Jesus Was Crucified on the Day of Preparation for the Passover
John also mentions that Jesus was crucified on “the day of Preparation” (John 19:31), that is, the Friday before the Sabbath of Passover week (Mark 15:42). The night before, on Thursday evening, Jesus ate a Passover meal with the Twelve (Mark 14:12), his “Last Supper.”
In the Pharisaic-rabbinic calendar commonly used in Jesus’s day, Passover always falls on the fifteenth day of Nisan (Exodus 12:6), which begins Thursday after sundown and ends Friday at sundown. In the year a.d. 33, the most likely year of Jesus’s crucifixion, Nisan 15 fell on April 3, yielding April 3, a.d. 33, as the most likely date for the crucifixion.
In our book, The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived, Justin Taylor and I assume but do not argue for a precise date of Jesus’s crucifixion. Virtually all scholars believe, for various reasons, that Jesus was crucified in the spring of either...