And why does it matter to us today?
This article looks closely at the time of the Rapture and His reign 7 years later. I want to be clear that we’re not predicting a date of the Rapture. It could happen as you’re reading this, or in 2030, or 2050. We just don’t know for sure.
As we get close to the end of the Church Age, it’s important to understand the exact date Jesus died on the cross because knowing this date helps us narrow down the time of His return.
(Re: God’s Creation Model For Time graphic… It shows the correlation between the seven 24-hour creation days to the earth’s 7000-year timeline for man on earth.)
If Jesus died in 30 AD, and you add 2,000 years for the Church Age (based on the Day/Age Theory), this takes you to 2030 for the Rapture and the end of the Church Age.
But if Jesus died in 33 AD, then you come to 2033 for the end of the Church Age.
Most of those who believe Jesus died on 30 AD use this verse for their reasoning:
When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, Luke 3:23a
The conjecture is that for Jesus to be 30 years old when He began His ministry, and He was born around 4 BC, then His ministry began about 26.5 AD. And therefore would have died about 30 AD.
Those who use the 33 AD death date (which is Compass’ doctrinal belief) argue it’s impossible for Jesus to have died in 30 AD because Passover fell on Tuesday that year.
Plus, Luke didn’t say “30” years old, but rather “about 30.” And that could even be translated to mean “in His 30s.”
In 33 AD Passover fell on Friday, so this date fits like a glove. Jesus would have been crucified on Thursday, the “day of preparation,” which is the day before Passover.
Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), John 19:31
A “high day” is when Passover falls on the day before the Sabbath, creating a two-day holy-day.
Therefore Jesus died on Thursday with the other Passover lambs who were sacrificed. The lambs were cooked on Thursday and consumed that evening after dark on Passover Friday (Jewish days begin at sunset).
So if 33 AD is Jesus’ year of death, and if the Church Age is 2000 years, where does the 7 years of Tribulation fit in? Should we assume the Tribulation FOLLOWS the 2000-year-long Church Age, since it’s a separate dispensation? Or, is it subtracted out of the end of the Church Age or the beginning of Jesus’ Millennial Reign?
Well, it’s easy to see that the 7-year Tribulation is not part the 1000-year Reign of Christ because six times in six verses (Rev. 20:2-7) God says His Reign will be 1000 years long. That settles that.
So that leaves us with only two possibilities: The Tribulation is the last 7 years of the Church Age or follows the Church Age.
If the Church Age is 2000 years long, and the Tribulation replaces the last 7 years, then we simply add 1993 years to the year of Jesus death—30 AD or 33 AD—to come up with a rough time of the Rapture.
So, again, you can see due to the lateness of the hour, it’s important to know the correct year of Jesus’ death.
If Jesus died in 30 AD, that would point to the Rapture happening in 2030, or 2023 if the Tribulation is subtracted.
If Jesus died in 33 AD then the Rapture would be in 2033, or 2026 if the Tribulation is subtracted.
Again, none of those dates are predictions. I’m just adding up what we know.
And it’s worth noting that for Jesus’ first coming, His day of arrival as Messiah on the foal of a donkey had been prophesied 173,880 days prior.(2)
Knowing this, Jesus stopped the colt on the top of the Mount of Olives and wept. Actually the Greek word used here means “sobbed.” He was crying because they should have known Bible prophecy said the Messiah was arriving on that specific day.
Therefore Jesus holds us accountable for knowing Bible prophecy. It’s VERY sad that a lot of churches avoid like the plague teaching any Bible prophecy. They’re avoiding about 30% of scripture! 😡
And it’s worth noting again that the Rapture could happen anytime—today, tomorrow, 2026, 2050. We won’t know for sure until we get our two-minute warning.(1)
Not Knowing The Day?
Jesus did tell His disciples, who were living in a different dispensation/time period, that no one will know the specific day nor the specific hour.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Matt. 24:36
Notice also that verse says that even Jesus didn’t know the day of His return! This is because Jesus said this pre-cross, before He died and rose again. But that didn’t preclude them knowing the year.
After the cross, in Revelation 5, we see Jesus qualifying to receive all knowledge, and it was given to Him.
“…behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” Rev 5:5b
So we see that today Jesus certainly knows His date of return. And He inspired Paul to write to you and me these encouraging verses:
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day [of the Rapture] would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober [watchful]. 1Th. 5:4-6
And even more important, God inspired Paul to follow up with a concluding point regarding those living near the end of the age who will be watching so many ancient prophecies being fulfilled.
God has not destined us for wrath [in the Tribulation]….[therefore] encourage one another and build up one another, 1Thes. 5: 9,11
We’re encouraged today because we clearly see that our Rescuer is at the door. We’re living at the time when the chosen generation will not die but will be changed into our new digs in a split-second. Gives me chills thinking about it!!