Some brethren believe that Christ had to have been crucified on Thursday. Is this possible? No, I don’t believe the Scriptures allow for this anymore than they do for a Friday crucifixion. One reason would be that six days before the Passover Holy Day (John 12:1) would mean Jesus left Jerusalem and entered Bethany on the weekly Sabbath. This was forbidden by the law. Moreover, the people he cast out of the Temple would have been doing business on the Sabbath and this could not have occurred. Another reason would be that Nisan 15, the day after the crucifixion, was the Sabbath Holy Day and it would have occurred on Friday with the next day being the 7th day Sabbath. A Thursday Crucifixion would cause back to back Sabbaths to occur. This is not scriptural, because, if we have two Sabbaths in the same week coming one after the other, when would the women buy the spices to anoint the body of Jesus? When would they have the time to prepare those spices without breaking the Law governing the Sabbath Days (cp. Mark 16:1 and Luke 23:54-56)?
A Thursday crucifixion is based on the belief that Jesus came up from Jericho to Jerusalem (Mark 11:11), looked around, and because it was turning toward evening, He left to spend the Sabbath at Bethany (John 12:1). This, however, cannot be reconciled with the Scriptures. First of all, a comparison of the entries in Matthew 21 with that of Mark 11 and John 12 show that there were at least two occasions that week wherein Jesus entered Jerusalem sitting upon a colt amid shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David.” On both occasions he cast out those who bought and sold, and none of this could have occurred on a Sabbath day. Furthermore, John 12:1 says that Christ came to Bethany six days before the Passover Feast. Bethany is twice as far as a Sabbath Day’s journey (see my earlier blog on a Sabbath day’s Journey), indicating that Jesus had to arrive at Bethany before the Sabbath began. The sixth day cannot be a Sabbath, because Martha prepared a meal. She could not do this on the Sabbath day, which would be the sixth day before the Passover Sabbath day with a Thursday crucifixion.
Consider the fact that Martha prepared a meal for Jesus. How did she know when he would arrive? The signal for Martha to prepare for her guest had to have been when the disciples came to pick up the colt. Otherwise, how would she have known that Jesus was coming? The sixth day before the Passover can mean only one of two things. Either it is speaking of the Passover day when the lamb was slain (the 14th of the month — not a Sabbath) or the Passover Feast Day when the memorial meal was eaten (the 15th of the month — a Sabbath Holy Day). If we make the 6th day the 14th of the month and a Thursday according to this doctrine, then the next day would be Friday and the 15th of the month, a Sabbath Holy Day falling immediately before the weekly Sabbath (Saturday). If this is done, the women have no time to buy and prepare the spices to anoint Jesus’ body (cp. Mark 16:1; Luke 23:56), which they had done between two Sabbath days, according to Scripture.
If we make the 6th day the Holy Day Feast, the 15th of the month then the crucifixion occurred on the Sabbath Holy Day, which cannot occur according to Jewish law. This is what the chief priest sought to avoid (Matthew 26:5; Mark 14:2). Nevertheless, a weekly Sabbath must occur somewhere within these 6 days, is a Friday crucifixion is ruled out.
A Thursday crucifixion simply does not agree with the Scriptures when we consider this six-day period. Remember, for one entry Jesus came from Jericho (Luke 19:1, 11, 28), and another he came from Bethany (Mark 11:11-12). During the first entry the people in Jerusalem wondered who Jesus was (Matthew 21:10). For the second entry those in the city came out to meet him (John 12:12-13). At the first entry Jesus sent two disciples with specific directions into a small village to get an ass and her colt (Luke 19:28-35), while for the second Jesus had to look for the colt at Bethany (John 12:1, 12-16), implying it was let loose for the Sabbath day as the Law demands. This implies three days: Jesus entered Jerusalem first before the weekly Sabbath; he spent the next day (a Sabbath) at Bethany where Martha prepared a meal for him; and on the third day he made his “Triumphant Entry” into Jerusalem, after cursing the fig tree (Mark 11:13). A third entry was made the following day (the fourth of the six days) as we find in Mark 11:19-21, showing the fig tree had already dried up, whereupon he entered the city a third time and cast out the moneychangers (Luke 19:41-46).
On the fifth of the six days before the Passover (Mark 14:1-3; cp. John 12:1), Jesus ate another meal at Bethany. On the final day before the Passover, the disciples asked Jesus where they might prepare the memorial meal (cp. Mark 14:12). This was the day when they killed the Passover (the day of the crucifixion, the 14th of the first month–not a Sabbath). Therefore, a Thursday crucifixion must be ruled out, because the days cannot be made to line up chronologically to support it. If Mark 14:12 occurred on the evening before the crucifixion, that would be Wednesday, but he was teaching in the Temple during the morning (Luke 21:37-38). This means the 2nd meal in Bethany (Mark 14:1-3) would have had to have taken place on Tuesday evening. Luke’s entry (Luke 19:41-46; cp. Mark 11:19-21) would have been that same day (Tuesday morning), because he was daily in the Temple (Matthew 26:55; Mark 14:49; Luke 19:47). On Monday morning. Mark’s ‘Triumphant Entry’ from Bethany would have occurred, which would have demanded Matthew entry to have occurred late in the day on Sunday, for Jesus’ first meal at Bethany to have occurred. Yet, this is only five days, not six before the Passover Holy Day! A Thursday crucifixion simply is not Scriptural.