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.

  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?

  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?

  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.

  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?

  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.

  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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