Crucifixion Week and the Harmony of the Gospels - Section II Paras 17-20
Paragraphs 17 through 20
THE DAY OF PASSOVER (continued)
17.a. The story that began in Mark 14:1-2 shows that Yahoshua and His disciples separated for a time on that day, but then the disciples returned on that same day with a question. Mark 14:12 KJV, "And the first (Strong's G4413 prota πρωτη) day (Strong's G2250 hemera ημερα) of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?" We will start with the word first. First (Strong's G4413 protos) in Greek is prota. How can there be a first when the Bible teaches that Passover is a single day? Obviously, there is more than one day involved in the preparation of Passover. In fact, this Greek word for first means the first day in a series of days, it does not mean a single day. Therefore, first means the first day in a series of days leading up to the day of Passover. In other words, this day, that this phrase was written, was not the day of Passover, it was several days prior to the day of Passover, actually two days in this case. Also, protos could have been translated as before or preceding, rather than first. Parallel passages are Matthew 26:17, Luke 22:7, and John 13:1-2.
17.b. With this expanded understanding of what protos can mean, we can see that the single day of Passover must have had several preparation days prior to the actual day of Passover. Since Mark 14:12 took place on Wednesday (according to our current day understanding of the days of a week) Abib 12, we can see there were at least two preparation days prior to Passover which according to Exodus 12:6,14 occurs on Friday Abib 14. (I am using the Calendar of Scripture, not the Gregorian Calendar nor the current day Rabbinic Calendar). Please refer to our teaching called the Calendar of Scripture.
17.c. The idea of multiple preparations days prior to Passover comes from Exodus 12:3 KJV, "Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:”. As you can see, the first Passover had at least four days of preparation, from Monday Abib 10 through Thursday Abib 13. So, as long as one understands this meaning for protos, then there is no confusion: "the first day of unleavened bread" does not mean that this very day is Passover, it means that Passover is several days in the future (in this case it meant two days in the future).
17.d. Next, we will address the word day. Day (Strong's G2250 hemera) in Greek is hemera. Yes, hemera can mean a day, but not necessarily and all the time in the sense of a twenty-four hour day. Hemera can mean a time period, in which someone begins a preparation or a settling down from a normal routine or ceasing or resting from a normal routine. Hemera can mean several days or even a larger time period. For example, it can be used in saying things such as "in his day", or "the day of the New Testament", or "in the time of the New Testament", or "in the day of Passover", or "in the time of Passover".
17.e. With this understanding of the words of protos and hemera we can understand that Mark 14:12 could have been translated with different English words to bring more clarity to those of us living in our current day. For example, "And before (or preceding) the time of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him…". This rendering also makes it very easily understood that the day of Passover is in the future, not today, just as John 13:1-2 plainly expresses to us in our language in this century.
17.f. Next, let us look at the words unleavened (Strong's G106 azymos) bread. The word bread was not in the Textus Receptus and should have been italicized. Translators will insert extra words into a text in an attempt to bring clarity to the translation. Even though unleavened bread was meant by Mark in 14:12, it did not bring more clarity to this Scripture to add the word bread.
17.g. As mentioned in section I (paragraph 3a) and in our discussion above on Matthew 26:17 we can see that the Bible teaches that there are two separate and different feasts referred to as unleavened: Passover and the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Furthermore, we must determine from the context which of the two unleavens is being spoken of. First, the Passover Feast was commonly called an unleavened feast because no leavened bread could lawfully be eaten at that meal. Second, the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread which begins the day after Passover on Saturday Abib 15, was also called unleavened bread; naturally, since that was part of the full name of this second feast that immediately followed the first feast. Nevertheless, whether we use unleavened or unleavened bread let us continue.
17.h. We know, from the context, that Mark 14:12 is speaking about the unleavened of Passover: The phrase "when they killed the passover". This is not a subtle clue at all, this hits the nail solidly on the head. Mark left no wiggle room for our understanding. He must have been speaking of the unleavened of the single day of Passover because he identified the unleavened as the day in which the Passover lamb was to be killed. Passover lambs are not sacrificed during the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Lambs might be, but they are not called Passover lambs.
17.i. With the proper understanding of Mark 14:12 now stated. The understanding of Mark 14:13-16 is possible. Mark 14:13-16 KJV, "13 And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. 14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall (Strong's G5315 phago) eat the passover with my disciples? 15 And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. 16 And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover." Once again, this does not mean that the Passover was prepared that very day. Since we know that Passover is two days away, then we know that a couple of days were available for them to prepare the Passover. Also, phago translated as shall is not the best translation. We already know that Yahoshua shall not eat the Passover this year. The better word to have used would be may; and some translations have done just that.
17.j. With the proper understanding of Mark 14:12-16, we can now continue with Mark 14:17 KJV, "And in the evening he cometh with the twelve." This is the same day that the disciples began preparations for Passover when they all sat down to eat the Last Supper (Wednesday Abib 12). Therefore, the following day was the last preparation day and crucifixion day (Thursday Abib 13), and the next day was Passover (Friday Abib 14). Please read the rest of chapter 14 to satisfy yourself that this was indeed the Last Supper. If this was the day of Passover, then a lamb would have been required to be sacrificed sometime between noon and sundown and the roasting of this lamb would have had to begun. You cannot have a Passover Feast without first having a Passover sacrifice. There is no evidence that a Passover lamb was prepared that afternoon; however, there is evidence that there would be sacrifices two days later as shown above in John 18:28 and 19:31.
17.k. Besides, the focus of Passover is not the feast. The focus of Passover is the sacrifice. How can the story resume with the twelve coming to a meal and the whole ceremony of the sacrifice is not even addressed at all? It was not addressed, because it was not due until Friday Abib 14 and it was still Wednesday Abib 12.
18.a. Luke 22:7-9 KJV, "7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. (Parallel passages are Matthew 26:17, Mark 14:12, and John 13:1-2). 8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. 9 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?" This story begins at Luke 22:1, but unlike Matthew and Mark it does not identify that Passover is two days hence. In Luke 22:2-6, it does tell us that which Matthew and Mark did, that the chief priests were plotting to take Yahoshua's life. The information given to us about Satan entering Judas is out of chronological order: Please refer to John 13:27. No mention is made by Luke regarding the story of the spikenard and the woman who anointed Yahoshua.
18.b. Once again the word bread is not in the Textus Receptus and should have been italicized. In context, it is quite obvious in these Scriptures that each time unleavened is written, unleavened bread is being written about. Nevertheless, bread should at least be italicized by the translators. Once again, the use of hemera/day/time is all acceptable as long as one understands that hemera means a period of time that is normally more than one day long. "Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed" is an identifying phrase. As explained above, the word day is speaking of a time period of several days. So, when it says, "Then came the day" the verse is not talking about this very day, it is talking about the general time period that is several days long. Another way it could be expressed, for those of us who are used to 21st century American English, is to say: "Then came the time of unleavened bread in which Passover occurs."
18.c. Luke 22:11-16 KJV, "11 And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall (Strong's G5315 phago) eat the passover with my disciples? 12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. 13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. 14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God." There is a scene change starting with verse 14. "And when the hour was come" means that it was supper time. It does not mean that it was time to eat the Passover Feast. Who had time to prepare and perform a sacrificial lamb and all the other preparations for a Passover Feast? No one. Verses 15 and 16 show that they were not sitting down to eat the Passover Feast because Yahoshua began talking about the upcoming (in two days) Passover and said, even though He wanted to eat it with His disciples, it will not happen.
18.d. Another helpful thought to keep in mind is the high significance of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the mind of the Hebrews. Try stepping into the Hebrew mindset and traditions for a moment. These two feasts were of utmost importance and constantly on their minds. Anything they said or did the week prior to these feasts was totally focused on these upcoming sabbaths. Masses of people descending on Jerusalem had to find lodging and a place to eat the Passover - this was a huge preparation. They could not defile themselves, else they would have to wait another month before they could participate. Do you not think of Christmas, days and even weeks before it arrives? Are you not constantly thinking of gifts, decorations, cards, clothes, and all manner of things that are directly connected to this festive time, and doing so even weeks in advance. The merchants will not leave us alone - "only 24 more shopping days before Christmas". Nowadays, I see signs of Christmas fever even before the Thanksgiving decor is removed. I use Christmas time as an example, not to affirm its pagan practice.
19.a. John 13:1-4 KJV, "1 Now before the feast of the passover, when [Yahoshua] knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; 3 [Yahoshua] knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself." As you can see, John changes the way the story is told. He makes it easier to understand compared to the parallel passages at Matthew 26:2,17, Mark 14:1-2,12, and Luke 22:1,7. We can see that the Last Supper was occurring prior to the day of Passover. The Last Supper occurred on the evening of the fourth day of the week. His arrest occurred after midnight on the fourth day of the week, and the following sunrise (which would begin the fifth day of the week), Yahoshua was well under way to being tested, tried, and convicted. And on the fifth day of the week, one day prior to the day of Passover (which would begin the next day at sunrise) He was crucified and gave up the ghost. And on the sixth day of the week was Passover on Friday Abib 14.
19.b. John 19:14 KJV, "And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!" Once again, yet another Scripture that identifies that the Last Supper was yesterday, today was crucifixion day and preparation day, one day prior to the Passover, and tomorrow would be Passover.
20. We have now answered those questions which we stated as our goal in paragraph 1a above. Wednesday was the Last Supper, Thursday He was crucified, Friday was Passover, and Saturday was Resurrection Day. Yet, there is more to be said about crucifixion week. Please read on.