Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A discussion about Passover and when Yeshua resurrected

Below is a discussion between The Refiner’s Fire and one our cherished readers on a subject that may be of interest to all. The readers comments are in red: 

READER COMMENT: I find how you calculate and keep Passover and the other Biblical Feasts to be very accurate with the scriptures. I do, however, have a question about when Yeshua was resurrected. I read the article "Correcting the Sunday Myth" and I have always assumed Yeshua was crucified on Passover, since He is our Passover Lamb. Therefore his resurrection on Saturday before sundown would be completely inaccurate.

No, it's accurate. Wednesday, Passover afternoon, Yeshua is placed in the tomb by sunset. Wednesday, at/after sunset to Saturday at sunset is 3 days and 3 nights. (Some argue that the "3 days and 3 nights" must be literal, that the first period must be a "day", but the phrase is just a metaphor for the same period Jonah was in the belly of the fish. So the phrase does not require the "day" period to be first.) Since absolutely no one knows the exact start and end of the "3 days & 3 nights", a resurrection just as the 7th day Shabbat ended and the 1st day of the next week began is completely valid.

READER COMMENT: But I was reading in Mark 14:12: Now on the first day of matzah, when they were slaughtering the Passover lamb, Yeshua's disciples say to Him, "Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?". Reading on they have the Passover that evening, he is nailed to the stake at the third hour the next morning and dies at the ninth hour that afternoon. I read in Matthew and Luke, as well, and they also say it was the first day of matzah, when they were slaughtering the Passover lamb, that the disciples prepared for the Seder. So wouldn't that mean it was the 14th of Nissan and therefore Yeshua didn't die until 3pm on the 15th of Nissan?

No, this is only an interpretation of the events as conveyed in English. Let's look at Mark 14:12 carefully. It reads: "And on the first day of the Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover, His disciples said to Him, Where do You desire that going we may prepare that You may eat the Passover?" (HRB).

We must study this verse to interpret it correctly. "On the first day of Unleavened Bread" means what? Immediately, one thinks "Well the 15th is the 1st day of Unleavened bread by Leviticus 23:6", which is partly true, but the 15th is NOT the first day that matzah is needed! The first day matzah is needed is the 14th! Exodus 12:18: "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at evening you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month, at evening". So matzah is needed the afternoon of the14th!

Now, Mark 14:12 makes sense. When the disciples ask the question, it is at or near sunset the 13th, and the "first day of matzah" (the 14th) is imminent (or perhaps the sun has just set and it has become the 14th), and the Talmidim are asking Yeshua where He wants to have His seder. (The Talmidim have not accepted or understood that Yeshua won’t be at the Passover seder the next evening.)

Next, look at Mark 14:17. It reads: "And evening having come, He came with the Twelve." Most read this verse and assume that Yeshua and the Talmidim are now at the Passover seder. But all the verse says is the it's now evening and it's suppertime. The most logical conclusion is that it is the same evening - but after dark when the date had just became the 14th! You see, in Mark 14:12, they only had go to prepare for the seder, the scripture does not require that when Yeshua and the Talmidim are then eating together that that meal is the Passover seder! And look at verse 22.  Yeshua took BREAD and broke it. Had it been the Passover seder, Yeshua would have broken matzah, not bread.  But the Aramaic clearly says bread (Hebrew: l'chma in verse 22), and not unleavened bread which would have been a variation of the Hebrew: matzah.  The commandment, which Yehsua would not have broken if it were the Passover seder, was to eat only matzah had it been the Passover!

It is confirmed in Luke 22:15 that it was not the Passover. It reads: "And He said to them, I have greatly desired that I eat this Passover with you before I suffer." While most think Yeshua IS eating the Passover meal, that is not what the verse says. What Yeshua is saying is this: "I have greatly wanted to eat the Passover [meal] with you [this year] before I suffer [but I must suffer and I will not get to participate in the Passover meal this year].

Therefore, the scripture most definitely does NOT require that Yeshua died the 15th before sunset. Scripture completely supports that Yeshua only had a "last supper" with His Talmidim as the 14th had just begun, and the events in scripture of his arrest play out that same evening, as midnight approached on the 14th, before the lambs would be slain in the next afternoon before the next sunset.

READER COMMENT: I know that doesn't add up to the 3 days and 3 nights in the grave, if he is seen early on the 1st day and you start the count at his burial in the evening of the 15th. But since scripture reveals Yeshua ate the Seder on the 14th of Nissan (I think), the only thing I can think of is the count started at his actual death at 3pm on the 15th (1st day), his burial (1st night), Friday the 16th (2nd day and 2nd night), Saturday the 17th (3rd day and 3rd night) and him rising Sunday morning when it is still dark.

Yes, I've seen this argument and I can't agree with it. The conclusion is based on the assumption that Yeshua's last meal was the Passover meal, and it assumes that the daytime of the crucifixion counts as the 1st day of "3 days & 3 nights". But this is a shallow argument. Matthew 12:40, in Yeshua's own words He says: "And even as 'Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights,' so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights" - so Yeshua identifies the condition that to count 3 days & 3 nights, He must be IN the heart of the earth! So the first part of the 3 day, 3 night count cannot be the afternoon He's crucified, while He is still on the stake, unburied,  outside the tomb!

READER COMMENT: But even if that were so, there still is the question about "the dawn of the new day" which I know according to Andrew Roth would be the evening of the new day not the morning.

This is entirely based on the context. Since the same Hebrew or Aramaic word for "day" can mean the whole day or just the daytime, and the word for "dawn" can be the beginning of the day which is at sunset or the beginning of the sunrise which is the beginning of the daytime, one must not just assume that it means one thing or the other by context alone.

READER COMMENT: Then there is the question about the "Day of Preparation" when Yeshua's body was buried by Joseph (Luke 23:50-56). If Yeshua died on the 14th and was buried in the evening beginning the 15th (when everyone is eating the Seder), how would that be a day of preparation for the High Holy Shabbat? The 15th is the High Holy Shabbat. But if He had died on the 15th and buried in the evening beginning the 16th, that would be a day of preparation for the weekly Shabbat.

But the 14th is preparation day for the High Holy Day of the 15th, the 1st day of the Feast! Remember, Yeshua died before sunset, and the wealthy man, Joseph, who asked to have the body for burial in his own tomb, and Yeshua's own mother, and other Jews with them had ALL foregone the Passover seder! After all, their beloved Yeshua was being executed! That event completely negated Passover for them, and, as such, they simply accepted that they would be unclean and they could not participate in Passover that year at its time! (Numbers 9:10-11). So it is a false argument that the "day of preparation" had to be after sunset the 15th making the next day a Friday - preparation day for the weekly Shabbat. The scripture works whether the crucifixion was on Wednesday (and Thur was the High Holy Day (Sabbath)), or the crucifixion was on Thursday (and Friday was the "preparation" day for the weekly Sabbath). In either case, assumptions must be made as to the timing of events, assumptions which are not validated by scripture. I've even seen scripture itself changed to "force" the 15th crucifixion, which is not supported in the Aramaic, and, in my book, pretty close to blasphemy !

READER COMMENT: So as you can see, I am totally confused. What am I missing? Scripture does literally say "on the first day of matzah, when they were slaughtering the Passover Lamb," Yeshua's Seder was prepared, the 14th of Nissan, right? So how could Yeshua have died at 3pm on the 14th when He hadn't even eaten the Seder yet?

I hope this is now clear. But for more to consider, examine this: While it is acceptable that many lambs in Jerusalem were slaughtered from the afternoon of the 14th, continuing well into the 15th, the events of Passover had to begin with a very first lamb, spotless, and representative of all of Israel. That was "THE Passover Lamb". All other lambs were from people wishing to have their lamb slain at the Temple, even though they had every authority to slay the lamb at their own homes. All the lambs slaughtered after "THE Lamb", were for individual homes for the celebration of Passover. (It was also optional to stay at the Temple and have your Passover meal there, but that was not required.)

Now, what did John call Yeshua? John said: "On the morrow, John saw Yahshua coming toward him and said, Behold! The Lamb of Elohim, who takes away the sin of the world! " (John 1:29). Only THE Lamb of God could take away the sins of the world, so I think Yeshua had to represent THE Lamb, and not just "a lamb", and He did have to be crucified on the 14th, when THE lamb representing ALL of Israel was slain! It rather offends me that some will justify that Yeshua only needed to be "a lamb", "any lamb", and that He did not need to be offered on the 14th! The connection of THE Lamb and what Yeshua did is too great to negate.

There's more!

We know Yeshua was PERFECT in His knowledge and observation of Torah, right? If he had His Passover seder on the 14th, then after sunset the 14th it became a High Holy Day, the 15th. Why would Yeshua and his Talmidim be out walking around in the community after the Passover seder, carrying swords on a High Holy Day, seeking conflict with those Yeshua knew were against Him? Would Yeshua step out of Torah to do that? But if the evening of His last meal was only the evening BEFORE the Passover, then all His actions were within Torah.

And, who was present when Yeshua was arrested? All the Gospels attest to the fact that the Chief Priests and the entire Sanhedrin were present when Yeshua was brought to Pilate before the morning of the crucifixion. If the morning before the crucifixion was the 15th, then the Chief Priests and the Sanhedrin WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN assembled as it was a High Holy Sabbath! The Chief Priests and the Sanhedrin DID NOT MEET on weekly Sabbaths or on High Holy Days! Even if some of the Sanhedrin were corrupt and desiring Yeshua's death, the Chief Priests and the rest of the Sanhedrin would not have stepped out of Torah for this despicable act! But if the events took place on the 14th, before Passover, then nothing the Chief Priests and the Sanhedrin did was far outside Torah.

READER COMMENT: I appreciate any clarification you can give me. As you can see, I can't connect all the dots. I did also want to ask, should I be throwing away all my leaven products before Passover? This is the fist year I am officially celebrating the Feast of Unleavened Bread and I tried to use up all my leaven products, but stored the rest of them in the shed. Our budget is a little tight, so I didn't throw it away. Should I have?

As you can see, the dots are hard to connect, so don't dismay! But I hope what I have explained help.

As to your leaven products question, yes, they should have been used up or permanently removed from your home prior to the afternoon of the 14th – because, while the whole act of “getting rid of the leaven” is purely symbolic, returning those products back into the house is akin to bringing “the old sins” back (leaven represents sin). Getting rid of the “leaven/sin” from our lives (even symbolically) is important to YHWH and we should be taking it very seriously. But do not worry about it this year since the Feast is over and as you said, you are still learning. Just keep up the good work and don’t “wrap yourself around the axle.” Allow the Ruach to guide and “grow” you and your family! We have many articles on The Refiner's Fire website which will help you next year.

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