I want you to know that I think your web site is the best ever. I believe the Lord has called you to be the watchman on the wall for such a time as this.
I want to tell you what I saw the morning of the shuttle crash. Right after we found out the devastating news, we were talking about
the two shuttle crashes and I said isn't it interesting that the first woman, the first black and now the first Israeli have all died in space missions. The Challenger and now the Columbia. As I left the house that morning, my heart was heavy and I began to say out loud to the
Lord as I drove down the street "Lord, what does this mean?" then I felt impressed to lean forward and look up and I saw a big beautiful rainbow.
It was the very top part or the bow of the rainbow. It was very big. The weather Saturday morning very hot and it has not rained for a while. So why a rainbow?
I felt the Lord was giving me a sign but I am not sure what. Do you have any idea what this could mean? I came back home the same way about 20 mins
later and the rainbow was gone.
> > The weather Saturday morning very hot and it has not rained for a while. So why a rainbow? God can do anything he wants. He can send a cloud of ice crystals. That could cause a rainbow on a day of rain, or a Sun dog on a sunny day. Because of the weather and the size of the bow, I suspect it was a Sun dog.
The bow is to remind us of God's covenant never to destroy every living thing again with a flood.
Gen. 9:12-17 says, "God said, THIS IS THE TOKEN OF THE COVENANT which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, THIS IS THE TOKEN OF THE COVENANT, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth."
Notice how this section is bookended with "THIS IS THE TOKEN OF THE COVENANT." It is something we should pay attention to.
On the Day of God's Wrath, a binary asteroid will break up and hit Earth (Rev. 8:8,10). A mountain-sized piece will hit the Mediterranean Sea in the northeast. With the resulting impact blast and tsunami, it will destroy Gaza, where God's land has been taken away from Israel and given to the Palestinians. It seems significant that the shuttle Columbia (symbol of the US) broke up just shy of Palestine, TX.
Zep 2:1-7 says, "Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired (Israel); Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you. Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid (i.e., raptured in the Pre-Wrath Rapture) in the day of the LORD'S anger. For GAZA SHALL BE FORSAKEN, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant. And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks. And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity."
When Gaza shall be forsaken, the remnants of the Philistines will be punished, and Judah will be given that territory. More than that, the army of "all nations" (Zech. 14:2) that will be attacking Jerusalem on that day will be stopped and almost wiped out totally. Only 1/6th of Gog's united-nations army will survive.
Eze. 39:1-6 says, "prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD." Agape
I really wish you understood Judaism as well as you pretend to.
Why Jesus must have been crucified on a 'Wednesday'...
The events of Jesus' last days before his crucifixion and resurrection are described in the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the New Testament. If certain critical 'prophetic' passages are taken as 'literally' true, i.e., having a 'literal fulfillment', then one must consider the possibility that Jesus was actually crucified on a 'Wednesday', instead of the 'traditional' reckoning of 'Friday'.
The most unavoidable prophetic passage that causes one to re-evaluate this timing is Matthew 12:40 -- "(Jesus) answered and said to (some of the scribes and Pharisees), '...no sign shall be given to (this evil generation) but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea creature, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
There is little question (and so it remains consistent with the long-standing tradition) that Jesus arose from the grave sometime before the dawn of 'Sunday' morning, for Matthew 28:1 plainly says, "Now after the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the 'first day of the week', Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at (Jesus') grave... And (an) angel... said to the women, '...he is not here, for he has risen, just as he said.'" (Since he was placed in his tomb just before sundown, it is reasonable to assume he arose just shortly 'after' sundown, three 'days' later.)
In order to hold to the Friday tradition, a peculiar rationale is expressed so as to sidestep the explicit prophetic timing. It is explained that in Jewish reckoning, if any part of the day is counted, it may be counted as a whole day. This way, if Jesus went into the tomb just before sundown Friday evening, Friday may be counted as one day, Saturday as one day, and then part of Sunday as the third day (remembering that a Jewish 'day' begins and ends at sundown, rather than midnight). The problem with this is that it simply ignores the reference to "three nights" as part of the prophecy. A "day and a night" is similar to an "evening and morning" (Genesis 1:5; Daniel 8:14) -- both refer to a literal twenty-four hour period: one full "day."
One may argue that Mark 15:42 explicitly says that Jesus died on the "...the day before the Sabbath..." Yes; however, one must realize that not only is every 'Saturday' called a 'Sabbath,' but that every 'feast' day is also a 'Sabbath'! -- "On the first day (of unleavened bread; i.e., the 15th) you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work [i.e., it shall be a 'sabbath' day]..." (Leviticus 23:7). That is why John clarifies 'what kind' of 'Sabbath' it is: "...because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the 'Sabbath' (for that Sabbath was a high one), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they may be taken away" (John 19:31). In other words, John is saying the "Sabbath" they were concerned about was not the ordinary "weekly" sabbath, but the "high" Sabbath of the 15th, the first day of the "'feast' of Unleavened Bread."
Others may argue that John and Mark are simply saying that that particular Saturday sabbath was 'also' the first day of Unleavened Bread, and so therefore "...THAT Sabbath was (also) a HIGH one..." Another may ask, if the 15th is the "first day of Unleavened Bread", and that is the day the Jew "shall not do any laborious work..." because it is the day of "holy convocation", how then could Jesus have eaten the Passover meal with his disciples, if it is to be 'eaten' on the start of the 15th, yet he died "...the day BEFORE the Sabbath..."?
And so we find that in company with this 'Wednesday vs. Friday' question, there also stands the issue as to whether Jesus' last supper with the disciples before his betrayal was a Passover Seder, or whether it was simply an evening meal he ate the night before the Passover Lamb was to be killed and eaten. Many adamantly hold to the 'Last Supper' being a final Passover Jesus kept with his disciples, and his death occuring on the 'first' day of the feast of 'unleavened bread', a high Sabbath day.
John seems to explicitly contradict this view when he recounts: "Now 'before' the feast of the Passover, Jesus..., during supper,... rose from (the table), and... began to wash the disciples feet..." (John 13:1-5). John also recounts that "after the morsel (Jesus gave Judas), Satan then entered into him. Jesus therefore said to him, 'What you do, do quickly.'...Some (of the other disciples) were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, 'Buy the things we have need of for the feast"... (13:27-29).
John also describes that after the supper and his arrest, the "officers of the Jews... led Jesus... into the Praetorium [the Roman court of Pilate]... (but) they themselves did not enter into (it) in order that they might not be 'defiled' [ceremoniously, by contact with gentiles, a form of 'leaven'], but might eat the Passover" (John 18:12,28). And then again, in referring to Jesus before Pilate, John writes, "Now it was the day of 'preparation' for the Passover..." (John 19:14).
Besides these explicit references, there is a greater force influencing the question, as suggested by Alfred Edersheim (d. 1889) in his book "The Temple: Its Ministry and Services" (Updated Edition, copyright © 1994 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc). Even though Edersheim rejected this argument, he had the integrity to acknowledge it: "...the main dogmatic strength of the argument on the other side lies in the consideration that the anti-type (Christ) should have died at the same time as the type (the Paschal lamb). Dr. Farrer himself feels the force of this, and one of his strongest arguments against the view that the Last Supper took place at the Paschal meal is: 'The sense of inherent and symbolical fitness in the dispensation which ordained that Christ should be slain on the day and at the hour appointed for the sacrifice of the Paschal lamb'" (p. 312, Appendix).
If one 'starts' from this supposition, as may be preferred from a literal fundamentalist standpoint, and is bolstered by John's 'explicit' chronology, how is one then able to reconcile the other gospel accounts, which seem to suggest the 'Last Supper' was the Passover meal? Edersheim unwittingly gives us the means, by two understandings:
1. "The special preparations for the Passover commenced on the evening of the 13th of Nisan, with which, according to Jewish reckoning, the 14th began, the day being always computed from evening to evening" (ibid., pg. 171-172); and,
2. "The... 'Passover,' as (used in John) 18:39, (means) the whole Paschal week" (ibid., footnote 4, pg. 172).
Keeping these things in mind, one can see that in the other gospels -- having but a 'general' chronology -- "Passover" refers, not 'specifically' to the eating of the Paschal lamb, but 'generally' to the "whole Paschal week", including the feast of Unleavened Bread, and that the "preparations for the Passover" commenced on the evening (just as the sun was beginning to set) of the 13th, as the 14th was just beginning. This "special preparation of the Passover" as Edersheim calls it is to what Matthew 26:19 (and also Mark 14:16) refers when it reads, "And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they 'prepared' the Passover." In other words, they found and secured a room wherein they could spend the entire Passover week; and they did this as the 14th had just begun, the evening of the 13th.
And again, as Mark 14:12 describes, "And on the first day of Unleavened Bread when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, his disciples said to him, 'Where do you want us to go and 'prepare' for you to eat the Passover?" The lamb is sacrificed on the 14th, near its ending; but the 14th 'begins' as the sun is going down the day before! As the sun is going down at the close of the 13th, it is turning into the 14th -- in other words, it is becoming "the first day of (the feast of) Unleavened Bread, (that is,) when the Passover lamb (was to be) sacrificed."
In our non-Jewish culture, we think of the evening meal as being eaten at the 'end' of a day; but in the Jewish culture, eating the 'evening meal' is always the 'very first thing' one does as each new day 'begins'!
So what was the occasion then of Jesus gathering in the "upper room" to eat a meal on the close of the 13th, as the 14th was beginning? To conduct the ceremonial search for the leaven, and to "cast (it) out": "...the head of the house was to search with a [lamp] all places were leaven was usually kept, and to put what of it he found in the house in a safe place, when no portion could be carried away by accident..." (Edersheim, "The Temple...", pg. 172).
If the figures of the feasts picture literal events, what then fulfilled the "casting out of the leaven"? Jesus said to the disciples, "'Not all of you are clean'" (John 13:11); and then later he said to Judas, "'What you do, do quickly'", and we read, "And so after receiving the 'morsel' (Judas) went out immediately (into) the night" (vs. 30).
"Jesus said to (them), 'He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.' For he knew the one who was betraying him..." (vss. 10-11). Jesus 'cleansed' his 'house' of the 'unclean' one, the leaven of disobedience and unbelief: "And after the morsel, Satan then entered into (Judas)" (vs 27). "And so after receiving the morsel he went out immediately (into) the night."
Let's consider Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday as crucifixion possibilities and see which fits Scripture's clues best. I'll use the Tenach, Stone Edition, and the Hebraic-Roots New Testament.
Mt. 12:40 says, "For as Yonah was three days and three nights in the fish's belly, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." How are we to take this? Since three days were mentioned first, we have to start with day, not night. Here are our choices:
(1) Wednesday (day), Thursday (night then day), Friday (night then day) and Saturday night
(2) Thursday (day), Friday (night then day), Saturday (night then day) and Sunday (night)
(3) Friday (day), Saturday (night then day) Sunday (night then day) and Monday (night)
Right away, we find out that Friday does not fit. It is agreed that Yeshua was resurrected by Sunday dawn. Let's drop Friday and just consider Wednesday and Thursday.
Yeshua/Jesus died at 3 PM. Luke 23:42-46 says, "he (the thief that was saved by what he said here) said to Yeshua, Remember me, my Adon, when you come into your kingdom. Yeshua said to him, Truly I say to you today that with me you will be in pardes (Paradise, or Abraham's bosom, Luke 16:22). Now about six hours (of the 12 hours of day) had gone (6 AM to noon), and darkness was upon all the earth until the ninth hour (3 PM). And the sun was dark and the veil of the Temple was rent from its middle. And Yeshua cried out with a great voice and said, My Father, into your hand I commend my spirit. He said this and died."
Yeshua's spirit and soul went into the compartment in the Earth called Paradise at 3 PM. He had to be in the Earth. He was above ground in the tomb. This isn't talking about the tomb. Yeshua (meaning YHVH saves) was in the Earth 3 hours before the Passover started at 6 PM. Therefore, the first of the 3 days in the heart of the Earth was 3 hours long.
Ephesians 4:3-10 says, "be diligent to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of shalom. That you be one body and one spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling. For YHWH is one and the faith is one and the immersion is one. And one Eloah (God), the father of all, and above all, and through all, and in us all. But to each of us is given favor, according to the measure of the gift of the Messiah (i.e., the gift of the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of God, Romans 8:9). Therefore this is said; he ascended to a high place (Heaven) and carried captivity captive (took those in Paradise to Heaven on Firstfruits), and gave gifts to men. Now what is it that he ascended, unless also HE HAD FIRST DESCENDED TO THE DEPTHS OF THE EARTH? He who descended is he who also ascended higher than all the heaven, that he might fulfill all."
Does Wednesday or Thursday match up with what happened to Jonah? Jonah 1:3,4 says that he "went down to Jaffa (probably in the daytime) and found a ship bound for Tarshish; he paid its fare, and boarded it to travel with them to Tarshish from before HASHEM. Then HASHEM cast a mighty wind toward the sea; there was a great tempest in the sea (this foreshadows the darkness that started at noon on Crucifixion Day) and the ship threatened to be broken. The sailors became frightened and they cried out, each to his god; they cast the wares that were on the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had descended to the ship's holds and he lay down and fell fast asleep." Some time later, the sailors woke him and cast him into the sea, where the fish swallowed him.
This seems to have been during the 12 hours of day. Since God's types are so good, it seems reasonable to assume that it was 3 PM when Jonah died. In Jonah 2:7, he said, "I descended to the bases of the mountains (i.e., to Paradise); The earth -- its bars [were closed] against me forever." His resurrection is also portrayed in v. 7. It says, "Yet, You lifted my life from the pit, O HASHEM, my God." In the fish, Jonah said, "From the belly of the grave (Sheol) I cried out" (Jonah 2:3). In 2:11, "HASHEM addressed the fish and it spewed out Jonah (alive) onto dry land."
He went into Nineveh (dwelling) and said, "Forty days more and Nineveh shall be overturned!" This portrayed the 40 years between the Crucifixion in 30 AD and the overturning of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD as the consequence of their nonrepentance.
Why were there 40 years? Elijah also portrayed the seige against Jerusalem 40 days, but a day was for a year. So Ezekiel bore "the iniquity of the House of Judah for forty days; a day for a year" (Eze. 4:6).
The difference between Nineveh and Jerusalem is why the outcome was different. Nineveh repented and was not destroyed in 40 days. Jerusalem did not repent and was destroyed after being tested 40 years. The number 40 means testing and probation. Jonah 3:5 says, "The people of Nineveh believed in God, so they proclaimed a fast and donned sackcloth, from their great to their small." Verse 10 says, "And God saw their deeds, that they repented from their evil way; and God relented concerning the evil He had said He would bring upon them, and did not do it."
If Jonah was in the fish three days and three nights, and the first day started at 3 PM, that first day would have lasted 3 hours. Whatever time it started, that portion of a day was counted as one day. The case with Jesus was the same. He died at 3 PM. At 6 PM, the night of the Feast of the Passover (Nisan 14) began. As in the days of Jonah, that portion of a day preceeding 6 PM was counted as the first day.
Luk 24:21 says, "But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day (Sunday) is the third day since these things (the Crucifixion) were done."
If the Crucifixion was on Wednesday, the three days since would be Thursday, Friday and Saturday. That doesn't fit for the "third day since" was spoken on Sunday.
Luke 24:12,13 says, "Simon (Peter) stood up and ran to the sepulcher and looked in, saw the linen cloths lay alone, and went away wondering in himself about what had happened. And behold, two of them ON THE SAME DAY (Sunday) went to a village whose hame was Emmaus, and it was separation from Yerushalayim sixty furlongs. And they were speaking one with another about all those things that had happened. And while they were speaking and questioning one with another, Yeshua (the one who had been resurrected this same day) came and met them and was walking with them."
If the Crucifixion was on Thursday, the three days since would be Friday (Passover), Saturday (Unleavened Bread) and Sunday (Firstfruits). Thursday fits perfectly. We can drop Wednesday now. It missed fitting scripture by one day.
Yeshua died at 3 PM Thursday, the Preparation of the Passover, and was put in the tomb above ground by 6 PM, when the Nisan 14 Passover began. The Jews ate the passover between 6 PM and midnight on Nisan 14, Friday, the "high day." Eighteen hours later, at 6 PM Friday, the Saturday, Nisan 15, Feast of Unleavened Bread began. Twenty-four hours later, the Sunday, Nisan 16, began. And Yeshua was found to be alive on the Feast of Firstfruits.
I Corinthians 15:20 says, "But now the Messiah has risen from the dead and has become the first ('firstfruits,' KJV) of those asleep." Christ is really the first to get his resurrection body. Jonah came back to life in his regular earthly body. He died later and must wait on the day of the Pre-Trib Rapture to get his resurrection body. Hebrews 5:9 says, "And thus he was perfected and became for all those who obey him the cause of eternal life."
Heb. 11:40 says, "Because Eloah (God) considered beforehand our benefit, that they should not be completed without us." Heb. 12:23 says, "But you have drawn near to the mountain of Tziyon and to the city of the living Eloah, to the Yerushalayim that is in heaven and to the innumerable multitudes of angels. And to the assembly of the firstborn who are written in heaven, and to Eloah, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the just who are perfected."
I think Thursday (day), Friday (night then day), Saturday (night then day) and Sunday (night) fits both Jonah and Jesus' deaths and resurrections best.
From Lev. 23:5-11, we can tell that the Feast of Passover was Nisan 14, the Feast of Unleavened Bread was Nisan 15, and the Feast of Firstfruits was Nisan 16. We also know that Jesus, the Firstfruit, the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15) was resurrected on Sunday, Nisan 16. Then Friday was Passover, Saturday was the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Sunday was the Feast of Firstfruits. Jesus Christ, Yeshua haMashiach, was our Passover lamb.
I Corinthians 5:7 says, "Purge from you the old leaven, that you might be a new lump as you are unleavened. For our Pesach (Passover) is the Messiah, who was slain instead of us."
When Israel was in bondage in Egypt, the death angel passed over the houses that had the Het, meaning life, painted with three strokes (on their left and right door posts and lintel above) with the blood of a lamb. The blood of the Lamb of God (Yeshua) gives life--eternal life. Sins (leaven, bondage) will be left behind. The Israelites ate the lamb that represented Yeshua/Christ, took the lamb into their bodies. We receive the Spirit of Christ in our bodies when we accept him, so the picture of eating the lamb is a good one.
At the last supper, Luke 22:19.20 says that Yeshua (took bread and gave thanks and broke and gave to them and said, This is my body that is given for you. This does for my remembrance. And after they ATE he took a cup and gave thanks over it and said, Take this; divide it among you, this is my blood of the NEW COVENANT." The death of the testator put his last will and testament into effect.
By taking the death due us under the law, he took obedience to the law out of the way as a way to be saved. Now, under the New Covenant, the question is "How seems it to you concerning the Messiah? WHOSE SON IS HE?" (Matthew 22:42).
Proverbs 30:4 says, "Who ascended to heaven and descended? Who else gathered the wind in his palm? Who else tied the waters in a cloak? Who established all the ends of the earth? What is his name (YHWH, Yahweh, Yah for short), and WHAT IS HIS SON'S NAME (Yahshua), if you know?"
Mt. 1:20-21 says, "from the Ruach HaKodesh she has conceived. And behold, she will bear a son, and you will call his name YESHUA; for he will save his people from all their sins."
Genesis 49:18 says, "For Your salvation (Heb. YESHUAH) do I long, O HASHEM!" Yeshua is the Saviour. Psa. 14:7 says, "O, that out of Zion would come Israel's salvation! (YESHUAH)." Isa. 62:11 says, "'Behold, your Savior (YASHA) has come!' Behold, His reward is with Him, and His wage is before Him." In Rev. 22:12, Yeshua said, "Behold, I come quickly and my reward [is] with me and I will give to every man according to his work."
Salvation is a free gift from God to those that accept Yeshua as their own personal Saviour. After we are saved, we can work for rewards. Eph. 2:8,9 says, "For by his favor we were saved by faith, and this was not of yourselves, but is the gift of Eloah, Not of works lest a man should boast."
> > (John 19:31). In other words, John is saying the "Sabbath" they were concerned about was not the ordinary "weekly" sabbath, but the "high" Sabbath of the 15th, the first day of the "'feast' of Unleavened Bread."
I think the high sabbath referred to was Friday, Passover, Nisan 14.
In Goshen, Egypt, the lamb was killed, roasted and eaten between 6 PM and midnight on Nisan 14. That's when the death angle killed all the firstborn that did not have the blood of life on their door. Soon after midnight, Pharaoh told Moses to go, take everyone and everything and leave. The Lord had told the Israelites to be dressed with their shoes on their feet and their staff in their hand, but not to leave their houses until morning.
In the morning (starting the 12-hour day part of Nisan 14), they left Goshen, Egypt, and went to Rameses, Egypt. They borrowed things the Lord knew they would need for the Tabernacle, and on Nisan 15, which started at 6 PM on the 14th, they took their unleavened dough with them and left Rameses. Thus, they portrayed the Feast of Passover on the 14th and the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the 15th. On the Passover (Nisan 14), their deadly sins were passed over because of the shed blood of the lamb. On the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15), they were counted as having left sin (leaven) behind.
Numbers 33:2,3 says, "Moses wrote their goings forth according to their journeys at the bidding of HASHEM, and these were their journeys according to their goings forth: They journeyed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month (Nisan 15, Feast of Unleavened Bread) -- on the DAY AFTER THE PESACH-OFFERING" (Nisan 14, Feast of Passover).
> > Mark 14:12 describes, "And on the first day of Unleavened Bread when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, his disciples said to him, 'Where do you want us to go and 'prepare' for you to eat the Passover?" The lamb is sacrificed on the 14th, near its ending; but the 14th 'begins' as the sun is going down the day before! As the sun is going down at the close of the 13th, it is turning into the 14th -- in other words, it is becoming "the first day of (the feast of) Unleavened Bread, (that is,) when the Passover lamb (was to be) sacrificed."
In Mark 14:12, the word "first" is protos, before, former. It means that the day before the day of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15) was the Passover (Nisan 14), when the Passover lambs were being sacrificed.
They were sacrificed at the temple between the evenings, i.e., from 3 to 5 PM on Nisan 13, the day of preparation of the Passover. Then they were put in the oven. This parallels when Yeshua was put in the hollowed-out stone tomb. When roasted, the Passover lambs were eaten at the beginning of Passover, between 6 PM and midnight on Nisan 14. The only midnight belonging to Nisan 14 is 6 hours after it begins. There was to be no lamb left by the daylight portion of Nisan 14. Therefore, there was no Passover sacrifice at the end of Nisan 14, only at the beginning.
> > So what was the occasion then of Jesus gathering in the "upper room" to eat a meal on the close of the 13th, as the 14th was beginning? To conduct the ceremonial search for the leaven, and to "cast (it) out"
The Last Supper was at the beginning of Nisan 13, the preparation of the Passover. It was the last chance, for Yeshua would be tried during that night and be put on the cross at 9 AM. He died at 3 PM on Nisan 13, just as the lambs were being slain at the temple. He was put in the tomb just as the lambs were being put in the ovens.
> > If the figures of the feasts picture literal events, what then fulfilled the "casting out of the leaven"?
Leaven was "cast out" on the day prior to the Passover, i.e., on Nisan 13, the preparation day. As you said, Yeshua cast out Judas. More than that, Yeshua cast out leaven (sin) as an issue in salvation on the day prior to the Passover too, on Nisan 13, the preparation of the Passover. From that day on, the issue in salvation is: What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?
The sacrifice of the passover lamb was a type of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God that is our Redeemer, the Son of God, but the picturing of redemption goes back even before the Exodus. When God slew the lamb and made clothing for Adam and Eve, that shedding of lamb's blood stood for Christ, who shed his blood for all mankind. Heb 9:22 says, "and without the shedding of blood there is no remission."
In Prov. 8:12-23, the Son of God says, "I am wisdom; I dwell in cleverness; I provide knowledge of designs....With me there is counsel and wisdom; I am understanding; with me is might. Through me, kings will reign, and nobles will decree righteousness; through me officials will rule, and nobles, all who judge righteously. I love those who love me, and THOSE WHO SEARCH FOR ME SHALL FIND ME....HASHEM made me as the beginning of His way, before His deeds of yore. I HAVE REIGNED FOR ALL TIME: FROM THE BEGINNING, from before [there was] the earth."
1Pe 1:18-20 says, "Being you know that you were not redeemed with silver nor with gold that is corruptible, from your vain works that you received from your fathers, But with the precious blood of the lamb in whom there is no spot or blemish, who is the Messiah, Who was previously appointed to this from BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD and was manifested at the end of times for you." Agape
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