Monday, 27 April 2020

Monday quote

Pertness and ignorance may ask a question in three lines, which it will cost learning and ingenuity thirty pages to answer. When this is done, the same question shall be triumphantly asked again the next year, as if nothing had ever been written upon the subject.

George Horne (1730–1792).

Monday, 20 April 2020

Monday quote

Of all the things that God has made, the human heart is the one that shines brightest—and blackest, alas!

Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Passover Feast

John and the synoptic gospels discuss the death and resurrection of Jesus which occurred at the time of the Passover. The chronology around these events can be difficult to work out in part due to the use of the terms Passover, Passover Feast, and Feast of Unleavened Bread.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread was instituted at the time of Passover during the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. Luke clearly states that the festivals are celebrated together
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. (Lk 22:1).
Matthew, Mark and Luke clearly state that the Passover Lamb was to be sacrificed on the (first) day of Unleavened Bread (Mat 26:17; Mar 14:12; Luk 22:7). The disciples asked Jesus where they were to eat the Passover during that same day and Jesus instructed them on his plans. The disciples prepared the Passover (Mar 14:16; Luk 22:13) and Jesus ate the Passover meal with his disciples that evening (Mat 26:20; Mar 14:17). This Passover meal that Jesus ate with his disciples became known as the Last Supper.

I have previously discussed the days of crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The eating of the Passover with the disciples occurred on Thursday evening after sunset. It is thought that during the first century the Jews started a new day at sunset. This means that the Passover lamb is sacrificed during the day, and the Passover meal occurs after sunset which is the next day.

John uses different terminology to the synoptics. John mentions the Passover (pascha) several times in his gospel, though John never mentions the festival of Unleavened Bread (azymos).

Here are John's uses of the word "Passover" during Passion Week.
Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?” Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. (Joh 11:55–12:2)

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (Joh 13:1–5)

Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. (Joh 18:28)

After he [Pilate] had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” (Joh 18:38–39)

Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” (Joh 19:14–15)
In describing the Last Supper John says, "Before the Feast of the Passover" (Joh 13:1).  It is not immediately clear what the Feast of the Passover refers to here. John may just mean that Jesus washed his disciples feet before the meal, though it appears that the washing occurred during the meal (Joh 13:4). It is interesting that John adds the word "feast" here. The synoptics referring to the Last Supper just say Passover. John says Passover elsewhere, but he uses the word "feast" in this context: that is they eat the Passover lamb before the feast. This suggests that John is referring to a separate meal.

In Leviticus God lists the feasts for the Israelites. Concerning Passover and Unleavened Bread we read,
In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the LORD’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. But you shall present a food offering to the LORD for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.” (Lev 23:5–8).
And in Numbers we read,
On the fourteenth day of the first month is the LORD’s Passover, and on the fifteenth day of this month is a feast. Seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work, but offer a food offering, a burnt offering to the LORD. (Num 28:16–19).
Both Leviticus and Numbers specify a feast on the 15th day which is distinct from the Passover meal. There is a distinction in Leviticus between Passover and Unleavened Bread; yet they are both part of the same festival. And even though Numbers was written only several years later, by that time the phraseology had already become less distinct than Leviticus.

So it is likely that the Jews of the first century ate the Passover Lamb on the first day and had a feast on the next day, the day after the Passover lamb was eaten. And this latter meal is what John means by the term Passover Feast. This is especially so as the Passover meal was not a feast. It was a remembrance meal, a meal where God had specified a fixed menu.

At the time of Jesus' crucifixion the Passover meal was eaten on Thursday evening (after sunset) and there was to be a feast on Friday.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Monday quote

Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him

AW Tozer. Preparing for Jesus' Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Monday quote

Few of the great tragedies of history were created by the village idiot, and many by the village genius.

Thomas Sowell

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