

  • Darkness covers the land (Matt 27:45, Luke 23:44)
  • Jesus dies
  • Earthquake- Temple curtain splits and the dead are raised (Matt 27:51-53, Luke 23:45)
  • Soldier pierces Jesus’ side to make sure he is dead; water and blood gush forth (John 19:31-37)
  • Soldier exclaims, “Truly, this man was the Son of God.” (Matt 27:54, Mark 15:29, Luke 23:47)
  • Joseph of Arimathea asks Pilate for Jesus’ body (Matt 27:57-60, Luke 23:50-52)

3:30PM

  • Jesus is taken down from the Cross (Luke 23:53)

4PM-5PM

  • Jesus is buried quickly (anointed with 100 pounds of myrrh and aloe brought by Nicodemus) as the Sabbath is approaching (Luke 23:53-54, John 19:39)
  • A unit of soldiers is assigned to stand guard at the tomb

 

While Scripture tells us a lot, it doesn’t tell us everything. Scripture even tells us that it doesn’t tell us everything…

“…There are also many other things which Jesus did; were everyone of them to be written, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books…” John 21:25

Tradition gives us many details (such as the events of what happened to Jesus as he carried his cross), as do private revelations. That being said, I’d like to leave you with this reflection, Benedetta DA S.S., a letter of a true oration of Christ found in a silver box in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, and approved by Pope Leo XIII, on April 5, 1890:

The Abuses of Christ

Reading this hurts my heart everytime…

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