Sunday, 23 March 2008 00:00

Calvary's Clock

John 7:6

Early in His ministry, when the Jews were seeking to kill him, Jesus said to his brothers and sisters, "My time has not yet come."

Luke 4:29

When the people of Nazareth became upset with Jesus for His teaching in the synagogue "they sought to throw him off a cliff," but "he passed right through them" for His time had not yet come. Immediately after this he was acclaimed as "The Son of God," but he rebuked those who said it. Why? His time had not yet come.

Matthew 16:21

at Caesarea Philippi, in the third year of Jesus' public ministry, when Peter proclaimed, "Thou art the Christ, the son of the Living God," Jesus "from that time forth began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem... and be killed."

Luke 9:51

"When the time was come he steadfastly set his face toward Jerusalem."

Matthew 26:18

"My time is at hand," Jesus said the week of His death.

It is almost as if Jesus had a clock in his head. He was keeping time. Calvary had a clock. How do you and I keep time? We keep time by the hour, the day, the month, and the year. How did Jesus keep time? It revolved around a calendar, Israel's festivals, and His death.

  1. Calvary's clock is seen in the Jewish calendar.
    A calendar is a system of organizing units of time for the purpose of reckoning time over extended periods. The word calendar is from the Latin and means, "to call attention to the new moon." The months began with the new moon. It takes 29 1/2 days for the moon to complete her lunar cycle around the earth. The Jewish calendar consists of 12 lunar months, with the odd numbered months consisting of 30 days and the even numbered months consisting of 29 days. That makes only 354, not 365 days. Every two to three years there would be an additional month added to the calendar.
  2. Calvary's clock is seen in the Jewish celebrations.
    These celebrations were called Feasts, Festivals, yearly Sabbaths, Holy Days, etc. There were seven of them (all listed in Leviticus 23) and all occurred during only three weeks. It was law for all Jewish males to keep the feasts by traveling to Jerusalem three times a year.
    1. Nisan(March/April)Feast of Passover, Unleavened Bread and Sheaf of Firstfruits.
    2. Sivan(May/June)—Fifty days later, they would come again for the Feast of Pentecost.
    3. Tisri(September/October)Feast of Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles.
    4. Passover—a lamb was slain on Nisan 14 (Leviticus 23:5) so judgment would pass over.
    5. Unleavened Bread—flat cakes of grain with no leaven (or yeast) were eaten. All leaven (a picture of sin) was removed from the house on Nisan 15.
    6. Sheaf of Firstfruits—a sheaf (bundle) of grain was waved before the Lord on the day after the Sabbath (Leviticus 23:11) during Passover week as an expression of faith that the harvest to come would be blessed by God as well (I Corinthians 15:20).
  3. Calvary's clock is seen in the Jewish Christ.
    When the time had come for Jesus to die, He followed Calvary's clock. He died on Passover for you to escape judgment, He took your sins away and went to the tome during Unleavened Bread, and He rose on Firstfruits guaranteeing your blessings!
    1. Don't stumble over laws, embrace Christ... "Let no man judge you" (Colossians 2:16).
    2. Every day for the believer is a celebration of the resurrection power of Christ.


God may thunder His commands from Mount Sinai and men may fear, yet remain at heart exactly as they were before. But let a man once see his God down in the arena as a Man—suffering, tempted, sweating, and agonized, finally dying a criminal's death—and he is a hard man indeed who is untouched." (J.B. Phillips)

Nisan 10
Nisan 11
Nisan 12
Nisan 13
Last Supper,
then arrest,
Preparation for Passover

Nisan 14
Nisan 15
Nisan 16
Nisan 17
& burial
Body lies in the tomb three
days and three nights. Rises
from the dead early in the day
Feast of
Feast of
John 19:31
Feast of
the Sheaf

There were two Sabbaths during Passover week: the High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread (Friday) and the regular Jewish Sabbath (Saturday). Matthew 28:1, "Now after the Sabbaths, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulcher." The word Sabbath in Matthew 28:1 is plural.

  • NISAN (30 days)—The first month of the Jewish year, corresponding to our March/April. Prior to the Jewish Exile, it was called Abib. This is the month of which God makes mention in Exodus 12:1, "This month shall be the beginning of months for you." It was during this month that the Feast of Passover, Unleavened Bread and Sheaf of Firstfruits occurred—all in one week called Passover week.
  • IJAR (29 days)—The second month of the Jewish lunar calendar and it corresponds to our April/May.
  • SIVAN (30 days)—the third month of the Jewish lunar calendar and it corresponds to our May/June. Within this month occurred the Festival of Pentecost, fifty days after the Feast of the Sheaf of Firstfruits.
  • TAMUZ (29 days)—the fourth month of the Jewish lunar calendar corresponding to our June/July.
  • AB (30 days)—the fifth month of the Jewish lunar calendar corresponding to our July/August.
  • ELUL (29 days)—the sixth month of the Jewish lunar calendar corresponding to our August/September.
  • TISRI (30 days)—sometimes called Ethanim and the seventh month of the Jewish lunar calendar corresponding to our September/October. Within this month the Feast of Trumpets, the Feast Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles were all celebrated within a one week period.
  • BUL (29 days)—the eighth month of the Jewish lunar calendar corresponding to our October/November.
  • CHISLEU (30 days)—the ninth month of the lunar calendar corresponding to our November/December.
  • TEBETH (29 days)—the tenth month of the Jewish lunar calendar and the coldest month of the year, corresponding to our December/January.
  • SHEBAT (30 days)—the eleventh month of the Jewish lunar calendar corresponding to our calendar dates of January/February and gradually growing warmer toward the end of the month.
  • ADAR (29 days)—the twelfth month of the Jewish lunar calendar corresponding to our February/March.

Because the Jewish lunar year is shorter than the solar year by 11 days (354 days compared to 365 days), there is added to the Jewish lunar calendar, every two to three years, an additional lunar month called SECOND ADAR. So then, some Jewish years are 12 months while others are 13 months. The additional month is introduced in years 3, 6, 11, 14, 17, and 19 of a nineteen-year cycle.

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