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The Last Supper: the Seder?

15-04-2014 - Posted by Andre Piet

index_1 Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:7 that our Passover is sacrificed: Christ. For the slaying of the Passover, a date was set aside: the 14th of Nisan (Lev.23:5). The next day began the feast of unleavened bread, seven days (Lev.23:6). On the first day,”no occupational work” was to be done (Lev.23:7) and, therefore, the 15th of Nisan was to be a special Sabbath (John19:31). The Jewish authorities wished to have Jesus slain before the feast started (Mark 14:2). Therefore, there was a sense of urgency on the day of the crucifixion. The 15th of Nisan was about to dawn. But if Jesus was crucified on the 14th of Nisan and the following evening the Passover was to be eaten (John 18:28), what was then the (so called) last supper that He loved to have with his disciples? Had Jesus not said, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you” (Luke 22:15)? But how could He call this, as such, if the next day the Passover was to be slain? It was at that time still not the 14th of Nisan, was it? Here, two misunderstandings are coming to the fore. In the first place, we never read of the mentioning of a slain lamb during this ‘last supper’. We only read about bread and cup. Secondly, we must realize that in accord with the Biblical understanding, the day ends at sunset (Gen.1:5) and that then the calendar day changes, as well. Thus we read that “Yom Kippur”, as a sabbath, was to be celebrated “from evening to evening” (Lev.23:32). When Jesus, in the night that He was handed over, ate a meal with his disciples, then this was, to the common Hebrew understanding, on the 14th of Nisan. And that is why this meal was a Passover meal. Not the traditional Seder celebration, as is often thought, but indeed a Passover meal. It was on the same calendar day, on which He would suffer as the true Passover and die.