The Bible doesn’t provide Jesus’ exact birth or death dates. Since we can’t say what his exact age was when he was crucified, the best approach would be to make an educated guess based on various historical facts.
To estimate Jesus’ age, we can start with studying Roman history that is spoken of in the Bible. We can also try looking at Jesus’ timeline as per the prophecies of Daniel in the Old Testament.
“How Old Was Jesus When He Died?” has often been a question that comes up, as we want to know its value compared to our own life. Was he in the best years of his life then? Or was he weakened by age?
At some point, we would have thoughts about our own mortality, and it would help us to be able to identify with Jesus. Let us be reminded of the resurrection during these times.
How Do We Determine Jesus’ Age When He Died?
“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,”
For Jesus to teach in the Temple area in Jerusalem, he would have had to have ancestral credentials. Luke 1:5 speaks of Elizabeth, a daughter of Aaron, whom his mother Mary was cousins with. This family connection allowed Jesus to preach in the Temple.
Numbers 4:3 lays out the guidelines to the Jewish priesthood as to when a man begins his full ministry – thirty years old:
“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.”
Considering all the details we have studied, we think he would have been around 33 years old when he was crucified.
A Timeline of Jesus’ Ministry
- John baptized Jesus in the River Jordan.
- After Jesus was baptized, he took part in John’s ministry and came to the realization that he was whom God intended to be the Savior.
- The first part of Jesus’ ministry: he travelled from Capernaum in Galilee to neighboring towns and performed miracles – he raised the dead, healed the sick, calmed the seas and winds, and casted out evil spirits.
- Jesus gathered a small group of 12 disciples (or “apostles”) to help him in his ministry.
- He gave them special teaching, and so that they could understand fully who he was, he shared some of his deepest religious experiences with them.
- Jesus left Galilee and returned to Jerusalem, as his ministry was being opposed by many. Also, he knew that one of his disciples was turning against him.
- He gathered his 12 disciples together for a final meal, the Last Supper. He explained why his death was necessary – it would establish a new covenant between God and man.
- He took bread and wine, blessed it, and gave it to his disciples saying, “’This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me’” (1 Corinthians 11:24–26). Christians pay respect and bow to these words during the celebration of the Holy Communion.
- After the meal, Jesus and his disciples went to Mount of Olives, the place where Judas Iscariot brought men to arrest Jesus.
- Consequently, he was sentenced to death. Pontius Pilate wasn’t sure of what to do, so he consulted the crowd; he gave in and sentenced Jesus to be crucified.
- Jesus was crucified between two convicted thieves. While he was on the cross, Jesus uttered his seven last words: 0 “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” 0 “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” 0 “Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.” 0 “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” 0 “I thirst.” 0 “It is finished.” 0 “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
- When Jesus died, soldiers placed a sign at the top of the cross which said, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”.
- To make sure that Jesus had died, a soldier pierced his side with a spear – blood and water gushed from the wounds.
- That Friday evening, Jesus was taken down from the cross and laid in a tomb. A great stone was rolled across the entrance of the tomb.
- Early Sunday morning, a group of women went to the tomb and found the stone rolled back – Jesus’ body was gone. Christians celebrate this day as Easter Sunday.
- Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and the disciples; the news quickly spread that Jesus returned from the dead.
What Is the Importance of Jesus’ Age When He Died?
Age shouldn’t be a number that just represents how long we have lived. What’s more important is how well we have lived within the time that has been given to us by God.
Each time we pray, it’s helpful to remember Psalm 90:12 which states, “…so teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
As God instructed through Paul (Ephesians 5:15-20):
“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
May we spend our days knowing God more and live a life that brings glory and honor to Him.
“And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count; it’s the life in your years.”
— Edward J. Stieglitz