Tuesday, April 11, 2017

What About Easter

This is a study to show that the Passover or the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and everything done during this time, was done to point all men to Jesus … the true Lamb of God.

Luke 22:1 … "Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover."

The name "Passover" was given to the feast because the Lord "passed over" the houses of the Israelites with the blood of the Lamb on them without slaying their first-born, while all Egyptians first-born were slain.  Because of this, Pharaoh allowed Moses to lead God's people out of Egyptian bondage.    

During this feast the Jews eat their bread without leaven, in commemoration of the haste in which they left Egypt; so quickly in fact, that they didn't have time to leaven their dough, so they took it and their kneading troughs as they left Egypt. 

Exodus 12:34 … "And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders." 

On the tenth day of the month Nisan, the head of a family separates a lamb or a goat of a year old from the flock, (Exodus 12:1-6) puts it in his house and watches it for 4 days to make sure it was without a blemish, which he then killed on the 14th day. The lamb was commonly believed to have been slain at about 3 p.m., the ninth hour of daylight. 

The slain lamb was roasted whole, with two spits thrust through it - one lengthwise and one transversely - crossing each other near the forelegs, so that the animal was in a manner … crucified.  Not a bone of the lamb was to be broken; again pointing to Jesus, the Passover Lamb slain for us, fulfilling (Psalm 34:20) according to John 19:36 … "For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken." 

I also wonder if the Roman soldier that took a spear and stuck it into the side of Jesus while He was still hanging on the cross did so to represent the spits that were run through the Passover lamb.  Can it also be said that after His death, the act of Jesus going down into Hell itself represented the fire that roasted the lamb in preparation for the Passover meal? 

From the 14th to the 21st of the month Nisan, the people ate unleavened bread; hence the celebration was also called "the feast of unleavened bread."  On the evening of the fourteenth day, (Passover) all the leaven or yeast (which represents sin) was removed from the home.  This was a type or shadow to come, to represent what Jesus was going to do as our Sacrificial Lamb when He removed or took all the sin or leaven from our lives when He died during … "the feast of unleavened bread."      
Passover was always observed on the fourteenth day of the month Nisan; which would have placed it on Wednesday this particular year that Jesus died.  The Feast of Passover or unleavened bread was celebrated for seven days; from the evening of Passover thru the next seven days, from the 14th to the 21st of the month Nisan.

And now the time line
John 12:1-3 … "Jesus, six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.  There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.  Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair …"

Martha's sister Mary is always seen at the feet of Jesus, listening to His words, weeping at the graveside of her brother, or here anointing His feet.  John confirms this act of love took place in Martha's home when he says … "It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick."  (John 11:2)

Next Jesus leaves Bethany and goes to Jerusalem.  Is it just a remarkable coincidence, that on this very day, the tenth of Nisan, four days before the Passover, Jesus made His entry into Jerusalem?  Could this act represent Israel bringing their lamb, into their house for the four day inspection?  Just as the Passover lamb was inspected for four days … so was Jesus.  No blemishes were found on this lamb; He was perfect.  Even Pilate said, "I find no fault in Him."  

John 12:12-13 … "On the next day much people that were come to the feast, (for Passover) when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him …"

Matthew confirms in Chapters 24 & 25 that Jesus was in Jerusalem teaching after leaving Bethany a few days before Passover.
Matthew 26:1-2 … "And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, (His teachings) he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified."

After coming to Jerusalem, Jesus continued His normal teaching and also cleaned the leaven (sin) from the Temple, (His House) by driving the money changers away, and then two days before Passover, goes back to Bethany.  Matthew 21:17 … "And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there."  Here Jesus is anointed a second time, but not in Mary and Martha's house.  

Matthew 26:6-7 … "Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat."  The first anointing by Mary was on His feet six days before Passover; the second anointing was on His head by an unknown woman two days before Passover.

In this discourse about the Passover pointing to Jesus … I want to speak briefly about what took place in the courtyard at the end of the trial of Jesus.  I am placing my remarks here because chronologically in the time line I am about to cover, there really isn't any place for my remarks to fit since I'm not covering the trial.  But I feel a couple of points need to be made.  

After the trial …    

John 18:38-40 … "Pilate … went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.  But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?  Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man (Jesus) … but Barabbas."

Matthew 27:25 states this … "Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children."

There was a custom that had been established to symbolically represent the scapegoat (with the sins of the nation placed on it, Leviticus 16:7-10) that was set free each year on the day of Passover.  Pilate felt obligated to honor this custom which allowed a criminal, chosen by the people, to be set free from his sentence of death.
But this year things were slightly different … not in what they did, but in whom they chose … Barabbas.   In Luke 23:18, the people … "cried out all at once, saying … release unto us Barabbas …"   Without knowing, the people were in reality saying the following … "Release the Son of the Father."  The name Barabbas, when you break it down is this … Bar means "son" and abbas means "father."   They were asking for "the Son of the Father" to be released.  And who is the Son of the Father?  Jesus

Again, even the cry of the people … points to Jesus.

There is also a phrase in Exodus Chapter 12 that we should take note of in the instruction God gives Moses concerning the death of the Passover lamb.  It was this … "the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening."  

How true this scripture turned out to be … it was as if the whole assembly of Israel did kill Jesus, God's Passover Lamb … and His blood was on them and their children from generation to generation.
By saying "let His blood be on us," they were in reality saying … "let us have the responsibility and suffer the punishment if we are wrong."  What a fearful legacy to leave your children; what an awful inheritance to leave for them.  Because of these words the history of the Jews from that day forward has been the darkest recorded in the annals of history.

Now going on … in looking at the time line, (the Last Supper, His arrest, trial and crucifixion) we have one of the most difficult questions of Scripture chronology … whether the Lord ate the Passover meal one day before the regular Jewish Passover, or at the usual time.
Many great authorities hold that He ate it the day preceding, and died on the day of Passover itself, at the same time all the Jewish Passover lambs were slain, the ninth hour, 3:00 p.m., at the same time of the blowing of the Shophar.  

So let's look at this problem

Mark 14:12 … "And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, (Wednesday the 14th) his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?"

Both Mark and Matthew say that it was the day of the Passover, (Wednesday the 14th) when His disciples first enquired about preparing for the Passover meal.

Matthew 26:17-20 … "Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread (Passover) the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover
And he said, Go into the city (Jerusalem, for as yet, they were in Bethany) to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples. 
And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover
Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve."

This could not be … it could not have been the first day of the feast … because Jesus having already eaten His Passover meal with His Disciples, was betrayed, arrested, tried and beaten late on Tuesday night thru early Wednesday morning.  He was then crucified around noon (the sixth hour) and died at 3 p.m. (the ninth hour) and was placed in the tomb on Wednesday evening, the 14th … the day of Passover itself.

With the clarification of the time of the trial in John 19:14 that … "it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour …" meaning around noon, the time in which they were in the process of preparing to kill the paschal lamb later during the ninth hour; as well as Pilate proclaiming to the Jews during the trial of Jesus, "Behold your King!" … with these statements, we have positive proof that the Lord's Last Supper had to have been eaten the night before the Passover.   

The opinion that the Lord was already betrayed, tried, condemned and crucified before the evening of the Passover itself seems positively accurate.

After Jesus eats the Passover meal on Tuesday evening … He goes to the Garden of Gethsemane and is betrayed, arrested, tried, crucified and is quickly placed in the tomb on Wednesday evening, the 14th … Passover itself.
This is a fact … Jesus would had to have died on Passover Wednesday in order to lay three days in the grave … Thursday, Friday and Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath) and then to rise and leave the tomb by Sunday morning … the first day of the week.

I'm not really too concerned about any problems or questions some people may have about the timing of events chronologically leading up to the death of Jesus; nor evidently is God since He allowed it to be written as it is in the Gospels.

I found it interesting as to how all the things done, the symbolism and the timing; it all does indeed … point to Jesus.  The words of John the Baptist still ring true … "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." 

Comments welcome …