PART 1 OF 2
Everything happened according to the Sanctuary Plan
Ex 12:5, 6:
“Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall KILL IT IN THE EVENING”
In the evening] “BETWEEN THE TWO EVENINGS” The Jews divided the day into morning and evening: till the sun passed the meridian all was morning or fore-noon; after that, all was afternoon or evening. Their first evening began just after twelve o’clock, and continued till sunset; their second evening began at sunset and continued till night, i.e., during the whole time of twilight; between twelve o’clock, therefore, and the termination of twilight, the Passover was to be offered. Bear in mind we are talking about the killing and not the confirmation of the lamb and its bringing forth to be killed. There is a vast difference between the lamb being identified, through interrogation by Pilate, giving it over for crucifixion, crucifixion and the death of the lamb.
The day among the Jews had twelve hours, John 11:9. Their first hour was about six o’clock in the morning with us. Their sixth hour was our noon. Their ninth hour answered to our three o’clock in the afternoon. By this we may understand that the time in which Christ was crucified began at the third hour, that is, at nine o’clock in the morning, the ordinary time for the daily morning sacrifice, and ended at the ninth hour, that is, three o’clock in the afternoon, the time of the evening sacrifice, Mark 15:25, 33, 34, 37. Wherefore their ninth hour was their hour of prayer, when they used to go into the temple at the daily evening sacrifice, Ac 3:1; and this was the ordinary time for the Passover. It is worthy of remark that God sets no particular hour for the killing of the Passover: any time between the two evenings, 12-6pm [sixth hour-twelfth hour] i.e., between twelve o’clock in the day and the termination of twilight, was lawful. The daily sacrifice (Exodus 29:38, 39) was offered in the morning between 6-9 and the evening between 12-3. Jesus death then as the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world and the Passover lamb cold happen between 9am-3pm and still be lawful. So how then do we solve the discrepancy of Mark and John?
Dividing the day into four quarters, three hours to each quarter, it was in the third of them, wherein they crucified him.
6-9 = First Hour
9-12 = Third Hour
12 – 3 = Sixth Hour
3 – 6 = Ninth Hour
Mark says, Mar_15:25, that it was the third hour. As in ancient times all the numbers were written in the manuscripts not at large but in numeral letters, it was easy for Γ three, to be mistaken for Ϛ six.
As observed, the Jews divided their night into four watches, of three hours each. Christ having been nailed to the cross a little about mid-day, Joh_19:14-16, Joh_19:17, and having expired about three o’clock, Mar_15:34, the whole business of the crucifixion was finished within the space of this third division of the day, which Mark calls here the third hour. Commentators and critics have found it very difficult to reconcile this third hour of Mark, with the sixth hour of John, Joh_19:14. It is supposed that the true reading, in Joh_19:14, should be τριτη, the third, instead of ἑκτη the sixth; a mistake which might have readily taken place in ancient times, when the character γ gamma, which was put for τριτη, three, might have been mistaken for Ϛ episema, or sigma tau, which signifies six. And τριτη, the third, instead of ἑκτη, the sixth, is the reading of some very eminent MSS. in the place in question, Joh_19:14.
PART 2 OF 2
It was the third hour, and they crucified him.
And it was now the third hour of the day, or nine o’clock in the morning, when they thus brought him to Mount Calvary; and there, when all things were made ready, about the sixth hour, they nailed his hands and his feet to the cross, and crucified him. Why should this transaction take such long and some seeming contradictions? The rulers must have been very early and active in their proceedings to have got through so much business, and to have surmounted so many difficulties, by that hour. It would be better to look at what other synopsis have to say.
Matthew 27:45; Luke 23:44;
Matthew 27:45: Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
Luke 23:44: And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
The last examination before the Jewish rulers took place at daybreak, three hours intervened, during which occurred the examinations before Pilate and Herod. The accounts of Matthew and Luke accord with that of Mark in regard to the time of the darkness, and thus support the accuracy of Mark and reconcile with John. About the sixth hour (Joh_19:14) this was the final effort of Pilate to release Jesus. So Christ was crucified in the third hour, between 9-12. About the sixth hour is between the third and the sixth [9-12] hence removing the discrepancy. Then, when it reached the sixth hour , darkness occurred. About the events of such a day these two men could not make a mistake. With memories so correct about such minute details, they could not possibly forget precisely when Christ was crucified. There was no collusion between the two writers.
Mark agrees with the other evangelists about the darkness which was at the sixth hour, the time of Christ’s crucifixion, Mar_15:33 and it is to be remarked, that he does not say that it was the third hour “when” they crucified him, or that they crucified him at the third hour; but it was the third hour, “and” they crucified him, It was the time of day, in the divisions of time, and they crucified him.
Last thing, may I add as a side note that reading between the lines John 19:19-22, am tempted to believe that Pilate even tried to rescue Jesus after crucifixion. That inscription is provoking. But if you call me a heretic on this, I won’t deny.