Passover 2008: Part 1 How Jesus Christ could Celebrate the Passover, be Crucified on the Passover, and be Buried before the Passover

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  • Passover 2008: Part 1How Jesus Christ could Celebrate the Passover, be Crucified on the Passover, and be Buried before the Passover.

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*IntroductionThe Passover is the Celebration of the Lamb of God, the gracious sacrifice God provided for the enslaved Israelites in Egypt, to foreshadow the deliverance of all mankind from sin slavery by Jesus Christ.The only ritual commanded to the Church is the Passover, Do this in remembrance of me.

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*IntroductionJesus ate his Last Supper, a Passover meal, in the "Upper Room" with his followers (Mark 14:15; Luke 22:12).

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*IntroductionThe Upper Room of the Last Supper was a second story room wherein Jesus and his disciples dined together the evening of his arrest on the 14th of Nisan (Luke 22:810 and Mark 14:13). The disciples also stayed in an upper room while they remained in Jerusalem for Pentecost (Acts 1:13). There is no hint in the accounts by Luke and Mark that the Upper Room of the Last Supper was also place where they lodged.

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*IntroductionWhen Jesus and his disciples visited Jerusalem during his public ministry they stayed outside the city usually on the Mount of Olives. John's gospel records that Jesus' residence for this festival was Bethany (John 12:1). Some time after the Resurrection the Twelve were found in the city staying in an upper room in Jerusalem. To reach this facility, probably the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, they had to enter the city and go up implying they put up in the Upper City (Acts 1:13).

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*IntroductionFor them, this new Passover ritual commemorated the realization of the New Covenant through Jesus giving himself in suffering and death on their behalf the fulfillment of the Passover type. They kept the Christian Passover annually, at the beginning of the fourteenth day of the first month, originally called Abib and called Nisan in Jesus' day, as determined by the priestly luni-solar calendar.

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*IntroductionNisan was the Babylonian name for the first month. Abib was the Hebrew word for the first month in Moses' day. The word abib refers to a stage in the grain ripening process between green and ripe.

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*IntroductionThe Hebrew sacred year began with he month of Abib during which the early barley harvest began the ripening process, the stage called abib, such that during the Days of Unleavened Bread the wave sheaf offering of the fresh barley could be made as the first of the Firstfruits. With this offering the barley harvest could commence.

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Jewish Calendars of Jesus' DayIn the time of Jesus there were at least two, and possibly more, conflicting and opposing Jewish calendar systems at work. This should quickly become evident if you attempt to harmonize the gospel accounts of the events of the passion week.

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Jewish Calendars of Jesus' DayMany explanations have been attempted:The current Messianic explanation has been the juxtaposition of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Passover.This explanation satisfies the seeming two Passovers dilemma, but misses entirely the fact that Jesus died at the moment of the sacrifice of the Lamb of Israel on Preparation Day.

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Jewish Calendars of Jesus' DayThis multiple calendar situation should come as no great surprise. In Herodian times Judaism was not a unitary religion but a collection of sects reflecting a far greater range of cultural diversity than often recognized (Howlett 1957:171; Bowker 1969:7-8; Johnson 1976:14-15).

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Jewish Calendars of Jesus' DayIn this sociocultural milieu the priests and the Sanhedrin followed a luni-solar calendar. The Essenes, on the other hand, adhered to a strictly solar calendar. This meant that for the most part the two groups kept the Passover at different times.

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Essene CalendarThe Essene calendar, attested in I Enoch and the Book of Jubilees, consisted of a solar calendar of 364 days divided into seven-day weeks, twelve months of thirty days each except for one extra day in the last month of each quarter (Jaubert 1965:27; Pfeiffer 1969:64-65; Vanderkam 1998:55; Finegan 1998:44).

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*Essene Calendar The use of their own calendar was a most particular way in which members of the sect differentiated themselves from the rest of Israel. They celebrated their festivals on different dates, with the deliberate intention of differentiating themselves from the other Jews. This is a phenomenon typical of many sects throughout the world. Even among the Jews, the Samaritan calendar is different from the Karaite one, and both differ from the common Jewish one.

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Jewish Calendars of Jesus' DayThe calendar of the Sages, of the whole House of Israel, was different from the Essene one, not only in the dating of the festivals, but in its whole conception of the year. The Essenes had a sophisticated solar calendar, in which there were fifty two weeks, and the festivals always began on the same day of the week. In this they were different from other Jews, who lived by a lunar calendar.(Flusser 1989:43.)

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Essene CalendarThe Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Trumpets, Feast of Tabernacles, and Feast of the Great Day (the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles), always began on Wednesday, actually on Tuesday evening as the Jews began days at evening not midnight (Jaubert 1965:10; Simon 1967:73).

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Essene CalendarTrumpets, Tabernacles, and the Great Day always occurred in the seventh month as set forth in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 23:24-44). As Nisan 15, the annual Sabbath, or Passover Sabbath, marking the start of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened bread began at sunset Tuesday night, the Essene observance of the Passover Seder was always on a Tuesday night (Finegan 1998:43, 48).

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Jewish Calendars of Jesus' DayIn CE 30, however, the two calendars overlapped resulting in the two Passover celebrations occurring in the same week of April resulting in two Nisan 14 Passover celebrations occurring one day apart.

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Jewish Calendars of Jesus' DayIn Jesus' time, the Pharisees and most Jews kept the Passover of the Jews, the Mosaic Passover, at the end of the fourteenth day and into the evening portion of the fifteenth. There is some scholarly debate concerning whether or not the priests fixed the calendar for any given year by calculation, by observation, or a combination of the two.

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Jewish Calendars of Jesus' DayAlso at issue is what the rules were for fixing liturgical time such as new moons and festivals.While ancient Hebrew priest-astronomers possessed sufficient technical knowledge to develop and use a calculated calendar the question of whether they did so and, if so, to what extent, remains unresolved.

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Jewish Calendars of Jesus' DayStrangely, the Hebrew Scriptures provide only limited information about the nature of the priestly Hebrew calendar. There is no clear indication of intercalation in the biblical texts "though it must have been done in some way at all times in Israel" (Morgan 1979:577).

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Jewish Calendars of Jesus' DayExodus 12:40 records that God informed the people of Israel that the month of their first Passover and Exodus from Egypt, the month of Abib, would be the beginning of months for them.

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Jewish Calendars of Jesus' DayIn Jewish tradition the early Hebrew Calendar, with its 19-year lunar-solar pattern, came into being at the time of Adam and Eve. God provided, according to this tradition, more details about calendar calculations to the Levitical priests with the inception of the Sinaitic covenant. Exodus 12:40 states that at the end of 430 years "to the very day" (NASB) the people of Israel went out from Egypt.

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Jewish Calendars of Jesus' DayKenneth Herrmann, in Calendar Eclipse Interrelationships, holds that these ancient Israelites could not have left Egypt "430 years (from the date of the covenant with Abraham when he was 99) even to the selfsame day, unless a very careful count of days as well as years had been kept" (Herrmann 1969:15-16).

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Jewish Calendars of Jesus' DayDoes the Rabbinic Calculated Calendar (also known as the Hillel II Calendar) demonstrate this? In biblical chronology, according to Jack Finegan in the Handbook of Biblical Chronology (Finegan1998:202-206), the first Passover, "a night to be much observed" (Exodus 12:42), likely occurred in 1446 BCE (the early Exodus view) or 1250 BCE (the late Exodus view).

    Passover 2008

  • April 13, 2008Passover 2008*The Jewish Calendars of Jesus' DayThe Passover, according to the Rabbinic Calculated Calendar, occurred on April 22 (Wednesday) in 1446 and, precisely 430 years