How Old Was Jesus When He Died On The Cross?

christian35_300x300The exact age of Jesus was when he died on the cross is unknown but he was probably around 33 years of age. This age is derived from the Birth of Jesus, His Baptism, and Christ’s crucifixion.

 

THE BIRTH

Christ was born before Herod the Great’s death (Matthew 2). In looking at the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke one would need to conclude that Christ was born of Mary within a year or two of Herod’s death.

 

JESUS’ BAPTISM

Jesus was baptized to enter into the Melchizedek priesthood. In Matthew 3:13-15 it says, “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. ‘” Jesus got baptized to fulfill all righteousness.

This fulfillment was in reference to the Old Testament requirements for being a priest, which among them was being the minimum age of 30. “from thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Num. 4:3).

This is fulfilled in the Scriptures at Luke 3:21-23, “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli .”

 

HIS CRUCIFIXION

The date of the crucifixion of Christ has been greatly debated. Scholars have dated it anywhere from A.D. 21 to 36.

In order to attempt to come to a date, one must examine all the evidence at hand. First, it was seen that the officials at Christ’s trial were Caiaphas and Pilate who were in office simultaneously from A.D. 26 to 36. This eliminates the A.D. 21 date. Next in examining the day of crucifixion, it was concluded that it occurred on Friday, Nisan 14. With the help of astronomy the only possible years on which Friday, Nisan 14 occurred were A.D. 27, 30, 33, and 36. One can eliminate A.D. 27 and 36 when one looks at the ministry of Christ, leaving only A.D. 30 and 33 as feasible dates. However, upon further examining the evidence of astronomy and the life of Christ the most viable date for the death of Christ was A.D. 33. This date is confirmed when one looks into history for it not only fills several passages of the gospels with meaning but it also prevents the charge that the gospels are inaccurate in some parts of the passion narrative.

 

AFTER “THE FIFTEEN YEAR OF TIBERIUS CAESAR”

“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee… the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.” [Luke 3:1-2]

Since all four gospels depict the ministry of Christ beginning after that of John the Baptist had begun (Matthew 3,Mark 1, Luke 3, John 1), this means that we can shave a few more years off our range. The death of Christ had to be in a range of seven years: between A.D. 29 and 36.

 

Sources and Authors: The Bible, Bible.org, CARM.org, NCRegister.com