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First, let us lay out the age old problem. What we find when examining the gospels is that the first three - Matthew, Mark, and Luke - clearly state that the meal Yahshua ate with His disciples immediately prior to His crucifixion was the feast day Passover meal, while in contrast the gospel of John clearly states that Yahshua was crucified on Passover, and the preceding meal was nothing more than "supper." The following relevant passages are provided here so that you can see the problem for yourself. We will begin with the account recorded in each of the first three gospels.

Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "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 at hand; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples."’" And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover (Matthew 26:17-19).

And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, 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 and ready; and prepare for us there" (Mark 14:12-15).

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it." And they said to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare it?" And He said to them, "Behold, 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 departed and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover. And when the hour had come He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them, "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" (Luke 22:7-16).

These passages leave absolutely no question that the last supper Yahshua had with His disciples was clearly the Passover meal observed specifically on Passover, Nisan 14 (Exodus 12:6, Leviticus 23:5, Numbers 28:16). And if these were all the passages we had to consider, then there would be no problem; for these all corroborate the Nisan 14 Passover meal. But when we read the gospel of John, we get an entirely different scenario relative to when Passover occurred, and what the meal was that Yahshua shared with His disciples just before His crucifixion. Let us now examine these relevant passages from John.

Now before (or, prior to) the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the Son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God, and was going back to God, rose from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself about (John 13:1-4).

We see here already that the last supper that Yahshua had with His disciples was "before" or "prior to" the Passover, and not during, as clearly stated in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. But this is not all the evidence in John that equally corroborates a Passover crucifixion, in contrast to the other three gospel's Passover meal. Let us continue examining the testimony of John.

They led Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves (the Jews) did not enter into the Praetorium in order that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover (John 18:28).

When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment-seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour (an additional contradiction with the other three gospels which state that Yahshua was crucified on the third hour and there was darkness from the sixth to the ninth hours). And he said to the Jews, "Behold, your King!" (John 19:13-14)

For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "Not a bone of Him shall be broken" (John 19:36).

This last quote applies specifically to Yahshua’s fulfillment as the Passover lamb, which according to John 19:14 was being prepared at the very time of His crucifixion. Exodus 12:46 and Numbers 9:12 record this specific law concerning the Passover lamb; and Yahshua’s crucifixion specifically on Passover, according to John, was its fulfillment - they did not break His legs. This Passover crucifixion is confirmed by Paul when he states in 1 Corinthians 5:7 - "For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed."

Now do you see the testy problems with which theologians have wrestled? Matthew, Mark, and Luke clearly state that Yahshua ate the Passover meal with His disciples, and was thus crucified on the day after Passover, or the first day of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15). But, clearly John states that the meal with His disciples was merely a "supper" "before the feast of Passover," and that He was crucified on Passover (Nisan 14) as our Passover lamb. So which one is right? That question, again, is one theologians have wrestled with for many years. To give you a taste of how men have indeed wrestled with these contradicting dates, let us cite a few ways they have tried to resolve them. We will reference Harold W. Hoehner’s book, Chronological Aspects Of The Life Of Christ, pages 81-90, which lists a few of these.

Other attempts are made to harmonize the two accounts, including the following.

As one can see, there have been many attempts, many pens have been in motion, to resolve this question concerning Passover and Yahshua’s crucifixion. And the answers to which men have arrived are as divided and diverse as is the body of Christ, the "house divided."

But, as offered in this writing, what if Yahweh is saying something to us through these as divinely intentional and meaningful differences? (Intentional and meaningful in that there is a common author in all of these accounts - the Holy Spirit - and He makes no mistakes in His writings.) What we have provided to us here is a scenario in which by these two differing accounts, Yahweh gives testimony to two Passovers, or in net affect He doubles Passover. This is the unique complexity of Yahweh. By these two differing accounts He seeks to tell us something of utmost importance concerning Passover. Thus, instead of wrestling with these two accounts, trying to combine them into something which is impossible, or ignoring one or the other, both accounts need to be accepted for their differences and what Yahweh is testifying through their differences. (And once again, this is not an isolated occurrence; but the Scriptures are filled with these contradiction riddles that Yahweh uses to speak to us.)

It is profoundly amazing how Yahweh has used the foolishness of contradictions within His Scriptures (using that which has the appearance of being errors) to communicate to us. Paul declared that Yahweh in fact chooses the foolish things for the purpose that He may "shame the wise" (1 Corinthians 1:27). While men throughout the centuries have attempted to harmonize these subject verses, as well as other passages, the fact is they are looking for truth and answers in the wrong way. The answers are not found in harmonizing, but rather in discerning the riddles Yahweh is providing in the foolishness of these contradictions. When one understands this most unique design of Yahweh, then His word unfolds in a most wonderful and profound way, glorifying Yahweh for the magnificence of His design!

At this point, we could proceed and explain what this riddle of the contradicting two Passovers means; but, in order to truly understand what Yahweh is doing and saying here, we must expand the scope of this writing to include more than just a brief digest of why Yahweh would give a two or double Passover testimony at the death of Yahshua. In order to justly deal with this matter, we must examine more closely the importance of this highly significant feast as it affects or relates to the church. Yes, we know that Yahshua was crucified as the Passover lamb; but because of this unusual contradiction, we should be stirred to delve further into what He is saying to us. To help us understand, we must go back and examine the role that Passover played in the course of the Israelites when Passover and other laws were first instituted. This will be no small task; so, one will need to take what we have discussed up to now and hold onto it. We will incorporate this information together with other related information. But for now, let is look at the church and its relationship to Passover, as well as to Pentecost and Tabernacles.


Continue to page 3 of Passover for "THE CHURCH IN THE WILDERNESS"

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