James Patrick’s Blog

April 6, 2009

Good Thursday? part 3 – What ‘Passover’ did Jesus eat?

Filed under: History — alabastertheology @ 12:19 pm
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In the last post we established the difference in Jewish regulations between the ‘special Sabbaths’ that started and ended the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the normal Sabbaths on the seventh day of each week.  Every 15th and 21st of Nisan were to be ‘special Sabbaths’, and the 14th of Nisan on which lambs were to be slaughtered and yeast removed from houses was commonly known as the ‘Day of Preparation’, referred to by all four Gospels (Matthew 27:62, Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:14, 31, 42).  If the special Sabbath on the 15th of Nisan was followed by a normal Sabbath on the 16th, this would result in the ‘three days and three nights’ predicted by Jesus in Matthew 12:40, and it would mean that Jesus was crucified on a Thursday rather than a Friday.  However, if Jesus did die on the 14th, this raises questions about the ‘Passover’ meal Jesus is said to have eaten with His disciples in Matthew, Mark and Luke.

The Synoptic versions of Jesus’ last supper
To begin, it will be helpful to consider what the three ‘synoptic’ Gospels say about this meal.

Matthew 26:17-20
Now on the first of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?’  And He said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, “The Teacher says, ‘My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'”‘  The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.  Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining with the twelve disciples…”

Mark 14:12-17
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they were sacrificing the Passover, His disciples said to Him, ‘Where do you want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?’  And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, ‘Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher says, ‘Where is my guest room in which I may eat the Passover with my disciples?'”  And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished, ready; prepare for us there.’  The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.  When it was evening He came with the twelve…”

Luke 22:7-14
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover had to be sacrificed.  And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.’  They said to Him, ‘Where do You want us to prepare it?’  And He said to them, ‘When you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters.  And you shall say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher says to you, ‘Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with my disciples?'”  And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there.’  And they left and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.  When the hour had come, He reclined and the apostles with Him.

“There was evening and there was morning, the fourteenth day.”
The impression that is given in all three of these accounts is that the search for a room in which to eat the Passover began on the very day that the Passover lambs were being sacrificed.  Apart from the surprising lack of foresight this would indicate in the disciples, we have the added problem that the term ‘day’ is being used to refer to different segments of time in these accounts.  Genesis 1 introduces the Jewish understanding of a ‘day’ being made up of a night followed by a day (“evening and morning”), that is, twilight to twilight.  In a culture without watches, this is far more sensible than to calculate a day from midnight to midnight (night + day + night).

If we refer back to Exodus 12 and the regulations governing the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread, we are told that the lambs are to be slaughtered on the 14th of Nisan, before the sun sets (i.e. at the very end of the Jewish day).  In addition, the Feast of Unleavened Bread is said to begin on that 14th day (Exodus 12:18), even though elsewhere the Feast of Passover (14th) and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (15th – 21st) are carefully distinguished (e.g. Leviticus 23:5-6; Numbers 28:16-17).  Based on the account in Exodus, therefore, it would be perfectly correct to describe the night before the lambs were sacrificed (part of the 14th of Nisan) as part of the Day of Preparation, the ‘first day of Unleavened Bread’.

The ‘first day of Unleavened Bread’
If Jesus did indeed die on the 14th of Nisan, the Day of Preparation, this means that His meal the previous evening was also officially on that Day of Preparation, the first day of Unleavened Bread.  This is the primary focus of all three synoptic Gospels – they intend to point out for the reader that the important Last Supper, instituting the sacrament of bread and wine for the Church, was eaten with the disciples as part of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  By the time of the New Testament, the ‘leaven’ (yeast) could be used to symbolise sin (1 Corinthians 5:6-7), and it was important theologically to note that the bread representing Jesus’ body was unleavened bread.

The finding of a room earlier that ‘day’ (although officially the 13th of Nisan) is only told to give the context for the meal itself, which was on the 14th.  In fact, although Matthew’s account gives the most basic of descriptions about where the meal took place, Mark and Luke both highlight the fact that Jesus was far more prepared for this meal than His disciples were.  When one remembers that the Passover lambs were still to be sacrificed the following afternoon, this merely emphasises the fact that due to Jesus’ preparation, the Passover meal was all ready to be eaten a whole day earlier than the disciples had expected.

Passover meal before Passover?
Such an observation is made more prominent when we see how Luke has taken the predictions of the kingdom that Matthew and Mark had linked to the sharing of the cup, and put them at the beginning of his account of the meal, delaying mention of the betrayal until after the institution of the bread and wine.  Luke begins the story of the meal (22:15-18) with Jesus saying to His disciples, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”  Then taking a cup (not the cup of the new covenant, which came after the meal), He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.”

Twice, Jesus emphasised to His disciples that He would not be sharing this meal with them again for a long time.  He also explained how much He had wanted to eat the Passover with them before His suffering.  Considering that the correct time for the Passover meal was the following evening, these comments are entirely consistent with what the disciples must have been asking Him – “So are we going to be doing this all over again tomorrow?”  Much in the same way as friends of mine who always eat their Christmas dinner a day early, just so the whole family can be there, Jesus decided to eat the ‘Passover dinner’ a day early, to share it with His disciples.

Where is the lamb?
One further observation is essential here.  If the Passover lambs were not to be sacrificed until the following afternoon, the ‘Passover’ meal eaten by Jesus and His disciples at the beginning of the 14th of Nisan would have been without meat.  One can hear the disciples asking Jesus, like Isaac asked Abraham, “Behold, the unleavened bread and the bitter herbs, but where is the lamb?”  And like Abraham on the same mountain two thousand years earlier, Jesus’ reply was, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the sacrifice.”

“For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.  Therefore let us celebrate the feast.” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)

Exodus 12:10 makes it clear that the Passover lamb was to be eaten on the night beginning the 15th of Nisan, roasted just after it had been slaughtered at twilight on the 14th.  If any was left over until the morning, it was to be burned with fire.  When John mentions in John 18:28 that the high priest and his officers avoided entering the Praetorium “so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover”, he is making it unmistakeably clear that the actual Passover meal was not eaten by the rest of the Jewish nation until after Jesus had died.  If it had actually been eaten the night before, all that would have been left by this time in the morning would have been ashes.

As the Passover lambs were being slaughtered in the temple that afternoon, Jesus was “led like a lamb to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7), and as lambs’ blood was daubed on lintels and doorposts across the land, Jesus’ blood was staining the upright and cross-piece of the wooden cross.  In fulfilment of that command to Moses in Egypt nearly fifteen hundred years earlier, the worthy Lamb, the firstborn Son of God Himself, was slain in order that God’s judgement of Death might ‘pass over’ those of us who shelter beneath His covenant.

The next post looks at how this understanding of Good Thursday helps to explain the days prior to the Last Supper.

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16 Comments »

  1. Have you studied Luke 24:41-43? Studying the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, I became puzzled when covering these verses as it shows Jesus and the apostles ate foods other than Unleavened Bread during the seven days following the Passover; The Feast of Unleavened Bread. Coming across your blog I can tell you have done much study and was wondering if you would share what the Holy Spirit has revealed to you concerning these scriptures?

    Thank you,
    Eric

    Comment by Eric Gintert — April 18, 2009 @ 3:18 am | Reply

    • The importance of food during Unleavened Bread focused on two things – the perfect lamb that had to be eaten or burned completely on the night of the 15th, so that none was left over until the morning, and the bread that had to be baked without yeast throughout those eight days (14-21 Nisan). There were certainly no regulations about eating only bread during that feast. On the contrary, the idea of ‘holy convocations’ and the many sacrifices during the days of the festivals implies that people were feasting and celebrating throughout. The only thing was that any bread they ate had to be unleavened. So, for example, the bread broken by Jesus in Emmaus (Luke 24:30) must have been made without yeast because this was during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Fish, on the other hand, broiled or otherwise, was perfectly permitted.

      Comment by alabastertheology — April 18, 2009 @ 8:27 am | Reply

    • I’m not sure what the significance would be, though, of the fact that the first food Jesus ate after resurrection was fish. Obviously, many disciples were fishermen, and would have appreciated a meal of fish probably more than many in Jerusalem who hadn’t grown up around the Sea of Galilee. Perhaps there was something about the bones that would have been left over after He had consumed it – clear and ongoing evidence of His ability to ingest food. Perhaps it would be related to Jesus’ command to be fishers of men, but the theological significance of eating the fish doesn’t immediately present itself.

      Comment by alabastertheology — April 18, 2009 @ 7:05 pm | Reply

  2. I have heard it said that Jesus deliberately did not drink of the cup at passover and thus excluded Himself in type from the shelter of the executioner, thus becoming a victim at Calvary as a result.
    Comment please

    Comment by norman — September 5, 2009 @ 2:26 pm | Reply

    • It is true that we don’t read an explicit statement in the Gospels that Jesus actually drank from the Passover cup Himself. This is implied, however, by Matthew (26:29) and Luke (22:18) both recording Jesus as saying that He would not drink of the fruit of the vine “from now on” until the coming of the kingdom, and even more so by Mark 14:25, where Jesus says, “I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine…” It is most likely that Jesus did actually drink from that cup, a cup which represents His suffering in order to bring in the new covenant (Matthew 26:39; 20:22-23; cf. 2 Corinthians 4:10; Philippians 3:10; Colossians 1:24).

      In the regulations for the Passover, there was no suggestion that drinking wine as part of the meal protected the believer from the destroying angel (wine isn’t even mentioned). What protected them was the blood of the lamb put on the doorposts and lintel, a lamb which represents Jesus Himself as our atoning sacrifice (1 Corinthians 5:7). Jesus did not need to be sheltered from the destroyer, because He was completely innocent of any wrongdoing unlike the children of Israel. The destroyer killed the firstborn because they were not holy (cf. Exodus 13:11-15; 30:11-16 and Numbers 3:11-13), but Jesus was the perfectly holy Firstborn of God, and did not deserve destruction. This is precisely the reason He was able to offer Himself as an unblemished sacrifice on behalf of sinners, just as the Levites substituted themselves for the children of Israel.

      In summary, then, Jesus probably did drink of the cup at Passover, He did not need shelter from the executioner, and He was not a ‘victim’ but rather offered Himself as a willing umblemished sacrifice, receiving the punishment as a substitute for sinners.

      Comment by alabastertheology — September 5, 2009 @ 5:33 pm | Reply

  3. Thanks for your comments, and yes I do understand that Jesus was without sin and did not deserve God’s judgment at Calvary. However my thoughts are that seeing the original passover required that the Israelite needed to be in the house and sheltered by the blood of the lamb if he was to avoid death, so Jesus in order to fulfill the type, refrained from this cup of the new covenant and exposed Himself to the wrath of God for sinners and subsequently died as our substitute.

    Comment by norman — September 8, 2009 @ 10:07 pm | Reply

  4. I thought you were to keep the lamb up until the 14 day which would be the end of the 13th day of abib which is about dark are the beginning of the 14th day then you put the blood on the door and roast the lamb and eat it that night, then burn the bones and what was left in the morning which was still the 14th of abib,because the feast of leaven bread starts at dark on the 14th which is the beginning of the 15th.
    I am confussed now please help

    Comment by aj — September 29, 2011 @ 3:17 am | Reply

    • The lamb is killed on the afternoon of the 14th day, its blood put on the doorposts, its flesh roasted and eaten that night (i.e. the start of the 15th day), so that none remains until the morning of the 15th day.

      Comment by alabastertheology — June 21, 2013 @ 12:13 pm | Reply

  5. I think there is an error in your premise. The preparation day is the day before Passover which is the thirteenth of the first month. Also note that the feast of unleavened bread is as you say a seven day feast with the first and last day being a high sabbath. This leaves a normal, or Saturday,Sabbath in the midst and a first fruits festival the following day. Now the prophecy of Jonah that Jesus refers to is three days and three nights in the grave. If he is crucified at sundown then the clock would start with the first night. This leaves the resurrection occurring after the third day and before the fourth night. We know he was risen by early Sunday morning, (My belief is this was to fulfill the role of priest in offering the first fruits which were the saints who were released from their graves at his death) but was in the grave Saturday day. You are correct in realizing the day ends at sundown. This means that in order to complete the prophecy Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday at passover. The meal he ate was not passover but was the preparation day meal and the bread would have been leavened. I realize the texts of Mathew Mark and Luke say differently but I find it more likely that they are mistranslated than to think that Jesus failed to fulfill the prophecies as they were stated. I believe you are correct to say he was eating the preparation day meal, but that meal is on the thirteenth, and the feast of unleavened bread is two days away, after Passover.

    Bruce

    Comment by Bruce — June 29, 2012 @ 4:38 am | Reply

  6. I appreciate these interesting commentaries. Thanx for writing them.

    From my perspective, the main reason why I think Jesus’ execution procedure must have began on the night of the 14th (= the night immediately following sunset of the 13th) is b/c the political leaders in 2nd Temple Israel would not hold the trail and execution during a High Holy Day (= the night and day immediately following the Passover meal (considering the Passover meal began at the end of the 14th and beginning of the 15th). If the political leaders of 2nd Temple Israel held a judicial convocation during a High day, and at that, in a Gentile form, they would be violating a number of the Mosaic commandments and a myriad of 2nd Temple halakah (= statutes & regulations). I seriously doubt the leaders would hold an “common/judicial convocation” during a commanded “holy convocation”. Included in all of that are all the priestly duties which they would be unfit to practice had they ‘contracted uncleanness’ from being in a gentile jurisdiction and venue. As it is, the rabbis considered the entire gentile world ‘under idols’, and consequently ‘unclean’ to the core.

    So, it follows that Jesus had to have eaten the Passover on the night of the 14th (= immediately after the 13th ended).

    That puts Christ’s crucifixion during the day when the Priests were sacrificing the Passover lambs/goats. The Mishnah offers some insight on this, as well as G.F. Moore (Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era). It’s important to remember that 1000’s of animals were butchered during this time, which meant the Levites had to begin butchering them early in the day. I believe they began after the mid-day sacrifice. It’s also important to realize that “preparation” for the holy days began at least a week or 2 before the commencement of the holy time. The reason is b/c every aspect of the “holy city” (= Jerusalem) had to be “ceremonially cleansed” and marked as-such. That took a lot of time. So, “preparation day” is more than just preparation for the Passover meal and “removing all the leaven from [one’s] borders”.

    The thought that Jesus ate no meat during his Passover observance is interesting to consider. However, the “rabbinic law” requires that the Passover meat be eaten. I wonder how God views the relevant 2nd Temple statues and regulations, and the Mosaic commandments upon which they’re based? The reason I say that is b/c Christ is supposed to be “sinless”. But if he failed to eat the Passover meat, then he broke the law. The questions that arise at this point would be:

    1. WHICH LAW/S DID GOD REQUIRE CHRIST TO KEEP TO MAKE HIM SINLESS?

    2. WHICH LAW/S WERE IRRELEVANT, SO CHRIST COULD DISREGARD THEM AND NOT A/EFFECT HIS SINLESS LIFE?

    Cheers … Chris

    Comment by Chris — May 13, 2014 @ 10:26 pm | Reply

    • Dear Chris,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I am glad to find that you also understand Yeshua to have died on the afternoon of the 14th, when the lambs were being slain. I agree that correct Passover observance requires that the lamb be eaten, and had Yeshua lived long enough to celebrate the Passover meal with His disciples at its appointed time on the evening of the 15th (by which time He was already in the tomb), He would have eaten meat also. However, in order to commemorate the feast with His disciples before He suffered, He would have had to celebrate the meal with them a day early, which would mean that they could not eat the Paschal lamb as part of the meal. In that sense, it would have been ‘inadequate’ as a true Passover meal, and perhaps the disciples celebrated the proper meal the following evening while in mourning, if they felt like eating anything at all. Essentially, the Last Supper must have been a ‘Passover meal’ without the lamb, almost like a ‘Thanksgiving dinner’ without the turkey, leading the disciples to ask Yeshua whether they were going to eat it again the following night (similar to the way Orthodox Jews in the diaspora today celebrate a second night of Passover). His response would have been that He would not eat this meal with them again until it was fulfilled in the Kingdom of God (Luke 22:15-16). This would therefore presumably preclude the possibility that Yeshua ate a proper Passover meal with His disciples one month later (after His resurrection and before His ascension) as permitted by the Law (Numbers 9:1-14). Nevertheless, the Last Supper was a Passover meal in all respects save the lamb, and it was a way of Yeshua shifting the focus of the meal from the lamb (symbolising deliverance from Egypt) to the bread and wine (symbolising His own body given to deliver from sin and death).

      This being the case, Yeshua broke no laws in failing to eat the lamb, because by the time the evening of the 15th came around (when the Passover was normally meant to be eaten), He was already in Paradise. The disciples could have eaten it one month later if they felt unable to eat it on the 15th. However, the meal they ate was recognisably a Passover meal, hence Yeshua’s description of it in those terms (Matthew 26:18; Mark 14:14; Luke 22:11), and the fact that it was eaten without a lamb was simply a consequence of it being a prophetic ‘type’ or anticipation of the greater Passover that Yeshua would fulfil with His own body and blood (Luke 22:15-16).

      Hope that makes sense.
      James

      Comment by alabastertheology — May 14, 2014 @ 8:41 pm | Reply

  7. James,

    Thanx for your reply. I like this statement, “This being the case, Yeshua broke no laws in failing to eat the lamb, because by the time the evening of the 15th came around (when the Passover was normally meant to be eaten), He was already in Paradise.” The reason is b/c you kind’a slid past the issue on a technicality. But … and that’s a huge “but” … Y’shuah himself said he desired to eat the Pesach w/the 12, and he said go prepare it. So, IMO, you slid to 2nd base, but the catcher made the throw in time for 2nd baseman to make the play, and the ump says “yurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr OUT!” (Well, it’s maybe not that dramatic.).

    The way I see it is this: Maybe they did eat lamb/goat? What if the slaughtering of animals began 2 days before the night of the Pesach? I can’t recall, but I think it was in Moore that I read they spend a week or 2 preparing for the Pesach. I don’t recall if anybody has found any evidence of the butchering happening 2 days before the meal. I wonder if anybody does?? If so, then Y’shuah had an authorized animal, and observed Pesach 1 day early. If not, and if they ate the lamb, I wonder if there were halakah for that scenario?

    In any case, I still ask where in the law did Y’shuah get authority to change the timing of the event to one day early?

    It’s very easy to justify his act after the fact by saying something like this, “Jesus is the lord of the Sabbath, and so he’s obviously lord of the high day Sabbaths. So, he does as he pleases, b/c he has his agendas to fulfill. So that settles it!”

    Technically, that’s a cop-out. But realistically, it’s not a problem for me, considering what “the law” means (= an administrative system designed/perverted and run by MEN: the uber rich, government officials, bureaucrats and their administrative entrapment systems, law enforcement officers, revenue collection systems, etc.), not just a list of commandments/statutes/ordinances/regulations/etc.

    Consider the contrast:

    An administrative system run by the Holy Spirit, Y’shuah at God’s Right Hand, and “apostles” and “apostolic delegates” hand-picked by Y’shuah.

    So, IMO, it still comes down to my original 2 questions:

    1. WHICH LAW/S DID GOD REQUIRE CHRIST TO KEEP TO MAKE HIM SINLESS?

    2. WHICH LAW/S WERE IRRELEVANT, SO CHRIST COULD DISREGARD THEM AND NOT A/EFFECT HIS SINLESS LIFE?

    Got any ideas? … Chris

    Comment by Chris — May 26, 2014 @ 5:30 pm | Reply

    • Perhaps my original reply was not as clear as I thought it was; a re-reading might go some way to answering your second comment also.

      Regarding the killing of the lambs, the law of Moses specified that this must take place on the day before the Passover, so it could not have started two days before. There was no way that Yeshua’s last supper could have been a Pesach meal that included authorised meat. The only option, then, was that it was a partial Passover meal.

      Even so, there is no indication that Yeshua was trying to change the date of the festival itself. Perhaps the fact that the disciples were still in the (same?) upper room on the Sunday suggests that they had holed themselves up there, and therefore may well have observed Pesach again on the Thursday night, this time with meat. On the other hand, at least some of them may have been counted “unclean because of a dead person” (Num 9:10) by virtue of helping to bring Yeshua’s body down from the cross and into the tomb, in which case they were legally allowed to postpone celebrating Pesach for one month.

      As for your two original questions, Yeshua broke no law by eating a ‘Pesach meal’ one day early, just as it would not be illegal to blow the shofar on the day before the Feast of Trumpets, providing you also blow it on the Feast of Trumpets. But Yeshua Himself could not eat the Pesach meal on the proper day, since He was dead. His disciples could in theory, so they may have kept the law by eating it a second time one day later.

      Yeshua had to keep all the laws of Moses that were applicable to Him as an unmarried Jewish male, which of course means that laws pertaining to Jewish women or to Jewish fathers were technically ‘irrelevant’ for Him. As Yeshua Himself said, “Which one of you convicts me of sin?” (John 8:46). We have no evidence that he considered any law of Moses ‘irrelevant’, even though He Himself could only keep the laws that pertained to Him. Once His death fulfilled the law of Moses in all respects, though, He was able to inaugurate the new covenant with the law of the Spirit of life, rendering the law of Moses obsolete as an enforceable standard of righteousness (though it had technically been obsolete ever since its curses for breaking the covenant had been enacted at the Babylonian exile).

      Hope that helps.

      Comment by alabastertheology — October 6, 2015 @ 3:11 pm | Reply

  8. Don’t forget, the Sabbath falls on a Saturday (not Sunday) in the Jewish calendar so it is quite possible that the crucifixion took place on the Tuesday with the Passover commencing at sunset on the Tuesday evening into the following Wednesday. According to accurate calculations this would have been the actual date of the Passover in AD 31- specifically starting Tuesday after sunset until Wednesday sunset April 25th This would also allow the three days and three nights that Jesus stated he would be in the belly of the earth before resurrection. Mary arrived at the tomb early Saturday morning (the Sabbath) and found the tomb empty indicating the resurrection took place sometime late Friday. That week there would have been two Sabbaths. The one on the Saturday and the other Special Sabbath referred to in the Gospels which would have been on the Wednesday.following the crucifixion- the first day of Passover.

    With regards to Jesus’s statement at the last supper (which must have taken place on the Monday evening) regarding not drinking any more wine I believe this may be relevant to the Nazarite oath which is an oath taken for a specific purpose mainly to do with separation and consecration. It strictly forbids any consumption of wine, vinegar and any part of the grape during the period of the oath. It also forbids the cutting of hair as the head is seen as being sacred and is also associated with the Royal Crown of Kings (crown of thorns). Twice Jesus refused both vinegar (mixed with Gall) and Wine (mixed with myrrh) on the way to the cross.The concept of separation is particularly important in the Nazarite oath hence My God, My God why has thou forsaken me.This would have occurred at the same time as the Temple Lambs would have been slaughtered in preparation for the Passover (estimated to run into the thousands). The oath was completed following this period of separation and consecration with the words ‘I am thirsty’ at which point Jesus did take the wine offered. This was his final act as the gospels then record he cried ‘It is Finished’
    The Nazarite oath would normally have been taken for a specific purpose and within a specific time frame. There would normally have been a statement indicating the start of the oath (at the last supper) and a statement indicating when the oath was over. – It is finished, on the cross.

    Comment by Noel Campbell — May 22, 2015 @ 10:53 pm | Reply

    • Your comments about the possibility of a Nazirite vow connected to Jesus’ refusal of wine on the cross are something that I have observed and written about elsewhere – in fact, I think the instructions about the Nazirite vow in Numbers 6 were deliberately included to allow for a non-Levitical high priest who would atone for the nation.

      As for your suggestions about a Tuesday-Wednesday Passover and a Saturday resurrection, I’m afraid this is impossible, since the Gospels all agree that Jesus rose on the first day of the week, which is a Monday and cannot be interpreted any other way.

      Thank you for your comments.

      Comment by alabastertheology — October 6, 2015 @ 1:59 pm | Reply

  9. Further to my recent comments regarding the possibility of the crucifixion occurring on Wednesday AD 31, I have looked at the evidence again and realised I was wrong. The Festival of Unleavened Bread would have started on Nisan 14th and would have lasted 7 days. Passover would have commenced Nisan 15th and was a 24 hour celebration.The first day of Unleavened Bread would in fact have been Wednesday (after sunset – last supper) which would have been Nisan 14th in 30 AD (given the lunar calendar in that year). That means the crucifixion would have taken place on the Thursday with Jesus being placed in the tomb late on Thursday afternoon. Passover would then have begun at sunset on the evening of Thursday which would have been Nisan 15th. Thursday would have been the Day of Preparation of the Paschal Lambs and the Special Sabbath would have commenced Thursday evening running into Friday evening. (24 hours). This would have been immediately followed by the Ordinary Sabbath which would have begun at sunset on Friday and lasted until sunset on Saturday. Mary would then have come to the tomb at the first viable opportunity which would have been early on Sunday morning. If we take AD 31 as a possible date, given the lunar calendar in that year then Nissan 14th would have fallen on Wednesday with the last supper taking place on the Tuesday evening and the crucifixion on the Wednesday. Passover would have been Wednesday evening from sunset till Thursday evening (Special Sabbath). We than have a gap between Thursday evening and Friday evening before the start of the ordinary Sabbath on Friday evening running into Saturday evening. If Mary wanted too she could have gone to the tomb on the Friday as this would not have been considered a holy or Sabbath day which begs the question why she did not. The bible is quite clear that the first opportunity to go the tomb was the first day of the week following the Sabbath which was the Sunday. The date of AD 31 seems therefore unlikely with the much better date of AD 30 giving us the reason why Mary was unable to attend the tomb until the Sunday because we had Two consecutive Sabbaths following on from Thursday evening (Passover) and Friday evening (ordinary Sabbath). Given that even walking and certainly carrying anything was considered work on the Sabbath it is unlikely that Mary would have been able to get the tomb before Sunday. I therefore am in agreement that the most likely date for the crucifixion given the lunar calendar was AD 30 not AD 31 with the crucifixion occurring on the Thursday of that week.Whilst it is also true that preparation for the Feast of Unleavened Bread would certainly have taken place before Nisan 14th it would not normally have been referred to as the Day of Preparation which would have specifically referred to the preparation necessary for the Passover on Nisan 15th. My further comments regarding the Nazarite Oath I still however believe are valid. I trust this clarifies the situation..

    Comment by Noel Campbell — May 25, 2015 @ 10:53 am | Reply


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