IT IS FINISHED…We are approaching the most important week in the history of mankind with the anniversary of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And this year, God Almighty has arranged it so He has our attention. There is so much He wants to teach us, and so little time left.
Indeed, some of the most important lessons we have yet to learn have to do with the most basic things in our lives. Ground zero is moving away from the world and our traditions, toward Him. Since God appears to have done-away with our calendar during this quarantine, could it be that He wants us to get in sync with HIS calendar instead?
“This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.” Exodus 12:2. The 2nd book of God’s Word clearly appoints the beginning of God’s year. The entire ministry of Jesus Christ, our namesake, is scheduled there, in God’s timing and perfection. When we try to fit His schedule into our Gregorian calendar, it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Part of it may fit in, but it never fits the way it should. Neither will function properly in that state.
“The evening and the morning” constituted the day as God created it in Genesis. If we stay on His calendar for the appointment of months and Sabbath days, we begin with the new moon as Day 1, a worship day of sacrifices. (1 Samuel 20:5,18; 2 Kings 4:23; Ezekiel 46:1,6; Amos 8:5) The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia states, “The New Moon is still, and the Sabbath originally was, dependent upon the lunar cycle. Both date back to the nomadic period of Israel.” Counting forward 7 days from the first day, each Sabbath occurs within the created phases of the moon: 8th First Quarter Moon; 15th Full Moon; 22nd Last Quarter Moon; 29th Dark Moon. By viewing the evening sky, God’s people could identify the Sabbath, the day of the month, week, and the season of the year. They had a calendar appointed by their Creator, and it was always with them. So do we. https://www.facebook.com/fontanacommunitychurch/posts/2845514275528743
God’s Sabbath and Festival Days were appointed on the same schedule. With God’s calendar, there is no postponement of His Anointed Days when they coincide with Sabbaths. Passover week is on a permanent schedule, year after year. And Jesus stays “3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth”, just as He said in Matthew 12:20.
We still have to pay attention to historical details. But God’s Word has a way of putting everything in perspective. “And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Exodus 12:26-27 The word “Passover” describing the sacrifice is the Hebrew word “Pesach”, actually refers to both the Lamb (the price paid for protection) BEFORE the day, and the day itself, which gives us valuable information when setting a timeline for Holy Week.
So we are actually looking at 2 days, which could be referenced together as “Passover”. According to the Book of Jubilees written before 150AD, the timeline for Passover, first annotated in Exodus 12:6, included Preparation Day on the 13th beginning between noon and 1pm, until 6pm. The lamb would be slain and prepared for the Passover meal eaten around 7pm on the evening beginning the 14th. After the Temple fell in 70 AD, there was no altar for a sacrifice, the timing of eating the meal changed to sunset-midnight on the 15th day.
The disciple John, who was present at Jesus’ death, writes in John 19:14: “Now it was the Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he [Pilate] said unto the Jews, ‘Behold your king’” John 19:31: “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day…” Also, Luke 23:52-54 reports “This man went unto Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulcher that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.”
Biblically, Passover Day is known as the Fast of the Firstborn. The Jewish tradition of the Galileans and Samaritans was to have a meal together on the beginning evening of the 13th. Known as “Seudah Mafseket”, it is literally translated "Last Supper". (This tradition was moved later to the 3-hour period beginning at midnight on the 14th, when God preserved the firstborn of Israel.) John 13:1-2 refers to the Last Supper as an evening meal that occurred just before the Passover Feast. Also, at a Passover meal, the focus is on the paschal lamb. But Jesus said, “This bread is my body”, which was certainly true enough. But still, there is no mention of the lamb in ANY of the disciples’ accounts of the Last Supper.
Also, in 325AD, it was decreed by the Roman Council of Nicaea that Easter, a memorial of Christ’s resurrection, was to be celebrated on the Sunday following the full moon after the spring equinox. That timeline is still used today, though Easter wasn’t celebrated in America until the 1870’s. It can be as much as a month different than God’s perfect timing for the resurrection of His Son, called Firstfruits, which is annotated in God’s Word in Leviticus 23:11 as the day after the Sabbath following the Passover.
So, based on what we just reviewed, we are ready to put together a Passover timeline, remembering that “the evening and the morning” constituted the day as God created it. The Last Supper for Jesus and His disciples occurred in the evening as the 13th began, April 6 evening on our calendar. Jesus went to the cross the next morning, April 7 on our 2020 calendar. During the designated Preparation Day hours on the 13th, he was “prepared” as the Passover Lamb Sacrifice. He died around 3pm (between the two evenings) and was buried during the afternoon hours of the 13th, still April 7 on our calendar.
JESUS was the Passover Lamb in every way when the Passover Meal began shortly after sunset on the beginning of the 14th. He stayed in the tomb 3 days and 3 nights, just as He said He would. He rose from the dead on or by the morning of the 16th, April 10 on our 2020 calendar, the Day of Firstfruits, appointed in Leviticus 23 as the day (16th) following the Sabbath (the 15th). “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Corinthians 15:20 God's calendar superimposed on our 2020 Gregorian calendar: https://fontanacommunitychurch.org/abib_2020
In truth, when the Son of God uttered the words, “It is finished” on the cross, He was meeting the directive of our Father God, and fulfilling His appointment for mankind. And that covered much more than we could ever have imagined. EVERYTHING was finished by Jesus, not just our salvation. John tells us He is our Creator and Revelation says He’s coming to rule and reign over this world. So He’s taken care of EVERYTHING!
All that’s left is to slide on over into Eden and meet our King!
IT IS FINISHED…