When is Passover?

“Christ Our Passover is Sacrificed For Us”)

There are many false doctrinal stances that exist today among Passover-keeping congregations- from that of Jesus keeping The TRUE Passover on the night BEFORE the Jews (the Jews having erred from the true date somewhere in time)– to that of the numerous doctrines about Christ instituting some new service to be held THE NIGHT BEFORE Passover for all New Covenant observers… Yet, ALL of these doctrines are misleading and full of errors, when we examine them using The Bible (The Word of God).

First, it is important to establish that it is GOD’S Word that must be relied on to set all crooked things straight (Belief of The Truth is the core principle for the True Church of God- [ see: John 17:17-21, and 2 Thes. 2:13]. This can ONLY happen when we are willing to accept God for WHAT HE DOES SAY IN WRITING, not delving into the world ofspeculation (the unwritten Word), thereby manipulating what it is that He said by dwelling on the possibilities of what He might have meant.
Speculation, and going beyond what is written, for setting doctrine leads to the arrogant downfall [ see: 1 Cor. 4:6 and 3:19 ]…

The Commandment of God (The Law of God) is very clear as to WHEN The Passover is expected to be observed by God’s true Israel (The Church – see Gal. 6:16):

Deut. 16:1-8 (KJV)
Observe the month of Abib, and KEEP THE PASSOVER unto the Lord thy God: for IN THE MONTH OF ABIB the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt BY NIGHT.
[2] Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the Lord thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the Lord shall choose to place his name there.

Notice that the entirety of these Scriptures are discussing the commands about HOW and WHEN to “Sacrifice The Passover”

[3] Thou shalt EAT NO LEAVENED bread WITH IT; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.
[4] And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; NEITHER shall there any thing of the flesh, WHICH THOU SACRIFICEDST THE FIRST DAY AT EVEN, remain all night until the morning. [5] Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee: [6] But at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name in, there THOU SHALT SACRIFICE THE PASSOVER AT EVEN, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt. [7] And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents.
[8] Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work therein.

Please take note of what is commanded in verse 4- as this holy Scripture is pretty clear in what it says:
“…neither shall there any thing of the flesh, WHICH THOU SACRIFICEDST THE FIRST DAY AT EVEN, remain all night until the morning…”

This scripture is clear- WHEN was The Passover to be sacrificed?
“…The First Day at even…”

First Day of what?
We know it cannot be referring to The First Day of Abib, since The Passover was Commanded by Law to be sacrificed on The Fourteenth Day of Abib, at even (as we’ll see in Exod. 12)…

So what is this “First Day”? We don’t need to speculate, since The Scripture is giving the answer in these very passages… It is speaking here of the SEVEN-DAY “Feast of Unleavened Bread” as well as The Passover sacrifice.

“Two Evenings” to be Considered:

Everyone can agree- (even these church groups that preach another time for the meal service)- that there are TWO “evens” to each 24-hour day– since The Sacred Scriptures (as Paul refers to them) state clearly:
Genesis 1:5 (KJV)
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. AND THE EVENING AND THE MORNING WERE THE FIRST DAY.

Notice that it is GOD that defines (from the beginning) WHEN the 24-hour day begins (“the evening and the……”), just as He does His holy Sabbaths:

Leviticus 23:32 (KJV)
“…FROM EVEN UNTO EVEN, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.”

Sunset is a mark that is given by God for simultaneously BEGINNING AND ENDING one day. So, there are “two evens” to each day – the beginning and the ending “even”.

God is very clear about WHICH “even” of “The Fourteenth Day of The First Month” it is that He wants observed. He makes this perfectly clear when He gives the commands for The Passover to be sacrificed, and Days of Unleavened Bread to be observed in what we read previously.

Let’s also take note of, AND REMEMBER, that Jesus died when He did FOR A REASON:

– Jesus Was The True Passover Lamb, Supplied by God for Israel:
Genesis 22:7-8 (KJV)
…And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: BUT WHERE IS THE LAMB for a burnt offering?
[8] And Abraham said, My son, GOD WILL PROVIDE HIMSELF A LAMB for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together………………[14] And Abraham called the name of that place JEHOVAH-JIREH: as it is said to this day, IN THE MOUNT OF THE LORD IT SHALL BE SEEN.

It was this “mount of Moriah” to which God sent Abraham in order to perform the sacrifice of the child of promise, Isaac… It was on this same mount that Solomon built The Temple (Genesis 22:2, 2 Chron. 3:1)…
It was this same place in which GOD did in deed “provided Himself A LAMB” for sacrifice:
John 1:29 (KJV)
The next day John seeth JESUS coming unto him, and saith, BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD, which taketh away the sin of the world…………[36] And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold THE LAMB OF GOD!

– Christ The Lamb of God- Our Passover Sacrifice:
1 Cor. 5:7 (KJV)
…For even CHRIST OUR PASSOVER is sacrificed for us:

When was Christ “OUR PASSOVER sacrificed for us” – (the “us” here being The Church, also known as “The Israel of God”– Gal. 6:16)?…
John 18:28 (NASB)
They led Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and IT WAS EARLY; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium in order that they might not be defiled, but MIGHT EAT THE PASSOVER……
…… [19:31] The Jews therefore, because IT WAS THE PREPARATION, that the bodies 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.

Notice first, it was “the preparation” day for “The Sabbath” that was approaching that “even”…THIS particular “Sabbath” was NOT the normal weekly Seventh-Day Sabbath, but rather it “was an high day-“The First Day of The Feast of Unleavened Bread would begin at sunset THAT EVENING, and go for seven days (again, The First Day would begin that day at sunset). It is at this point in time that we are shown that the Jews were keeping themselves clean so that they “might eat the Passover”.

Observance of The Passover on the “even” THAT BEGINS The First Day of Unleavened Bread MATCHES EXACTLY (fulfills) the commandment of The Law of God:
Exodus 12:6 (KJV)
And ye shall keep it up UNTIL THE FOURTEENTH DAY of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it IN THE EVENING……

Notice the NASB translation for this verse- there is a transcription note about verse 8:
Exodus 12:18 (NASB)
……In the first month, ON THE FOURTEENTH day of the month AT EVENING, you shall eat unleavened bread, UNTIL THE TWENTY-FIRST DAY of the month + AT EVENING.

NASB- ” +Lit., “between the two evenings” “

This note makes perfect sense when you compare it to what we have already seen in The Law from Deuteronomy:
Deut. 16:4
“…neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst THE FIRST DAY AT EVEN, remain all night until the morning…”

The Passover sacrifice is commanded by The Law of God (and also as noted in the translation notes of The NASB) to take place “at the going down of the sun” (“at even”, “between the two evenings”), AT THE END OF The Fourteenth Day of the month Abib- and NOT, as is being falsely preached (and as some confidently assert) at the beginning evening of The Fourteenth Day of the month Abib.

The Church holds its faith in the fact that Jesus Christ FULFILLED EVERY ASPECT OF THE LAW OF GOD- as “The Lamb of God”– the sacrificial offering that GOD HIMSELF has provided to all everywhere for remission of sins…

Jesus was sacrificed and died on The 14th Day of Abib, “AT EVEN”- at THE SAME TIME AS the Jews were killing and preparing The Old Covenant’s Passover lamb service… This was at the beginning “even” as well FOR The Fifteenth Day of Abib, and “THE FIRST DAY” of the seven-day “Feast of Unleavened Bread”.

When Jesus ate the “last supper” with His disciples, it says, “Now BEFORE The Passover…And supper being ended…” -(John 13:1). This is when Jesus also did the foot-washing service, AND the same time at which He gave the bread and wine as the new faith-filled symbols for “Our Passover” (the New Covenant’s Ordinance of The Passover)…

Yet, notice that NOWHERE will you find A COMMAND that demands A CHANGE in the time expected by God (or Jesus) for the observance of “Our Passover”
When speaking about the testimony of Jesus’ last night with His disciples, Paul’s gives NO instructions (no commandment) for the WHEN having been changed- rather, instead he simply says that he is giving to us the same testimony of a New Covenant Ordinance– adding this to his previous statements in cp. 5 of the same epistle to this same Church-his statements being such things as, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us”, and the, “Let us keep The Feast”, and the “purge out the old LEAVEN”:
1 Cor. 11:23-26 (KJV)
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was BETRAYED took bread:

Notice- no command here for Passover (or this ceremony) to be kept in the night on which Jesus suffered- but here is merely delivering to you the testimony that Jesus gave these symbols on the night that He was betrayed…
Notice here what The Lord said that night:
Luke 22:15-21 (NASB)
And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you BEFORE I suffer;
[16] for I say to you, I SHALL NEVER AGAIN EAT IT UNTIL it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
[17] And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and SHARE IT AMONG YOURSELVES;
[18] For I say to you, I WILL NOT DRINK of the fruit of the vine from now on UNTIL THE KINGDOM OF GOD COMES.”
[19] And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF Me.”
[20] And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.


Was Jesus changing the time for The Passover?

Nowhere here do you find HIM saying so here…

IN FACT, what are the things that He DOES say?
– “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you BEFORE I suffer”
– “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine FROM NOW ON until the kingdom of God comes.”

As is shown by The testimony itself, This night (even) WAS NOT The Passover… It WAS the evening on which Jesus delivered to His Church The New Covenant’s Ordinance for The Passover– as Paul confirms to us:

1 Cor. 11:23-26 (KJV)
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you…

Paul is reviewing the same Passover Ordinances here, in Corinthians, that The Lord Himself handed down for The Church previously in The Gospel testimony:

That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
[24] And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME. [25] After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.

Notice the following statement, and what it is we are commemorating in the ceremony of Passover NOW:
[26] For as often as ye eat THIS bread, and drink THIS cup, YE DO SHEW THE LORD’S DEATH till he come.

Paul tells us that we are to commemorate “The Lord’s DEATH till He comes… We are NOT COMMANDED ANYWHERE to commemorate the night that Jesus was betrayed (which was the night BEFORE The Passover of The Lord)… Paul throughout Corinthians keeps bringing up things referring to The Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread- (in chapter five, and again here in chapter 11)…Referring back to this basic Truth (Word of God)- that Christ is “Our Passover” sacrificed…

Paul did not need to invoke a commandment that told The Church WHEN to commemorate the death of “our Passover”– such a command was not required for a Church that obeys The Law of God, The Father of Jesus. The Law itself prophesied of this day, and time, and sacrifice!
Paul, and the rest of The Apostles of The Lord (our teachers) expected that Christ’s flock (“The Israel of God”, “The Church of God”) would be found PRACTICING OBEDIENCE TO The Law of God (The Father of Jesus) in all things- it is THIS LAWFUL behavior (practice of life) that they all preached to us:

Hebrews 5:12-6:3 (KJV)
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of THE ORACLES OF GOD; and are become such as have need OF MILK, and not of strong meat. [13] For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
[14] But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who BY REASON OF USE have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
[6:1] Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, [2] Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. [3] And this will we do, if God permit.

Paul was clear about HOW to keep the service of “CHRIST OUR PASSOVER” (as he calls it from cp.5) in chapter 11- taking the bread and the cup as our New Covenant’s Passover Ordinance.

Remember- The Commandments in The Law of God ARE VERY CLEAR on WHEN and HOW for The Passover Service- as we have proven from Exodus 12 and Deuteronomy 16. God’s Law does not change, nor is it able to be annulled- AND it is THIS Law that Christ came to fulfill (Mtt. 5:17-20)… This includes becoming our Passover Sacrifice.
It is ‘doctrines of men’ that create ambiguity and doubts about what The Truth really is saying to us. It is ‘doctrines of men’ with which misled individuals lead entire congregations (churches) into following them and their own errors and lies- perpetuating The Lie for generation upon generation.

It is the following of ‘doctrines of men’ RATHER THAN “what is written” (The Word of God), that Jesus HIMSELF warns each of us against:
Matthew 16:6 (NASB)
And Jesus said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees……” ……[11] “How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN OF the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
[12] Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, BUT OF THE TEACHING OF the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Mark 7:7-13 (KJV)
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES the COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.
[8] For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. [9] And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
[10] For MOSES SAID, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: [11] BUT YE SAY, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. [12] And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; [13] Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

The Passover itself is a holy day that reminds us that UNDER CHRIST (The Lamb of God sacrifice) we are to be PURGING our worship from The Leaven of SIN (“sin is transgressions of The Law“- ) in order to worship in SINCERITY AND TRUTH:
1 Cor. 5:7-8 (KJV)
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even CHRIST OUR PASSOVER IS SACRIFICED for us: [8] Therefore LET US KEEP THE FEAST, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of SINCERITY AND TRUTH.

John 17:17 (KJV) – “SANCTIFY THEM THROUGH Thy truth: THY word is truth.”
IF The Word of God is Truth, and IF we sincerely believe this to be the case- we will not be found going outside of THAT Word for instruction concerning “our reasonable service” as Christians toward God.
When we let GOD teach us BY HIS WORD (The Bible/The Word of God)- letting Him instruct us through HIS chosen teachers which HE HIMSELF ordained long ago: The Prophets, His Son, and HIS chosen holy Apostles-
Hebrews 1:1-2 (KJV)
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, [2] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son…
2 Peter 1:19 (KJV)
WE have also a more sure word of prophecy; WHEREUNTO YE DO WELL THAT YE TAKE HEED, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts…

IT IS THEN that we can assure our hearts in the fact that we are in The Truth, AND are following The TRUE Doctrines OF GOD– not the ideas and doctrines of some fallible and sinful man:
1 John 3:18-19 (KJV)
My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue; but IN DEED AND IN TRUTH.

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