- February 17, 2017 at 1:38 pm #128524
While researching the astronomical alignment next September that may be the sign John saw in Revelation 12, it occurred to me to revisit the possible dates surrounding Christ’s first advent and see if there were any other “signs in the sky” around that time. I’ve already written extensively on possible dates for Jesus’ birth (primarily based on Craig Chester and Rick Larson’s research and The Bethlehem Star documentary), so I won’t touch on that here, suffice to say that the argument goes Jesus was conceived on the Feast of Trumpets in 3 BC, was born in June of 2 BC, and was visited by the magi on December 25th of 2 BC. These dates require Herod to have died in 1 BC, rather 4 BC, which is a position growing in scholarly support (see here, here, and here). I’ve been scouring through research trying to find what are the most likely dates for the key events around the end of Jesus’ first advent, so after comparing the various theories and research papers out there, here are the most persuasive dates to me:
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem: Sunday, March 29, 33 AD
Daniel 9:25 gives the exact duration of time between a certain decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and the arrival of Jesus as the “Anointed One” (the Bible says Jesus was anointed at Bethany, the day before His entry into Jerusalem). There has been a lot of scholarly research into this and the current leading theory proposed by Dr. Harold Hoehner and Dr. Thomas Ice, and refined slightly by several others, has the decree given in early March or April of 444 BC and the Triumphal Entry on Sunday, March 29th, or Monday, March 30th, of 33 AD. Depending on which way you calculate the dates, Daniel’s 69 “weeks” of years, when converted to days, falls exactly on either the 29th or 30th of 33 AD.
Jesus’ Crucifixion: Friday, April 3, 33 AD (Passover)
I’ve heard a number of arguments in defense of a non-traditional day of the week for Jesus’ crucifixion, such as Wednesday or Thursday, but I find arguments for the traditional date of Friday to be far more convincing. While Jesus does once make mention of “three days and three nights” in reference to the time between His crucifixion and resurrection – connecting His looming death to the “sign of Jonah” – this was likely a Jewish idiom and elsewhere the resurrection is said to occur literally on the third day, not on the fourth day (Matthew 16:21, 17:23, 20:19; Luke 13:32, 24:7, 24:46; see also 1 Corinthians 15:4 and Hosea 6:2). In addition to this, the Bible also plainly says Jesus died on the day before the Sabbath (Matthew 27:62, Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:14) and was raised to life on the first day of the week (Mark 16:2, John 20:1). Quoting from an article called Dating the Crucifixion:
All four Gospels state that Jesus was crucified on Preparation Day, a Friday. This is also the common consensus of the Church Fathers and scholars throughout church history.
Having Passover (Nisan 14) fall on a Friday, which was also Preparation Day, limits the dates for Christ’s crucifixion to either April 7, 30 AD or April 3, 33 AD. We can then eliminate the 30 AD date based on four more pieces of evidence:
1. The first is a historical record from Jerome, whose source was the secular historian Phlegon, pinpointing the darkness that lasted for three hours the day Christ died (from about noon to 3:00 PM) to the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (32 or 33 AD):
In the fourth year, however, of Olympiad 202, an eclipse of the sun happened, greater and more excellent than any that had happened before it; at the sixth hour, day turned into dark night, so that the stars were seen in the sky, and an earthquake in Bithynia toppled many buildings of the city of Nicaea.
In effect, without understanding their significance, Phlegon had both substantiated and pinpointed the date of the three hours of darkness and the earthquake that the Bible records as happening on the day Christ died. Furthermore, we learn that the paintings and movies of the crucifixion that you’re familiar with are wrong – it wasn’t just a subtle darkness from clouds, it was day turned to night – so dark the stars were visible.
2. The second piece of evidence is actually from the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which maintains a database of historical earthquakes. From 1 AD to 50 AD only one significant earthquake occurred in Israel and it happened in 33 AD according to four different sources – a fifth source mentions the 33 AD date, but attempts to disparage the possibility purely because of what the spiritual implications are.
3. The third piece of evidence is based on the date of the execution of the Roman Aelius Sejanus under Tiberius Caesar, which would likely put the crucifixion after 31 AD.
4. And the fourth piece of evidence is the Apostle Peter’s sermon on Pentecost recorded in Acts 2 where he quotes from the Prophet Joel in attempting to convert the 3,000 who were gathered to hear him. Acts 2:14-22:
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
“In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.”
Just 52 short days before Peter spoke these words, the sun was darkened in the middle of the day during the crucifixion. And speaking of “blood and fire”, the blood of Christ had been shed in an open public display and now on the day Peter spoke, tongues of fire had descended onto the gathered disciples. What about the moon turning to blood? Well it just so happens that on Friday, April 3, 33 AD, a partial lunar eclipse was visible across Israel as soon as the moon rose that night. When lunar eclipses are higher in the sky they often look light red or orange, but when low on the horizon as it was that night, the red hues are often darkened into the color of blood.
Putting all the evidence together, I believe Jesus was killed on April 3, 33 AD, and having perhaps been born in June of 2 BC, He died at the age of 33, just a few months short of turning 34.
Jesus’ Resurrection: Sunday, April 5, 33 AD (First Fruits)
By identifying the date of the crucifixion we can find the remaining dates easily. Jesus rose on the first day of the week (Mark 16:2, John 20:1), on the third day from His crucifixion, which would have been Sunday, April 5, 33 AD.
While researching this article I made a startling discovery. From Craig Chester and Rick Larson’s work we have already identified Jupiter as Christ’s star: it is the “king” planet representing the chief deity in ancient cultures throughout the Middle East and is covered in stripes just as Jesus was (Isaiah 53:5), has a Great Red Spot akin to Jesus’ spear wound, and is the earth’s primary celestial defense against dangerous asteroids and comets, functioning like a cosmic vacuum cleaner (1 Peter 2:24, Isaiah 53:4-6).
What I discovered is that during Christ’s crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, the planet Jupiter was situated right in the middle of the constellation Gemini, which is Latin for “twins”:
The constellation of Gemini is near-universally depicted as two men embracing after having been separated by death. In Roman and Greek mythology, one of the twins named after its brightest star “Pollux”, was the immortal son of the chief deity. The other twin was Castor, the son of man. The mortal Castor dies and Pollux pleads with his father to grant Castor immortality and his father agrees – the two are then united in the heavens forever. I believe this pictures God and Adam reconciled through Jesus’ death and resurrection:
In Babylonian astronomy, which was probably even closer to the Biblical Mazzaroth (Job 38:32) in meaning, the twin Castor is called Meshlamtaea and the twin Pollux is called Lugalirra. It took my breath away when I discovered that Meshlamtaea means “The One who has arisen from the underworld” and Lugalirra means “Mighty King”. Jesus is the Mighty King who has arisen, conquering death and hades. The message could not be any clearer: the Mighty King who has arisen is the bridge between the immortal deity and mortal man because He (Jupiter) stands right between them (as shown above) as the mediator. This sign in the heavens was not hidden by the Sun – in fact it was visible to the unaided eye over Jerusalem and Israel on the nights of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. You can use any astronomy software to see for yourself.
But it gets even more amazing than this. I discovered that Jupiter had been undergoing retrograde in Gemini and first entered the constellation on June 15, 32 AD, around the time of Christ’s 33rd birthday. During its retrograde motion, Jupiter travels from Castor to Pollux and then back to Castor and then back to Pollux again, which symbolizes that it is Christ who restored fellowship between God and man.
Jesus’ Ascension: Thursday, May 14, 33 AD
The Bible says Jesus remained on earth for 40 days following His resurrection (Acts 1:3), so Jesus would have ascended to Heaven on Thursday, May 14, 33 AD. Amazingly this is right at the time Jupiter finally leaves the constellation Gemini, symbolizing that Jesus’ visitation to mankind was coming to an end. Jupiter had been in Gemini for exactly 333 days.
Let’s now put this incredible picture together: Jesus died on April 3, 33 AD, at the age of 33, and His Passion was symbolized in the sky over a period of exactly 333 days, a sign that began on or around His 33rd birthday. Only God could orchestrate something like that.
Conception Of The Church: Sunday, May 24, 33 AD (Pentecost)
Pentecost is 50 days (inclusive) of First Fruits and always falls on a Sunday (the day after the Sabbath), so we can easily pinpoint Sunday, May 24, 33 AD as the actual date of Pentecost. It was on this day that Jesus, who is now reigning in Heaven, sends the promised Holy Spirit to indwell the Church. This indwelling is the permanent seal of our future redemption (Ephesians 1:13, 4:30).
The Holy Spirit came upon Mary at Jesus’ conception (Luke 1:35), not His birth, so we can make a strong case that the Church was conceived on Pentecost, not born. The Church is now alive and well, but has been gestating for two millennia. What happens next is the actual birth of the Church when what we are to be is finally revealed and when we finally “see the light” (1 John 3:2).
Revelation 12 pictures the future birth of the corporate Church and its rapture to Heaven (Revelation 12:1-5).
Source: The Gospel In The Stars
You lived the life I could never live,
You died the death that I deserve,
You rose to life and now You live,
That's how You forgive!
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