Commentary — From the Margins

Reconciling the Passover with the Calendar

_______________

 

On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’” So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.”

On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” So the people rested on the seventh day. (Ex 16:22–30).

_______________

 

Israel in Egypt did not keep the Sabbath: the nation was a slave people and was not free to control the hours or days when the nation labored. Thus, one month after leaving Egypt, when the nation grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and lamented not having the meat pots and bread the nation had eaten in Egypt, the Lord gave to Israel manna (bread from heaven) and the Sabbath, the day when Israel was to remain in camp, resting.

The absence of bread from heaven identified which day was the Sabbath. For endtime disciples, however, it was the withholding of manna as the shadow and type of the absence of Christ Jesus during the three days and three nights when He was in the heart of the earth that has significance; for Jesus is the true Bread that came down from heaven (John 6:32–33).

About Jesus’ crucifixion, John writes, “?Ę @Ţ< [@L*"Ă@4 [The therefore Jews]s ¦B, B"D"F6,L¬ µ< [since preparation was], Ë<" :¬ :,\<® ¦B J@Ř FJ"LD@Ř JŹ Ff:"J" [that not stay on the stake the bodies] ¦< Jč F"$$VJĺ [during the Sabbath], µ< (ŹD :,(V80 [was for great] ş ş:XD" ¦6,\<@L J@Ř F"$$VJ@L [the day of that the Sabbath], the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away” (John 19:31). Straightening out John’s Greek and putting what he wrote into common English syntax, Jesus was crucified on the preparation day for the Sabbath, the great day of the Sabbath, making the entirety of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the Sabbath, with its first day, the 15th of Abib, the great Sabbath of this Sabbath.

If for Israel the absence of manna after manna had been given for six days established when the weekly Sabbath was to be observed, it would logically follow that when moving from physical to spiritual, the absence of the true Bread from heaven—after being among His disciples for three and a half years—would establish when the Sabbath represented by the Feast of Unleavened Bread was to be observed. And when disciples are given the authority to forgive or withhold forgiveness of sin (John 20:23), and to bind or loose (Matt 16:19), then disciples have the authority to establish the annual calendar after the model and pattern of the weekly calendar, with the absence of Christ Jesus during the Sabbath that is the Feast of Unleavened Bread establishing the date for the great Sabbath of the Sabbath, the 15th day of Abib, the first high day of Unleavened Bread.

Jesus gave only one sign that He was from heaven, the sign of Jonah:

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matt 12:38–40 emphasis added) 

The Book of Jonah records, “And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” (1:17).

In the Hebrew, there is no ambiguity about how long Jonah was in the belly of the whale: three days are three hot portions of a 24 hour period, and three nights are three twistings away or turnings away from the light period of a day. There is no inclusive counting that has a portion of a day being counted as a day. Therefore, if Jesus will be believed—most of Christendom truly doesn’t believe Jesus—He was in the Garden Tomb for three full days. And since Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus placed Jesus’ body in a near tomb because the Sabbath was at hand (John 19:42), Jesus would have been in the grave all of the High Sabbath, the 15th of Abib; all of the following day, the 16th of Abib; and all of the following day, the 17th of Abib. He was gone from the tomb before dawn J± :4 Jä< F"$VJT< (the one [day] after the Sabbath — John 20:1).

The 17th of Abib of the year when Jesus was crucified was the weekly Sabbath, the 16th was Friday, and the 15th was Thursday, meaning that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, the 14th of Abib.

To establish the annual calendar with the absence of the true Bread from heaven occurring on the Sabbath after this true Bread has come down from heaven, endtime disciples know that the 15th day of Abib occurred on a Thursday—

Contrary to popular belief and the poor scholarship of Wiki articles, Tiberius Caesar begins to reign in 13 CE, not 14 CE. He reigned as co-emperor with Augustus for a little more than a year before Augustus died in 14 CE. And Luke, living under Tiberius would have known that Tiberius ruled as Augustus withdrew from active political life for that last year before he died.

In the 15th year is not after 15 years, but after 14 years; so John the Baptist’s ministry begins in 27 CE at about the Passover, with Jesus’ ministry to begin about six months later, or about the beginning of Fall Feast. Thus, Jesus was crucified in 31 CE, on the Julian calendar.

In 31 CE, the vernal equinox was on March 23rd, Julian calendar. The first new moon [dark of the moon] after the vernal equinox was on April 10th, Julian calendar. And the first sighted new moon crescent following the vernal equinox was on April 12th, Julian calendar, a Thursday. And this day and date on rabbinical Judaism’s calculated calendar (which wasn’t in existence) is Lyyar 1st.

However, if the month beginning April 12th, 31 CE, Julian, were recognized as Abib, then the 14th of Abib would be April 25, 31 CE, a Wednesday, the date on which Jesus was crucified.

If Judaism calculated calendar were used to determine the 14th of Nissan/Abib for 31 CE, the date would be March 26th, Julian, a Monday.

For endtime disciples, 2010 CE is a year like 31 CE, in that Judaism’s calculated calendar starts the year before the equinox.

The Christian who uses rabbinical Judaism’s calendar does not take the Passover sacraments after the model Jesus left disciples, but will take the sacraments a month too early and will thereby not cover his or her sins by drinking from the Cup … the model Jesus left with His disciples is adequately precise to delineate the principles for establishing the annual calendar. Plus, rabbinical Judaism, following the custom of the ancient house of Judah, starts its calendar in the fall, contrary to the instructions Moses received; thus Judaism’s calendar will always be one year behind the ancient house of Israel’s calendar that began in the spring for the months Abib through Elul. Judaism’s calendar will correct itself by adding the month Adar II (Veadar) in the year beginning this coming Tishri whereas Israel would have added Adar II to the year ending this spring.

The dates for when the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah reigned can only be reconciled when this six months difference between how the house of Judah and the house of Israel reckoned the starting date for their respective calendars is taken into account … the calculated calendar of rabbinical Judaism, following in the footstep of the ancient house of Judah, is not scriptural. It is not part of the oracles of God entrusted to the Jews (Rom 3:2).

The Philadelphia Church has the authority to establish the calendar it will use to determine when to take the sacraments of bread and wine that represent the living body and blood of the Body of Christ. And because the Sabbatarian Churches of God have neglected to establish a calendar after the model Jesus left with His disciples, the calendar The Philadelphia Church establishes should be used by all disciples who seek to worship God in spirit and in truth.

*

"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

* * * * *

Current Commentary ] [ Archived Commentaries ] [ Home ]