Jesus Christ death was not that easy at all—the Romans soldiers were master executioners who kept their prisoners almost at the point of death as long as possible. Crucifixions could last a few days, so when we celebrate Easter and daily remember Jesus’s sacrifice, we must understand what happened to Jesus Christ, which begs the question: For How long was Jesus Christ on the cross?
When Was Jesus Christ Crucified?
Thankfully, the Bible gives us a timeline of events for Jesus’s final hours.
He was arrested on Thursday after Judas met Him outside the Garden of Gethsemane. During those late-night hours into early Friday morning, Jesus was on “fake trial” with the religious leaders before He was shuttled back and forth to Pilate and Herod. He was flogged and beaten and made to carry the crossbeam (with assistance from Simon of Cyrene) before being hammered with stakes to a wooden cross.
To understand the timeline, we must be careful to distinguish between the Roman and Jewish systems of time measurement.
John’s gospel tells us that Jesus was at trial before Pontius Pilate at about the sixth hour, Roman time. For the Romans, that equates to 6 a.m. (see John 19:14).
We know from Matthew 27:45 that at the sixth hour (12 p.m. or noonday), the sky turned pitch black, so dark that you wouldn’t be able to see your hand in front of your face. The darkness lasted for three hours and is broken with Jesus crying out.
Therefore, we know that Jesus was on the cross for roughly six hours, much less than some who lasted up to four days during their crucifixions.
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