The Messiah & Can a Man Tell God What to Do?

by Michael Heiss & Fred Coulter

18 January, 2014 ( Spring Holy Days )

Special Letter

Jesus' Crucifixion and the Calculated Hebrew Calendar

By Dwight Blevins

Just like any fact of scripture, all information, rightly handled, is cumulative, adding one fact upon another to finally arrive at a conclusion of truth.

Planned for perhaps hundreds, thousands, or even millions of years, before the foundation of the earth, it was apparently determined that Passover, in the year of the crucifixion, had to fall on Wednesday.

Given this requirement, one might assume that a very likely, uncomplicated scenario would be set up with calendar declarations, so this event would have minimal room for error, right? Not so, it seems, for the most narrow of probabilities was chosen--a year and date that could maximize the possibility of error, yet the timing of the 62 weeks, Jesus' ministry, and the week, day and year of His death was pulled off in a flawless manner, fulfilling many of the most important prophecies in the history of the universe.

Here's the point. All declarations of Tishri 1, which occur on the weekday of Tuesday, are pretty unique. Such declarations, falling on Tuesday, occur only for years of 354 or 384 days. These are the average numbers for the lengths of the common 12 month, and the 7 thirteen month interlace of leap years of the 19 year Metonic cycle.

Many of us are creatures of habit. Often, when we think of 30 AD and the year of the crucifixion, we first focus on the day of Trumpets, 30 AD, then in mind, backtrack to the Wednesday Passover, almost 6 months earlier-- Passover always falling 3 days earlier in the week, compared to the day of Trumpets at the outset of the 7th month.

Nothing necessarily wrong with this mindset, except that when we do this sort of thing, technically we are moving in reverse order of the fact. That is, the Hebrew calendar calculations run on a counting method aligned with the civil year, which, with respect to any Passover, bears reference not to the successive day of Trumpets, almost 6 months later, but to the day of Trumpets which occurred in the fall of the solar year before. So, it is really the previous day of Trumpets which sets the cadence of the CHC, not Tishri 1, which follows later, almost 6 months after the day of the Passover.

Then, in the sense of a civil year, according to progression of the Appointed Times, Passover day becomes the 5th Appointed Time, and not the 1st, as we oft view Nisan 14. From this perspective, Pentecost becomes the 8th Appointed Time, always following the days of the 8th course of Abia.

Jesus, in 30 AD, having been seen by His disciples for 40 days, on Thursday, the 27th of Iyar, the 44th day of His crucifixion, returned to the heavens, to begin serving as High Priest, just two days before the service of the 8th course began, Sabbath, Iyar 29.

Now, while there are 3 possible configurations of the lunar year which may produce a Wednesday Passover day, the least likely of all options fell upon the timing of the years, 29 and 30 AD. Passover had to fall on Wednesday, 30 AD, otherwise the prophecy of the 3 days/3 nights would not stand, the day of the WaveSheaf would be off, with the count to Pentecost falling apart. It is worth nothing that virtually all important, prophetic times seem to be ordered by the number 4, the day of the half week (Wednesday) of the 7 day weekly cycle. And, so it was in 30 AD, when 28 separate prophecies were fulfilled on the day of Jesus' crucifixion, a day determined by the calculated Hebrew calendar.

Yet, a declaration on Tuesday, 29 AD, had only an 11.5% probability of occurrence, the lowest percentage of all days declared for Tishri 1--a day which would directly determine the day of the Passover for the spring of 30 AD. But, that's just where the complication begins. Not only was Tishri 1, 29 AD declared by postponement, forcing the declaration to Tuesday, that particular year, as such, also had to be a year of 354 days, else Passover, the next spring, would not occur on Wednesday.

Yet, that's only the second of many complications, necessary to insure that Passover would be declared on Wednesday, 30 AD. The next hurdle is that a 384 day year can also begin on Tuesday, which occurs 5.26%, or 1/19th of the time. Therefore, since only years of 354 or 384 days may begin on Tuesday, the sum of the 384 and 354 day years, amounting to 11.5%, leaves us with the fact that 11.5 - 5.26 = a mere 6.24% chance that Trumpets, 29 AD would be so declared in order that Passover in 30 AD would fall on Wednesday. This is a very narrow window of opportunity.

On Monday, September 25, 29 AD, the astronomical conjunction of Tishri, Jerusalem time, fell at about 2:11 pm in the afternoon (12:11 UT). Thus, no chance whatsoever that the first crescent moon could occur just a few hours later at sunset, which fact prohibited a declaration by observation.

The molad of Tishri occurred even later in the day, falling at about 5:31 pm, Jerusalem time, late Monday afternoon, very near the close of the day and within less than a half hour of the juncture of Elul/Tishri of that year. Therefore, with the molad calculation well past noon, by postponement rules, the next day, Tuesday, 29 AD was declared the day of Trumpets, strictly by calculation alone, as any visual of a crescent would have been an impossibility at sunset, Monday eve, as Trumpets began.

So, are we done with the complications of such declarations and requirements to assure a Wednesday Passover, 30 AD? Not quite, there's yet more to add. In order for Trumpets, 29 AD to occur in the necessary configuration to produce a Wednesday Passover day, the previous year had to be a leap year, moving the first month of the new year to a month and molad time, which would cause the declaration to rightly fall on a required day of the week, enabling a Wednesday Passover the following year.

Therefore, this tells us that a strict cyclical cadence of the 19 year cycles had already been in place and functional, long before the time of Jesus' birth and ministry. The 8th year of the 19 year cycle, 28/29 AD was a leap year, and Tishri 1, 29 AD was declared day one of the 9th civil year of the Metonic, the year of Jesus' death--a civil year of 354 days.

No wiggle room in any of this, if calendar rules, as we know them, were in force. The bottom line, from a human perspective, this was the worst possible choice and scenario, which would encourage the possibility of error, yet, again, regarding timing, a book perfect example of how God orders His plan. What He has predetermined will always happen, with exact precision, seeing He is able to declare the end from the beginning. Based on the set up of the declaration of Trumpets, 29 AD, there was a 93.76% possibility of error, yet everything passed through the narrow, 6.24% window of time, just as God had planned.

Therefore, despite many obstacles to the contrary, Tishri 1, 29 AD, by the fact of the 19 year leap year patterns, coupled with postponement rules, this Appointed Time was proclaimed in such a way that the following Passover of 30 AD fell on Wednesday, fulfilling every requirement of the word of God and the gospel accounts.