Biblical scholars are well aware of the fact that Jesus celebrated the Passover and that his celebration of this Mosaic festival must shape our understanding of the Lord’s Supper. But while these scholars stress the salvific significance of Passover, they virtually ignore its important eschatological background. (For the uninitiated, eschatology usually refers to what might happen towards the end of history). So, what does Passover have to do with eschatology in Matthew 26:26-29?

Passover evokes the story of the Exodus and God’s delivery of the Jewish people from slavery. Passover also evokes the story of Mt. Sinai and the ratification of the Mosaic covenant that formally established Israel as a nation.  Jesus’ declaration that, “this is my blood of the covenant” clearly echoes the words of Exodus 24:8: “This is the blood of the covenant.”

But the Passover celebration of Jesus’ day was more than just a memorial of Israel’s past redemption; it was also a celebration of Israel’s future restoration. The celebration of Passover evoked the theme of the eschatological New Exodus.  Biblical passages like Isaiah 11:15-16 and Ezekiel 20:33-38 reveal that Israel’s prophets appropriated the language of the exodus to describe Israel’s return from exile and the inauguration of the messianic era.

Similarly, in the rabbinic material, the Exodus is understood as a paradigm of Israel’s future redemption. Many of these texts express the belief that the Messiah would appear during the night of the Passover.  For example, in Mekhitla Exodus 12:42, we read, “In that night were they redeemed and in that night will they be redeemed in the future.”

According to the New Testament, Jesus does inaugurate the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31, which brings about the forgiveness of sin.  It is this event that sets in motion God’s plan to restore Israel! The Last Supper weaves together the Passover, the New Exodus, and the New Covenant to reveal God’s amazing plan to redeem his chosen people and to bring great blessing to the world-at-large.



  1. I was taught that the Moadim of Rosh Hashanah and the sounding of the Trumpet (Shoffar) would be a likely day and or time for the return of Meshiah.
    • Hi Roberto, Good catch. The Hebrew Scriptures, as well as the rabbinic literature, utilize a variety of themes and motifs to express the return of the Messiah.
    • Great point but while Yom Teruah announces His return, Yom Kippur the judgement of the world, in my view, it is only after the slavery of sin is destroyed that there would be that final exodus.
    • You need to explore more of what happened in September AD70 - such as the feast of trumpets and day of atonement. Jerusalem was not completely secured by the Romans until sometime in sept 70 AD - Final Judgement of Jews?
  2. Prof. Eli, my regards to you and God bless you. Please, could you help me with the actual day Jesus resurrected from death, and how does the day contribute to our salvation?
    • Hi Samuel, Scholars have been debating the "actual day" of Jesus' resurrection for a long time. I'll keep you posted ; - ) All kidding aside, the actual day of Jesus' resurrection does not effect the fact of one's salvation one way or the other.

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    • Shalom. It would be impossible for Yahshua to die on the sixth day and resurrect on the first day of the week. Remember that when He died was on the eve of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. That year there were two shabbatos, one a weekly sabbath and a yearly sabbath. The yearly sabbath was on a Thursday, when He was buried. They kept this annual sabbath, bought the spices on the sixth day, Friday, rested the weekly sabbath and resurrected just when the sun was to go down on the sixth day.

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  3. The Israelites cross the Jordan River on the 10th of Nisan. So the circumcision(Jer31 of the heart)after they enter the promised land happened very close to Passover. So in order, Moses dies, Joshua (name means same as Yeshua) leads people into Promised Land, they are circumcised. They proceed to Jericho, where 7priests carry seven Trumpets and march around Jericho for 7 days. As Jericho fall(Babylon) the Gentile bride Rahab and her household are saved.
  4. Just a question: My friend told me that GOD is still in the process of creating the world...even today. However I thought we were told in Genesis that on the 6th day he STOPPED (finished) His work and then rested on the 7th day (which was a Saturday) a Sabbath. If he correct, is GOD still in the process of creating the world...even today?
    • Hi Wandakate, Another question worthy of long answer but our space is limited here : - ) The story of creation is Genesis is a narrative designed to explain how the world came to be - and ultimately how the Jewish people came to possess the land of Israel. In that sense God did stop 'creating.' The "earth" is an accomplished fact. But God, it seems, is always doing something with his universe. I'll leave the rest of that discussion to the scientists out there ;- )

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  5. According to John's gospel, the disciples and Jesus did not celebrate a Passover together. John's gospel indicates that at the time of Jesus' death (@ 3 PM) the final steps of preparation for the Passover were taking place, and just as Jewish women all over Jerusalem were slaying the lamb that would be eaten during the actual Passover event that evening, Jesus (the lamb of God) was dying on the cross. Just because the disciples had secured a place to celebrate the Passover (as they had done on two previous occasions), it doesn't mean that they had actually partaken.
    • Hi Robert, It would take a bit of time to unpack this discussion. Suffice it to say that the timeline debate regarding John's Gospel and the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, Luke) has been around for a long time. That was not our focus here. Our goal was to look at the Jewish background of Matthew's text. But let me encourage you to join the forum and continue the discussion!
  6. This is fantastic! I think the story of Mt. Sinai is rare and important in identifying the revelation of Justice (Jesus). Why? I committed to Exodus 19:8 (works). “My blood covenant” in Matthew sounds like His commitment (Works). Coincidentally, Jesus used my commitment for good. He did not look like the thief (my repentance). I was warned (positive) and I believe the word warned is included in the word restoration. I am not sure if warned is part of being redeemed.
  7. Can I make a request of the team to do a study of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil from a Jewish perspective? I know how my Evangelical Christian heritage theologically presents it but to all of us we tend to gloss over the story of this tree and the tree of life in the garden of Eden.
  8. My thoughts after studying is that the Tree of Life was a covenant tree between God and Adam but the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil was a challenge placed there as a test tree for all the apples (pun intended) between God and Satan. Or was the reason God said to Adam and Eve not to eat it was that the fruit was not ripe for them to eat and in its state at the time it would bring death. Why was it a sin for Adam and Eve to want to be like God?
    • Randal, my understanding is that the temptation to be like YWH is a temptation to be independent from God; to decide for ourselves what is good and evil in living our lives the way we choose, in pride and arrogance to further our own ends. So we become the gods of our own lives; and have no further apparent need of YWH. The ultimate rebellion.
    • I was told the the exact words "knowledge of good and evil" is found in Luke 24:21 and means "their eyes were opened partially" (ancient Greek). What opens our eyes? Eve listened to the serpent, Adam listened to Eve. The concept gets more interesting when Paul says "For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing." Does Paul need to convert to Christianity? Personally I say no, the voice he heard was Christ. Very important study for replacement theology.
  9. Was it as simple as an act of disobedience or is there more to the story? What exactly is the Jewish perspective on sin? Is is just disobedience? Is it a tainting or a submersion in total evil? What was wrong with knowing good and evil? I theorize it was the ability to create life Adam and Eve wanted like God. Why was it a death sentence for all mankind? Did God have other Adam's and Eve's?
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