Some brethren believe that Christ had to have been crucified on Thursday. Is this possible? No, I don’t believe the Scriptures allow for this anymore than they do for a Friday crucifixion. One reason would be that six days before the Passover Holy Day (John 12:1) would mean Jesus left Jerusalem and entered Bethany on the weekly Sabbath. This was forbidden by the law. Moreover, the people he cast out of the Temple would have been doing business on the Sabbath and this could not have occurred. Another reason would be that Nisan 15, the day after the crucifixion, was the Sabbath Holy Day and it would have occurred on Friday with the next day being the 7th day Sabbath. A Thursday Crucifixion would cause back to back Sabbaths to occur. This is not scriptural, because, if we have two Sabbaths in the same week coming one after the other, when would the women buy the spices to anoint the body of Jesus? When would they have the time to prepare those spices without breaking the Law governing the Sabbath Days (cp. Mark 16:1 and Luke 23:54-56)?
A Thursday crucifixion is based on the belief that Jesus came up from Jericho to Jerusalem (Mark 11:11), looked around, and because it was turning toward evening, He left to spend the Sabbath at Bethany (John 12:1). This, however, cannot be reconciled with the Scriptures. First of all, a comparison of the entries in Matthew 21 with that of Mark 11 and John 12 show that there were at least two occasions that week wherein Jesus entered Jerusalem sitting upon a colt amid shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David.” On both occasions he cast out those who bought and sold, and none of this could have occurred on a Sabbath day. Furthermore, John 12:1 says that Christ came to Bethany six days before the Passover Feast. Bethany is twice as far as a Sabbath Day’s journey (see my earlier blog on a Sabbath day’s Journey), indicating that Jesus had to arrive at Bethany before the Sabbath began. The sixth day cannot be a Sabbath, because Martha prepared a meal. She could not do this on the Sabbath day, which would be the sixth day before the Passover Sabbath day with a Thursday crucifixion.
Consider the fact that Martha prepared a meal for Jesus. How did she know when he would arrive? The signal for Martha to prepare for her guest had to have been when the disciples came to pick up the colt. Otherwise, how would she have known that Jesus was coming? The sixth day refers not to the weekly Sabbath but to the day before the Sabbath. Therefore, if the sixth day before Passover is not the weekly Sabbath day, then the crucifixion could not have occurred on Thursday. Yet, there must be a Sabbath day somewhere within the six-day period if the Friday crucifixion is ruled out. The only way a Thursday crucifixion could agree with the Scriptures concerning this six-day period is if there was only one entry into Jerusalem on a colt, and only one time amid shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David…” This, however, has already been proven otherwise. Remember, the first entry Jesus came from Jericho (Luke 19:1, 11, 28), while the second was from Bethany (Mark 11:11-12). During the first entry the people in Jerusalem wondered who Jesus was (Matthew 21:10). For the second entry those in the city came out to meet him (John 12:12-13). At the first entry Jesus sent two disciples with specific directions into a small village to get an ass and her colt (Luke 19:28-35), while for the second the disciples brought the colt to Jesus at Bethany when they found it (John 12:1, 12-16), implying it was let loose for the Sabbath day as the Law demands. Therefore, because the Scriptures demand at least two entries into Jerusalem on a colt, a Thursday crucifixion would begin the events of our Lord’s final week, seven days prior to the Passover Holy Day and not six as shown in John 12:1. Moreover, just as is the case of a Friday crucifixion, there is no time after the crucifixion and before the resurrection in which the women could buy and prepare spices to anoint Jesus. They had to have been able to buy the spices after the Passover Holy Day, which was a Sabbath (Mark 16:1) and prepare the spices and afterward rest on the Sabbath, according to the commandment (Luke 23:56), referring to the seventh day Sabbath. Therefore, a Thursday, like the Friday crucifixion, is unscriptural.