One question frequently arises because we want to know its worth in comparison to our own life. How old was Jesus when he died? Was he a kid? Was he a young man? Has he weakened by age and the responsibilities of a long life? It allows us to identify with Jesus in some way at this time. As we consider our mortality, his humanity cries out to us from the threshold of death.
In these moments, never forget the resurrection. It also belongs to you. Scholars have long assumed that Jesus was 33 years old when he was crucified.
As Easter approaches, many people may start to wonder about some of the lesser-known facts about Jesus’ life. We’re wondering about his appearance, the clothes he wore, his height and the food he ate. These are natural questions to consider as we consider Jesus’ humanity, especially as we approach the day of his death.
The obvious first step in determining his age is to determine when he was born. But that detail is as blurry as mud.
How Do We Know Jesus’ Age?
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There are no verses that tell us how old was Jesus when he died? We have verses that tell us how old he was when he did certain things, as well as cultural expectations of his faith community regarding life milestones.
When he began his ministry and how long he was in ministry until his death is the ones to look for about his death. We need to know when he was born first. This has been estimated to be between the years four and zero BC.
According to Luke 3:23, Jesus was around thirty when he began his ministry (26-30 AD) and was in ministry for three years, putting Jesus’ death between 29 and 33 AD. Circumcision, Temple redemption, Bar-Mitzvah and reaching majority age would have been other significant events in Jesus’ life (20 years old).
What Were Some of Jesus’ Childhood Milestones?
When attempting to determine how old was Jesus when he died? We must consider what is described in Hebrews 4:15. He was entirely innocent. According to the Law of Moses, he was perfect in the context of his Jewish upbringing.
If he was perfect according to Moses’ Law, it means that the Law’s expectations for community life were met satisfactorily. This means that if we look carefully, we can track some of his life milestones and create a rough timeline for his life. Here are some examples from the Bible:
Circumcision at 8 days old (Luke 2:21).The Mosaic Law required this of all males. Circumcision is a sign of God’s covenant with Abraham, as well as the initiation of a male child into the life of the Jewish faith. A boy cannot be a member of this faith community unless he is circumcised ritually.
Temple performance (Luke 2:22).This was done for the purification ritual forty days after birth. This served several functions. The ritual that declared the child (Jesus) clean after coming into contact with his mother’s blood during childbirth was the first. This was also the ritual in which the mother (Mary) was declared ritually clean after the uncleanness caused by childbirth. This was also the redemption ceremony because Jesus was the firstborn male.