The Calendar and the Atonement

Posted Mar 23, 2018 by Adrian Ebens in Midnight Cry (Loud Voice) Hits: 880

In a quote from Cross and its Shadow on the time of the Passover, Stephen Haskell outlines two views for when the Passover takes place. The First on Thursday and the Second of Friday.

Note:-Bible students for centuries have been divided into two classes in regard to their opinon of the time that the Lord ate the last supper with His disciples. One class believe Jesus did not fulfil the type in regard to the time, but only as to the event. They claim that the year Christ died, the 14th day of Nisan, or Passover, came on Thursday; that He was crucified on Friday, the annual sabbath, the 15th day of Nisan; and arose from the dead on the 17th day of Nisan. In support of this position, they quote the following texts: Matt. 26:17; Mark 14:1, 12; Luke 22:7.

The other class believe that, when God decreed certain offerings should be offered on a definite day of the month, the type would meet antitype in that specified time. "These types were fulfilled not only as to the event, but as to the time."-Great Controversy, p. 399. In fulfilment of this Christ was crucified on Friday, the 14th day of Nisan, and died on the cross about the ninth hour-"between the two evenings" at the very time the Passover lamb had been slain for centuries. The previous evening He had eaten the last supper with His disciples. The Saviour rested in the tomb on the Sabbath, the 15th day of Nisan, which had been kept as an annual sabbath in type of this event. "Christ was the antitype of the wave-sheaf, and His resurrection took place on the very day when the wave-sheaf was to be presented before the Lord."-Desire of Ages, large edition, p. 785. This was Sunday, the 16th day of Nisan. In support of this position the following texts are quoted: John 13:1, 2; 18:28; 13:29; 19:31. Stephen Haskell, The Cross and Its Shadow, page 115

Let’s examine some texts from Scripture.

Matt 26:17-19  Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?  (18)  And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.  (19)  And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.

Mark 14:12  And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?

Luke 22:7-9  Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.  (8)  And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.  (9)  And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?

Haskell uses John 13:1,2 in connection with John 18:28 to support the Passover being on Friday afternoon/evening.

John 13:1  Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;

John 18:28  Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. 

But John 13:1 is also translated another way as Adam Clarke explains

Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew, etc. - Or, as some translate, Now Jesus having known, before the feast of the passover, that his hour was come, etc. The supper mentioned in Joh_13:2 is supposed to have been that on the Thursday evening, when the feast of the passover began; and though, in our common translation, this passage seems to place the supper before that feast, yet, according to the amended translation, what is here said is consistent with what we read in the other evangelists. Adam Clarke on John 13:1

The Passover was killed on the afternoon of the 14th day. Notice Ellen White’s comments

These types were fulfilled, not only as to the event, but as to the time. [This part quoted by Haskell to support Friday as 14th Aviv] On the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month, the very day and month on which for fifteen long centuries the Passover lamb had been slain, Christ, having eaten the Passover with His disciples, [Christ ate the Passover on Thursday, Ellen White appears to call this the 14th of Aviv] instituted that feast which was to commemorate His own death as "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." That same night He was taken by wicked hands to be crucified and slain. And as the antitype of the wave sheaf our Lord was raised from the dead on the third day, "the first fruits of them that slept," a sample of all the resurrected just, whose "vile body" shall be changed, and "fashioned like unto His glorious body." Verse 20; Philippians 3:21.  {GC 399.3}

They had gathered to celebrate the Passover. The Saviour desired to keep this feast alone with the twelve. He knew that His hour was come; He Himself was the true paschal lamb, and on the day the Passover was eaten He was to be sacrificed. DA 642.1

 The Type in Exodus

Exo 12:6-8  And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.  (7)  And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.  (8)  And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; [First day of Unleavened Bread] and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

Num 33:3  And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.

Josephus also mentions the three day journey from the 15th day of the first month.

1. So the Hebrews went out of Egypt, while the Egyptians wept, and repented that they had treated them so hardly. - Now they took their journey by Letopolis, a place at that time deserted, but where Babylon was built afterwards, when Cambyses laid Egypt waste: but as they went away hastily, on the third day they came to a place called Beelzephon, on the Red Sea; Josephus, Antiquities Chp 15.1

2. They left Egypt in the month Xanthicus, [Aviv] on the fifteenth day of the lunar month; four hundred and thirty years after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan, but two hundred and fifteen years only after Jacob removed into Egypt. (28) Josephus, Antiquities Chp 15.2

Ellen White speaks of journey of 3 days to Red Sea

On the third day of their journey, the Hebrews encamped by the Red Sea, whose waters presented a seemingly impassable barrier before them, while on the south a rugged mountain obstructed their further progress. Suddenly they beheld in the distance the flashing armor, waving banners, and moving chariots of a great army. As they drew nearer, the hosts of Egypt were seen in full pursuit. Terror filled the hearts of Israel. Over all the encampment rose a tumultuous sound. ST April 1, 1880

 

14th Aviv

15th Aviv

16th Aviv

17th Aviv

Passover

First Day of
Unleavened Bread

Second Day of Unleavened Bread

Third day of
Unleavened Bread

Night

Day

Night

Day

Night

Day

Night

Day

 

Slay Passover

Eat Passover & Unleavened Bread

Leave Egypt

Rest

Traveling to Red Sea

Rest

Arrive at Red Sea

 

18th Aviv

Fourth day of
unleavened bread

Night

Day

Cross Red Sea

Raised from baptism of Red sea.

 

Fifty day count starts

 

Paul speaks of the baptism of Israel through the Red Sea.

1 Cor 10:2  And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 

Baptism is the symbol of death and resurrection and Israel are raised from the dead when they cross the Red Sea. They certainly would have died at the hands of the Egyptians except that God made a way for them through the Red Sea and He broke the heads of the dragon in the sea.

Psa 74:13  Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. 

Psa 74:13  (NIV) It was you who split open the sea by your power; you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.

Israel broke through the power of the several headed dragon in the sea to be raised to newness of life.

Rom 6:3-4  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  (4)  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Now notice carefully the time from the resurrection of Israel till the giving of the Law. Ellen White says it is exactly 50 days.

God had commanded Moses to bring his people to this place of natural solitude and sublimity, that they might hear his voice, and receive the statute book of heaven.  Fifty days previous to this the pillar of fire had lighted the path through the Red Sea that God had miraculously opened before the marching multitudes of his people. {ST, March 7, 1878} 

Did Israel go through the Red Sea on Saturday night and were raised to newness on Sunday morning? This is not certain but we know that Christ was raised early on the first day of the week.

The Time of Christ

14th Aviv

15th Aviv

16th Aviv

17th Aviv

Thursday

Friday

Sabbath

Sunday

Passover

First Day of
Unleavened Bread

Second Day of Unleavened Bread

Third day of
Unleavened Bread

Night

Day (0.5)

Night (1)

Day (1.5)

Night (2)

Day (2.5)

Night (3)

Day

 

Prepare Passover Luke 22:7-9; Mark 14:12

Eat Passover & Unleavened Bread. Gethsemane

Trial of Christ and Crucifixion

Burial of Christ

Resting in Tomb

Raised just before dawn

Resurrection day

 

Both Jones and Waggoner picked up the thought that Passover was on Thursday and not Friday.

A.T. Jones ST March 11 1886

A.T. Jones says that Christ was killed on the First day of Unleavened Bread. His understanding that First fruits must happen on the 16th day means that he understands that the First fruits must occur on the Sabbath. This means that from the count that Pentecost was on the Sabbath. 

They were to kill the passover lamb in the evening of the fourteenth, and with it, at the beginning of the fifteenth day of the month, they were to begin to eat the unleavened bread, and the feast of unleavened bread was to continue until the twenty-second day of the month. The first day of the feast, that is, the fifteenth of the month, was to be a sabbath, no servile work was to be done in that day. Ex. 12:6-8, 15-19; Lev. 23:5-7. Because of the putting away of the leaven on the fourteenth day, and the beginning to eat the unleavened bread on the evening of that day, it is sometimes referred to as the first day of unleavened bread; but the fifteenth day was really the first, and was the one on which no servile work was to be done.

On "the morrow" after this fifteenth day of the month—this sabbath—the wave-sheaf of the first-fruits was to be offered before the Lord, and with that day—the sixteenth day of the month—they were to begin to count fifty days, and when they reached the fiftieth day that was Pentecost. Lev. 23:10, 11, 15, 16; Deut. 16:8, 9. Now if we can learn on what day of the week the passover fell at the time of the crucifixion, we can tell on what day of the week the Pentecost came that year. We know that the Saviour was crucified "the day before the Sabbath." Mark 15.42. We know that the Sabbath was "the Sabbath day according to the commandment" (Luke 23:54-56), and that was the seventh day—Saturday—and therefore "the day before," was the sixth day—Friday. It is plain, then, that Jesus was crucified on Friday; this in itself, requires no proof, but it is important to distinctly mention it here, because the day before he was crucified, "the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover." Matt. 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-15. And that was the evening of Thursday, the fourteenth day of the month; because "the fourteenth day of the month at even is the Lord's passover." Lev. 23:5; Ex. 12:6.

From the passover supper Jesus went direct to Gethsemane, whence he was taken by the mob which Judas had brought, and after his shameful treatment by the priests and Pharisees and soldiers, was crucified in the afternoon of the same day. That was the fifteenth day of the month, the first day of the feast of unleavened bread; and the morrow after that day was the first of the fifty days which reached to Pentecost. Therefore, as the day of the crucifixion was the first day of the feast of unleavened bread, and was Friday, the fifteenth day of the month; and as the next day, the sixteenth of the month, was the Sabbath according to the commandment, and was the first of the fifty days; anyone who will count the fifty days will find for himself that "the fiftieth day," Pentecost, fell that year on "the Sabbath day according to the commandment," and that is the seventh day.

The problem with Jones saying that the first fruits was on the 16th day is that Christ did not rise from the grave on the 16th day but in the 17th day. In seeking to make Pentecost a Sabbath, he missed the fact that he started the count to Pentecost before Christ actually rose from the dead. Why was this? Because he assumed that Wave sheaf is always on the 16th day of the first month.

Why did he think this?

The Pharisees argued that Shavuot is to be counted from the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which they designated a “Sabbath.” According to the Pharisees, “morrow of the Sabbath” means the “morrow of the 1st day of Unleavened Bread.” The ancient Pharisees and their modern day successor the Orthodox rabbis begin the 50-day count to Shavuot on the second day of Unleavened Bread, which is always the 16th day of the First Hebrew Month. Nehemia Gordon, The Truth About Shavout  https://www.nehemiaswall.com/truth-shavuot

The Pharisee Calendar differs from the Karaite Calendar on a number of points one of them being how to calculate Pentecost. The Karaites start their count of Pentecost from the day after the weekly Sabbath during the feast of unleavened bread.

Lev 23:15-16  And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:  (16)  Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.

The Pharisees designate the first day of Unleavened bread as a Shabbat. Yet the Bible calls it a Holy convocation with no servile work.

Lev 23:6-7  And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.  (7)  In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: [Quodesh Micra] ye shall do no servile work therein.

The weekly Sabbath is also a Holy convocation but the text in Lev 23:6,7 does not use the word Shabbat when speaking of it. One of the differences is seen in food preparation. On Sabbath there is none but on the Quodesh Micra it is allowed. Ex 16:23,29; Ex 12:15,16; Numbers 28:18.

It functions the same as a Sabbath because there is no work but it is not called a Shabbat in Scripture. It is called a Quodesh Micra – Holy Convocation.

When Samuel Snow talked about the Karaite Calendar as being the correct calendar he retained the Pharisee understanding of the First Fruits rather than the Karaite one even though he said the Karaite calendar was correct.

They commence the year with the new in moon in March; but the Caraites with the new moon in April. The word Caraite signifies "one perfect in the law." These accuse the Rabbins of having departed from the law, and conformed to the customs of the heathen; and the charge is just, as they regulate their year by the vernal equinox, in imitation of the Romans; whereas the law says nothing of the vernal equinox; but required, on the 16th day of the first month, the offering of the first fruits of the barley harvest. But if the year be commenced according to the Rabbins with the new moon in March, the barley harvest could not possibly be ripe in 16 days from that time. The Caraites are therefore undoubtedly correct. Now our Lord was crucified on the day of the Passover, as is evident from John xviii. 28. It was likewise the day before the Sabbath, as is proved by John xix. 31. According to the Rabbinical reckoning, the Passover occurred on the day before the Sabbath in A. D. 33, and not for several years before and after. But according to the Caraite reckoning, the Passover occurred on that day in A. D. 31. Therefore that was the year of the crucifixion. Samuel Snow, True Midnight Cry, Aug 22, 1844.

Samuel Snow indicated that the Rabbi’s or Pharisees were influenced by the Romans in their calculations but then stated that offering of first fruits was on the 16th day which was a Pharisee calculation that the Karaites do not use.  Thus the Pioneers retained the belief that the 16th day was the correct day to begin the count of the First Fruits. It was a universal thought in Adventism.

Joshua Himes ST Dec 5, 1843

"This table is founded on the Rabinnical calculation which makes the first day of Nisan commence with the new moon, nearest the day on which the sun enters Aries (or at the vernal equinox.) It ought, however, to be observed, that the Caraite Jews maintain that the Rabbins have changed the calendar, so that to present the first fruits of the barley harvest on the 16th of Nisan, as the law directs, would be impossible, if the time is reckoned according to the Rabinnical calculation, since barley is not in the ear, at Jerusalem, until a month later. Joshua Himes ST Dec 5, 1843

[Joshua Himes locks together the contradiction of Caraite system with the 16th day which he understands is according to the law. – this wrong connection will continue in Adventism and still continues.]

Joseph Bates

The handful of the first fruits of the harvest was waved before the Lord on the 16th of the first month; so was Jesus the first fruits of the resurrection, raised from the tomb the 16th of the first month. Joseph Bates Sabbath Controversy #3 {1848 JB, SC3 175.3}

Uriah Smith

The ceremonies of the second day of the feast, the 16th Nisan, were peculiar, and important to be noted. Upon this day the first-fruits of the barley harvest were brought to the temple, and waved by a priest before the Lord, to consecrate the harvest; and not till this was done, might any one begin his reaping. Lev.23:10-12." {ND UrS, DCRC 31.6}

Similar testimony might be greatly multiplied; but these quotations are sufficient. Let the reader note the order of these events: 1. The paschal lamb was slain on the 14th day of the month; 2. The 15th day was the passover sabbath; 3. On the 16th day, the morrow after that sabbath, the sheaf of the first-fruits was waved before the Lord. Now as the passover lamb typified the death of Christ, so the wavesheaf typified his resurrection. Paul not only calls Christ our "passover," but he calls him also our "first-fruits:" "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ, the first-fruits, afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." 1Cor.15:22,23. "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept." Verse 20. And in fulfilling this type, Christ must follow the same order on the same dates. Thus he was slain on the 14th day of the month, which that year fell on Friday. The next day, the 15th, was the passover sabbath, and chanced that year to be the weekly Sabbath also. On the morrow after the Sabbath, the 16th, which happened that year to come on the first day of the week, he was raised from the dead, in fulfillment of the type of the wave-sheaf. There was but one full day, 15th Nisan, between the killing of the lamb on the 14th and the waving of the sheaf on the 16th. So there could have been but one full day between Christ's death upon the cross, and his resurrection. Whoever puts in more, shatters the whole typical system into fragments, by making it a failure. But the fact that Christ was crucified the 14th and raised the 16th, does not vitiate the declaration that he was to be "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth;" for that expression includes, as we have seen, more than simply the time he was in the grave: it reaches from his betrayal to his resurrection; and between those points, there is all the time requisite to fulfill the prediction. (See again the diagram on p. 14.) Uriah Smith, Day of Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ {ND UrS, DCRC 31.7}

In order to make the types fit to time and event, the Pioneers had to have the Friday as the 14th of Aviv why? Because they all assumed that the 16th of Aviv was the correct Calendar understanding of the morrow after the Sabbath. This is the Pharisee understanding of :Lev 23:15,16 but the first day of unleavened bread is a chodesh micra but not labelled a Shabbat.

It is interesting to note that Jones and Waggoner differed from Uriah Smith on the timing of the 14th 15th and 16th – Of course Jones and Waggoner have omitted the fact that they are having the first fruits before Christ rose from the grave.

We noted Stephen Haskells support of the 16th day at the beginning. So many if not all of the Pioneers all believed that the first fruits must be offered on the 16th day. Even Jones and Waggoner believed this but did not have Christ raising on the 16th day but the 17th day. With this in mind we now consider what Ellen White has stated.

The Passover was followed by the seven days’ feast of unleavened bread. On the second day of the feast, the first fruits of the year's harvest, a sheaf of barley, was presented before the Lord. All the ceremonies of the feast were types of the work of Christ. The deliverance of Israel from Egypt was an object lesson of redemption, which the Passover was intended to keep in memory. The slain lamb, the unleavened bread, the sheaf of first fruits, represented the Saviour. DA 77.1; PP 539.6

So Ellen White echoes the words of the pioneers with reference to the second day for first fruits.

At the same time we have her references to 50 days from the crossing the red sea to the giving of the law at Mt Sinai

God had commanded Moses to bring his people to this place of natural solitude and sublimity, that they might hear his voice, and receive the statute book of heaven.  Fifty days previous to this the pillar of fire had lighted the path through the Red Sea that God had miraculously opened before the marching multitudes of his people.  {ST, March 7, 1878} 

The only other reference Ellen White makes about the fifty days is in PP 540

Fifty days from the offering of first fruits, came the Pentecost, called also the feast of harvest and the feast of weeks. PP 540

What is Pentecost said to represent for the Jews?

Shavuot has a double significance. It marks the all-important wheat harvest in the Land of Israel (Exodus 34:22); and it commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai, although the association between the giving of the Torah (Matan Torah) and Shavuot is not explicit in the Biblical text. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shavuot

 Ellen White also says that it took 3 days to get to the Red Sea.

On the third day of their journey, the Hebrews encamped by the Red Sea,…. ST April 1, 1880

So if we combine Ellen White Statements together the time from when they left Egypt till the giving of the law was 53 days.

Fifty days previous to this the pillar of fire had lighted the path through the Red Sea. ST March 7. 1878.

The 16th day was the second day of the journey. Thus from the 16th day to the giving of the Law was 52 days and not 50 days. The original type does not make the 16th day and 50 days to Pentecost theory.

We add to this the fact that the Bible states When Pentecost starts its count and when Pentecost takes place.

Lev 23:15-16  And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, [Shabbat – does not mention Quodesh micra] from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths [Shabbat] shall be complete:  (16)  Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.

We note that there is no Shabbat 49 days out from the Feast of Unleavened bread except the Seventh day Sabbath. Leviticus is specific as to when the feast takes place. Deuteronomy only says seven weeks.

This is a delicate situation. The Spirit of Prophecy appears to support both views. It supports a 53 day position of the Exodus to giving of the Law and it supports the second day of the feast of unleavened bread. The Bible states clearly that it is the morrow after the weekly Sabbath.

The Adventist pioneers were locked to the 16th day because they wished to avoid the notion of Sunday Sacredness and Pentecost being locked to Sunday. This is understandable but not correct.

So we have in this question of a test of method and how we read. How do we harmonise this situation?

The Work of the Spirit of Prophecy

When Ellen White had the vision of the planets. She saw 7 planets. If she had described 8 or 9 to Joseph Bates to him, he would conclude her a false prophet. She mentioned 7 because it met his understanding.

If Ellen White had said something different about the 16th day, it would be outside their Bible Study. But the pioneers did not have all the truth on the law.

“when they came into the meeting in the morning I was surprised to hear Elder Kilgore make the kind of speech he did before a large audience of believers and unbelievers—a speech which I knew could not be dictated by the Spirit of the Lord. He was followed by Elder Smith, who made remarks of the same order, before Brother Morrison began his talk, which was all calculated to create sympathy, which I knew was not after God’s order. It was human but not divine. And for the first time I began to think it might be we did not hold correct views, after all, upon the law in Galatians, for the truth required no such spirit to sustain it. (E.G. White, “looking back at Minneapolis,” November or December, 1888 MMM, p221. Emphasis added.)

Part of the reason that the pioneers could not get the Calendar lined up is because of a dispensational view of the covenants. Jones and Waggoner began to shift in their understanding of the day of the crucifixion but got caught on the 16th day and connected it to the Sabbath. More light comes when we step into light.

If the 1888 message had been accepted it would have opened the field of study on the law and the covenants. This failure locked Adventism to a wrong platform on the law. IN such a case we find inspiration acting as a mirror of men’s ideas yet still conveying important truth.

In this parable Christ was meeting the people on their own ground. The doctrine of a conscious state of existence between death and the resurrection was held by many of those who were listening to Christ's words. The Saviour knew of their ideas, and He framed His parable so as to inculcate important truths through these preconceived opinions. He held up before His hearers a mirror wherein they might see themselves in their true relation to God. COL 263

Jesus spoke a parable of a man in hell calling out to Abraham in heaven. This was an idea that his hearers believed. The books desire of Ages and Patriarchs and prophets are not books on the Calendar and how to calculate it, they are books about Christ and the gospel. The 16th day reflects the understanding of the pioneers. If she had changed this and said something else it would have completely put the pioneers offside and caused a loss of confidence in the Spirit of Prophecy. I content that this statement is a mirror and therefore a ministration of death for our failure to accept the 1888 message.

It is going to test everyone as to how they read the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Many will not accept this position and I am willing to endure that. The Bible is clear and the SOP supports a 53 day Exodus to Law at Sinai. The Bible also supports that Christ was raised on the 17th day of Aviv which is the day of First Fruits on the Karaite Calendar!

We see the difference between Christ’s Calendar and the Pharisees

Christ’s Calendar

14th Aviv

15th Aviv

16th Aviv

17th Aviv

Thursday

Friday

Sabbath

Sunday

Passover

First Day of
Unleavened Bread

Second Day of Unleavened Bread

Third day of
Unleavened Bread

Night

Day (0.5)

Night (1)

Day (1.5)

Night (2)

Day (2.5)

Night (3)

Day

 

Prepare Passover Luke 22:7-9; Mark 14:12

Eat Passover & Unleavened Bread. Gethsemane

Trial of Christ and Crucifixion

Burial of Christ

Resting in Tomb

Raised just before dawn

Resurrection day

 

 

Pharisees

14th Aviv

15th Aviv

16th Aviv

Friday

Sabbath

Sunday

Passover

First Day of Unleavened Bread

Second day of
Unleavened Bread

Night

Day

Night

Day

Night

Day

 

Lamb prepared

Eat the Passover

 

 

Wave the First fruits

 

If we follow the Calendar of when Christ ate the Passover we see this whole process took 3 days and 3 nights. This is the time that Christ was in the heart of the earth or as the pioneers taught that Christ was in the hands of the unrighteous.

When Christ said to the chief priests and captains of the temple, who had come out to take him, "THIS IS YOUR HOUR AND THE POWER OF DARKNESS" (Luke 22:52, 53), he set apart a peculiar period in his experience during which he was in the hands of men. This was the time when he was "in the heart of the earth." Uriah Smith - Day of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ – No Date.

Offered up His Son

This brings us to the another Critical point

God offered up His Son on the Thursday evening. Thursday was the Passover day on the Calendar Christ was following.

Rom 8:32  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up [surrendered] for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 

Luke 22:53  When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness. 

As the Son of God bowed in the attitude of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, the agony of His spirit forced from His pores sweat like great drops of blood. It was here that the horror of great darkness surrounded Him. The sins of the world were upon Him. He was suffering in man's stead as a transgressor of His Father's law. Here was the scene of temptation. The divine light of God was receding from His vision, and He was passing into the hands of the powers of darkness. In His soul anguish He lay prostrate on the cold earth. He was realizing His Father's frown. He had taken the cup of suffering from the lips of guilty man, and proposed to drink it Himself, and in its place give to man the cup of blessing. The wrath that would have fallen upon man was now falling upon Christ. It was here that the mysterious cup trembled in His hand.  {2T 203.2} 

When did this heaviness begin for Christ?

As He met the disciples in the upper chamber, they perceived that something weighed heavily upon His mind, and although they knew not its cause, they sympathized with His grief.  {DA 642.3} 

As Christ came into the feast of the passover, He already had a weight upon Him. The yielding up process had begun already.

The Passover was the Self same day that God made a covenant with Abraham. It was on that day that Abraham passed into a horror of a great darkness and a deep sleep fell upon him.

But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God's purposes know no haste and no delay. Through the symbols of the great darkness and the smoking furnace, God had revealed to Abraham the bondage of Israel in Egypt, and had declared that the time of their sojourning should be four hundred years. "Afterward," He said, "shall they come out with great substance." Genesis 15:14. Against that word, all the power of Pharaoh's proud empire battled in vain. On "the self-same day" appointed in the divine promise, "it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt." So in heaven's council the hour for the coming of Christ had been determined. When the great clock of time pointed to that hour, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  Exodus 12:41. {DA 32.1}

Said the angel, "Think ye that the Father yielded up His dearly beloved Son without a struggle? No, no." It was even a struggle with the God of heaven, whether to let guilty man perish, or to give His darling Son to die for them. EW 127.

In the counsel of Peace God did not set the Calendar to kill His Son. He set the date for His coming to earth and to yield up His Son that He might pass into the powers of darkness and be killed by Satan and men.

The Passover of God was on the Thursday evening – this was His Calendar because God did not kill His Son. He yielded Him up. He surrendered Him to us and allowed Him to carry our sins. He even would have died on Thursday night except He was strengthened that we might see our wickedness towards Him and see that His blood was on us and our people.

His burden of guilt was so great because of man’s transgression of his Father’s law, that human nature was inadequate to bear it. His inexpressible anguish forced from his pores large drops of blood, which fell upon the ground and moistened the sods of Gethsemane. { ST August 14, 1879, par. 11 }

The sleeping disciples see not that their beloved Teacher is fainting. He falls to the earth, and is dying. { ST August 14, 1879, par. 14 }

Although the Father does not remove the cup from the trembling hand and pale lips of his Son,  sends an angel to give him strength to drink it. The angel raises the Son of God from the cold ground, and brings him messages of love from his Father. He is strengthened and fortified. He has the assurance that he is gaining eternal joy for all who will accept redemption. { ST August 14, 1879, par. 15 }

The Calendar of the Jews has been corrupted through Pagan influence.

Himes, No Time but the Present St Mar 27 1844

They indeed used various astronomical helps, till the present calendar was introduced: but never one that rendered them independant of the barley harvest at the second new moon after the vernal equinox; and then they could not calculate within one day the actual time of its appearing. Nor can the present calendar be adjusted to it within a month sooner or later, as is seen by the previous quotation from Dr. Prideaux--our Brother's authority--for "all the time" of which his history treats, and till the time of Rabbi Hillel about A. D. 360. Thus Dr. Hales says:-- 

"From the difference between the times of the true and computed paschal new moon, as calculated astronomically, and computed by such rules as were in use among the Jews formerly, and which may vary a day in their results, we may naturally account for a circumstance noticed in the gospels, namely, that our Lord and his disciples ate the Passover on Maundy Thursday, but the chief priests and their adherents on good Friday. Vol. I. p. 174. 

Says a distinguished Jewish writer:-- 

"They that lived in places far distant from Jerusalem, whither timely notice could not be conveyed, were obliged to keep the feasts a day more than otherwise was to be kept; on account of not being able to know certain whether the new moon was consecrated on the 30th, or not observed till 31st; which was the reason of their keeping the passover eight days, the feast of Pentecost two days, and that of Tabernacles nine days; whereas in Scripture we are commanded to keep the Passover seven, the feast of Pentecost one, and that of Tabernacles eight days. And, notwithstanding there is, at present, a certain calculation, yet we that live out of Jerusalem still retain the former practice" Abendana's Polity of the Jews, p. 176. Mod. Juda. p. 376 

Jahn says-- 

"The days of the new moon were not ascertained by astronomical calculations, as the Rabbins assert, but were the days on which the new moon first made its appearance, as is maintained by the Caraites." Further, "The Talmudists speak of the signs of the appearance of the new moon, and it is clear that neither Philo nor Josephus knew any thing of the distinction between the astronomical and the apparent new moon." Arch. p. 416.

 In the Same Article from Himes

The Jewish Rabbins say, that March and Sept., instead of April and October, were the initial months of these two years. That they were so at a late period is admitted, but the change was probably owing to the example of the Romans, who began their year with the month of March. The Jews being pleased with their example in this respect, or overruled by their authority, adopted the same practice. That this is the most probable statement, is evident also from the fact, that the position of the Rabbins is opposed not only by Josephus, but by the usage of the Syriac and Arabic languages; from the fact also, that the prescribed observances of the three great festival days will not agree with the months of March and September, as has been shown by Michaelis: see Commentat, de Mensious Hebr a orum in Soc. Reg. Goett. 1763--1768. p. 10. et. seq. Vol. 6, No. 16. Himes ST Mar 27, 1844

And again earlier in the article

"It is possible so much might have been this year done; but that the Jews at this time, when, after having newly recovered their temple, and restored the true worship of God in it, they were most zealously employed in extirpating all heathen rites from among them, should first introduce this cycle borrowed from the heathen, and employ it to a religious use, that is, for the fixing of the times oftheir new moons and festivals, seems utterly improbable. That which seems most probably to be conjectured concerning this matter (for nothing but conjecture can be had in it,) is, that when the Jews, in the dispersions after the time of Alexander the Great, through the countries I have mentioned, saw a necessity of coming to astronomical calculations and settled rules for the fixing of their new moons and festivals, that so they might observe them all on the same day, in all places, they borrowed from the Greeks the cycle or period of Callippus, which they found used among them for the same purpose."--Hist.Jews,vol.ii.p.155.

Therefore we see that the Jews adapted their Calendar to operate by astronomical calculations influenced both by the Greeks and the Romans.

Thus we see that the Passover that Christ kept was different to the Pharisees. He worked to a different Calendar and this is important. The day that Christ was killed was operating on a Calendar influenced by the Greeks and Romans, it was not strictly the Calendar of the Torah as expressed by the Karaites. 

The Pharisaic rule of the 16th day and the claim that the 1st day was a shabat keeps the focus on the cross on the physical death of Christ and the thought that God set the date for Him to be killed. The true Calendar reveals the date when the Father would yield up His Son to humanity and Satan and to be killed on their calendar and their timing.

The 16th day theory harmonises the first fruits of the resurrection with the floating first fruits day of the Torah and thus the Karaites. Both systems worked for the resurrection. But only one Calendar reveals the yielding up as the act of the Father whereas the other gives a stronger thought that God had planned the death of His Son in the Calendar Himself thus making Him the author of death from before the foundation of the world in the counsel of peace.

As we have been learning, the sacrificial system was given to grant us to see ourselves as murderers of Christ and repent. The disciples on that day were thinking about something else. Who is the greatest. This in itself was piercing the heart of Christ. In that upper room, the words and actions of the disciples in refusing to wash each others feet was a cross of intense magnitude for Jesus. They refused to believe He would die – meaning that they were part of the cause of His death through their evil nature. The Thursday Passover shows the spirit nature of this suffering for Christ and not just an act that must be completed to satisfy a legal demand.

Abraham’s offering of His Son. As Abraham had deep suffering for three days and night as they travelled to Mt Moriah so the Father had 3 days and 3 nights suffering while Christ was in the heart of the earth.

Gen 22:3-4  And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.  (4)  Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

At the appointed place they built the altar and laid the wood upon it. Then, with trembling voice, Abraham unfolded to his son the divine message. It was with terror and amazement that Isaac learned his fate, but he offered no resistance. He could have escaped his doom, had he chosen to do so; the grief-stricken old man, exhausted with the struggle of those three terrible days, could not have opposed the will of the vigorous youth. PP 152

There were two lessons revealed in that great test For Abraham:

1.  Abraham was to be invited to understand the sacrifice of God in “giving” His Son;

but he carried out the divine command to the very letter, till, just as the knife was about to be plunged into the quivering flesh of his child, the word came, “It is enough; now I know that thou fearest God, seeing that thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me.” { RH June 9, 1885, par. 2 }

Abraham did not kill his son, he offered him up.

It was to impress Abraham’s mind with the reality of the gospel, as well as to test his faith, that God commanded him to slay his son. The agony which he endured during the dark days of that fearful trial was permitted that he might understand from his own experience something of the greatness of the sacrifice made by the infinite God for man’s redemption.

2. The ram caught in the thicket represented the truth of who was responsible for the death of the Son of God.

The ram offered in the place of Isaac represented the Son of God, who was to be sacrificed in our stead. When man was doomed to death by transgression of the law of God, the Father, looking upon His Son, said to the sinner, “Live: I have found a ransom.” { PP 154.1}

 In the first object lesson Abraham represents God who never killed His Son. In the second Abraham resumes his position as a sinner who is responsible for killing the Son of God

The Thicket – Trees Twisted or intertwined together – Copse Tree. Christ was caught in our twisted curse being made a curse for us. The Ram caught in the twisted tree shows Christ is killed by our curse – our refusal to submit to him. Caught by the horns, his power was spent to the utmost to save us and carry this body of death to the grave and be resurrected.

Christ’s keeping of the Passover on Thursday does a number of things.

  1. It validates the Karaite system of morrow after the Sabbath meaning weekly Sabbath
  2. It gives clarity to the statement of three days in the heart of the earth
  3. It reveals the atonement in that God gave up His Son not killed Him
  4. It gives us the correct timing for Pentecost as the morrow after the seventh Sabbath – thus a Sunday.
  5. Through the aid of Ellen Whites 50 day statement from Egypt to the Red Sea, it gives a typology to undo the 16th day wave sheaf theory. The gap between passover and firstfruits is not simply about physical death, it is about being in the hands of Satan and man. Satan had Christ in his power until Christ rose from the grave.
  6. It shifts our focus on the atonement from an act of physical death to a loving Father surrendering His Son to us that we might see what we are really doing to Him..
  7. It puts the cause of death directly on us and not on the Father in any way.