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.

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60 COMMENTS

  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.

      • In a symbolicao religious meaning, the whole week and its days (remember sabbath) have to do with the days of Creation. So, in such a perspective, the death of Jesus occurs in the sixth day, whwn human being was created,meanig the end of the former human being, “the old man” as called by Paul and so,too, Resurrection is set in the first day of the week to mean the New Creation. In this sense , it matters a lot the concrete day.

        • Try the 4th day because the 4th candle of the Menorah is called the Christ Candle or Servant Candle. Yehoshua keeps the sabbaths of Leviticus 23. The Sun, Moon, and Stars were created on the 4th day of the week. And Yeshua also keeps the Menorah as well. The fifth day is grace.

    • 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.

      • I totally agree William Laguna. Yeshua said the only sign He would give a wicked and perverse generation is the sign of Yonah. For just as Yonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and nights so the Son of man would be in the belly of the earth for three days and three nights. A day starts at sundown, so the night comes before the day. Paul says Yeshua was declared to be the Messiah with power when G-d raised Him from the dead.

        • Sign of Jonah was 2 signs. One was 3 days and 3 nights. The other was Elul 1. August 21 Solar Eclipse, 2017 ended as Elul 1 began in Israel. Elul1 was when Moshe came off the Mountain at the Golden Calf event. Elul 1 was when Yahoshua was batized.

      • I believe that the High shabbat fell on Thursday but Christ was buried on Wednesday . When the sun set , it became Thursday the day they were going to celebrate the Passover, although the Lamb had already been sacrificed. So He could only have resurrected right at the close of the weekly Sabbath, being The Lord over it as well….just my understanding…

  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.

        • Hi Dwayne. In one sense that’s true, of course. But physical circumcision remains a permanent and binding symbol of God’s covenant with Israel.

        • Jeremiah 31:31-36 was being fulfilled in the Heavens in Pisces with Uranus between 2015 and 2017. Uranus did a retrograde over the House of Israel (Horizontal Line) in 2015 and then House of Judah (Vertical Line) in 5777.

    • Dwayne Kruger You done a very excellent job on your posting. I fine it hard to post with so many little words because so many biblical verse realted with The Book of Exodus. Circumcised has to do with the covent of Israel people.

      • Romans 2:25-29 “For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision…..For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.” We need Jesus(Joshua) to take us into the promised land. As soon as we cross the Jordan we need to circumcise our hearts.

  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 ;- )

      • The “rest” spoken of here refers to the “pause” between the completion of God’s “work” and the redemption of man , wherein God becomes a man to redeem His creation . This is , of course , my opinion .

  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?

  10. The only sense that the story makes to me is that since eating the fruit it has been the fate of mankind to fully experience good and evil in our every day lives at the expense of the knowledge we gain from these experience. Is that the point of the story?

    • If Adam and Eve had not eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then they would have known only good and securely attached relationship with God and with each other. After the fact, there is the constant burden of discernment and judging, introducing lack of trust and blame, leading to insecure attachment to both each other and God, mixing good and evil. Humankind has proved over and over that it is not up to the task of discernment.

      • Regarding eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil – even if Adam and Eve had never eaten from this tree, and stayed in the Garden of Eden, there would be no guarantee that their yet to be born children or descendants would not eat of it.

  11. Was the Garden of Eden on this planet? Or when the angel’s drove mankind out did they put us on this earth as a prison planet? I know this is a very unorthodox question for anyone’s theological perspective. I also know this question on the surface may appear rather juvenile in nature even. But if we came from the earth, this earth, why does everything in this environment seem bent on destroying us.Why is it everything we do causes some form of waste and destruction of this planet if we are from this earth?

  12. Really, really good stuff. This truth— at the core of G d’s plan and scriptural history (from the first page to the last) unfolding His desire to redeem His people unto himself – so resonates with my spirit.

  13. The night of Egyptian passover the people of Israel were told to place the blood of the lamb upon their doors. Creator of earth knew which door of the lamb blood was upon the people doorsteps. Glory be to Isreal. Amen Amen Amen and Amen The Bible does not need to be change, however it is time for all the people to become ONE people. Eli, I am a full time student now I follow the Elohim.

  14. Sometimes I wonder at the significance of the Passover eating of His flesh and drinking His blood. How does this comport with the Law’s prohibitions?

    • Charles, sorry for being late to reply. I also wondered about ‘eating flesh and drinking blood’ it is truest a hard saying, I found this on the internet “Mishnah (Pesahim 10:6) interprets the Passover wine as a metaphor for blood that seals a covenant between God and his people. The life is in the blood. The cup symbolizes identifying with the life and redemptive mission of the Mashiach”

  15. As to the end of times, even Jesus and John the Baptist believed it would be in their time, but as Jesus stated quite clearly only the Father would know when this would happen. Ever since people have been speculating from the signs that the end was neigh.

    • 2018= Psalms 118 with the rapture, Armageddon, and the Millennium with an axial poleshift and the trumpet and Bowl Judgments poured out over a 70 day period between August 11, 2018 to Yom Kippur (October 20th, 2018). The Signs have been occuring in the Heavens on God’s calendar days. 2010-2012 1 each, 2013-2, 2014-6, 2015-9, 2016-20, 2017-40, and 2018 so far is 20. 2019 is Zero.

  16. Shalom Alejem Dr. Noel. I have a question regarding Pesaj and the Seder. Will you please explain the 4th cup and if this is significant with respect to Messiah. Some will argue that the 4th Cup is intended for a visitor (Prophet), and some of us believe that it will take place with Y’Shua Hamoshiah.

  17. Shalom/Hi, I am glad that 5778/2018/Psalms 118 is the rapture/gathering/taking, Armageddon, and the Millennium and that the gathering takes place at midnight on a New Moon 70 days prior to Yom Kippur. The two witnesses die on the Biblical Tisha B’ Av. 60 days prior to Yom Kippur. Jardalkalatgmail.blogspot.com for Eschatology following the Feasts of the Lord.

  18. Isn’t there an eschatological reckoning of 491 years, for the appearance of the Messiah, calculated from the beginning of Babylonian times? Could you expand or correct me please?

  19. I note you did not post my comment. I found the article to be based on the serious error found in Dispensational teaching and the most foolish article I have read in a long time. You apparently do not realize that God Himself was the one who brought the Roman armyin to destroy the temple and bring Old Covenant ritual to an end. Jesus Himself prophesied of this. Christ fulfilled all the Old Covenant promises of the promised coming Messiah. The Jewish people need to hear Paul and Peter’s message, repentance toward God and faith in Jeus Christ.

    • For someone who has MDiv from Reformed Theological Seminary I am hardly attracted to anything dispensational. Your comment which I approved and responded is very dangerous. You ought to find it and read my answer.

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