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Sunday, March 24 2013

Why Did The Messiah Observe Passover On Nisan 14?

"He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My Body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me"

At the time of His Sacrifice, why did the Messiah, for the first time in His life, observe Passover on the evening of Nisan 14, rather than Nisan 15? Nisan 14 was the day when the lambs were to be slaughtered, so Passover could be observed on Nisan 15.

Passover

"12:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,

12:2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 12:4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

12:7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 12:8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 12:9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 12:10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. 12:11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover." (Exodus 12:1-11 KJV)

The most-obvious answer was that the Messiah was in His Tomb on Nisan 15, after His being killed at the very same time that the Passover lambs were being sacrificed. He had to observe it on the evening of Nisan 14 (keeping in mind that Biblical calendar days begin at sunset). But as we will read, there is another reason that is, paradoxically, more subtle, but just as apparent.

Nisan 14 is the preparation day for Passover on Nisan 15 - an annual "high day Sabbath." Many people have mistaken the Sabbath that was about to begin when the Messiah died as the weekly Sabbath, but it was the annual Sabbath, Passover - and it wasn't the seventh day of the week (see The Two Sabbaths Of Passover Week and Why Observe The True Sabbath?). After observing Passover with His disciples during the evening before, on Nisan 14 which began at sunset, the Messiah was crucified and died on the daylight part of Nisan 14 - the preparation day for Passover.

"19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!" (John 19:14 KJV)

"19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away." (John 19:31 KJV)

"19:42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand." (John 19:42 KJV)

The Messiah Was "the LORD God" Who Established The Passover Prophecy That He Would Himself Fulfill

The Levitical priesthood was established, by Jesus Christ, after the Exodus (see Leviticus: The Prophecies Of Christianity). At the time of the first Passover, which began the Exodus, the Passover lambs were killed by the head of every household on the afternoon of Nisan 14. They placed the lamb's blood around their doors, and then ate the roasted lamb that evening, after sunset, on Nisan 15 (Biblical days begin and end at sunset). The lambs weren't merely slaughtered; they were also eaten - nothing of the sacrifice was wasted.

"12:1 And the LORD [see The Kingdom Of The LORD God] spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 12:2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.

12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 12:4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.

12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

12:7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

12:8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it." (Exodus 12:1-3 KJV)

That same night, the LORD executed judgment upon those who were not "covered" by the sacrifice, by obeying Him in doing it (see Works Means Obedience and Christ's Mercy Seat).

Passover

"12:11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD's passover.

12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn [see The Firstborn Of Passover] in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.

12:13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt." (Exodus 12:11-13 KJV)

When the Messiah came, He made a startling connection between manna (that He provided to the Israelites as "the LORD God) and the flesh of the Passover lamb i.e. "the bread that I will give is my flesh."

"6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

6:34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 6:36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

6:41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 6:42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

6:43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 6:48 I am that bread of life. 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." (John 6:32-51 KJV)

The Son of God then explained the meanings of, and the connections between, manna and the Passover sacrifice, and the wine that would be used to symbolize His Blood.

"6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever." (John 6:52-58 KJV)

It was not something new or sudden that He did just before His Sacrifice. The Messiah in fact taught it throughout the time of His ministry - so much so that, amazingly, "many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." It was a "hard saying" for many of those who had lived their entire lives observing the symbolism of the observances, without realizing that the observances were a living prophecy of their actual fulfillment, not a fulfillment just in themselves. For some of those who worshipped the practices of their religion rather than truly worshipping the LORD, it was too much, just as the Biblical Truth is sometimes "too much" for some people who claim to be Christian today (see Is Your Religion Your Religion?).

Dawn On The Sea Of Galilee

"6:59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

6:60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 6:61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 6:69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 6:71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve." (John 6:59-71 KJV)

When the day began (i.e. at sunset, the beginning of Nisan 14) on which the Passover lamb was later to be killed (i.e. about 18 hours later, on the afternoon of Nisan 14 - the Christ was crucified at the same time that the Passover lambs were being sacrificed), the Messiah observed Passover in the manner that fulfilled it - and in the way that everyone in the world be observing it in the Kingdom of God after His return. The "flesh" of the Lamb of God that they ate was the bread i.e. "he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me."

"22:14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 22:15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 22:16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

22:17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 22:18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." (Luke 22:14-20 KJV)

Fact Finder: How and when was the Blood of the Messiah's Sacrifice delivered to God?
See Day of Atonement: The Messiah's Deliverance


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This Day In History, March 24

1401: In his sweep through Asia and the Mediterranean, the Tatar ruler Tamerlane conquered Damascus.

1449: England captured Fougeres from the French, leading Charles VII to renew the Hundred Years War.

1603: Elizabeth I, Queen of England over 40 years, died. James VI of Scotland succeeded the throne as James I (the King James Version of the Bible is named after him), uniting the thrones of Scotland and England.

1644: Britain granted a charter to Roger Williams for the colony of Rhode Island.

1832: Mormon leader Joseph Smith was beaten, tarred and feathered in Ohio.

1904: Admiral Tojo had 7 Russian ships sunk as the Japanese strengthened their blockade of Port Arthur.

1924: Greece became a republic.

1945: Egypt declared war on Germany.

1976: Isabel Peron was deposed as president of Argentina in a bloodless military coup.

1978: The oil tanker Amoco Cadiz, aground in the English Channel since March 16, split in two, spilling the last of its 1.6 million barrels of oil.

1988: Former nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu was found guilty in an Israeli court of treason for revealing Israel's nuclear secrets.

1989: The Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska, causing a massive oil spill of 240,000 barrels.

1993: Ezer Weizman was elected Israel's seventh president.

1999: NATO forces began air strikes against Yugoslavia.





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