Did our Lord Yahushua (Jesus) partake of the eating of the passover lamb in the upper room during the night in which He was betrayed?
The Scriptures reveal the exact answer to this question, even though we are not told explicitly that Messiah ate the Passover lamb that night. Like many issues regarding the New Covenant Passover, this question is a ‘mystery’ that has been hidden in plain sight for us to find, and must be sought out in accordance with what God has told us:
Father has concealed the answer to our question, and He expects us to search out His words in Scripture to find the answer. In our approach to finding the answer in Scripture, here is what we will look for:
- Which night was it on the Biblical calendar?
- What do the Scriptures require on that particular night?
- Did Messiah obey the Scripture requirements for that night, or did He disobey?
Let’s see what the Scriptures say.
Which night was it on the Biblical calendar?
As our starting reference, the apostle Paul confirms to us when Yahushua’s Last Supper occurred:
In the above passage, the apostle Paul tells us that the Last Supper of Yahushua with His disciples occurred in the same night in which He was betrayed. Then we see the apostle Matthew tells us when He was betrayed:
In the above passage, we see that the hour of His betrayal occurred when the Son of man was taken into the hands of sinners. His betrayal occurred a few hours after Yahushua’s Last Supper with His disciples, before dawn on the day He was crucified. This is now the starting point for our search.
But before we begin our search, let’s first review the special task that Yahushua was given to accomplish on our behalf:
In the above passages, we first see John the Baptiser, in his role as a prophet (Luke 7:28), telling us that Yahushua is the “Lamb of God.” We then see the apostle Paul telling us that Messiah is our ‘Passover.’
We should be aware, that in some Scripture passages, the term ‘passover’ refers not to the day, event, or ceremony, but to the sacrificial lamb itself, such as in (Ex 12:21; 1Co 5:7).
Taken together, these verses tell us that Messiah is our ‘Passover lamb’ that God sent to earth to become our Passover sacrifice. This further tells us that Messiah was the sacrificial lamb to be sacrificed at Passover, on our behalf, according to God’s requirements stated in Scripture.
We recall that God’s original, stated purpose for the Passover sacrifice was to save His people from his judgments against Egypt (a prophetic picture of the world), to free His people from bondage, and then to lead them, by His Word, and His presence, out of Egypt and into the Promised Land (Exodus 6:6; Exodus 12:12).
This prophetic picture is rich in meaning for us. For it is the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah, and the shedding of His blood, that saves His people from His judgments against the gods of this world, and sets His people free from bondage to sin. He then leads them by His Word, and His presence, out of the world system, and into the Promised Land.
We also recall from our studies, that the original Passover in Egypt was a “show-and-tell” event, a prophetic picture to instruct us today, in the details of how God sets His people free, redeeming them by His blood. We have seen throughout the Scriptures, that Messiah Himself was to be our Passover Lamb Sacrifice on our behalf.
From the above passages, we now know that Messiah, as the Passover Lamb, was sacrificed on the one particular day of the year day specified in Scripture — the day of Passover:
So we see that Yahushua accomplished this task on the Biblical, 24-hour day in which the Passover sacrifice is to occur. It was the day of Passover, the 14th day of the first biblical month, and it occurred during the last night and day of Yahushua’s earthly ministry.
We must however, seek out other Scripture passages to confirm what we have seen thus far. But before we can sort this out, we must first ask, “What is a Biblical day, and what is a Biblical night?”
The Biblical Day
In the modern reckoning of time, a 24-hour day begins at midnight, and extends to midnight the next day. In the Biblical reckoning, however, a 24-hour day is reckoned from one sunset to the next sunset.
According to Scripture, a Biblical ‘day’ is defined just like the modern 24-hour day. In the Biblical reckoning however, there are always 12 hours in the day-time portion (John 11:9), and the remaining 12 hours make up the night portion, for a total of 24 hours. The summer hours are longer, and the winter hours are shorter, but by definition there are always 24 hours in a Biblical day.
One 24-hour day ends when the sun has fully set, and at that moment the 12-hour ‘night portion’ of the next 24-hour day begins. This understanding — of when the night and day portions of a Biblical day occur — is crucial in determining the correct day and time in which Biblical events are required to take place.
So we see that Messiah was sent to earth to become a Passover sacrifice for us, on our behalf, which occurred on the Biblical day of Passover, the 14th day of the first Biblical month. Thus we know He was crucified on the 14th day of the first month, as required by Scripture.
But in order to dispel confusion, and to further understand the Biblical timeline, we must understand that this day has been given another name.
According to Scripture, there is another name for the 14th day of the first month. Notice what the Scriptures tell us:
The above passage describes a scene about the sixth hour [12 noon] in the ‘day’ portion of the 14th day of the first Biblical month, which is the day of Passover. Here we see this day is also called the ‘preparation day’ for the Passover. Let’s see why it was given this name.
The above passage describes the 14th day of the first Biblical month, which is the biblical day of Passover. Here we are told that the ‘preparation day’ is the day before a ‘Sabbath’ day. That is, it was the day before either a weekly Sabbath or an annual ‘high’ Sabbath (Lev 23:6-8). It is a day to prepare, so that no work, no buying or selling, no cooking would occur on a Sabbath day.
But which Sabbath day was meant here — a weekly sabbath or an annual ‘high’ Sabbath? Let’s see:
The above passage tells us that the Feast of Unleavened, which occurs each year on the 15th day of the first Biblical month (Leviticus 23:6; Numbers 28:17), ‘is called the Passover.’ But the Scriptures tell us which day the Passover is to occur:
The above passages tell us that Yahuweh’s Passover is in the 14th day of the first Biblical month, and the Feast of Unleavened is on the 15th day. Yet Luke 22:1 tells us the Feast of Unleavened (on the 15th day) “is called” the Passover. Here we see vividly, that it is by tradition in Yahushua’s day [and in our day], that the 15th day of the first Biblical month is called ‘the Passover.’ For further study, see Passover: Seven Days or One Day?.
Having two different days being called by the name “Passover” illustrates the difference between the “Feasts of the Jews” and the “Feasts of Yahuweh.”
Brethren, the above is a prime example of how traditions and commandments of men conceal the truths of Yahuweh, and turn men away from the truth. The apostle Paul continues to warn us today:
We should note, without going into detail, that the “Feasts of the Jews,” both in Yahushua’s day and in our day, were/are mixed with certain un-scriptural traditions. The Feasts of Yahuweh however, are based only on the Biblical calendar and Scripture (compare John 5:1, 6:4, 7:2; vs Lev 23:2, 4).
So we see that Yahushua was crucified on the day of Passover, the 14th day of the first month, which is the preparation day for the Feast of Unleavened, an annual Sabbath day that occurs on the 15th day of the first month.
The Biblical Night
As we have seen above, according to the Biblical reckoning, the 24-hour day begins at sunset with the 12-hour night portion, and continues with the 12-hour day portion until sunset the next day. We have also seen that Yahushua was crucified mid-day on the 14th day of the first month, the day of Passover. We now understand that the 14th day, the day of Passover, began at sunset the night before.
The apostle Paul makes reference to this beginning ‘night portion’ of the 14th day:
In the above passage, we see that based on the Biblical reckoning of a 24-hour day, the ‘Last Supper’ occurred in the (beginning) night portion of the 14th day of the first Biblical month, the day of Passover. With this in mind, let’s now look at what is required on that particular night.
What do the Scriptures require on that particular night?
From the original Passover in Egypt, we see the words that the pre-incarnate Word of the LORD [Messiah himself] spoke to Moses:
Then we see what Moses spoke to the people:
We see in the above passage that the passover [sacrifice] is to be killed, and the blood of the lamb placed in a cup. Then the blood of the lamb is to be sprinkled on the door post of the houses that are to escape God’s judgment.
The above passage tells us that the passover [sacrifice] is to be eaten. We see also that strangers [those not part of God’s everlasting Covenant] may not eat of the Passover sacrifice. The Passover is only for His covenant people.
And so here is what is required of God’s people:
The above passage tells us the children of Israel [His covenant people] are to ‘keep’ [Heb. ‘asah’ Strong’s number <06213>, “do; execute; perform; prepare; observe; celebrate”] the Passover. And as a result, we see Messiah and His disciples preparing to keep the Passover:
So we see Matthew’s account of Yahushua’s own words, that Yahushua would keep the Passover with His disciples, and that they made ready the Passover.
Beloved, let us be warned! There are many teachers today deceiving multitudes of Believers, teaching the man-made doctrine from Rome, that the ‘Last Supper’ was not a Passover meal, but some other type of supper. In the above passage however, and in others we will see below, Messiah plainly and explicitly tells us, that He will ‘keep’ and ‘eat’ the passover with His disciples.
We need only to choose whom we will believe — the many teachers and their deceptive doctrines, or the words of Messiah. This is an important point, for those who choose to follow Messiah — for those who choose to walk in His paths, to walk by His example, and to walk as He walked (1Peter 2:21; 1John 2:6).
The above passage also tells us, in agreement with Exodus 12:7, that the Passover is to be eaten not in a temple setting, but in a family setting, in the peoples’ own houses.
We also see in the above passage, that “to keep” the passover includes making ready the passover and eating the passover, in the required manner, as detailed in the Law [the ‘Torah’ — God’s instructions for His people]. The following passage gives us further insight into preparing, killing, and eating the Passover:
Notice in the above passage, that the disciples were told to “make ready” the passover on the day in which the passover [sacrifice] is to be killed. It is important to note that Messiah did not give the disciples any instructions that would imply eliminating or ‘doing away with’ the killing and cooking of the Passover lamb.
From the above text and others in the Gospel accounts, we deduce that the disciples simply proceeded on the basis of their life-long experience of preparing for Passover, which included killing and preparing the Passover lamb, and making ready the rest of the Passover meal. Here is the account in Luke:
In the above passage, we again see that Messiah tells us that He will eat the Passover meal with His disciples, which they are to make ready. Notice the Greek word for ‘make ready’ is Strong’s number <2090>, and is the same word for ‘prepare.’
We also see in the above passage, that they waited until “the hour was come” to sit down to the meal. This requirement of waiting until after sunset to eat the meal, is unique to Passover, which is to be eaten only “in ‘that’ night” [the 14th day] (Exodus 12:6-8), that is, at night (after sunset), but still within the specified 14th day, before sunset the next day. This tells us explicitly that the Passover meal is to be eaten in the night portion [the beginning] of the 14th day of the first month (Lev 23:5; Num 9:3).
Did Messiah obey the Scripture requirements for that night, or did He disobey?
With the above information in mind, let’s now look at further passages, to deduce whether Messiah did, or did not, eat the passover lamb in the upper room, during the night in which He was betrayed.
In all the above passages, we have seen that the Law (Torah) requires that the Children of Israel are to keep [do; observe; celebrate] the Passover at the time specified in Scripture. These include:
Passover Requirements from Exodus 12:
- Prepare the Passover;
- Kill the Passover lamb;
- Place the blood of the lamb in a ‘bason’ (Heb. “bowl; cup”);
- Sprinkle the blood of the lamb;
- Cook the Passover lamb;
- Eat the Passover lamb;
- Do all of the above in the manner and time specified in Scripture.
So the question becomes, “Did Messiah disobey the Law?” Notice what the apostle John tells us:
In the above passage, the apostle John tells us that sin is defined as “transgression of [disobedience to] the Law.” The Law [the Torah’] commands all Israel to keep the Passover (Deut 16:1), which we have seen includes preparing and eating the sacrificial lamb.
Thus to refrain from eating the Passover lamb in the prescribed manner and time, is to disobey The ‘Law’ [Torah], and would thus be a sin.
So the question becomes, “Did Messiah disobey the Law? Did Messiah disobey Torah? Did Messiah commit sin?”
Notice the following Scripture passages:
We see from the above passages, that Messiah did not sin, and He was without sin. From the apostle John’s definition of sin, we know that Messiah did not transgress [disobey] the Torah.
We now know that while Messiah was alive, every moment, every day, even up to the moment of His death, Messiah did everything Scripture commands God’s people to do. And this includes observing all the moedim, all the appointed times [‘Feasts’], and especially the Passover, which includes eating the Passover lamb.
We thus conclude that Messiah did not sin, by disobeying the requirements of the Law [the Torah]. From this we conclude that just as He told us He would do in the Gospel accounts, Messiah did indeed eat the Passover lamb with His disciples, during the night in which He was betrayed.
Application: The Significance of Passover for Gentile believers Today
We have seen from the Scriptures that “all” of the Children of Israel have been commanded to keep, and observe the Passover, as well as the appointed times and Sabbaths of Yahuweh.
But in order to properly understand how important these observances are to Gentile Believers today, we must “come out from among them” (2Co 6:17). That is, we must be willing to come out from among the many traditions and man-made doctrines that surround us, and be as the Bereans. We must read the Scriptures for ourselves, and then be obedient to what the Scriptures actually say (Acts 17:10-11).
The Passover Significance: An Overview of Scripture for the Reader’s own study
- Yahushua Messiah said, “If you love me, keep MY commandments… He that loves me not, does not keep my sayings.” (John 14:15, 24);
- Messiah was the pre-incarnate “Word of the LORD” who gave all the commandments to Moses (John 1:1, 14; Num 3:51, 15:31);
- Messiah’s commandments include those He gave to Moses (John 5:47);
- The commands to observe Passover are given to all of God’s covenant people, who are called “Children of Israel” and “My people Israel” (Numbers 9:2; Matthew 2:6; 1Co 5:8;);
- As the apostle Paul explained, the “Children of Israel” now include all those grafted into the commonwealth (citizenship) of Israel by faith in Yahushua Messiah (Matthew 2:6; Romans 11:1-27; Ephesians 2:1-19);
- The Blood of the New Covenant that Yahushua shed is the same Blood that ratifies one’s participation in the Everlasting Covenant (Mat 26:28; Mark 14:24; Hebrews 13.20);
- When we participate in the Passover memorial meal, we are: 1) sprinkling the doorpost of our inward being, where the words of the Covenant are written; 2) ratifying our participation in the New/Everlasting Covenant; and 3) agreeing to its Covenant conditions, as if to say to the Bridegroom, “I do” (Exodus 31:16; Isaiah 8:16; Mat 7:23, 25:10; Eph 1:13, 4:30; 2Thess 2:7; 2Tim 2:19; Heb 9:19);
- Some of the items included in the New/Everlasting Covenant are God’s Passover and His Sabbaths (Ex 31:13,16; Lev 19:3; 2Ki 23:21);
- It is sin to transgress [disobey] the Law (the Torah). Thus we see Messiah, as well as the apostles Paul and John, warn us to stop sinning (Mat 7:23; 1John 3:4; 1Co 15:34; Eph 4:26; 1John 2:1);
- We stop sinning, stop disobeying the Law, not out of fear of retribution, but because we love Yahushua Messiah, and desire to honour Him (Song 8:6; 1John 3:4; John 14:15; John 15:9; John 15:10; Romans 13:10; Eph 6:2; Romans 2:23);
- Messiah did not transgress [disobey] the Torah: He did not commit sin (Hebrews 4:15; 1Pet 2:22);
- Those who choose to follow Messiah, will follow in His footsteps. They learn to follow His example in all things, and learn to walk as He walked. They remember that Messiah observed the Passover and Yahuweh’s Sabbaths (1Peter 2:21; 1John 2:6).
- The New Covenant Passover – Messiah invites His people to join Him on the night of Passover, to enter into the New and Everlasting Betrothal Covenant wih Him, to say “I do” to the Bridegroom, and to seal the Covenant by taking the Passover bread and wine.
- The Sabbath Day Secret – Messiah has given His Sabbath Days as a great blessing that is hidden from the world, but is given only to those who love Him, honour Him and obey Him.
- The Sabbath Day is a Sign – According to Scripture, Messiah has given His Sabbath Days to His children, as a sign or banner displayed by those who know Him, who are abiding in Him, and who love Him.
- Messiah: The Word Made Flesh – A look at some of the mysteries surrounding the identity of Yahushua the Messiah.
- If You Love Me, Keep ‘My’ Commandments – Do we show our love for Messiah, in the way He has told us — or have we lost sight of His identity?
- What Are the Ten Commandments? – Also called The Ten Words, these Scripture passages are shown in both Hebrew and English, enabling us to see for ourselves what these Commandments actually say. When we as New Covenant Believers understand whose words they are, we can better know how to respond to them.
- Obeying Torah is Not About Salvation – Obedience to the Torah [Father’s House Rules for His family] is not about our redemption by Yahushua’s blood. Instead, it is Messiah’s New Covenant instruction to all Born-again Believers in how to abide in Him, how to love Him, and how to walk as He walked.
- Seven Biblical Guidelines for Studying the Bible: Using Scripture to Interpret the Scriptures – What is the source of our current understanding of the Bible? The pure Truths of Scripture are of highest importance — how we understand the Scriptures will affect our eternal condition! To avoid being deceived by man-made doctrines, we must not rely on Preachers, Teachers, Bible notes or commentaries. Instead we must study and understand the Bible for ourselves — not looking through the lenses of tradition or man-made Bible study methods — but relying only on what the Bible actually says about how to study and understand the Scriptures! Here are 7 Biblical Guidelines that show us the way!
- Contending for The Faith – We are exhorted to contend, to fight to remain in The Faith that was originally given. Scripture shows what The Faith is, and shows why and how we must contend for The Faith. Overview of how the adversary attacks the foundation of The Faith, with examples of contending for The Faith.
- The Wise and Foolish Virgins – The Wise Virgins had wisdom, the Foolish Virgins had none. Yahushua tells us why many today are not prepared for His appearing.
- The Wise and Foolish: According to Yahushua – Messiah tells us in clear and simple terms for our instruction, who the wise and foolish are today!
- The Wise and Foolish Virgins: The Separation of the Wise – The Scriptures reveal a 2-step process of separation from the multitudes, for those who would grow in Wisdom.
- Let No Man Steal Your Crown – Reveals there are men today trying to take away, and steal your Bridal veil, and your crown; things that allow your crown to be stolen; the Doctrine of Balaam, and how it will steal your crown.
- Who is the Chaste Virgin? – The Bridegroom is coming for His Bride — one who is chaste, and without corruption. The Scriptures warn us of the many forms of corruption, and how to remove them, in order to remain chaste, and ready for the Bridegroom.
- The Wedding of the King’s Son: A Parable – A parable revealing the astonishing – and magnificent – nature of the New Covenant.