Until The Shout

Jesus is our Passover Lamb!

18.04.2014

Blog

Christians have long recognized Good “Friday” as the day our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was crucified. The Friday tradition is largely based on the misunderstanding of the Scripture saying the next day was the “Sabbath” and the day after that the “first day of the week”. (Matt 28:1; Mark 16:42; Luke 23:54-56; John 20:1) Therefore the obvious assumption is that the “Sabbath” was Saturday with Sunday following and Friday preceding.

The Bible tells us that Jesus’ body was taken down from the cross because the following day was the “Sabbath”. It also tells us that He rose again on the “first day of the week”. Therefore Jesus must have been crucified on Friday, in the grave on Saturday, and rose again on Sunday.

The Scriptures state plainly that Jesus was in the grave for three days and rose again on the “third day”. Despite the fact that, no matter how we count we can’t get three days between Friday at sun down and the following Sunday morning, the Friday tradition has always held firm.

Incidentally, the point here is not to upset our traditions per say or to formally change the day we recognize the Crucifixion. What is most important is that we do in fact recognize what Jesus did for us. That He, by God’s will and His love for us, sent His only Son to die for us thereby paying the price for our own sins. And that He rose again on the third day demonstrating that His sacrifice was sufficient and complete. Jesus, having died once for all, defeated death eternally, made forgiveness for our sins available to us through faith, therefore granting us eternal life in Him. That is what is most important for us to understand, not just in head but in heart!

The point here is simply to bring clarity to the Scriptures and to provide understanding of what seems to be the paradox in Scripture. Jesus was simply not crucified on Friday! A better review of Scripture and a better understanding of Leviticus 23 (yes, that valuable book that so few care to even read, let alone study!) will exposed the truth.

Let’s start with fact that Jesus was crucified on Passover (John 13:1; 13:29; 18:28; 18:39; Matt 27:15). First of all, while “Passover” did involve a specific meal, the term “Passover” also referred to the collective series of feasts that made up the Passover week. This was actually three separate feast meals. 1) the Passover meal. 2) the Feast of Unleavened Bread 3) the Feast of the First Fruits.

The Passover meal was eaten the evening before (Exodus 12). The feast of Unleavened Bread was eaten the next day. The Feast of the First Fruits was eaten on the first day of the week after the first (temporal) Sabbath after Passover. The order of events for Passover are given in Leviticus 23. It is God’s instruction for the ceremonies that will commemorate for future generations the events in Exodus 12 – 14. Passover is always the 14th day of the month and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the 15th. The point being these days land during the week most of the time. A little history tells us that these “Festival Sabbaths” or feast days were called “High Days” or “High Sabbaths” to distinguish them from temporal Sabbaths in conversation and reference. Understanding Leviticus 23 is critical here since clearly there are other Sabbaths besides Saturday.

OK. Now that the stage is set, let’s raise the curtain and watch as the events of the Passion Week A.D. 33 unfold before us…

KEY 1 – John 12:1 : Jesus travels from Jericho to Bethany “six days before the Passover”. If Jesus was crucified on Passover, and we know He was, and this was a Friday as the tradition holds, then six days earlier would have been the previous Saturday, the weekly temporal Sabbath. Jesus being an obedient Jew would have traveled no more than roughly half a mile that day, a Sabbath’s day journey. The distance from Jericho to Bethany is several miles. Jesus would never have made this trip on Saturday. Therefore six days later could not have been Friday! Jesus made this trip before Saturday, rested on the Sabbath, then on the first day of the week, Palm Sunday, road from Bethany across the Mount of Olives and into Jerusalem. The Passover meal would have been eaten late Wednesday evening (using our civil clock) but this would have officially been Thursday given that the Jewish day is from sunset to sunset. Then Passover would have been the day of Thursday and the day Jesus was crucified. It would have also been the preparation day for the Feast of Unleavened Bread the next day.

KEY 2 – John 19:31 confirms the above and also clarifies for us that these were “high day” Sabbaths not temporal Sabbaths. The day after the crucifixion was a Sabbath but it was not Saturday!

KEY 3 – Matthew 28:1 in the Greek clearly describes Mary and Mary Magdalene coming to the tomb “After the Sabbaths…”, plural. The English translation is here is just plain wrong leaving the “s” off of “Sabbaths”. Discovering this again confirms there was not just one Sabbath, i.e. Saturday, between the crucifixion and Sunday, “the first day of the week” but multiple Sabbaths. The Feast of Unleavened Bread would have been the first and the temporal Sabbath would have been the second.

Once again, we see the Biblical record is clear and provides us with all we need to see clearly. Yet many see dimly preserving the traditions of men.

John 20:1; Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1 – Jesus rose from the grave on the “first day of the week”. This was the first day after the first temporal Sabbath after the Passover which made it the Feast of the First Fruits. Jesus rose as the First Fruits of the first resurrection. He is our First Fruits, (1 Corinthians 15:20 & 23; Revelation 20:6) and like Him, we will one day rise again! : ) (Romans 8:11)

Until the Shout!