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Thursday, April 2 2015
Nisan 14: How Did The Messiah Observe His Last Passover?
"And when the hour was come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. And He said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God"
Each year, many people begin to observe the true Christian Holy Days (see Holy Day Calendar) according to the Messiah's command and example. The first of the annual Holy Days, or annual Sabbaths, is also the most familiar - Passover, which includes the days of Passover, also known as the days of Unleavened Bread.
Passover originated at the time of the Exodus, as commanded by the LORD God - Who was later born as Jesus Christ (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The Christian Ten Commandments). The LORD also established His other annual Christian Holy Days at that time. They are the LORD's Holy Days, not "the Jewish Holy Days" or anyone else's Holy Days (see the Fact Finder question below). They all have always been about Jesus Christ, as established and commanded by Him (see Leviticus 23: The True Christian Holy Days).
Nisan 14, the day on which the Messiah was Crucified (see also Who Was The Carpenter That Built The Cross?), obviously is about the Saviour's Sacrifice as the "Lamb of God" for the sins of humanity. Then Nisan 15 to 21, the seven days of Unleavened Bread, represent repentance and "putting sin out of our lives" in order to accept the Messiah's Sacrifice (see Unleavened Bread: Why Observe The True Christian Holy Days?). Observing a Holy Day can't save anyone, but the repentant attitude to observe the Holy Day, as commanded by the LORD, is a factor in Judgment (see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners).
Each of the Holy Days will be covered in turn, but this study is to answer the question that many new observers ask: "How do I observe Christian Passover of Nisan 14 as the Messiah did and commanded to do?"
While there are many traditions that have been developed to observe it, this study covers only what the historical record says about how the Messiah observed it that evening - and how He said to observe it from that evening. The purpose of Daily Bible Study is to study what the Word of God actually says. With the reality of the Biblical account, the reader is then equipped to judge whether any particular tradition or manner of observance is in keeping with the Messiah's commands and instructions - or contrary to them.
First, why is it also generally called "the Last Supper"? It originated from the Messiah's statement that it was the last time that He would observe it until He returns: "I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God." The "Last Supper" was actually "The Last Passover."
"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." (Luke 22:14-16 KJV)
There are three fundamental elements of what the Messiah did, and commanded to do, along with His Sermon and the closing hymn that they all sang together:
A summary from Matthew:
"26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
It should always be kept in mind that Passover is not a "party" - as the apostle Paul later made clear to anyone who "shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily."
"11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. 11:21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 11:22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
Other matters and instructions were included. The first was the revealing of the traitor (see The Traitor In History And Prophecy) - who then left before the service was completed.
"26:21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
The Messiah also then commanded them to not compete to be the "leader" ("strife among them") of the Messiah's Church - perhaps the primary reason, among those who ignore and disobey His Command, that so many opposing and competing "Christian" (in Name) churches have come into existence (see also Will Jesus Christ Obey Your Christian Religion? and Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?). It may have also been the primary reason that Judas Iscariot became a rebel - he lusted to "lead." Notice that the matter of Judas the traitor and the warning not to lust to lead were spoken together.
"22:24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 22:26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 22:27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. 22:28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 22:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Luke 22:24-30 KJV)
Observing Passover with others is the preferred manner - as the Messiah's own example also states: "With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you." Many people however find themselves observing Passover alone for a variety of legitimate reasons. Being alone is not a valid reason to not observe Passover - or any of the other true Christian Holy Days.
The foot washing is the only part of the observance that cannot be observed by those who observe Passover alone, but the LORD knows the heart i.e. whether or not "the spirit is willing." The genuine willingness to obey His command and do it if it were possible is the same as doing it.
The foot washing is recorded only in John, with everything else identical to the other writers. It is all quoted here to indicate when the foot washing was done - and another prophecy about Judas that was fulfilled by it i.e. "He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me" (the Messiah was quoting from Psalm 41:9; see also What Did King David Prophesy About Judas Iscariot?).
"13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 13:4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 13:5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
The apostle John also recorded the detailed Sermon that the Messiah delivered to them at that time. Reading all of His instructions, prayers and prophecies during the observance of Passover is recommended for everyone (it's recorded in John chapters 14, 15, 16 and 17), but particularly those who find themselves observing Passover "alone" because you aren't really alone. Along with the many people all around the world who are observing it with a small or large group, there are many others who are observing it by themselves - but all together. In due time, all will then be united with the Messiah. From the Messiah's Passover Sermon that night:
"14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2-3 KJV)
Fact Finder: What is the actual chronology of the days of the Messiah's Sacrifice and Resurrection?
This Day In History, April 2
742: Charlemagne, king of the Franks, was born. King from 768 (with his brother), he later ruled most of Europe when crowned emperor in 800 (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation and Emperors and Popes).
1118: Baldwin I died at age 60. As king of the crusader state of Jerusalem (1100-1118), he expanded the kingdom and secured its territory, formulating an administrative apparatus that was to serve for 200 years as the basis for Frankish rule in Syria and "Palestine" (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1513: Florida (as it is known today) was discovered (although the natives already knew that it was there) and claimed for Spain by Ponce de Leon.
1524: At age 40, Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli (a former Roman Catholic priest) publicly married the widow Anna Meyer. Their marriage lasted until his death at the Battle of Kappel in 1531.
1550: Jews were expelled from Genoa Italy.
1657: Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III died (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1755: British naval commander Commodore William James captured the pirate stronghold of Suvarnadurg on west coast of India.
1801: During the Napoleonic Wars, the Danish fleet was heavily damaged by the British under Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen.
1863: The Richmond Bread Riot. Starvation caused hundreds of mothers to riot in Richmond, Virginia, demanding that the Confederate regime release emergency food supplies that were being held primarily for the military.
1865: During the U.S. Civil War, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.
1912: The Titanic went out on its first sea trials under its own power.
1917: The U.S. declared war on Germany in the First World War - 2 years and 8 months after the war in Europe began (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1932: Aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh paid over $50,000.00 ransom for his kidnapped son, who was later found dead.
1975: Toronto's CN Tower was topped off at a height of 1,815 feet, making it the tallest free-standing structure in the world at the time.
1982: Argentina seized the Falkland Islands and overthrew the British administration. Britain responded with a naval task force which recovered the islands.
1990: Saddam Hussein threatened to "incinerate half of Israel" with advanced chemical weapons if it joined a war against Iraq (the result of the later invasion Iraq proved that Saddam had no "weapons of mass destruction").
2002: Israeli military forces surrounded the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem after armed Palestinians had retreated there.
2005: Karol Jozef Wojtyla / Pope John Paul II, died at age 84.