How to Observe the PASSOVER
Why do Jews use a shankbone at Passover when the Bible commands lamb (Ex. 12:6)? Why eat a hard-boiled egg? Should we use wine or grape juice at the seder? Is Passover the 14th or 15th of Abib (Lev. 23:5)? The "Eternal spoke unto Moses, saying ... Concerning the feasts of the Eternal (not just feasts of the Jews) ... these are my feasts (not just the Jews' feasts), even holy convocations ("rehearsals" -- #4744), which ye shall proclaim in their seasons: In the fourteenth day of the first month at evening (Literal Hebrew is "between the two evenings" -- sunset and dark) is the Eternal's PASSOVER" (Lev.23:1-5). In Hebrew, both "Ha Pesach" (Passover) and "bnai ha Elohim" (sons of God) add up to 153.
"What Mean Ye By This Service?"
In Exodus 12:3-5, the Israelites were told: "In the TENTH DAY of this month they shall take to them every man a LAMB ... Your LAMB shall be without blemish, a MALE of the first year; ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats. If unable to observe the PASSOVER on the fourteenth day of the first month, a person must observe it on the fourteenth day of the second month (Num.9:10-11; Chr.30:2-3).
Christ rode into Jerusalem on an ass's colt on the Sabbath -- the TENTH DAY of Abib since he was in Bethany on the ninth counting back from the 15th (John 12:1). A donkey is allowed to carry a load on the Sabbath if that is not his customary work. Hence, a new (never ridden) donkey was used. Also, a king or priest is allowed to travel on the Sabbath. The people cried "Hosannah" meaning "SAVE US" (cp. Ps.118:25). The people chanted this Psalm 118:25-26 as a tradition on the FEAST of SUKKOT and borrowed it to use on this occasion. The people chose Christ to come into their house (the temple) to save them. Just as the Passover lamb stood for four days tethered in the temple in public view, so Jesus sat and taught in the temple courtyard for all to examine for four days. During this time the Saduccees (Matt.22:23-33), the Pharisees (Matt.22:15-22) and others asked Jesus their hardest questions. Their purpose was to find fault in him, but they could not. Neither could Judas, Pilate or Herod (Matthew 27:3-5; Luke 23:13-15). Yes, Christ was selected at creation, but came to earth 4000 years later (four days later -- Ps.90:4; 2 Pet. 3:8; T.B. SanHedrin 97-98).
On Sunday the Messiah began his priestly duties of cleansing and purifying the temple by casting out those selling sacrificial animals "certified" to be without spot or blemish, making illicit profit from God's ordinances (Mark 11:12-19). He overturned the moneychanger's tables -- where a foreigner's money would be exchanged, for a fee, for "approved" offering money. He said: "Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations? But ye have made it a den of thieves" (Isa.56:7).
The shepherds (probably Levites serving the temple) who pastured their flocks "by night" (Luke 2:8) in the northern edge of Bethlehem (Ephratah) were within the domain where animals were raised for sacrifice at the temple -- especially the lambs offered at Passover -- however further south where the so-called "Church of the Nativity" is located was not an area permissible for raising sacrificial lambs. Thus we can assume that Jesus was born in northern Bethlehem. He was "a LAMB without blemish and without spot" (1 Pet. 1:19) -- "the LAMB of God" (John 1:29, 36). "Worthy is the LAMB that was slain" (Rev.5:12). He became the LAMB they chose. Yes, "Christ our Passover (LAMB) is sacrificed for us" (1 Cor.5:7). The body of the LAMB representing Christ had to be PERFECT and without blemish because CHRIST was SINLESS (1 Pet.2:22). Pilate said, "I find NO FAULT in him" (John 19:6). Christ was a MALE in the prime of life who followed the Father and led everyone else -- both a lamb and a kid (cp. John 12:1 & 12:12; the PASSOVER spoken of here was the Jewish PASSOVER which was one day late). The people killed Christ. Christ was selected by the people to die for their sins -- so they wouldn't have to die. "Not one of his bones will be broken" (John 19:36) just as the Passover lamb's bones were not broken (Ex.12:46; Num.9:12; cf. Ps.34:20). In Exodus 12:6-7, the Israelites were told to KILL the lamb between the two evenings (sunset and dark) of the fourteenth day of the month and strike the blood "on the two side posts and on the upper door post" of each one of their houses. Christ was crucified and KILLED on the fourteenth day of the month in 31 A.D. It was on a Wednesday (Dan.9:27) from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. (Mark 15:25-37) that he was crucified and then he was laid in a sepulchre before sundown (John 19:31-42; Mark 15:42). At 9 A.M. in the temple, the lamb was bound to the altar (Ps.118:27). Christ wasn't killed in the evening when the household lamb was killed. Instead he was tied and nailed to the tree at 9 A.M. (Mark 15:25). For six hours, both the lamb and Jesus awaited death. But in the ninth hour of the day (3 P.M.), the high priest ascended the altar in the temple, took his knife, killed the first Passover lamb offered for all Israel, and said, "It is finished." The priest in the temple would say this phrase with the conclusion of the daily peace offering as well as the various special festival offerings. At this point, the Roman soldier thrust the SPEAR into his SIDE. With the blood pouring from the gaping wound, Jesus said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). At the same time, the high priest should have been SLITTING the THROATS of the lambs that had been brought to the temple. As Jesus' blood was pouring out on the ground, the blood of the PASSOVER lambs should have been splashed at the base of the altar if the Temple services were not disrupted by the darkness. The Talmud records that "Yeshua the Nazarean ... was hanged on the Eve of Passover" (BT Sanhedrin 67a and 43a).
When Jesus died on the summit of the Mount of Olives "without the city" (Heb.13:11,13), the veil of the Holy of Holies was torn top to bottom, opening up to all mankind access to God the Father. Thus God rejected the physical temple, priesthood and sacrifices.
Eternal death cannot enter the "door" to the life of any FIRSTBORN spiritual Israelite (Gal.6:16) who has accepted Christ's shed blood for the remission of sins. The BLOOD we sprinkle on the DOORPOSTS of the HOUSE is like the WINE we put to the LIPS of our mouths since our BODIES are houses of the Holy Spirit.
Exodus 12:8 says, "they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it." A wooden pomegranate stake was cut and inserted through the lamb from the mouth to the buttocks (Ps.22:13-18). The stake was then driven into the ground thus placing the lamb in an upright position. Sometimes a small piece of wood was inserted inside the lamb to spread the sides apart, thereby allowing heat from the fire to reach the inside of the animal. The entrails were hung outside the body, including being wrapped around the head. It was called a Crown Sacrifice.
"BITTER HERBS" typify the fact that "they (the Egyptians) made their LIVES BITTER with hard bondage ... all their service ... was with rigor" (Ex.1:14; also Ps. 80). Egypt is a type of sin (Heb.11:25-26; Rev.11:8; Ex.2:23) and Pharaoh a type of Satan. A person is either a SLAVE of SIN or a servant of God. Both begin SWEET but sin eventually turns BITTER. Egypt persuaded Israel "with KIND words" (peh rakh) to serve Pharaoh which gradually became "BITTER" (perekh) slavery.
Matthew 16:6,12 defines LEAVEN as the DOCTRINE of the Pharisees and Saduccees. Luke 12:1 defines it as HYPOCRISY. 1 Cor.5:8 defines it as "MALICE and WICKEDNESS" and UNLEAVENED BREAD as "SINCERITY and TRUTH."
Exodus 12:9 says, "Eat not of it raw, nor sodden (boiled) at all with water (Don't water down the gospel -- Mark 7:9,13), but roast with fire; its head with its legs, and with the purtenance (inward parts) thereof."
The body of the lamb would be DISMEMBERED if it were boiled. But Jesus wasn't decapitated or dismembered. Also, NOT a BONE was to be BROKEN (Ex.12:46; Num.9:12; Ps.34:20). This is why Christ had to die from a SPEAR WOUND rather than having his LEGS BROKEN like the thieves crucified with him (John 19:31-36) who suffocated by not being able to lift their chests up with their legs. The spear could slash open his flesh, which would fulfill what would happen in type when the PASSOVER lamb's ENTRAILS were REMOVED, but neither the lamb nor Christ were allowed to be cut apart.
The blood was poured out at first as payment for sin. Surely "he hath poured out his soul (or "life" which is in the blood -- Lev.17:11) unto death" (Isa.53:12). He said, "I am poured out like water" (Ps.22:14). The body was consumed by the Israelites as we accept his sacrifice and take on Christ's character. Anybody who has committed a sin worthy of death is his murderer. Furthermore, since we all must die once because of Adam's sin (1 Cor.15:22), every human being, no matter how innocent, needs Christ's sacrifice to save him.
Exodus 12:10 says, "And ye shall let NOTHING of it REMAIN until the morning; for that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall BURN with fire." Jesus wasn't left on the cross overnight. Mankind has a deadline to respond by accepting Christ's sacrifice for our sins, or BURN in the LAKE of FIRE. In the same way, any wine or matzos left over from the "Lord's Supper" cannot later be used in regular meals or drinks because it was prayed over and set apart for one holy use. Christ's sacrifice will be of no benefit to mankind when the earth is burned up after the millenium (2 Pet.3:10).
Why Eat Quickly With Staff In Hand?
Exodus 12:11 says, "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 Eternal's PASSOVER."
It's not just a JEWISH PASSOVER. It's the ETERNAL'S PASSOVER -
- for Jews and Christians, Israelites and Gentiles.
Since none of the Israelites were to leave their homes till the morning (Ex.12:22), we know these preparations (SHOES, STAFF and HASTE) were symbolic rituals. But what did they symbolize?
We read in Matthew 26:47 that "Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and STAVES (clubs), from the chief priests and elders of the people." In Matthew 26:55-56 we read: "In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and STAVES (clubs) to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. But all this was done that the scriptures of the PROPHETS might be fulfilled." Jesus asked, "Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I AM" ("YHWH" means "I am") (John 18:4-5; cp. Mark 14:62). But what prophets? Moses, who wrote Exodus 12, was one such prophet (Deut.18:18). Also Isaiah who wrote chapter 53. But after Yeshua's crucifixion, rabbinical teaching changed to deny this as a reference to the Messiah.
Christ also said to the mob, "this is your HOUR, and the power of DARKNESS" (Luke 22:53). This was the hour "AT MIDNIGHT" (Ex.12:29) when the "DESTROYER" (Ex.12:23) passed through Egypt and all the Israelites had eaten the roasted lamb. Judas was POSSESSED by the Destroyer and betrayed Christ at MIDNIGHT. Anybody who has ever committed sins worthy of the death penalty is part of that MOB that took Christ to be killed. The firstborn Israelites were saved and typify the first fruits Christians -- the firstborn sons of God. As a type of this, the Jews had ONE CRIMINAL RELEASED on PASSOVER and another EXECUTED to typify the FIRSTBORN EGYPTIAN and ISRAELITE -- BARABBAS and CHRIST -- but Christ became the Egyptian firstborn (Hos.11:1) for us. He was slain (by betrayal) at midnight.
The ancient Israelites ate it "IN HASTE" just as the trial and crucifixion of Christ was done IN HASTE. A criminal court case dealing with a capital offense was required to span two days' time (Mishna, Sanhedrin 4:1), was not to be conducted at night or "on the eve of the Sabbath, nor on any festival" (Mishna, Sanhedrin 4:1; cp. Sanhedrin 32a & 40a). But these laws were all violated because it was the "preparation of the PASSOVER" (John 19:14,31,42) and also because the chief priests and scribes "feared the people" (Luke 22:2,6) and didn't want them finding out about this travesty of justice. As 2 Chronicles 35:13 says, the PASSOVER was divided "SPEEDILY among the people." Christ didn't answer because a king is forbidden to testify (Mishnah Sanhedrin 2:2; BT Sanhedrin19a). At the cock-crow (trumpet announcement) for the second changing of the temple guard (about midnight), Peter had denied Christ three times (Mark 14:72).
We have seen that this day does FORESHADOW Christ a great deal. Because it is a MEMORIAL, it doesn't matter if the prophetic foreshadowing is fulfilled or not. We must still observe it IN MEMORY -- as a memorial. Later it will be shown that there are PASSOVER PROPHECIES yet to be fulfilled. Exodus 12:22 mentions "a bunch of hyssop" used to strike the blood onto the "lintel and two side posts of the door." NO BLOOD was sprinkled on the THRESHOLD (floor). In other words, we shouldn't TREAD "UNDER FOOT the son of God," nor count "the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing" (Heb.10:29). Hyssop is a soap-like plant. It was definitely used in connection with purification (Lev.14:49-52; Num.19:18-19; Ps.51:7).
Exodus 12:43-48 states, "This is the ordinance of the PASSOVER:
There shall no stranger eat of it. But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast CIRCUMCISED him, then shall he eat thereof. A FOREIGNER and an HIRED SERVANT shall not eat thereof. In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone of it. And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the PASSOVER to the Eternal, let all his males be CIRCUMCISED, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one born in the land; for no UNCIRCUMCISED person shall eat thereof." Small children who had been CIRCUMCISED in both Old and New Testaments ate the PASSOVER. They asked the questions.
Now skipping to Exodus 12:14 we read, "And this day (PASSOVER) shall be unto you for a MEMORIAL; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Eternal throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever." MEMORIALS are always observed ANNUALLY -- once a year -- on the anniversary of the event they commemorate. Nisan 14. Not every Sunday in church like the Roman Catholic "Mass."
How To Conduct The Passover Seder
Pigrims came to Jerusalem in large numbers for Passover (John 11:55; Wars 2:14:3; 6:9:3). Accommodations for sleeping and eating were sought everywhere (Mark 14:15). In lieu of rent, pilgrims gave their hosts the hides of the animals they slaughtered and consumed for the feast (Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 12a).
Since Christ was a Jew in a Jewish environment, it is safe to say that he participated in the traditional Jewish Passover SEDER HAGGADAH, which is recorded for us in the Mishnah written almost 2000 years ago. That is the basis for many of the following conclusions. The "upper room" was probably a housetop surrounded with latticework to make it private. We set the table with our finest silverware and tablecloth and wear our finest clothing. Preparations for the Seder may not begin before sunset. Wear a WHITE GARNMENT because "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as WHITE as snow" (Isa. 1:18).
1.) Have your LOINS GIRDED (with a belt), your SHOES on your FEET and your STAFF in HAND. You're part of the MOB that took Christ. Also put BLOOD on the DOORPOSTS and HEADER of the door right where the mezuzah is posted to symbolize that BROKEN LAW is now COVERED by the blood of the lamb. When drinking the wine, LEAN LEFT around the table in a RECLINING position. Luke 22:14 says "He SAT (Gr. "anapipto") down, and the twelve apostles with him." SAT is #377 of Strong's and means "to fall back, i.e. lie down, lean back to the left." Only at the Passover Seder did the Jews sit in a RECLINING position (based on Ex. 13:18 & Ex. Rabbah 20). The rich and powerful, free men and citizens of Rome acted in this manner. Slaves weren't allowed to relax. On this night the Jews considered themselves free men, even though their nation was subject to the Roman Empire. They always reclined to the LEFT at the Passover meal. This meant that the person sitting to Jesus' right -- the youngest person present -- would have his head near Jesus' bosom. Thus we know John was the youngest apostle (John 13:23) (Benjamin was Jacob's youngest and his name means "Son of my right hand.") When it was time to dip the bread, the leader of the seder would share that honor with the eldest person who sat to his left -- the place of chief honor next to the master. Thus we know Judas was the eldest present. Perhaps that is why he was entrusted with the money bag. Also Jesus' widowed mother was probably present as well as children in this upper room. An assembly of at least 10 people was required to participate (a minyan).
2.) Before the lights in the "upper room" are turned on, the host recites, "The Lord is my LIGHT and my salvation -- whom shall I fear" (Ps.27:1). Candles can also be lit after this scripture reading. The host recites, "Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has set us apart by his Word, and in whose name we LIGHT the FESTIVAL LIGHTS."
3.) The host reads Exodus 6:6-7, "Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Eternal, and I WILL BRING YOU OUT from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I WILL RID YOU OUT of their bondage, and I WILL REDEEM YOU with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments; and I WILL TAKE YOU to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Eternal your God, who bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians." This is the meaning of the four cups of wine.
4.) Each person in the Hebrew Seder was served four small cups of warmed (like blood) wine (50-59, Christ In The Passover by Rosen)."
Each cup has 3.3 ounces drunk while reclining on one's left side. Also a fifth cup is poured for Elijah and an empty chair is placed at the table in case he comes. "And he (Jesus) took the (first) CUP, and gave thanks, And said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves" (Luke 22:17). The host offers this blessing before the FIRST CUP of heated wine: "Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who creates the FRUIT of the VINE." Everyone then drinks the FIRST CUP of SANCTIFICATION -- "I will bring you out." Since Christ commanded us to take and divide the FIRST CUP, we must TEACH ALL NATIONS to OBSERVE this custom also (Matt.28:20). Also Psalm 116:13 says, "I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord." All drink the first cup, saying: "L'Chaim!" (To Life).
5.) Before ceremonially washing his hands, the host recites, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath CLEAN HANDS, and a PURE HEART; who hath not lifted up his life unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully" (Ps.24:3-4). Every one now WASHES his HANDS. Before the bread and wine, and "during supper" (RSV of John 13:2) or "supper being prepared," not "ended" (John 13:12), Christ washed the disciples' feet. "He poured water into a basin, and began to WASH the disciples' FEET, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter said unto him, Lord, dost thou WASH my FEET? Jesus answered him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.... So after he had WASHED their FEET, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord; and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have WASHED your FEET; YE also OUGHT to WASH one another's FEET. For I have given you an EXAMPLE, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If you know these things, happy are ye if ye DO THEM" (John 13:5-17). Men pair off with men, women with women and wash eachother's feet. Everyone should bring a basin, towel and jug of water with him from home for this event.
First he "LAID ASIDE" his ("outer" -- NIV) garments, and took a towel, and girded himself. " Then he washed their feet (John 13:2-17), and took up his garments again and sat down. In the fulfillment of this, Christ "LAY DOWN" his life for the sheep (10:15), but he took up his life again and is set down by the Father in heaven (John 10:17-18). If we want his sacrifice to apply to us, we should "LAY DOWN" our outer garments and our lives too. While wearing a pair of shorts, gird a towel around your waist and then use it to wash and wipe other people's feet. In other words, "forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us" (Luke 11:4). Dirt typifies sin (Zech.3:4; John 13:10; Rev.19:8). A person must immerse himself for the festivals (Rosh HaShanah 16a). That is why Christ told Peter, "He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet" (John 13:10). Otherwise, as Christ said, "thou hast no part with me" (13:8). They wore open sandals on dusty roads and their feet regularly got dirty.
6.) Participants dip green vegetable, PARSLEY, in salt water twice (typifying tears of slavery or baptism in the Red Sea) and eat it saying "Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who created the fruit of the earth, and give us the hope of your kingdom."
7.) BITTER HERBS, MATZOS and SALT WATER are next. For the BITTER HERBS, use endive, romaine lettuce, chicory, horseradish, radicchio and or radish. Chazaret and maror are both on the seder tray because Numbers 9:11 says, "bitter herbs" (plural). Although some seder trays have five compartments, most have all six. Before dipping BITTER HERBS (bitter slavery to sin) on MATZOS in SALT WATER (tears and/or baptism), the host recites: "the Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God" (Ex.2:23). "So the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly. They made their lives BITTER with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields" (Ex.1:12-14). The MATZOS must be made of only flour and water. If wine, oil, honey or eggs are mixed with this flour, it is no longer "bread of affliction" (Deut. 16:3; T.B. Pesachim 36a). The "sop" (John 13:26) meaning "little piece,"given to Judas, may refer to BREAD and BITTER HERBS dipped in SALT WATER (John 13:26) to represent human tears shed. Then Satan entered him and he left before eating the Passover, thereby disfellowshipping himself from the congregation. As Psalm 41:9 says, "Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, who did eat of my (unleavened) BREAD (dipped in bitter herbs and salt water), hath lifted up his heel against me." Therefore, we know it wasn't only the BITTER HERBS but also included BREAD. Dipping food in a bowl of salt water was a common custom at a normal Jewish meal, but was not required. Judas left after having his feet washed and eating BITTER HERBS, so we know the footwashing was attached to the first washing of hands, not the second (John 13:7.) He betrayed the King of Israel just as Ahithophel betrayed King David (Ps.41:9; 55:12-14). Both hanged themselves afterward (2 Sam.17:23).
At the right of the leader, there is a place set for the youngest son of the family who asks,"Why is this night different from other nights? Why only unleavened bread tonight?" (1 Cor.5:8; Luke 22:19) "Why do we eat bitter herbs tonight?" (Ex.1:14) "Why on all other nights are we not required to dip even once, but on this night we dip twice?" "Why roasted flesh tonight?" (Ps. 34:20; John 19:36) "Why recline?" (M. Pesachim 10:4). "And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Eternal's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses" (Ex.12:26-27). Jews today use an egg which came from Babylonian fertility customs, not from the Bible, so we don't participate in that custom. Before eating also say: "Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who have set us apart by your word, and commanded us to eat BITTER HERBS." Everyone eats.
8.) Briefly tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt from Exodus 3 through 12 (Ex. 10:2; 13:8,14).
9.) Sing the first part of the Hallel (Ps.113-114).
10.) The SECOND CUP of wine is poured -- "I will rid you out of their bondage" or "I will free you from being slaves" (Ex.6:6). Everyone recites the ten plagues while dropping ten drops of wine onto his plate. Since it was the "finger of God" (Ex. 8:15), some participants dip their small finger in the wine ten times. Others spill wine directly. Plagues caused the release. Also Messiah's death released us. A great cost was paid for our redemption and deliverance from Egypt. The host also recites Exodus 3:19-20: "But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all manner of plagues and wonders, until they are willing to let you go. ("BLOOD, FROGS, LICE, BEASTS, PESTILENCE, BOILS, HAIL, LOCUSTS, DARKNESS, DEATH of firstborn.") Some drink the second cup saying "To freedom." Others say we shouldn't drink this "cup of wrath." Jesus set us an example by drinking it (John 13:15; 1 Pet. 2:21) or drank it so we wouldn't have to (Luke 22:42). Any man who obeys the "Holy Roman Empire" will "drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out ... into the cup (plate?) of his indignation" (Rev. 14:10; 16:19; 17:4; 18:6).
11.) Hands are washed a second time.
12.) The host wraps THREE PIECES of MATZO (based on Gen. 18:6 which occurred on Passover) in a white linen cloth like a sandwich. Use Streit's or Manischewitz "Kosher for Passover" whole wheat Matzos. Then he takes out the MIDDLE PIECE and BREAKS it in two and sticks half back and WRAPS the bigger HALF up in a white LINEN napkin and HIDES that half away (UNDER A PILLOW). In the same way, the God who WAS, IS and WILL BE was BROKEN and afflicted and WRAPPED in LINEN (John 19:40) for burial and placed in a tomb out of sight for three days and nights. But this piece was resurrected (Job 19:25; Ps.16:10). Also, Jesus was removed from between two thieves crucified with him (Matt.27:38).
Just as the AFIKOMEN (Greek "That which COMES AFTER") will return to complete the Passover, so the Messiah rose from the dead to become our Eternal Savior and Redeemer, and ascended into heaven, where he now sits at the right hand of the Father and will COME BACK again. The matzah pictures the Messiah. Bethlehem means "House of Bread" (Beth Lechem). The matzo is STRIPED from the grill because "with his STRIPES we are healed" (Isa.53:5; 1 Pet.2:24) and it is PIERCED with air holes because "they will look on me, the one they have PIERCED" (Zech. 12:10). Both the matzos and Christ were striped and pierced under the watchful eyes of the Rabbis in order to be certified Kosher for Passover. Now everybody eats all the unleavened bread except the hidden AFIKOMEN after the traditional Jewish blessing is said: "Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who brings forth BREAD from the EARTH." (God resurrected Christ from the tomb -- Acts 2:31-33.) The host also says, "Let us break old habits of sin and begin a new life now free from sin." It is okay to still dip it in bitter herbs, but now it should also be dipped in apple-honey-nut-wine mixture (brick and mortar) to remind us that even the most bitter circumstances can be sweetened by the hope we have in God.
13.) Since 70 A.D., when the temple was destroyed, Jews have not had a genuine Passover. They use a SHANKBONE, not realizing that "the whole assembly ... shall kill it" (Ex. 12:6) rather than the temple priests. We eat the Passover lamb because at Passover all Jews wear the crown of priesthood (Avot 4:17). "Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year ... from the sheep, or from the goats" (Ex.12:5). Since most Jewish Christians are not shepherds, they buy LAMBCHOPS in the supermarket. "And they shall take of the BLOOD, and strike it on the two side posts (covering the mezuzah law) and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it" (Ex.12:6-8). "And thus shall ye eat it: with your LOINS GIRDED (wear a belt), your SHOES on your feet, and your STAFF in your hand; and ye shall eat it in HASTE: it is the Eternal's passover" (Ex.12:11). "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" (Ex.12:13). "NONE of you shall GO out at the door of his house UNTIL MORNING" (Ex. 12:22). Read John 3:16-17. Groups of at least ten people were required to eat each lamb (e.g. the disciples with their Master) (Bab. Talmud, Pesahim 64b).
14.) Now comes the dessert -- the AFIKOMEN -- the final food eaten. Children search for the hidden AFIKOMEN. The host redeems it, when it is found under a pillow, by giving the child a quarter. This gift is known as the promise of the father. Likewise when God resurrected Jesus, those who have faith in him are given the Holy Spirit (Eph.4:7-8). The matzah is broken and distributed. Say: "Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who brings forth BREAD from the EARTH." Then Christ added, "This is my BODY given for you. DO THIS in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19). As Paul recorded, "TAKE, EAT: this is my BODY, which is broken for you: THIS DO in remembrance of me" (1 Cor.11:24). "And as they were eating (the lamb), Jesus took BREAD and blessed it and broke it, and gave it to the disciples" (Matt.26:26). Since it was "AS they were EATING," it must have been the HIDDEN PIECE of BREAD. And he took the BREAD, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, this is my BODY which is given for you; THIS DO in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19). T.B. Pesahim 119b says that "nothing is eaten after the Pesah afikoman." His broken body -- the Bread of Life -- was broken for our healing from physical sins such as alcohol abuse (causing cirrhosis of the liver) or sexual immorality (causing venereal disease). People can be healed or forgiven (Luke 5:23). Yes, God "forgiveth all thine iniquities," and "healeth all thy diseases" (Ps.103:3). We accept his sacrifice for our PHYSICAL SINS by consuming the BREAD. An appropriate prayer of thanks might be: "Thank you for forgiving our physical sins so we won't have to pay the penalties for them. Also thank you for removing from us the penalties we bear for the physical sins of others. In Yeshua's name we pray."
Christ compared the bread to his flesh (John 6:53; 1 Cor.11:23-24) and body (Matt.26:26; Mark 14:22) which was broken so much through scourging that he could see his own bones under his flesh (Ps.22:17). Christ gave his "back to the smiters" (Isa.50:6) and "his visage (appearance) was so marred more than any man (beyong human recognition) and his form more than the sons of men" (Isa.52:14). "Surely he hath borne our griefs (sicknesses) ... But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities ... Yet it pleased the Eternal to bruise him" (Isa.53:4-10). For this ceremony a person should not use matzos made from white, refined, enriched, bleached flour. Instead he should try to find a natural healthy matzo. It must contain no yeast or leaven. Matzos made with whole wheat flour can be used.
15.) Now comes the THIRD CUP -- the CUP of REDEMPTION (Ps.116:13). "I will redeem you with an outstretched arm" (Ex.6:6) (Crucifixion). This cup "after supper" (Luke 22:20) is the cup Messiah used to
symbolize his BLOOD (John 6:54; 1 Cor.11:23-29). "And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank of it" (Mark 14:23). To "bless" and to give "thanks" are two different concepts. "And he took the CUP, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, DRINK ye all of it; for this is my BLOOD of the new testament, which is shed for many for the REMISSION of SINS. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Fathers' kingdom (Matt.26:27-29). Say: "Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who creates the FRUIT of the VINE. Let us gratefully drink."
Christ said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches" (John 15:5; Isa. 5:2). The third cup of wine was known as the "cup of blessing" or redemption (cp 1 Cor. 10:16) because it came after the blessing after meals. All drink the third cup, saying "L'Shalom!" (To Peace).
His BLOOD was SHED for FORGIVENESS of our spiritual sins, where motive and intent are involved (Heb.2:9; Rom.3:25), so we can be spared from the second death. We accept his sacrifice for our spiritual sins by drinking the WINE. An appropriate prayer of thanks might be: "Thank you for forgiving our spiritual sins so we won't have to pay the penalties for them. Also thank you for removing from us the penalties we bear for the spiritual sins of others. In Yeshuas' name we pray."
Natural, red, grape wine (not grape juice which is dead) that is unfortified with grape brandy should be used. Try to find a burgundy or claret. Alcoholic content should be between 10 and 13 percent.
16.) The FOURTH CUP of praise ( cf. Mishnah, Pesahim 10:7) is referred to as the "cup of consummation" or the "cup of his coming." "I will take you as my own people and I will be your God" (Ex.6:7). A future banquet in the kingdom would fulfill that cup. Is this why Jesus said, "I will DRINK NO MORE (CUPS) of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it (the FOURTH CUP) new in the kingdom of God" (Mark 14:25; Rev. 3:20)? Yeshua may have refused to drink of wine mixed with myrrh (Mark 15:23) because it is forbidden to drink anything between the third and fourth cups (Pesachim 10: Mishnah 7). Or perhaps he drank the FOURTH CUP and then said, "I will drink no more." He will "make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees" (Isa.25:6; Rev.19:6-9). Elijah's cup is a fifth cup reserved for "Elijah" when he comes. It is not drunk. The Jews now look for a literal fulfillment of Malachi 4:5 and open the door. The empty chair at the table is for him. Elijah is expected to enter some night and say, "The Messiah has come." Jesus and his disciples knew John the Baptist was "Elijah" and Christ the Messiah had already come, but both have a second coming.
17.) Say Grace (Deut. 8:10): "Blessed be God of whose bounty we have partaken and through whose goodness we live.... Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who feedest the whole world with thy goodness ... thou givest food to all flesh ... We thank thee" (Daily Prayer Book by Hertz, p. 968-969). When they had "sung a hymn" (Matt.26:30 & Mark 14:26), they went outside. They probably sang the rest of the Hallel -- Psalm 115 to 118, since this was the Jewish custom (Pesachim 10:7). However, the Seder always ended with the singing of the Great Hallel, Psalm 136.
Since the lamb was killed "between the two evenings" (between sunset and total darkness when the stars are visible -- the 40 minutes of dusk or twilight) (Ex.12:6), the PASSOVER SUPPER must be eaten sometime after sunset. If the lamb was killed at sunset, it was then cut open and the entrails were cleaned with water, then stuffed back in the body cavity and placed on a spit (pole) to roast over the fire (Ex.12:8-9). If started at sunset, it would be about 8 or 9 P.M. before they ate. This is when we should eat the lamb, bitter herbs, apple-nut-honey mixture, unleavened bread and wine today on Nisan 14. Since Christ was arrested around midnight (cp. Ex.12:29 & Luke 22:53), the PASSOVER SUPPER should be finished before midnight. The room should be neat and clean (Mark 14:14-15), and only circumcised people may participate (Ex. 12:43-45).
Although "Christians" consider this day a FUNERAL ceremony, and therefore a SOMBER occasion like "weeping for Tammuz" (Ez.8:13-14), the traditional Jewish way of keeping this day is by CELEBRATION and JOY. It is a PARTY of deliverance because of "him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood" (Rev.1:5; cf. Eph.1:7). Paul also indicated JOY (Rom.5:6-11). Jewish Christians must gather together at specific places (Deut.16:2,5-6; 2 Chr.30:1; 35:1).
Is Dancing Commanded At God's Feasts?
The English dance called a "JIG" came from the Hebrew "CHAG." Moses' message to Pharaoh was, "Let my people go, that they may hold a feast (Heb. "CHAGAG" ) unto me in the wilderness" (Ex.5:1). The Hebrew word "CHAGAG" means "prop. TO MOVE in a CIRCLE, i.e. (spec.) TO MARCH in a sacred procession, to observe a festival; by impl. TO BE GIDDY: -- celebrate, DANCE, (keep, hold) a (solemn) feast (holiday), REEL TO AND FRO." (Strong's #2287).
Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says this: "CHAGAG (kindred to the root chuwg [hoog]) to GO ROUND in a CIRCLE, hence -- (1) to DANCE, 1 Sa. 30:16 (2) to keep a festival, from the idea of LEAPING, and DANCING in sacred DANCES, Ex. 5:1; Lev. 23:41; especially of a public assembly, Psal. 42:5. ... (3) TO REEL, TO BE GIDDY, used of drunkards, Ps. 107:27; ..."
The kindred Hebrew root "CHUWG" (#2328 of Strong's) means "to describe a CIRCLE, to draw a CIRCLE, as with a compass." Another Hebrew word that is related is "CHAGAH" (#2283). Strong says it is "from an unused root mean. (ing) TO REVOLVE (compare to 2287 chagag) prop. vertigo, i.e. (fig.) fear; -- terror). King David was "LEAPING and WHIRLING" in his dance (2 Sam.6:16; Moffatt). A third Hebrew word associated more often than the others with the festivals is "CHAG" (#2282). Gesenius defines "CHAG" as: (1) "a festival, to keep
a festival (2) "a festival sacrifice, a victim." Deuteronomy 16:15 is a bad translation in the KJV. It says, "Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose." Here the entire phrase, "shalt thou keep a solemn feast," is derived from the one Hebrew word, CHAGAG. The passage could have been translated this way instead: "Seven days you shall CIRCLE DANCE before Yahweh, in the place which Yahweh will choose." First Samuel 30:16 actually translates the word "CHAGAG" as "DANCING" and Psalm 107:27 mentions sailors that "CHAGAG" or "REEL TO AND FRO" on deck in a stormy ocean. There is absolutely no reason to insert the word "solemn" into this verse.
Typical Jewish traditional DANCING has always been in a CIRCLE. God's festivals are times of joyous singing and dancing, not solemn, serious occasions. No wonder Pharaoh didn't like that idea. As Exodus 12:14 says, "So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it (CHAGAG) as a feast (CHAG) to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast (CHAGAG) by an everlasting ordinance." The phrase "you shall keep it" is translated both times from the Hebrew word "CHAGAG; TO DANCE, TO REEL, TO BE GIDDY." A better translation might be, "celebrate with DANCING the feast forever." Whether or not Exodus 12:14 applies to the Nisan 14 Passover or to the Nisan 15 festival is unimportant. We know that both days are times of CIRCLE DANCING because Exodus 23:18 and 34:25 apply "CHAGAG" to Nisan 14 Passover and Exodus 34:18,22 and 23:14 apply "CHAGAG" to the Nisan 15 festival. In fact, Exodus 23:14 and 34:18,22 apply "CHAGAG" to Pentecost and Sukkot as well. The weekly Sabbath and Day of Atonement may be exceptions since they are not associated with the word "CHAGAG."
But Exodus 23:14-17 makes it clear that "Three times you shall keep a feast (CHAGAG) to Me in the year; You shall keep the Feast of Unlea-vened Bread ... the Feast of Harvest ... and the Feast of Ingathering, ...
Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God." CIRCLE DANCE at all three festival seasons. We are actually commanded to "praise his name with the DANCE" (machol) (Ps.149:3). "praise him with the timbral and DANCE" (machol)" (Ps. 150:4). Men dance with men; women with women. As Jeremiah 31:13 says, "Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young MEN and old TOGETHER." And as Exodus 15:20 says, "And Miriam the prophetess ... took a timbrel in her hand; and all the WOMEN went out AFTER HER with timbrels and with dances." This dancing pictures the round yearly cycle of the plan of salvation.
The Fourteenth Or Fifteenth Of Abib?
In the Tosefta (Jewish oral laws which didn't make it into the Mishnah) we find ARGUMENTS AGAINST slaughtering the Passover lamb on Nisan 13th and eating it on Nisan 14. Thus by implication we know there must have been people who ARGUED FOR this method of keeping Passover. Even today in Israel we find descendants of the Samaritans who sacrifice Passover lambs just after sundown on Nisan 13 and consume them that same night on Nisan 14. Yet most Jews today eat the seder on Nisan 15.
Exodus 12:5-8 says that the Israelites were to choose a lamb and "keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it IN THE EVENING.... and they shall eat the flesh IN THAT NIGHT." But which evening is it? The evening that BEGINS the fourteenth day or the evening that ENDS the fourteenth day? If we observe Passover on the wrong day, we won't be protected by the blood. If the Israelites had put the blood on their door posts one day late, they would not have been protected.
The truth is that Passover must fall at the BEGINNING of the fourteenth of Abib. Here are the reasons why.
The first reason is that if it were the evening that ENDS the fourteenth day, Israel would have eaten the flesh in the night of the FIFTEENTH of Abib. Then "at midnight" that same night the firstborn of Egypt were smitten and none of the Israelites went "out at the door of his house UNTIL THE MORNING" (Ex.12:22,28). Also, before leaving their houses in the morning, they burned the bones and leftovers in a fire (Ex.12:10). But Israel left Egypt "BY NIGHT" (Deut.16:1) and "ON THE FIFTEENTH day of the first month" (Num.33:3). So it couldn't have been the evening that ENDS the fourteenth day. Instead it was the evening that BEGINS the fourteenth day since the NIGHT of the FIFTEENTH comes
BEFORE the day. Biblical days begin and end at sunset (Lev.23:32). God "PASSED OVER" the Israelite houses at "midnight" on the "fourteenth" (Ex.12:6,12,29). That's where "PASSOVER" got its name. The lambs were killed and the blood was put on the door posts BEFORE God PASSED OVER, not after.
The phrase "in the evening" or "at evening" found in Leviticus 23:5, Numbers 9:1-3, Joshua 5:10 and Exodus 12:6 comes from the Hebrew "BEN HA ARBAYIM" and means "BETWEEN THE EVENINGS." In other scriptures the phrase "at even" or "evening" comes from the Hebrew "BA EREV" and means "SUNSET." But "BETWEEN THE EVENINGS" doesn't mean "SUNSET." It means "BETWEEN SUNSET AND DARKNESS." Exodus 16 proves this using both the phrase "BA EREV" and "BEN HA ARBAYIM" together in the same context. The Soncino Chumash states,"It is a period of approximately one and a third hours between sunset and the disappearance of the light which subsequently penetrates through the clouds" (p.387). The S.D.A.B.C. 1:550 says, "Some have said that the first 'evening' begins with sunset and that the second begins with the end of twilight. The medieval Jewish
scholar Eben Ezra considered that twilight lasted for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. The command of Deuteronomy 16:6, "Thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun" seems to support this view. Others have regarded the first "evening" as beginning when the sun begins visibly to decline from the zenith ... and the second evening as beginning at sunset.... The prevailing custom in the time of Christ agreed with this explanation; hence, Passover lambs were slain in the late afternoon, approximately the time when the true "Lamb of God" died for guilty man on the cross (1 Cor.5:7; Matt.27:45-50; Ant. 14:4:3).
This brings us to the second reason Passover must fall at the beginning of the fourteenth. Exodus 16:8-12 says that "the Lord shall give you in the evening (BA EREV) flesh to eat ... At evening (BEN HA ARBAYIM) you shall eat flesh." The Lord gave BEFORE Israel ate. BA EREV came before BEN HA ARBAYIM. Thus, BEN HA ARBAYIM could not have been a part of the previous day before sunset. This eliminates any "possibility" of the Passover occuring at the END of the four- teenth. The Passover must have occurred at the BEGINNING of the fourteenth since that is the only time when BEN HA ARBAYIM occurs IN the fourteenth. Remember that days begin and end AT SUNSET. Birds, including quail (the "flesh to eat"), start to roost NEAR DARK -- not before.
Another scripture emphasizes this point. In Exodus 30:8 we read that "Aaron lighteth the lamps at evening (BEN HA ARBAYIM)." Would anyone light lamps BEFORE SUNSET? Of course not. Yet critics who wish to observe a Passover on the fifteenth insist that BEN HA ARBAYIM means from three o'clock in the afternoon to sunset. Why waste precious oil in the lamps while it is still light? Aaron wasn't being extravagant or wasteful. BEN HA ARBAYIM means "BETWEEN SUNSET AND DARK."
A third reason Passover must be observed at the BEGINNING of the fourteenth day is CONSISTENCY. Numbers 28:16-17 says, "in the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of the Eternal. And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast." So if "in the fourteenth" means AFTER it, then "in the fifteenth" must mean AFTER it also. The
Hebrew expressions used in these two verses are IDENTICAL. Therefore it is INCONSISTENT to teach that Passover and the feast of Nisan 15 are the same day. They are not the same (Ex.23:14-17; 34:18; Lev.23:5-8). However, by New Testament times all eight days are called the "Feast of Unleavened Bread" (Matt.26:17; Luke 22:1) or the "Feast of the Passover" (Luke 2:41; Antiquities 14:2:1 & 17:9:3)
A fourth reason why Passover must be observed at the beginning of the fourteenth day, rather than the end, is LOGISTICS. On Passover Israel dwelt in the land of Goshen (Ex.8:18) which is the northeast section of the Nile delta. Before the exodus could begin, the Israelites had to leave the land of Goshen. They had to leave their houses (Hebrew "bayith" means house, not tent -- Exodus 12:7,13 -- and the Egyptians dwelt in these "bayith" too -- 12:22) at daybreak (Ex.12:22,28)
and travel to Rameses to assemble. On the way they SPOILED the Egyptians (Ex.12:35-36). In addition to POSSESSIONS and FLOCKS and LIVESTOCK (12:38), we know there were "about six hundred thousand on foot that were men" (12:37) which means there were well over TWO MILLION including women and children.
Since the land of Goshen was approximately 300 square miles, each family would have had to travel an average of FIVE to SEVEN MILES to assemble at Rameses. RESTING, WATERING the flocks, ORGANIZ- ING in ranks of five abreast (This is the meaning of "harnessed" -- Ex.13:18), and then marching out of Egypt all took time. How could all of this occur in less than a full DAYLIGHT period of TWELVE HOURS?
Yet those who teach a Passover at the end of the fourteenth must visualize this occurring in less than SIX HOURS in moonlit DARKNESS.
A fifth reason why Passover must be observed at the BEGINNING of the fourteenth is JOSEPHUS. He was a Pharisee and priest of the first course who wrote just after 70 A.D. Regarding the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread he wrote: "We keep a feast for EIGHT DAYS which is called the Feast of Unleavened Bread" (Ant.2:15:1). If it was EIGHT DAYS, then the Passover had to be at the beginning of the fourteenth. The beginning of the fifteenth would be only SEVEN DAYS. Josephus also said, "The Feast of Unleavened Bread SUCCEEDS that of the Passover, and falls on the fifteenth day of the month, and continues seven days" (Ant.3:10:5). A priest and Pharisee ought to know such information. Josephus was also correct in his description of the Feast of Sukkot. He said, "Upon the fifteenth day of the same month, when the season of the year is changing for winter, the law enjoins us to pitch tabernacles in every one of our houses, so that we preserve ourselves from the cold of that time of year ... and keep a festival for eight days ... on the eighth day all work was laid aside" (Ant.3:10:4).
A sixth point concerns Ezekiel 45:21 which states, "In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the Passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten" (KJV). At first glance, this scripture seems to indicate that Passover must be the fifteenth to fit into the seven-day scenario. But this verse is translated better in the RSV, PPS, NAB and Rotherham which all supply a semicolon or put an "and" in between "Passover" and "a feast."
According to Jewish law, on the night before the Passover, as Nisan 13 began, all leaven had to be searched out in all residences and properties owned by Jews. The leaven was then gathered and burned in the morning by approximately 10 A.M. No one was to eat leavened bread in any form after 11 A.M. The unleavened bread for the Passover had to be made and ready by approximately 3 P.M. When Nisan 14 began, no leaven was to be found in any Jewish residence. This is why the Passover began to be called " the FIRST of the UNLEAVENEDS" by New Testament times (Matt.26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7). Also, unleavened bread is eaten at the "Lord's Supper" even though techni-cally we can still eat leavened bread this day. Luke 22:1 gives the Bible definition of the "Feast of Unleavened Bread" and it includes Passover. So this is the seventh reason why Passover doesn't fall at the beginning of the fifteenth. The name for the festival simply changed by New Testament times.
The eighth reason Passover must fall at the BEGINNING of the fourteenth day is because it WAS possible to slaughter 256,000 lambs" (Wars 6:9:3) between sunset and dark on the fourteenth. Critics argue that the lambs couldn't be slaughtered fast enough by the priests because of the large numbers and backlog that would be created. But they fail to realize it was "the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel (that) shall kill it at dusk" (Ex.12:6, JPSA), not the priests." The task would have been impossible for the priests, but easy for all the heads of households. As Philo, the Jewish historian, said, "the day called by the Hebrews in their own tongue, the Pash, on which the whole people sacrifice, every member of them, WITHOUT WAITING FOR THE PRIESTS, because the law has granted to the whole nation for one special day in every year the right of priesthood and of performing the sacrifices themselves" (Philo, De Decalouge, p.159; see also De Spec., Leg. II, p.145). The lambs were sacrificed on Nisan 14, Passover, since we read in Matthew 26:18 that Christ said, "I will keep the Passover."
The ninth reason is the correct understanding of "Jew's Passover" (John 2:13; 6:4; 11:55). During Jesus' time, only Jews were keeping the Passover, whether they kept it on the fourteenth or the fifteenth. It is also possible that John called it the "Jew's Passover" because they didn't honor God or obey him in the observance. Thus it would have been incorrect to call it God's Passover even though it was on the fourteenth.
Another point that creates confusion is the matter of TWO PASSOVERS observed at the time of Christ. The morning after Jesus and the disciples had eaten the PASSOVER, the priests had not yet eaten their PASSOVER. Christ and the disciples ate in the night and then went to the Garden of Gethsemane where Christ prayed. At midnight he was arrested and led to the high priest's house, where he was tried and condemned. Before dawn, he was taken to Pilate's palace. "Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment; and it was early. And they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the PASSOVER" (John 18:28; see also 19:14).
This TWO-DAY consecutive CELEBRATION of the Passover was due to "different reckoning of its date by the SADUCCEES and the PHARISEES respectively" (Theological Dict. of the New Testament, vol.3). The priests and Pharisees were going to eat the Passover on NISAN 15, the feast, as John 19:31 makes clear by mentioning that this day was a "SABBATH" and a "HIGH DAY." The Passover is never called a SABBATH or a HIGH DAY. The disciples would never have thought Christ was ordering food to be bought on this day (John 13:28-30) if it were a Sabbath.
If Christ and the apostles kept Passover on the FIFTEENTH, then the priests observed it on the SIXTEENTH, which is contrary to HISTORY and TRADITION. This later day must be the FIFTEENTH. Also, if Jesus took the Passover on the NIGHT of the FIFTEENTH, then it would mean he was crucified on the AFTERNOON of the FIFTEENTH -- a SABBATH and a HOLY DAY. The Jews would NEVER have ALLOWED an execution on a holy day. In fact, the Jews had the bodies removed from the crosses BEFORE the holy day began, lest it be defiled (John 19:31).
The Roman soldier thrust the spear into Christ's side on the ninth hour (3 P.M.). At the same time, the high priest was slitting the throats of any Passover lambs that had been brought to the temple (Many heads of households did this themselves the evening berfore). Both events occurred exactly"between the two evenings" (noon and 6 p.m.) as the Pharisees interpreted Exodus 12:6. As Jesus' blood was pouring out on the ground, the blood of the Passover lambs was being splashed on the altar. The priests offered sacrifices in the "ninth hour" (Ant.14:4:3). Thus, the time of Christ's death matched the normal afternoon sacrifice of the priests, while his "Last Supper" Paschal seder meal occurred the previous night "between the evenings." But both events occurred on the FOURTEENTH -- not the fifteenth. See also Lev.23:5; Num.9:1-3; 28:16; Joshua 5:10; 2 Chr. 35:1; Ezra 6:19 and Ex.12:5-8.
Wine Or Grape Juice -- Which?
Because of the fact that "fruit of the vine" (Matt.26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18) could refer to grape juice just as easily as to wine, many people sincerely wonder if the "Lord's Supper" shouldn't consist of grape juice rather than wine. Here are a number of reasons why we use wine rather than grape juice:
1.) Jewish history and custom NEVER USED GRAPE JUICE. As Peloubet's Bible Dictionary, article "wine," says, "The use of wine at the paschal feast (Passover) was not enjoined by the law, but had become an established custom at all events in the post-Babylonian period (c. 539 B.C.). No unfermented wine is now known in Palestine, and there is NO EVIDENCE OF ITS USE AT ANY TIME. The fermentation of wine was not at all considered a similar substance to the leaven of bread, and was not at any time prohibited to the Jews (unless they were under a Nazirite vow). Most probably the simple wines of antiquity were incomparably less deadly than the stupefying and ardent beverages of western nations ... A great attempt has been made to prove the wine drunk at the Lord's Supper unfermented, by and for the sake of the temperance workers of our day and nation. Such attempts are apt to do more harm than good, among those familiar with eastern customs today, or the history of those nations." (See M. Pesachim 10:1)
2.) The Haggadah Seder has always had FOUR CUPS of WINE, not grape juice (pp.50-59 of Christ In The Passover by Rosen). Christ participated in this Haggadah since he attached no great significance to the FIRST CUP of WINE which came BEFORE the bread (Luke 22:13-20) but did attach significance to the THIRD CUP of WINE which came AFTER the bread (Matt.26:26-27) -- known as the "cup of blessing" because it came after the blessing after meals (cp. 1 Cor.10:16). It was also called the "cup of redemption" because it represented the blood of the Paschal lamb to the Jews. Exodus 6:6-7 gives the meaning of the four cups of wine. Psalm 116:13 can be taken as a veiled command to obey this custom: ""I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord." The wine was served warm to better symbolize blood. Christ compared the third cup to his own blood (John 6:54) and the fifth "cup of Elijah" is not mentioned. To this very day the Jews serve FOUR CUPS of WINE -- not grape juice -- at Passover. The intertestamental Book of Jubilees is the first to mention drinking WINE with Passover (49:6).
3.) Christ said, "I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come" (Matt.26:29). Why? Because Christ went to the heavenly temple and, like the high priest, is serving in the Eternal's temple (Heb.4:14) and the high priest was commanded "DO NOT DRINK WINE nor STRONG DRINK ... when ye go into the tabernacle" (Lev.10:8-11). Thus we know Christ's last Passover included wine, because grape juice can be consumed at any time or place.
4.) Furthermore, wine was offered with sacrifices (Ex.29:38-40; Lev.23:13; Num.15:5,7,10; 28:14) to symbolize the shed blood of Christ which is his life. The "DRINK OFFERINGS of BLOOD" (Ps.16:4-5) CONSISTED of WINE, not grape juice (Num.15:10; 28:7). Thus we see that wine is a symbol of blood. Christ "poured out his soul (life) unto death" (Isa.53:12) as our drink offering of wine which we must drink once a year at Passover. Wine is ALIVE just as blood is LIFE (Lev.17:11). Grape juice is DEAD. It has been treated with a substance such as sodium bisulphate or pasteurized to KILL the yeast. This prevents the natural living process of fermentation.
5.) In Hosea 4:11 we read that "wine (tirosh) takes away understanding." so the "TIROSH" of Isaiah 65:8 that "IS FOUND IN A CLUSTER" and is "a blessing" INSIDE THAT CLUSTER, is the same as the "CUP OF BLESSING" (1 Cor.10:16), so must be WINE. Grape juice doesn't take away understanding. Grape juice immediately begins to ferment when squeezed from the grapes. From the moment a slight foam appears, usually the same day it is squeezed, the liquid is liable to the wine tithe according to Jews (Maaseroth 1:7). Since there are SIX MONTHS between the fall grape harvest and the spring Passover, and since the Jews had NO REFRIGERATORS, it would be very difficult to preserve their grape juice. It would all turn into wine by fermentation about 40 days after the fall harvest.
6.) Melchizedek brought forth "BREAD and WINE," not bread and grape juice. This may have been a PASSOVER celebration.
7.) Jewish marriage custom toasted with a glass of WINE after the DOWRY PRICE was agreed upon and the marriage COVENANT signed. In the same way, Christ PAID for his bride with his BLOOD and we are "bought with a PRICE" (1 Cor.6:20) when we agree to the NEW COVENANT. We can understand how high the bride price must have been that Christ paid when he asked his Father to "remove this CUP from me" (Luke 22:42; cp.1 Cor.6:19-20). By drinking this cup of wine, a Christian may also be symbolically accepting a life of suffering -- of laying down his life for others. When Christ said "Ye shall drink indeed of my CUP" (Matt.20:23), he was referring to PERSECUTION and MARTYRDOM for some Jewish Christians (Acts 12:2; Rev.1:9; 2 Tim.3:12).
Should We Eat The Lamb Today?
Matthew 26:19 says, "they made ready the Passover." They "DID as Jesus had COMMANDED them" (same verse). The Passover consisted primarily of a full course MEAL of LAMB. Christ nowhere changed this or the unleavened bread or the bitter herbs. On the contrary, we have both his COMMAND and his EXAMPLE proving the opposite. He COMMANDED his disciples and we should "DO all things whatsoever he COMMANDED them," even to the point of putting blood on the doorposts and not leaving the house till morning. (Christ DID leave the house but notice that he also DIED.) Don't leave your house till morning -- even today! The Passover lamb is NOT an added law. It is found from Exodus 19 to 23 -- not Exodus 25 to 31. The Book of Revelation still calls it the "marriage SUPPER of the LAMB" (Seder meal). So it wasn't abolished. Paul simply told the Corinthians to eat this LAMB SUPPER at home (1 Cor. 11:21-22), as was the Jewish custom anyway in groups of ten or more. This certainly indicates the lamb and bitter herbs were still consumed. It was AFTER SUPPER that the third cup was poured. "AFTER SUPPER" (Luke 22:20) implies a LAMB SUPPER that Christ ate FIRST-- setting us an EXAMPLE. Prior to this night, Jesus had been making the two-mile journey back to Bethany every night, where he was staying in the home of Simon the leper. However, the Passover lamb had to be consumed within the city limits of Jerusalem (city limits included Bethpage, but not Bethany), therefore the lamb could not legally have been taken back to Bethany for the Seder. While one could hold a seder in Bethany, the Passover lamb could not have been served there. This indicates that a Passover lamb was served at the last supper because "It was now two days before the Passover... And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper ... he sat at meat" (Mark 14:1-3; RSV & KJV). But when asked where to prepare Passover, he said, "Go into the city" (Mark 14:13). This refers to Jerusalem since he was already in Bethany. After supper he went to the "Mount of Olives" (Matt.26:30), to "Gethsemane" (Mark 14:32) and the "Brook Kidron" (John 18:1) -- all in Jerusalem. Christ had lamb, bitter herbs, unleavened bread (Ex.12:1-4) and wine. Yes, Christ is the true Lamb of God that takes away sins (John 1:29; Col.2:14; 1 John 3:5; 1 Cor.5:7; cp. Heb. 9:27-28; 10:1-22) and he is the Bread of Life. But just as we still eat physical bread at Passover, so also we still eat physical lamb. Christ didn't have to partake of the Passover (lamb, bitter herbs, bread and wine) because he had no sins to be forgiven. But he did this to set us an example "that ye should follow his steps" (1 Pet.2:21). "He that saith he abideth in him (Christ) ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked" (1 John 2:6) by observing the Passover. EARLY CHRISTIANS ATE LITERAL LAMB (Chronicon Paschale, Patrologia Graeca 92, 79D; Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 72:1). See J. Jeremias (note 1), p.902, note 49; also Bacchiocchi's Divine Rest, pp.243-244, 307.
Next Lesson: How to Observe the FEAST of UNLEAVENED BREAD
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Opponents argue that Christ is called "the Lamb of God" and instituted new symbolism -- matzo for his body and wine for his blood -- instead of lamb supplying these. Christ was crucified at 9 A.M. Preparation for the Passover sacrifices started at noon. The sacrifices had to be slain "between the two evenings" (Ex.12:6) which rabbis wrongly interpreted to mean "noon to sunset." But from noon till the ninth hour (3 P.M.) there was NO LIGHT for preparing sacrifices (Mark 15:33; Amos 8:9-10). DARKNESS began when the preparations for slaughtering a quarter of a million lambs started. Also the EARTHQUAKE broke the 30-ton stone lintel holding the veil up and TORE the temple VEIL as it crashed down (Matt.27:51) OPENING the BRASS DOORS and keeping them from being closed again. By law, the temple area was rendered ceremonially unclean and unfit for service by these events. But not individual homes. Jews also say there is no temple in which to fulfill the Passover sacrifice requirements of being "in the place where the Eternal chooses ... not any of your gates ... and in the morning ... go to your tents" (Deut. 16:1-7). That is why Jews use a shankbone in their seder today. They say the Passover lambs had to be slain at the temple and roasted and consumed within the city limits of Jerusalem. We know that individual homes were acceptable.