f we’re to follow the example of Jesus and be faithful in giving our lives for others, shouldn’t we also be informed about the actual events of his death? What we believe about Jesus’ death is important. It determines how we live our lives, who we spend them with, and how we view the world.

When Did Jesus Live?

The first century was a tumultuous time, with many historians and writers documenting the history of the times. We know, for example, that Herod the great reigned from 37 BC to 4 BC. We also know Pontius Pilate reigned from 26 AD to 36 AD, as evidenced by coins that were minted during his reign. We know from historical records and Roman architecture that great Jewish temples still existed in Jerusalem at that time.

As we read through the gospels and other New Testament writings, we find a number of clues as to when Jesus actually lived.

The Gospels tell us that Jesus was born in the reign of Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1), who died in 4 B.C. So Jesus could have been born any time from about 6 B.C. to 4 B.C. The Gospel of Luke tells us that John the Baptist began his ministry in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3:1). Consequently, for Jesus, the start of his ministry must have begun after that time and lasted no more than three and a half years (Luke 9:7) before he was crucified under Pontius Pilate (Luke 23:13–25) during the reign of Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3:1; Acts 10:37). So according to this information, we can place Jesus' date of birth at about 6 B.C., his ministry around 27–29 when we was “about thirty” or 30 years old (Luke 3:23).

How Old was Jesus when He Died?

The Bible mentions Jesus' death on multiple occasions, but the exact age of when he died isn't mentioned. By reading a few different biblical sources, we can come up with a solid estimate of Jesus' age.

According to the Bible, Jesus was crucified outside of Jerusalem in the year 33 CE. There are multiple biblical sources that agree on this date and location for the crucifixion. The earliest mention of the crucifixion comes from the gospel of Mark, thought to be written in the 60s CE. This gospel records that Jesus was crucified on "the third day" following his arrest by Roman soldiers (Mark 15:42).

Matthew, Luke and the gospel of John, all record that Jesus was crucified a few hours before sunset (Matthew 27:45; Luke 23:44; John 19:14). Given the fact that it took time to organize a public execution, prepare the cross, and carry out a complex judicial proceeding like a crucifixion in ancient Rome, it's likely that these gospels place the death of Jesus around noon or early afternoon.

The Crucifixion of Jesus is one of the most well-documented events in human history. The exact date of the crucifixion and time are recorded by four independent sources: Jewish historian Josephus, Roman historian Tacitus, Jewish philosopher Phlegon and Christian apologist Justin Martyr All four accounts agree on the year of Jesus' timetable of death -- 26 - 36 AD.

Why Did Jesus Die for our Sins?

The doctrine of the atonement is one of the most important doctrines in Christianity because it answers the question “why did Jesus die for our sins?”. This question is central to the Christian faith. Not only does this doctrine tell us what God has done for us in Christ, it also tells us who we are in Christ. If Jesus Christ didn't die for our sins, then we are still in our sins and there is no salvation for us.

If you know that you have sinned against a holy and righteous God, then how can you stand before God on the Day of Judgement? You cannot! That's why Jesus had to die on the cross, so that He could be our substitute on the cross, bearing all of our punishment and wrath.

God sent His Son to be the sacrifice for our sins. We deserved death because we broke God's law. But God loved us so much that He sent His Son to take our place on the cross where He bore all of our punishment and wrath. When Jesus was crucified on the cross it was a substitutionary death; He died instead of us.

How Should We Live in Light of Jesus’ Death?

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

The way we used to live is nailed to the cross with Jesus. He died in our place and paid for our sins. We are no longer condemned to a life of sin. The old way of living is dead, so we can now walk in the newness of life.

For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10)

Through faith in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection we experience newness of life. We have peace with God because his anger toward us over our sin has been dealt with through Jesus’ death on the cross. We have been restored into God's family because Jesus has brought us back into relationship with him (Eph. 2:13). We have received a new identity as children of God (Gal. 3:26-28).
We now live a new life that is not based on what we do or don't do but rather on what Jesus has done for us (Rom 6:1-14; Col. 2:20-23). Jesus died between two criminals, so that we may live. This is the foundation of the gospel.

Nov 23, 2021

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