July 2, 2007 ©Homer Kizer

 

Commentary — From the Margins

The Imprecise Linguistic Referent:

The Law of Moses

___________

 

 

But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. … When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses. (Acts 15:1-5)

_____________

 

What is the law of Moses? Many Christian theologians have created arguments to “prove” that disciples of Christ Jesus are not under the law of Moses, but none of these arguments identify the substance of, or location of this allegedly abolished law. Rather, the arguments are usually against the Sinai covenant, made on the third day of the third month of the year in which Israel left Egypt. So is the law of Moses the Sinai [Horeb] covenant (Ex chaps 19-24)? Or is the law of Moses the Moab covenant (Deu chaps 29-32)? Or is the law of Moses the covenant God made with Israel on the day that He led this nation out of Egypt—the Passover covenant (Ex chaps 12-14). And where is circumcision found in the law of Moses? Where, on Israel’s journey between the Sea of Reeds [the Red Sea] and the River Jordan, does Moses or God through Moses command Israel to be circumcised?

The law of Moses is a vague linguistic phrase that refers to everything Moses wrote. It can be nothing else; thus, it is the Torah, five books that represent the testimony of Moses. And within the Torah, Moses is the mediator of three covenants between God and Israel, not one. In addition, God tells Moses on at least two occasions that He will make of Moses “‘a nation greater and mightier than they [Israel]’” (Num 14:12; Ex 32:10). On both occasions Moses implored God not to destroy Israel and make of him a great nation. Both times God deferred His wrath; nevertheless, His intention to make of Moses a mighty nation stands unaltered for three and a half millennia, for Jesus said, “‘But if you do not believe his [Moses’] writings, how will you believe my words’” (John 5:47). Thus, to hear Jesus’ words and to believe the One who sent Him and thereby pass from death to life (v. 24) is to believe Moses’ writings; for Moses is the house that Theos, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matt 22:32), built (Heb 3:3-4) when He led Israel through the wilderness of Sin/Zin.

The Theos of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the Logos who, in the beginning, was with God [Theon] and who was God [Theos] (John 1:1-2). This Theos came as His Son, His only (John 3:16), to be born as the man Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:14). He became the Son of the Father [Theos] when the divine Breath of the Father [Pneuma ’Agion] descended upon Him as a dove (Matt 3:16-17) and gave the man Jesus a second birth, and this only Son of Theos came to reveal the Father to those whom the Father has made spiritually alive through receipt of His divine Breath after the pattern through which Jesus fulfilled all righteousness (Matt 3:15) … the world does not know the Father (John 17:25), whom Jesus has revealed to the firstfruits in an age quickly drawing to a close. Nor does the world know Christ Jesus, the beginning and the end (Rev 22:13) that was concealed by the creation (Eccl 3:11). But those whom the Father has raised from the dead—they were spiritually dead even though they were physically living (John 5:21) —know Him because the man Jesus made the Father known to His first disciples who, by their testimonies coupled to the testimonies of Moses and the Prophets, reveal what could not be known through observation or measurement.

In the beginning were two who functioned as one as if married: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’” (Gen 1:26); “So God created man in his own image … male and female he created them” (v. 27); “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen 2:24). These two who were in the beginning are disclosed in the Hebrew linguistic icons used for God: Elohim and the Tetragrammaton YHWH. In Hebrew, the word or linguistic icon for /God/ is El as in El Shaddai or “God Almighty” (from Gen 17:1). Elohim, now, is the regular plural [the “im” ending] of Eloah, the linguistically singular noun, and Eloah deconstructs to /El/+ /ah/, with the /ah/ radical representing “breath,” either vocalized or aspirated. Thus, Elohim is /El/+/ah/ + /El/+/ah/ an undetermined number of times. But the Tetragrammaton gives the multiple: two. For YHWH deconstructs to /YH/ or Yah (see Ps 146:1a; 148:1a; 149:1a in Heb.) and /WH/, with the /H/ again linguistically representing “Breath.” So what is grammatically seen is that the Logos who was Theos, with His Breath or Spirit, is Yah, whom Moses and the seventy saw (Ex 24:9-11); for no human being has seen the Father or Theon (John 1:18) at any time. And what the creation or eternity [Heb: olam] has concealed (again, Eccl 3:11) is that in the beginning was a marriage that ended with the death of Theos, the Helpmate to Theon, and in the end will be the marriage of the glorified Son to glorified disciples, who will be in the position of “helpmate” to the One who was Theos. The narrative of Scripture begins with marriage and ends with marriage. And the basis for this narrative is found in the law of Moses.

Circumcision comes from Genesis chapter 17: “When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord [YHWH] appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty [El Shaddai]; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly’” (vv. 1-2). Circumcision was the sign of this covenant (vv. 10-14), its ratification confirmed in the droplets of blood coming when the foreskin is cut away. It is a covenant made in the flesh (v. 13) and with the flesh. Its terms call for the circumcised person to walk blamelessly before God, meaning that circumcision causes the man to appear before God covered only by his obedience to God … obedience functions as a spiritual garment that conceals a man’s nakedness as the foreskin of the penis physically concealed the head of his penis and hence, his nakedness.

The juxtaposition of a physical skin covering equating to a spiritual covering of obedience has been poorly understood by all of Israel. It is difficult to conceive of obedience as a garment that is put on to cover one’s nakedness. Likewise, it is difficult to perceive that Christ’s righteousness functions as a garment that disciples put on daily as physically circumcised Israel covered its transgressions of the law through the “daily” or daily sacrifice. But Grace when properly understood is the garment of Christ’s righteousness that covers the daily sins of disciples; for all who are “baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal 3:27). And what those believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees never understood is that the garment of Christ—literally, Grace—covers the transgressions of the new creature born of Spirit, with this new creature being neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, free nor bond (v. 28). All of these physical attributes pertain to the flesh: a man has outdoor plumbing while a woman has indoor. An Ethiopian has a darker tent of flesh than has someone of Nordic heritage. But Grace does not cover the lawlessness of the flesh, which today remains in subjection to sin and death (Rom 7:21-25). Rather, Grace covers the transgressions of the new creature, a son of God born of Spirit and domiciled in an outer nature (2 Co 4:16) or tent that is the son of God’s earthly home (2 Co 5:1). And it is this son of God over whom sin has no dominion (Rom 6:14), for this son’s Father is not the first Adam who lost his covering of obedience when he ate forbidden fruit. Rather, this son’s Father is Theon, the Most High God.

The tent of flesh into which a son of God is born was before birth-from-above a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2-3), consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) and not free to keep the law of God (Rom 8:7). Being born again or born of Spirit sets the mind and heart free from disobedience, but until the tent of flesh is liberated from the indwelling law of sin and death (Rom 7:21-25), the mind and the heart which “delight in the law of God” (v. 22) are at war with the law of sin that dwells in the flesh … the new creature is light in a jar of clay, and the jar will not enter heaven for it is of this world that is passing away (1 John 2:17). It, too, will pass away before the coming of the new heavens and new earth.

Words are linguistic icons that are either visibly inscribed or orally heard … the first disciples heard the words of the man Jesus with their ears as did the scribes and Pharisees. These words were controlled modulations of air: they were moving air, pneuma, the Greek linguistic icon borrowed by English speakers as a root for common words such as “pneumatic tools” and “pneumonia.” To a 1st-Century Greek speaker, pneuma was either deep breath or wind or an invisible force.

The Greek modifier hagios/hagion [Greek uses linguistic gender with the os case ending employed for masculine singular nouns in nominative case, and the on case ending employed for neuter singular nouns] would translate as the English icon “holy.” In Greek, an apostrophe before the first vowel if a capital or above if lower case indicates rough breathing; thus /ha/ would be written as /V/, or as /U/.

The Greek icon phrase /A<,L:" U(4@</, written in Roman characters as Pneuma ’Agion, would be neuter singular from the on case ending (which would agree with Theon) and would translates as Breath Holy or Wind Holy or Spirit Holy. All would be valid translations. This Breath or Wind or Spirit is not that of Theos, the Logos [again there is case ending agreement: both Theos & Logos are masculine singular in John 1:1-2] … in inscription the Breath of Theos which would be written as /A<,L:" U(4@H/, but in Scripture this Breath is only seen after the man Jesus had His former glory returned to Him (John 17:5), and it is seen in the icon phrase as /A<,L:" OD4FJ@L/, translated as the “Spirit of Christ” (Rom 8:9). And this Breath of Christ has to, by context, be different from the Breath of the Father seen in the icon phrase /A<,L:" J@L ¦(,ÆD"<J@H [0F@L< ¦6 <,6DT</, translated as the “Spirit of the (One) raising Jesus from (the) dead” (Rom 8:11). So the Apostle Paul writes of two Spirits or Breaths, one that belongs to Jesus (v. 9) and one that belongs to the Father, who resurrected Jesus from the dead (v. 11). Paul consistently addresses the Father and the Son in his epistles, while never sending greetings to the saints from a third personage—and Paul separates the Spirit of Christ from the Spirit of the Father, which is the Spirit by which the Father raises the dead (again, John 5:21). So for Paul, the Holy Spirit [Pneuma ’Agion] does not have personhood but is a force in the heavenly realm that equates to physical breath or wind in this physical realm.

To every word in whatever language, meaning must be assigned to the word by the auditor [the one hearing the oral icon or reading the inscribed icon], and this meaning will be assignment by a community or a collective of hearers and readers. Concerning Scripture, this community is all those who hear the voice of Jesus (John 10:3-5 – read the entire chapter). It is not the world; nor is it those who are hostile to God … the Apostle Paul gives the only “test” to determine whether a person has truly been born of Spirit: “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom 8:7-8). Thus, those human beings who do not have the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of the Father dwelling in them (who have not been born of Spirit) have their minds set on the flesh and do not submit to God’s law. So the person who claims to be born of Spirit but who cannot submit to God’s law is a liar and a member of the synagogue of Satan, for the person remains a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2-3) and remains in bondage to disobedience (Rom 11:32). Sin still has dominion over this person, whereas sin has no dominion over those who have been born of Spirit (Rom 6:14).

The person who actually has been born of Spirit and who does not submit to God’s law is a hypocrite. This person knows to keep the law of God and is thereby condemned by Moses (John 5:45; Deu 31:26). This person’s righteousness does not exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees, and this person will never enter heaven (Matt 5:20).

According to Jesus, to be “great” in the kingdom of heaven a person will keep the commandments and teach others to do likewise; for whoever relaxes one of the least of the commandments that Jesus fulfilled and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:19). And the person who teaches Israel to break the commandments, regardless of the mighty works the person has done in the name of Jesus, will be denied when judgments are revealed, and will be cast into condemnation (Matt 7:21-23). So the person who teaches others will either (1) keep the commandments and so teach others, or will (2) relax the commandments and so teach other, or will (3) teach against the law [<@:Æ"<]. In the first case, Jesus says the person will be great. In the second case, Jesus said the person will be called least in the kingdom. And in the third case, Jesus said the person will not be in the kingdom. Therefore, men who say that Christians are not to keep the law have already been condemned by Jesus. Their arguments, such as dispensationalism [that the law is only for physical Jews and that after Calvary Christians are not under the law but under grace], are the millstones by which they have condemned themselves. For the law that was written on two stones tables is the same law that is now written on two tablets of flesh, the heart and the mind of the person who has been born of Spirit—what happened at Calvary was the ending of a covenant made in the flesh and with flesh, a covenant that was a shadow of a heavenly covenant, and implementation of the heavenly covenant that is the shadow’s spiritual reality.

To understand what happened at Calvary, an Israelite born of Spirit [by the divine Breath of the Father] and circumcised of heart by Spirit [by the divine Breath of Christ] must first understand the house that is Moses (again, Heb 3:3-4) … Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses who initially mediated the covenant to which better promises have been added (better promises are not added to a covenant that has been abolished, nor does the mediator change for an abolished covenant). The writer of Hebrews said of Jesus, “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 5:8-9 emphasis added).  Moses did not lead all of humankind out of Egypt; he led Israel out from physical bondage to a physical king [Pharaoh]. Likewise, Jesus is not the source of salvation for those who will not obey him; he is the source for those who hear His words and believe the One who sent Him (John 5:24). And the person who obeys Him will keep the commandments and teach others to do the same (again, Matt 5:19). But this person is a son of God, for those who have not been born of Spirit cannot keep the commandments (again, Rom 8:7). So to understand the house that is Moses, a person needs to realize that Moses pertains to the flesh made naked by circumcision, or to the fleshy tent in which the born of Spirit son of God dwells. Moses rules the hand and the body, whereas Jesus is the high priest of the new inner creature. And Calvary saw construction of the bridge that in the fulfillment of all righteousness permitted God the Father to raise from the dead that which never before had spiritual life (unlike Jesus, who entered His creation – John 1:3 – as His Son, His only – John 3:16). Israel goes from being a physically circumcised nation to being a spiritually circumcised nation.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “In him [Christ Jesus] also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh, by the circumcision of Christ” (Col 2:11) … the circumcision of Moses is the circumcision of the flesh, the cutting away of foreskins, but the circumcision of Christ is circumcision of the heart by Spirit, not by the letter of the law (Rom 2:29). This circumcision is from God. And the juxtaposition of hand to heart is also that of the first Adam, a man of mud, to the last Adam, a life-giving spirit (1 Co 15:45).

The law of Moses covers not just the covenants Moses mediated between God and Israel, but covenants between God and Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, some ratified by the shedding of blood, some by better sacrifices. The law of Moses serves as a house that covers or shelters the flesh in a manner that foreshadows the mantle of Christ Jesus’ righteousness.

Jesus said, “‘If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well?’” (John 7:23). So Jesus used the linguistic phrase law of Moses as a covering that included circumcision, a “cutting” that made a portion of the body well, with the importance of this cutting exceeding the importance of ceasing work on the Sabbath. The command to circumcise precedes the giving of the Decalogue [the ten living words of God] as does the giving of the Passover covenant made on the day when God took Israel by the hand to lead the nation out of bondage to Pharaoh. And if circumcision has preeminence over the Sabbath, then it reasonably follows that the Passover covenant also has preeminence over the Sinai covenant, an issue to be addressed later.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote,

Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquities, and I will remember their sin no more. (31:31-34 emphasis added)

When all “know the Lord” the least of Israel is not the physically or materially poor of Judea, but those who relax the least of the commandments, while the greatest of Israel is the one who keeps the commandments and teaches others to do likewise … note: when this new covenant is made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, this new covenant is only made with the house of Israel. There will no longer be two physical houses, but one spiritual house comprised of all who have circumcised hearts; for this new covenant is not a covenant like that made with the fathers of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah on the day when the Lord led their fathers out of Egypt. And if it is not a covenant like the made on the day when Israel left Egypt, it does not begin and end with the shedding of blood—and this is an important concept to remember, for the shedding of Jesus’ blood at Calvary does not begin or ratify this new covenant.

Also note, going to Exodus chapters 12 and 13: On the day when the Lord [YHWH] took the fathers of the house of Israel and the house of Judah by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, the Lord said nothing to them about the Sabbath, about murder, about adultery, about lying, about stealing, about idols or coveting. What He said was, “‘This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to [the size of] their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household’” (Ex 12:2-3). The lamb was to be penned until the 14th day then slain between the evenings (v. 6). Blood of this Passover lamb was to be put on the doorposts and lintels of the houses, and the lamb was to be roasted whole with fire and eaten with bitter herbs (vv. 7-9). It was to be eaten with belts fastened, feet shod, and staffs in hand; it was to be eaten in haste (v. 11). The blood would be the sign that the Lord would pass over the houses of the fathers of Israel and Judah, and that no plague would destroy them when He struck the land of Egypt, slaying firstborns of both man and beast (vv. 12-13).

On the same night that God struck down the firstborns of Egypt, Pharaoh rose up in the night and summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “‘Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel and go, serve the Lord, as you have said. Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also’” (Ex 12:29-32).

On what night did God strike down the firstborns of Egypt? Did the death angel pass over Egypt during the dark portion of the 14th, or the dark portion of the 15th day of the first month? This question has relevance in relation to whether Jesus instituted celebration of the Passover one day earlier than Moses. Traditionally, the Churches of God have taught that celebration of the Passover on the night that Jesus was betrayed originated with Jesus, but Jesus’ disciples did not object to when Jesus would eat the His last Passover meal. They came to Him on the first day of Unleavened Bread. And the man whose house they used apparently wasn’t surprised by when the disciples prepared for the Passover meal (Matt 2617-19). However, this day was one day before when the Pharisees would slaughter Passover lambs that they would eat on the dark portion of the 15th day, the High Sabbath. Plus, John’s gospel clearly states that Jesus was slain on the Preparation Day, which is the 14th of Abib. So understanding has been lacking in how to read Matthew’s and Luke’s gospels, or a scriptural discrepancy or a problem of another sort exists.

Luke writes, “Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it’” (22:7-8).

Secular sources, most of whom deny that Jesus was three days and three nights in the grave as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, the only sign Jesus gave of His divinity, have lambs only being slaughtered after the evening sacrifice on the 14th, which would make Jesus’ crucifixion the reality of all Passover lambs previously sacrificed, a reasonable supposition considering that the lambs were “a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ” (Col 2:17). But Luke is a very careful historian.

How to reconcile the two timelines [i.e., Matthew’s/Luke’s with John’s] has caused any number of problems among Sabbatarian disciples over the past few decades … if Jesus is slain on the 14th, the Preparation Day as Pharisees kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread, then the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed (the Preparation Day) that Luke references is one day earlier than the Preparation Day that John references.

Using the timeline from John, Jesus eats the Passover on the dark portion of the 14th of the first month, is taken captive and questioned by the religious leaders while it is still dark, then when day comes He is turned over to Pilate and crucified about noon, dies about 3:00 pm, and is taken from the cross and hastily buried at dusk as the 14th ends and the 15th begins. The 15th is the high Sabbath, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread—and Jesus spends all of the 15th in the tomb. Likewise, He spends all of the 16th and the 17th, the weekly Sabbath, in the heart of the earth. Then He is resurrected in the dark portion of the 18th, and is gone from the tomb when Mary comes before daylight on the first day of the week. Therefore, the 14th is Wednesday, mid calendar week, and Jesus was resurrected on Sunday, the 18th, the mid day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a significant correspondence considering the reason for keeping the Sabbath under the Sinai covenant (Ex 20:11) as opposed to the reason for keeping the Sabbath under the Moab covenant (Deu 5:15). [Under the Sinai covenant, the Sabbath is kept as memorial to the physical creation, but under the Moab covenant, the Sabbath is kept as a remembrance of Israel’s liberation; thus, the Sabbath under the Sinai covenant points to the weekly time-cycle begun at creation whereas the Sabbath under the Moab covenant points to the Passover covenant and the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread.]

In John’s timeline, Jesus entered Jerusalem on Sabbath, the 10th day of the first months (John 12:1, 12); He entered as both high priest and as Passover Lamb. And His confrontations with the Herodians, the Sadducees, and the Pharisees recorded in Matthew chapter 22 would have probably been on Monday, the 12th.

Jesus did not die twice, and He did die midweek (too many prophecies have Him being cut off mid-week: in the middle of a seven year ministry as well as mid calendar week). Thus, reckoning Luke’s timeline with John’s, Luke calls the 13th the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed, which would then necessitate that the Passover would be eaten at the beginning of the 14th, during its dark portion, and not on the 15th, the high Sabbath under the Sinai covenant (Lev 23:6-8). And a person can see what the ensuing problems will be: two Passover lambs sacrificed, one at the end of the 13th and one at the end of the 14th. And across time, a person can hear the reverberations of Emperor Constantine’s argument against Passover observation: Jesus is not slain twice. But by tradition, Judaism keeps the Passover on two successive days.

The easy way out of the problem of two Passover sacrifices is to shout, “Scribal error!” But is that being honest with Scripture? It isn’t, for if there is scribal error in one place then there will be scribal error in many places, and Scripture cannot be believed. But meaning has to be assigned to words, and since many reader communities who do not hear the voice of Jesus, these communities will assign meaning to the same inspired icons, but meaning that comes from human reasoning and understanding. Thus, many false readings of Scripture will simultaneously exist. Therefore, hearing the voice of Jesus is essential for born of Spirit disciples if they are to comprehend Scripture—they cannot listen to the many false readings and teachers and still leave Scripture with the understanding they should have. They must test the spirit of the reader and reading (1 John 4:1), and if they find that the reader denies that Christ came in the flesh or that Christ was three days and threes in the heart of the earth, then the reader and the reading must be rejected.

The day on which the Passover lamb is eaten shall be a memorial, kept as a feast to the Lord (Ex 12:14). For seven days Israel was to eat no leavened bread (v. 15), and the first day and seventh day of these seven days [the 14th day at even through the 21st day at even of the first month] were to be holy assemblies and high Sabbaths when no work other than preparation of food for that day was to be done … if these seven days begin at the end of the 14th, and if these seven days include all of the 21st, then these seven days are the same seven days given in Leviticus, with the first high day being the 15th and the last the 21st. This reading excludes the 14th, but includes the 21st even though the same language is used for both. So the passage could legitimately be read to include the 14th and exclude the 21st, especially in light of neither Jesus’ disciples or the man’s whose house they used were surprised when Jesus and His disciples ate the Passover on the dark portion of the 14th. Note: the keeping of the seven days of unleavened bread according to this Passover covenant made on the day when the Lord took Israel by the hands to lead the nation out of Egypt could reasonably be read as differing by one day from the keeping of the Feast of Unleavened Bread as expounded in the Sinai covenant and in Leviticus chapter 23 (vv. 5-8), so the rabbinical practice of keeping the Passover on two nights has limited scriptural support apart from Israel being unable to determine in advance the new crescent moon that begins the first month [of course, the date of the new moon would have been known for two weeks before the Passover lamb was slain].

Clearly, Jesus ate the Passover on the 14th, and the Apostle Paul commands the saints at Corinth to eat the Passover on the same night that Jesus was betrayed, the 14th (1 Co 11:23-26).

 The Emperor Constantine’s argument against the Passover (that Christ was not crucified on two days, but only once) begs for reconciliation of the instructions given in the covenant made on the day when God led Israel out of Egypt and instructions given in expounding the Sinai covenant. … the law of Moses requires the interpretation of men. And in this case, Jesus as substance of preceding shadows doesn’t remove the ambiguity although Paul gives unambiguous instructions as to when the Passover sacraments of bread and wine are to be taken.

 

[The above represents approximately one third of this Commentary that has grown too lengthy to be published as one piece; hence, the above will appear with the July 3rd date. The second installment will be dated July 5th, and the third installment will be dated July 7th. These three installments, however, will be e-published as one article at a latter date.]

* * *

"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 ]