1. Introduction

Jesus Christ Our Passover, page 24 by VP Wierwille

Study Teaching From: Absolute Bible Study

This research study will encompass the events of two critical months of God’s intervention in human history.  For you to be able to understand the significance of Jesus Christ as our Passover is to come face to face with God’s magnificent plan of all ages.  After this introduction which sets the content and context of events from six days before Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, it continues through the crucifixion, the resurrection, the ascension, and, finally, the great day of Pentecost. This two-month time period prior to Passover up to the day of Pentecost documents the apex and fulcrum of all human experience and spiritual history to date.

You, the student, should keep in mind that the four Gospels simply do not record all the events that occurred during this time period as is stated specifically in the Gospel of John:

John 21: 25
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.  Amen.

Also, Eastern customs and expressions must be understood that are found throughout God’s Word.  Remember, there are no original manuscripts available in the world today so we must carefully study and scrutinize the closest to the original texts available to us.

I Corinthians 5: 7b – . . . . .     For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

To appreciate most everything God has done for us, we must first understand the significance of the Passover. 

Let’s begin with the historical background of Joseph in Egypt.  Joseph brought his father, Israel, and his eleven brothers and their families to Egypt during the famine in Canaan.  The Pharaoh of Egypt graciously welcomed them.  Over time, the king, Israel, Joseph and his brothers all died.  Their children had children and their numbers increased greatly.  The native Egyptians began to feel threatened by them and made slaves of all of them partly because they were foreigners.

After the children of Israel had been in Egypt for many years, God chose Moses to lead them out of bondage and back to the Promised Land. Although Moses went to the Pharaoh many times and asked him to free the people of Israel and to let them depart from his land, the Pharaoh constantly refused.  As a result, a series of plagues came over Egypt.

The last plague was the angel of death – “the destroyer” which passed over the entire land of Egypt.  It killed the firstborn of every household, animals and humans.  God provided protection to the children of Israel by instructing them to sprinkle the blood of a sacrificed lamb on the upper doorpost (called a lintel) and on the two side doorposts of the house.  When the destroyer saw the blood, it had to “pass over” that house and could not destroy its firstborn.  That is how the sacrificial lamb was known to be called the “Passover” lamb.  When the children of Israel carried out God’s commandment to use the slain lamb, the children of Israel protected themselves from the destroyer.  All of this information is written in the twelfth chapter of Exodus in the following verses: 

Exodus 12:1,7-13, 21-27

You should look up these verses and study them before continuing.

Now that we have some background about the “Passover”, we need to understand that there are two (2) aspects of the Passover lamb:  It’s FLESH and it’s BLOOD. 

The flesh was to be roasted and eaten and by doing this the believing children of Israel were eating physical health to themselves.  Pertaining to the children of Israel, who left Egypt, there was “not one feeble person” among them.

Psalms 105:37
He brought them forth also with silver and gold:  and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.

Here is another example where the LORD healed the people after they ate the Passover:

II Chronicles 30:20
And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.

The sprinkling of the blood of the lamb was also significant.  Remember it was the lamb’s blood that caused the “destroyer” to pass over the believing children of Israel, sparing them. This shedding of the lamb’s blood represented the atonement or covering for sin.  By the shedding of blood, the children of Israel were spared from the consequences of their sins.

Leviticus 17:11
For the life of the flesh is in the blood:  and I have given it to you upon the alter to made an atonement for your souls:  for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Hebrews 9:22
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

The first meal of the seven-day feast of Unleavened Bread is documented in Exodus 12.  A male lamb of the first year was selected and killed. Its blood was put across the lintels and doorposts and its flesh was roasted and eaten along with bitter herbs.

Numbers 9:12
They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it:  according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it.

Exodus 12:10
And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.

The Passover was eaten, standing up. “…….your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover” (Exodus 12:11)

After the first Passover, the event was celebrated annually. The second Passover is documented in Numbers 9:3.  After the first Passover, God instructed Moses to make some changes and additions for subsequent Passovers.  Some of these are documented in Deuteronomy 16:4-7, 16.  Later on, religious laws made by man and not God, slowly brought about other changes and additions.  The timing of this great event, Passover, will become evident later when we consider Jesus Christ as the Passover lamb.  Remember, when the true God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ does something, it is the exact right time.  The Old Testament also gives us some specific information about the timing of the Passover.

Exodus 12:1-2
And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months:  it shall be the first month of the year to you.

This month was called “Abib” and was in the spring of the year, during our March or April.  When Judah was taken captive by Babylon many years later, God’s people changed the name to “Nisan”.   We can see this change in Esther 3:7.

So the first month of the Hebrew calendar was first called Abib, but was later changed to Nisan.  For the sake of clarity and simplicity, in this study, we will use the term “Nisan”.

You need to study Exodus 12:3-6 before continuing.  In verse three (3), the month is referring to Nisan.

In verse three (3), you can see that God instructed Israel to select the Passover lambs on the tenth (10th) of Nisan.  They were to be separated from the other sheep and cared for until the close of the fourteenth (14th).  This time period was referred to as the preparation for the Passover meal and the Feast.  On the fourteenth, the lamb was slain and prepared for eating.

You need to understand that the beginning of the day according to Biblical times was different from ours.  SUNSET was the start of a new day. For example, the fifth (5th) of Nisan ended at sunset and the sixth (6th) of Nisan began at the same time.

Again, the timing of the Passover sacrifice becomes very significant when we study the time of Jesus Christ’s death.  The lamb had to be slain on the 14th of Nisan before sunset, because sunset began the 15th of Nisan.  Here are some verses that you should study that corroborates this:

Leviticus 23:5, Numbers 9:3 and 5, Joshua 5:10, II Chronicles 35:1, Ezra 6: 9

God’s Word repeatedly states that the Passover lamb was killed during the afternoon of the 14th of Nisan, BEFORE SUNSET.

Exodus 12:8
And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs  they shall eat it.

After sunset, the Passover lamb would actually be eaten on the 15th of Nisan.  This meal was also the first meal of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  To this extent, the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread overlap.  These two celebrations are closely related because the Passover meal is eaten at the beginning of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread. There are many preparations for the Passover meal and the Feast of Unleavened bread.  The following Scriptures states many of these preparations:

Exodus 12:15, Numbers 9:6, 19:11-22, II Chronicles 29:4 and 5, II Chronicles 30, and John 11:55.

In summary up to this point:

10th of Nisan – Selection of the Lamb.
10th through the 14th – The preparation for the Passover meal and the Feast.  On the 14th was the Passover sacrifice.
15th of Nisan – The Passover meal — High Day-Special Sabbath – Holy Convocation.
15th through the 21st – The Feast of Unleavened Bread – The 21st was a High Day,  Special Sabbath – Holy Convocation.

We need to also understand Biblical timekeeping so we need to study the “watches”.  Sunset and sunrise was divided into watches rather than hours.  Sundials did not work after sunset, so in Old Testament times, there were three (3) watches during the course of a night, each lasting about four (4) hours, marking the time through the night in a general way.

The first watch was called the evening watch and lasted from sunset to 10:00 PM.
“   second  “       “      “         “    middle      “       “       “          “    10:00 PM to 2:00 AM.
“   third      “       “      “         “   morning     “      “       “          “     2:00 AM to  sunrise.

Later, in the New Testament, the Romans increased the number of watches from 3 to 4.

The first watch was called the  evening watch and lasted from sunset to 9:00 PM.

“   second  “        “       “        “   midnight   “        “        “         “  9:00 PM to 12:00 AM.
“    third      “       “       “         “   cock-crowing“    “       “         “  midnight to 3:00 AM.
“    fourth   “        “       “         “  morning     “        “       “         “  3:00 AM to sunrise.

These times are all documented in Mark 13: 35.

Mark 13:35
Watch ye therefore:  for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

The daylight period was divided into 12 equal segments called hours.  This daylight period would vary in length depending on the time of the year from 49 minutes in the shortest day in winter to 71 minutes on the longest day in summer.

During the Passover season, in the spring of the year, an hour was close to a 60 minute hour.   For the sake of clarity, as we study Nisan, we will place sunrise at 6:00 AM, the third hour at 9:00 AM, the sixth hour at noon, the ninth hour at 3:00 PM, and sunset at 6:00 PM.

Now, the days of the week, in Biblical culture, were referred to by NUMBER, not by name.  What we call Sunday was the first [1st] day of the week and so on to Saturday being the seventh [7th] day of the week.

Not understanding all of these important points has caused great confusion in understanding the events leading up to and including Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.  With this background, we can take a specific look at the last week of Jesus Christ’s natural life.  We will pinpoint the exact day on which Jesus Christ died and then have a point of reference from which to count forward and backward in time.  So our study will answer the question : “On what day did Jesus Christ die?”  Matthew chapter 12 contains relevant information regarding the answer to this question.

Matthew 12:40
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Tradition teaches us that Christ died at 3:00 PM on Good Friday and that he arose early on Easter Sunday morning.  Where do you get three days and three nights in this time period?!!  You can’t.  Let’s first take a look at the time at which Jesus Christ died.

Matthew 27:46
And about the ninth hour [about our 3:00 PM] Jesus cried with a loud voice . . . . . . . 

Matthew 27:50
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost [died].

Jesus Christ died around three o’clock in the afternoon.  Remember that Matthew 12:40 tells us that we are to count the three days and three nights not from the time of death, but from the time of burial.  Now we know he died around three o’clock in the afternoon, so we must determine the day and the date on which he died.

John 19:31
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies [of the crucified men] should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that  they might be taken away.

The wrongly dividing of this verse has caused no end of confusion regarding the DAY OF THE WEEK of the crucifixion.  Most people to this day believe that Jesus Christ died the day before the weekly Sabbath.  The weekly Sabbath was the seventh day of the week in Biblical times, which corresponds with our present day Saturday.  So they believe that Jesus Christ died on a Friday.

John 19:31 does not say that Christ died on the weekly Sabbath.  The parenthesis states that “that Sabbath day was an high day”.  A high day is a special Sabbath and can occur on any day of the week.  It may come in the middle of the week just as our Christmas often does.   We learned before from Leviticus that the fifteenth [15th] of Nisan was considered a “high day”, a high Sabbath, a special day of rest, because it was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Also, most importantly, the final day of the preparation for the Passover was the FOURTEENTH [14TH] OF NISAN.  This was the day before the special Sabbath and is the day on which Jesus Christ died.

Remember that sundown began a new day, and that new day would be a special Sabbath.  The Judeans did not want any bodies to hang on the crosses after sundown.  They wanted the corpses to be removed and buried before the special Sabbath began.

More proof of this is offered in other Scriptural accounts.  Take a look at Luke 23:52-54 with particular emphasis on verse 54.

Luke 23:52
This man  [Joseph of Arimathea] went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.

Luke 23:53
And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.

Luke 23:54
And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath [the special Sabbath of the fifteenth of Nisan] drew on.  

This record establishes that Christ was buried sometime between 3: 00 PM and sunset on the fourteenth of Nisan which was the day before a special Sabbath, and not the weekly Sabbath.  There are numerous other records, in fact, all four Gospels, support this conclusion.  It is surprising that so many of us could have missed it for so long.

Now we need to examine and study what God’s Word documents about the time of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.  Once we determine this day, we can count backwards three days and three nights to absolutely determine the day of his death and his burial.

For me to write out every Scripture will only lengthen this teaching beyond a reasonable point. You need to read and study the following scriptures before continuing.  If you are unwilling to take such simple action, you should not be studying on this web site. You will receive nothing from God.  Ok?  Now let’s get back to work.  Remember, studying God’s word is not burdensome – it’s exciting.

STUDY LUKE 24:1-6  I will go over verse one (1) with you since it is one of the most important of the six verses.

Luke 24:1
Now upon the first day of the week [our Sunday], very early in the morning, they [the women] came into the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

And what happened?  They found out that Jesus Christ was gone, didn’t they?  Two angels said unto them:  “Why seek ye the living among the dead?”  These two angels told the women that Jesus Christ was risen and they asked the women if they forgot what Jesus Christ had taught them.  People have inferred – they have GUESSSED that Christ had risen on that Sunday morning BUT THE WORD OF GOD DOES NOT SAY THAT.

Now study Mark 16:2 and 6 and also John 20:1.

None of these gospel records say that Jesus Christ arose on Sunday morning, the first day of the week.  Did you know that, according to Judean law, identification of a corpse was to be giving within 3 days after it’s death – a full 72 hours?  Judean law stated that a person could not be declared legally dead until 72 hours after his time of death.

Jesus Christ was buried on the fourteenth of Nisan after 3:00 PM and before sunset and had to be buried for three days and three nights – 72 hours.  Then he must have risen on the seventeenth of Nisan after 3:00 PM and before sunset.  On Sunday morning, the tomb was empty. Combining all these facts together, Jesus Christ must have been raised the day before Sunday, late on Saturday afternoon after 3:00 PM and before sunset.  That’s what the Word of God says and that’s what the Word of God means.

Once again, for those of you, in which the god of this world, has confused and deceived you with tradition, THIS IS WHAT THE WORD OF GOD STATES:

JESUS CHRIST DIED VERY LATE ON WEDNESDAY, SO THE FIRST DAY WOULD BE COUNTED AS THURSDAY, THE SECOND DAY AS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY THE THIRD.

WEDNESDAY IS THE FIRST NIGHT, THURSDAY THE SECOND NIGHT, AND FRIDAY THE THIRD NIGHT.

There’s your 3 days and 3 nights.  It’s a lot clearer than the nonsense and garbage that the god of this world has been feeding you, isn’t it? From Good Friday until Sunday morning is three days and three nights?!!!!!!!!!!  Only an idiot would believe such a thing when the accuracy of God’s Word is clearly available to you.

Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law completely when he willingly gave up his life for us on the cross so that we can be redeemed (i.e. Bought back) from the clutches of Satan.  Christ did God’s Will and God made sure it was done right.  Nothing was missed.  Same God today.  No one but no one, messes with the true power of God.  If you are walking by the spirit of the true God, God will CRUSH your enemies.  Remember that you get the desired results when you need them.  God does things at the exact right moment in time – according to His timetable.  Be patient and watch.

In dying on the fourteenth of Nisan, Jesus Christ fulfilled the law as the Passover lamb.  He died for the sins of mankind.  Jesus Christ was the lamb of God.  When we learn what he accomplished as the Passover lamb, we can then appreciate the greatness of our redemption.

I Peter 1:18a
— Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things . . . . . . . . .

I Peter 1:19
 — But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Jesus Christ died at the exact hour that the Judeans were making their annual Passover sacrifices and remained buried for a full three days and three nights.

The chronological framework for the rest of this study has been established.  We can now study Christ’s last week before his crucifixion and follow it through to the Day of Pentecost.  These were the most significant and stirring times in human history.