Preparation Day/Passover vs Unleavened Bread and Weekly vs Annual/High Sabbaths

Exodus 12:1 Now the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. 4 Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. 7 Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. 10 And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire. 11 Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste — it is the Lord’s Passover. 12 For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments — I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. (NASB)

Before picking up with the rest of the story, let’s take a brief intermission to explore the following:

  • Passover,
  • Unleavened Bread,
  • Preparation Day, and
  • The Weekly vs. Annual/High Sabbaths.

By Christ’s time when incarnate (c. 6-36 CE), rabbinic Judaism (Matthew 23:8) had corrupted the Law (Torah) so badly that they confused the Passover with the first day of Unleavened Bread with both occurring on 15 Nisan; that continues to this day.

This is what the Law states:

Leviticus 23:5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the Lord’s (lit. Yahoah’s) Passover. (NASB)

Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. (NASB)

What’s interesting about verse 5 is that Christ is the unblemished (i.e., sinless) Lamb of God. Most theologians believe that Christ’s ministry lasted three and a half years as three Passovers are mentioned in the Book of John. What they fail to realize is that there is a Second Passover (Heb. Pesach Sheni) on the 14th day of the SECOND month on the fifth day of the week each year IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW!

Numbers 9:9 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If any one of you or of your generations becomes unclean because of a dead person, or is on a distant journey, he may, however, observe the Passover to the Lord. 11 In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight, they shall observe it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it. 13 But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and yet neglects to observe the Passover, that person shall then be cut off from his people, for he did not present the offering of the Lord at its appointed time. That man will bear his sin. 14 If an alien sojourns among you and observes the Passover to the Lord, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its ordinance, so he shall do; you shall have one statute, both for the alien and for the native of the land.’” (NASB)

Author’s Note: The word “alien” (Heb. ger[im]) in v14 is in regard to a proselyte to Judaism.

Christ’s ministry was, in fact, slightly over a year and a half total! He certainly met ALL the requirements of Exodus 12:5 — He was an unblemished, male, one-year old, Lamb of God! As will be discussed in an article later in the year, His ministry on Earth lasted EXACTLY 574 yomim or 1.58 Qumran calendar years. And, just to be clear, Abib — NOT Nisan (nor Tishri) — is the first month per the Law:

Deuteronomy 16:1 “Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night.” (NASB)

Again, the pagan Masoretic calendar was followed in Jerusalem at that time. That is one of many reasons why the “sect” called The Way (Heb. HaDerech) in Acts separated themselves from the corruption being practiced in Jerusalem with:

  1. the chaste, male, Jewish priests, Levites, Israelites, and proselytes in the desert wilderness of Qumran 15 miles to the east [i.e., the voice crying out in the wilderness], and
  2. the Congregation of men and women in Damascus, Syria.

Where was Saul (Heb. Sha’ul) going to persecute the men and women of The Way under direct orders from the Great Sanhedrin (Acts 22:4-5)? Damascus (Acts 9:1-19, 22:3-21)! Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian and self-described Pharisee, derogatorily referred to this sect as Essenes (=pious ones). They NEVER referred to themselves as such and were certainly NOT a branch of the Pharisees! See what Christ thought of Pharisees in Matthew 23.

What exactly is the Preparation Day? It is the day immediately preceding a sabbath, a holy convocation and day of rest. As a sabbath is a day of rest, even no meal preparation was permitted! Most people know about the weekly sabbaths, but few know about the ANNUAL or HIGH sabbaths. During Unleavened Bread, there are TWO annual sabbaths, the first and seventh days of the feast:

Leviticus 23:6 Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. 8 But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.’” (NASB)

The day before these two annual sabbaths would be a preparation day. What day fell before the first annual sabbath of Unleavened Bread on 15 Abib? The Passover, which is a Preparation Day, on 14 Abib!

How can “New Testament-only Christians” fully understand the NT without understanding the OT? Are you getting this yet? Christ was NOT crucified on Good Friday and resurrected on Easter Sunday morning; He was crucified on the Passover (14 Abib) — the THIRD day of the week — and was quickly buried before the ANNUAL sabbath on the first day of Unleavened Bread!

Also, He was buried for three days AND NIGHTS per the Jonah prophesy:

Matthew 12:39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (NASB)

I challenge anyone to explain how one arrives at three NIGHTS if Christ were crucified and buried on Good Friday with His empty tomb discovered Easter Sunday morning. Is the Son of God a liar? We have been deceived since the Council of Nicaea. He was dead and buried from 15-17 Abib, was resurrected as Lord of the (weekly) sabbath (Matthew 12:8) on 18 Abib, and His empty tomb was discovered early (during the waning hours of “evening” just before daybreak) on the first day of the week (19 Abib)!

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!) Your Redeemer — the Lamb of God, the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 — is Yehoshu’a HaMashiach (Joshua the Messiah)!

Be sure to read the companion articles in the Passover/Unleavened Bread series as well as the events leading up to them:

Copyright (C) 2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.

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