[Study adapted from the video “The Last Supper“, from the series Feasts of the First Month.]
In this book, we have been talking all about the Melchizedekian Pesach, the Passover that we keep when we are under Yeshua’s renewed Melchizedekian Order. In the first chapter of this series we took a look at what the apostle Shaul really meant in “Colossians 2:16-17“. If you have not read that chapter, I encourage you to do so now. Because we are going to be talking about it all through this chapter as well as the next one.
In Colossians (Qolossim) 2:16-17, we saw that apostle Shaul was telling us not to let any man except the body of Messiah tell us what to do in regards to the ritual meat offerings (food offerings) that we eat, the ritual drink offerings that we drink, or in respect to a feast day, a new moon day, or of the Sabbath. Because these are all prophetic shadow pictures of things and events still to come.
It is particularly important that we keep those rituals the way we are supposed to keep them. But we also saw that the rituals can change a little bit depending upon whether we are in the land, outside the land, or which priesthood we are under.
In the original Pesach, when Israel was first leaving Egypt in Exodus chapter twelve, there was no priesthood in Israel. That is why the original Pesach ritual in Exodus twelve called for the heads of the houses (the men) to offer the Pesach lambs within their own gates and they also placed the blood upon their own doorposts. The reason they did this is that there was no standing priesthood. This would change after Israel left Egypt. After Israel received a priesthood that would all be different.
We also saw that for the original Pesach ritual in Exodus chapter twelve Israel was supposed to eat the Pesach with the belt on their waist, their shoes on their feet, and their staves in their hand, basically ready for action and ready to leave the land of Egypt.
Shemote (Exodus) 12:11
11 “And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is Yahweh’s Passover.”
Yahweh told Israel to eat it in haste. That is because the first Pesach was a rehearsal for leaving Egypt and relocating back to the land of Israel. Bear that thought in mind. We are going to see it again throughout this chapter and also in the next chapter.
We also saw in “The Levitical Pesach” that there are certain commandments that apply when we live in the land. In Deuteronomy chapter twelve, verse one, Yahweh begins a long monologue telling Israel what the special things are that they are supposed to do when they live in the land of Israel. And these things were to apply to them all the days that they were to live on the soil, meaning in the land of Israel. Four chapters later, Yahweh is still giving Israel these special rules.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:2
2 “You shall therefore sacrifice the Pesach unto Yahweh your Elohim, of the flock and the herd, in the place which Yahweh shall choose to place His name there.”
When Israel lives in the land, typically speaking, there is going to be a Levitical priesthood. Because when Israel was all together in the wilderness and they traveled altogether, there was not a special need to unite them three times a year. They were already all together. But when they entered the land of Israel they spread out. Therefore, there was a need for a Levitical priesthood to cleanse the Levitical altar in order for the nation of Israel to unify around the rituals at the cleansed Levitical altar three times a year. But what happened in the first century? That is what we are going to talk about in this chapter.
In Yeshua’s time, meaning in the first century and the second temple period, Israel was already living in the land of Israel. They were not going anywhere suddenly; they were not quickly leaving Egypt. So, did Israel really need to eat the Pesach standing and feasting in haste in order to rehearse leaving Egypt in haste? Is it possible that Israel could perhaps eat the Pesach sitting, lying down, or reclining to rehearse dwelling in the land? Now, this is just a question, I am not advocating this. We will talk more about this at the end of this chapter.
In order to understand what happened in the first century and to understand these events in context, we need to realize that the Renewed Covenant was not written by gentiles, nor was it written in a vacuum. Yeshua and His disciples were all raised as second temple period Jews and they practiced what could be called second temple period Judaism. It is important to understand this. Even though Yeshua soundly rebuked and rejected the rabbinical customs and traditions that went against His Father’s Torah, He and His disciples still kept many of the general second temple Jewish customs and traditions that did not contradict His Father’s Torah. And that is simply because that was the culture that they grew up in. We need to understand the second temple period culture that Yeshua and His disciples grew up in so that we can understand what needs to be rejected and what needs to be maintained.
Let us talk about this a little bit more. Today, our orthodox brothers and sisters keep the Passover with what is called a traditional Jewish Passover Seder service. While the exact origins of the Passover Seder are not known, it is believed that it may have originated in the second century or so. And because the Jews are very traditional people, they like to form their customs and traditions around modifications of what they believe their ancestors did. With respect, the Jewish customs and traditions tend to drift over time, but they like to at least pretend that they are doing exactly what their ancestors did. We will see why that is important later on.
But what we see is that today’s Passover Seder service may derive from customs and traditions that were practiced in the first century, in Yeshua’s time, during the second temple period. So, we may see that Yeshua ate the Last Supper as a Passover Seder, but does that necessarily mean that we should do the same thing today? Or is it possible that there are other factors to consider which mean that we should not eat the Pesach as a Passover Seder meal today? We are going to talk about all these questions and more.
Now, I want to be very respectful about this. Because while we are in the nation of Ephraim, we are off in the nations. While we were serving idols and we were feeding the pigs, so to speak, our Jewish brothers and sisters were at least attempting to keep the commandments of Yahweh. There have been some profoundly serious deviations in their observances and how they keep the commandments of Yahweh. And these deviations are not small or innocuous, there are some very real problems with the way that they do things. But at least our Jewish brothers and sisters have attempted to keep the commandments of Yahweh.
One of the things that they have come up with is what they call the rabbinical Passover Seder service, and this is their attempt to keep the Pesach now that they are no longer in Egypt. One thing we see that they do is that they do not stand, they do not eat hastily, they do not have staves in their hands, and they are not preparing to flee Egypt. Rather, they are sitting down at a table, and they are eating the Pesach in a very relaxed, leisurely fashion. And they are doing this whether they are inside the land of Israel, outside the land of Israel, or they could be in the land of Egypt for that matter. It does not matter, wherever they are, they are going to be sitting down at a table having a very relaxed, leisurely meal.
The Passover Seder looks vastly different from the Exodus chapter twelve service. It is a scripted, stylized meal that involves taking four cups of wine and eating from various bowls of dip or sop. And again, they typically sit, or in ancient times, they laid back. So, they were either sitting or reclining and that is how they went about things.
You can read the rabbinic writings and you can talk with the rabbis about why they hold the Pesach Seder the way that they do. And typically speaking, what you will learn is that in the ancient Middle East slaves usually stood to wait on their masters as they ate. And so since the Israelites were slaves and probably many of them stood to wait on their masters, and since the Jews are no longer in slavery, now the Jews believe that they should sit, lean, or recline at the Pesach table to celebrate their freedom from slavery and bondage. And that all sounds good, but the problem is that was not the reason Israel stood in the original Pesach. In Exodus chapter twelve, Israel stood with their belt on their waist, their shoes on their feet, and their staves in their hand because they were getting ready to leave Egypt suddenly. This is one of the problems.
You read the rabbinic writings and you talk to some of the rabbis (even the Messianic rabbis), and you never hear about the feast being prophetic shadow pictures of coming events. The Messianic rabbis that I know might talk about the feast being prophetic shadow pictures of coming events, but you will never hear them talk about what that prophetic symbolism might be and what it might refer to. And we see that as a big problem. We will talk more about this.
Now, if we take a look, it does seem clear that Yeshua probably did eat the Last Supper in a similar fashion to what we today called the Pesach Seder service. For example, in Matthew chapter twenty-six, verse twenty, it tells us that Yeshua sat down with His disciples for the Last Supper.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 26:20
20 When evening was come, He sat down with the twelve.
He was not standing; he was sitting with the twelve.
Then in Mattityahu chapter twenty-six, verse twenty-three, we read that Yeshua and the disciples had dips (sops) with their meal.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 26:23
23 He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me.”
We come to the book of John (Yochanan), and we see that Yochanan was leaning back on Yeshua.
Yochanan (John) 13:25
25 Leaning back on Yeshua’s breast, he said to Him, “Adon, is it I?”
Yochanan (John) 21:20
20 Then Kepha, turning around, saw the disciple whom Yeshua loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Adon, who is the one who betrays You?”
It is kind of funny. You see these very famous paintings from the Middle Ages that show the disciples sitting at a modern European table very high up with chairs. That was not how they sat back then. Typically, the way that they would eat the Pesach in the first century, in second temple period times, is that they had a very low-slung table, perhaps twelve to eighteen inches off the ground. It was basically just enough to elevate the food and keep it out of the dirt. Then they would put down blankets, pillows, or whatever you had. And then people would either sit up or they would lie down.
And so they were typically much lower to the ground. You did not have these elevated European-style tables back in the first century. So, you see these funny paintings where you have the apostle Yochanan leaning over on Yeshua’s breast and he is resting his head there. It is just kind of like, ‘Get off me!’ you know? It is really funny the difference in culture and cultural understanding. But back in the first century, the table was a very low-slung table and they used blankets or pillows and they ate things while sitting, leaning, or reclining on the ground.
Now let us read Mattityahu, chapter twenty-six, beginning in verse twenty-six.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 26:26-28
26 And as they were eating, Yeshua took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you,
28 For this is My blood of the Renewed Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
Now, remember that we talked about this in the chapter on “Colossians 2:16-17”. And we said how the apostle Shaul tells us that the meat that we eat (including the bread) and the drinks that we drink are prophetic shadow pictures of coming events. Verse twenty-seven is where it comes to life.
Can we understand the importance of why the apostle Shaul was telling us we need to be letting only the body of Messiah tell us what the foods are we can eat and what the ritual drinks are that we should drink? And that it is because these things have tremendous importance and symbolism?
It is also often said that when a Jew reads the Renewed Covenant it is as if he is reading a totally different book than what the gentile is reading. That is because a Jew is going to understand the first-century, second temple period context that the Renewed Covenant was written from. Let us look at Mattityahu chapter twenty-six, verse thirty for example. I am going to pick on the New King James version here because I use the New King James.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 26:30 (NKJV)
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
That is funny because it gives us the idea that they sort of reached into the back of the pew, pulled out the hymnal, opened it up, picked a hymn, and sang it. And that is not at all what happened. They did not have that kind of a hymnal back in the first century. What they had is the Hallel Psalms. And while we do not believe the Peshitta Aramaic is the original version, there are a lot of good insights you can get from reading the Peshitta Aramaic. So, let us look at this same verse again.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 26:30 (Murdock Peshitta Aramaic)
30 And they sang praises [psalms], and went forth to the Mount of Olives.
Any Jewish person will tell you that, at least traditionally, when you gather on the Sabbath, the feasts, or the New Moon days, the Jews would read from what is called the Hallel Psalms, or Psalms chapters 113 to chapters 118. And this is done at every Sabbath, every feast, and every New Moon Day. So, here now we see the Jewish context of this.
Another thing we need to understand about the context is how it is believed in the second temple period that sometimes the rabbis or teachers would hold a graduation ceremony for their disciples the night before the Pesach. Now, Yeshua was our Rabbi. He is our one and only Rabbi. There is only one there and there will never be more than one. But since He was a Rabbi or at the very least our teacher, it is very possible that He was again following the second temple period tradition in this way and that the Last Supper was a graduation ceremony for His disciples. And we need to understand that because it was not the Pesach the laws of the Pesach do not apply to it. Because it was not the Pesach but rather a graduation ceremony held the night before the Pesach, in the manner of a Pesach Seder service.
Now, we also get into a large number of questions about the timing. We believe in what is called a Semitic inspiration for the Renewed Covenant, meaning that we believe that the Renewed Covenant (New Testament) was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic, or perhaps a combination of both. Some of the church fathers testify to that. But we no longer have the original manuscripts. And as we stated previously, we do not believe that the Peshitta Aramaic is the original text. We explain this on the Nazarene Israel website if you want to know more about this topic. (See “Why a Hebrew or Aramaic Inspiration?” or “About the Peshitta”.)
But there is a saying that ‘a lot gets lost in the translation’. We are going to see that there are certain timing issues that really are a problem, at least in the English texts. I am going to mention these. I know that some people will read this in languages other than English, but I also know that the King James version was used as a base for other translations and that the King James was a very influential translation for some of the other translations. So, if you are reading in another language, then please use what is specific to your language.
But what we need to understand here is that there are some timing issues. The Last Supper was not the Pesach, and it could not possibly have been the Pesach. Because Yeshua was on the cross (stake, tree, gallows if you prefer) and was being sacrificed on the day of the Pesach, meaning on the afternoon of the 14th. The problem is that there is a number of mistranslation issues, particularly in English. And particularly with regard to the synoptic gospels of Mattityahu, Mark (Marqus), and Luke (Luqa) which are all patterned after each other. Now, the synoptic gospels can be misread to say that the Last Supper was the Pesach. Meaning it can be misread to say that the Last Supper was held on the afternoon of the 14th. And it was not. It is a quite simple concept. The Last Supper could not have been held on the afternoon of the 14th because that is when the Pesach was being sacrificed. So, Yeshua was being sacrificed on the afternoon of the 14th, therefore the Last Supper could only have been the night before. This is something that is very intuitive and very obvious to new readers.
But then you read these other commentaries and people will be misunderstanding and misreading the synoptic gospels Mattityahu, Marqus, and Luca. These questions always come up when we talk about the Pesach. So, we are going to talk about some of them here. If you want to know all the details then I encourage you to read The Torah Calendar study the chapter on Passover and Unleavened Bread.
We are also going to see that Scripture tells us that the Last Supper was eaten with leavened bread. Now, that is impossible if the Last Supper was the Pesach. Because according to Scripture, all leavened bread has to be destroyed prior to the Pesach. The Pesach begins to be offered around 2:30 or 3:00 in the afternoon, between the evenings, as the sun begins its descent or as it begins to come back down to earth. And the tradition as it was shared with me and with many other people is that leaven has to be destroyed by noon on the 14th. So, you destroy the leaven at noon, and then by the time the sun begins to set that is when you offer the Pesach. And that is also when Yeshua was offered.
Let us take a look at the evidence in Scripture.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 26:26
26 And as they were eating, Yeshua took [leavened] bread [artos], blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
We see that Yeshua took artos, meaning leavened bread. That is not unleavened bread, it is not matzah. It is leavened bread (artos). Once again, let us think about Colossians chapter 2, verses sixteen and seventeen which tells us that when Yahweh gives us something that we are supposed to eat, it is going to be symbolic of something important still to come. Because Colossians chapter two tells us that there are future fulfillments that are still to come. So, it is important that we do things as Scripture says.
We look up the word artos in Strong’s New Testament just to make sure we know what we are looking at.
G740 ἄρτος artos (ar’-tos); From NT:142; bread (as raised) or a loaf [Hebrew: lechem]
And it means a loaf of bread or leavened bread, as in raised bread. That is going to correspond to the Hebrew lechem. Now, we do not know if it was a hollow loaf or what it was. It does not say. But it was raised (leavened) bread that Yeshua broke during the Last Supper. Again, proving it could not have been the day of the Pesach. It had to be the evening before.
Let us take a look at this in the Peshitta Aramaic. We see the same thing, just using different language and different words.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 26:26 (Murdock Peshitta Aramaic)
26 And as they were eating, Yeshua took bread (לחמא) and blessed, and brake; and gave to His disciples, and said: “Take, eat; this is my body.”
The word here in the Aramaic Peshitta for bread is lechemah (לחמא). This is the Aramaic counterpart to the Hebrew word lechem (לחם), or regular (leavened) bread. Once again, it is not matzah. It is leavened bread. So, it could not have been the day of the Pesach, it had to be the evening before.
There are some more translation questions. We come to Mattityahu chapter twenty-six, verse seventeen. And again, I am going to pick on the New King James version.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 26:17 NKJV
17 Now on the first (πρώτῃ) day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to [Yeshua], saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”
We see here a translation error of the Greek word protos. Because the Greek word protos (πρώτῃ) can mean “first”. But it can also mean “in front of,” “before,” or “prior to.” The problem is that the use of the word protos here cannot mean “first” in any kind of an understandable context. Let us take a look in Strong’s New Testament Concordance because we want to make sure that we are doing the right thing.
G4413 πρῶτος prōtos, pro’-tos; Contracted superlative of G4253; foremost (in time, place, order or importance): – before, beginning, best, chief (-est), first (of all), former.
You can legitimately translate protos as “the first”, but not in this theological context.
Let us take a look at the root word to make sure again of what we are looking at.
G4253 πρό pro; A primary preposition; “fore”, that is, in front of, prior (figuratively superior) to. In compounds it retains the same significations.
That is a lot of technical detail, but it is an especially important technical detail. Because a lot of people have been taught the wrong thing on this subject. So, let us take what we just learned and plug it back in to Mattityahu twenty-six, verse seventeen. This is again the New King James version, but with a corrected understanding.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 26:17 (Corrected)
17 Now [protos: before] the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to [Yeshua], saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”
The Last Supper took place before the First Day of Unleavened Bread (before the Pesach). Because Yeshua was going to be on the tree (cross; stake) on the day of the Pesach. So, this was His Pesach celebration. He is eating it the day before as a Pesach Seder, which we understand to be the Last Supper.
If we understand it in this way then everything reconciles with Yochanan. That is very important because the synoptic accounts of Mattityahu, Marqus, and Luqa need to reconcile with Yochanan.
Yochanan (John) 13:1
1 Now before (Πρὸ) the Feast of the Passover, when Yeshua knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
We see the word protos again, and it just simply means “before”. So, everything reconciles Yochanan chapter thirteen, verse one.
Well, people still have more questions. Maybe we understand now that those all reconcile. But now, what about Luqa chapter twenty-two, verses seven and eight?
These are some very important questions. Because originally, the translators of the King James Version (from which the New King James and many other translations are based) did not have the understanding that Yeshua was not going to violate His Father’s Torah. One of the very first things Yeshua said, very clearly, in the beatitudes, was for us not to think He came to destroy the Torah and the Prophets. But that was not the understanding of a lot of the original translators, nor is it the understanding of most Christian translators either. So, there are these questions that are hanging because of these translations that have been wrongly translated. And again, much was lost in the translation.
Let us come to Luqa chapter twenty-two, verses seven and eight.
Luqa (Luke) 22:7-8
7 Then came [approached] the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed.
8 And He sent Kepha and Yochanan, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.”
People have questions about this. Because it says, ‘Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread’ and they think it means that it was the first day of Unleavened Bread. But that is not what it says. Because the following is how “then came” or “then approached” would read in Hebrew.
“Then came [approached] the Day of Unleavened Bread” in Hebrew, translates as: ויבו היום המצות (“v’ibo ha-yom ha-matzot”).
You can also very legitimately translate it as “then the Day of Unleavened Bread approached” or “then approached the day of Unleavened Bread”. Meaning that the Day of Unleavened Bread was the next day, but it was drawing nearer or approaching. And if we understand it this way then we have the Last Supper occurring on the evening conjunction of the 13th and 14th of Aviv, not on the conjunction of the 14th and 15th of Aviv. And understanding it this way means that Yeshua was not violating the Torah. Very important. If we simply understand that the word “protos” means “before”, just like the prefix “pro” means “before”, then the synoptic accounts of Mattityahu, Marqus, and Luqa all reconcile with Yochanan, as they should. And that puts the Last Supper the day before the Pesach. Very simple. If you want to see the details, I would refer you to the chapter on “The Passover and Unleavened Bread” in the study of The Torah Calendar.
Let us take a look at some other questions people commonly have regarding bread. We are going to see that the apostle Shaul (Paul) understood that the Pesach and the Last Supper were held on different days. And once again, we take a look at the form of bread that was eaten and it makes it very clear.
Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 5:7-8
7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you are truly unleavened (ἄζυμος). For indeed Mashiach, our Pesach, was sacrificed for us.
8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread (ἄζυμος) of sincerity and truth.
In first Corinthians chapter five, starting in verse seven, speaking about the feast of the Pesach, the apostle Shaul uses the term ἄζυμος (unleavened bread) in the same context as the Pesach. That is theologically correct.
So, just to make sure that we have gotten everything right, let us take a look at this word in Strong’s Greek Concordance.
G106 ἄζυμος azumos (ad’-zoo-mos); From G1 (as a negative particle) and G2219; unleavened, that is, (figuratively) uncorrupted; (in the neuter plural) specifically (by implication) the Passover week: – unleavened (bread).
We see that it means simply unleavened, or unleavened bread, or what we would in Hebrew call matzah or matzot for plural.
By way of contrast, let us come to First Corinthians chapter eleven, starting in verse twenty-three.
Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 11:23-24
23 For I received from the Master that which I also delivered to you: that the Master Yeshua on the same night [as the Last Supper] in which He was betrayed took ἄρτος [leavened bread],
24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
Here we have an association of artos (lechem; lechema), or leavened bread, with the Last Supper. Because it was the evening before the Pesach. And there is something interesting in verse twenty-four. People are always trying to turn this into some new ritual observance. They are always trying to say that Yeshua was instituting some new feast or some new tradition. For instance, the Catholic church tries to try to turn this into the eucharist. The little wafers floating around here and there, it is all a kind of communion. But people are always trying to turn this into something that it is not.
The thing that we need to understand is, again, this is in the context of a Jew. And when they read the Renewed Covenant, it is like they are reading a totally different book than what the gentile is reading. Because the gentile does not understand the second temple, Jewish (Hebraic) context of this thing. But if you spend any time around religious Jews or traditional Jews, basically, they break bread and take wine any time they get together. Anytime they have a gathering, whether it is a New Moon day, Sabbath day, or in most of the feasts. Obviously, they do not take leaven bread at the Pesach or in the Days of Unleavened Bread. Because you are not supposed to have anything leavened during that time. Also, they do not take bread at Yom Kippur because part of their understanding is that Yom Kippur is observed by fasting.
But this was not something new, this is something that, hypothetically, traditional Jews have done going all the way back to the days of Avraham when Melchizedek brought out bread and wine. So, any time religious Jews get together they are celebrating the days of Avraham and Melchizedek bringing out bread and wine. And that is all Yeshua was saying here. He is just saying that whenever we get together, whether it is a New Moon day, a Sabbath, or a feast day, and you are breaking bread and taking wine, for us to do this in remembrance of Him. Just like we talked about with Qolossims chapter 2, verses sixteen and seventeen. Because these foods are symbolic of Yeshua. That is the symbolism here. And there are still future fulfillments, but that was the symbolism in the first century.
Again, in verse twenty-five, He is not instituting a new communion wafer and a communion cup. I had a man who was studying to become a Catholic priest attempt to convince me that the wafer they offer literally becomes Yeshua’s body. That is some trans-substantiation routine. And it is like people just do not understand the Hebrew context of what they are talking about. But that is all Yeshua was saying. Yeshua is the living manna, He is the living bread. He is symbolized by the matzah and He is also symbolized by the lechem, the artos or the leavened bread. And when He says “For as often as you eat this” in this context, He uses leavened bread. Because it is the Last Supper, it is the evening before Pesach. It is very interesting because, for the Last Supper, Shaul is using the word artos, referring to a raised or leavened loaf.
What we need to understand is that the Last Supper does not institute a new ritual nor does it alter the Pesach. People are attempting to use the Last Supper to add things to the Pesach and to alter the Pesach. But it was not the Pesach. We would look at it as a graduation ceremony of a rabbi or a teacher with His students. Yeshua would not have done anything to change His Father’s Torah. He was very clear not to think that He had come to do that. And while people are always trying to establish the Last Supper as an additional day of observance the day before the Pesach, we should not do that. Yeshua was not adding to His Father’s calendar.
Yeshua was not establishing a new ritual ceremony on the conjunction of Aviv 13-14. And the reason we know that is that adding to the calendar is strictly prohibited in the Torah. In places like Deuteronomy chapter four, verse two, Deuteronomy chapter twelve, verse thirty-two, and other places, we see we are not to add or take anything away from Yahweh’s words. Again, spend time around religious Jews. Any time they get an excuse, they are breaking bread and taking wine. So, on the Sabbath, New Moon days, and most of the feast days, they are breaking bread and taking wine. That is what they are doing, that is what Yeshua was doing here. He is not adding anything to the calendar.
And it is the same thing with the ritual of the washing of the feet. You have a lot of people, once again, incorrectly teaching that Yeshua is attempting to institute a new rite or a new ritual of washing feet the evening before the Pesach, at the time of the Last Supper. And they base this incorrectly on Yochanan chapter thirteen, verses fourteen and fifteen. Some churches even come up with “A night to be much observed” and all these kinds of things. No! That does not exist. Yeshua did not change His Father’s Torah. He would have been a disobedient Son. He was not a disobedient Son. He did not break the Torah. We know that Yeshua was the sinless, spotless lamb who kept the Torah perfectly. How could He break the Torah and keep the Torah perfectly? That does not make any sense at all.
Okay, let us take a look.
Yochanan (John) 13:3-5, 14-15
3 Yeshua, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was come from Elohim, and went to Elohim;
4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments; and took a towel and girded Himself.
5 After that He poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
14 “If I then, your Master and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”
Well, people are trying to turn this into a new ritual observance, and it just does not work. You cannot have Yeshua keeping the Torah perfectly by breaking the Torah through adding new rites, rituals, days of worship, observances, and these kinds of things. All Yeshua was doing was saying, “Look, I am your King. I am the one you are doing this all for. I am serving you. That is how you need to grow My kingdom. You need to serve other people through humility and through the Spirit. That is how My kingdom is going to grow. That is how I want you to serve Me.”
And people are like, “Oh, no, no, no, no. We do not have to do that. We just have to wash each other’s feet once a year.”
Or they are trying to take communion once a year. No. No. No. That is not what Yeshua was doing. Once again, when a Jew reads the Renewed Covenant, it is like he is reading a totally separate book. Because he has got a different context to this thing.
So, let us answer the questions that we posed at the beginning of this study. If Yeshua likely ate the Last Supper in a manner similar to today’s Passover Seder service, does that mean that we also should do the same thing today? Our feeling is that, no, we should not do that. Because the Last Supper was not the Pesach and Yeshua did not add anything to His Father’s Torah. Yahweh commands us to keep His Torah in places like Deuteronomy chapter four, verse two, and Deuteronomy chapter twelve, verse thirty-two. And He specifically commands us not to add anything and not to take anything away from His Torah. Yahweh commanded the Pesach. He never commanded a night of the Last Supper. He never commanded, “A night to be much observed”. He never commanded ritual foot-washing, breaking bread, taking communion once a year, or anything of the sort. And Yeshua did not institute any new commandments. He just would not have done that.
Now, let us answer the other question that we posed at the start of the study. That is, should we perhaps keep the Pesach today in the manner of Exodus twelve, feasting in haste with our shoes on our feet, our belt on our waist, and our staff in our hand, as if we are ready to leave Egypt at a moment’s notice? Is that how we are supposed to eat the Pesach today? Our feeling is, yes, that is absolutely how we are supposed to keep the Pesach today. And I want you to hear me on this, especially now. Even if you are a believer in Yeshua and you are living in the land of Israel today. What we need to remember is that Yeshua did not tell us to have a sit-down party. This is not all about us. Yeshua rather gives us the Great Commission.
Basically, the mission He gave us is to go into the world and immerse disciples in His name. In the first century, He gave His disciples the mission to go back out into the world and immerse disciples in all nations in His name and to teach them to do everything that He said to do. In context, we know that is to establish a single kingdom, single ministry, and single body of Messiah worldwide for Him. That is what He wants us to do and travel is involved in that. Take a look in Mattityahu chapter twenty-four, starting in verse fifteen.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 24:15-16
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘Abomination of Desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the set-apart place” (whoever reads, let him understand),
16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…”
I say this with respect toward our Jewish brothers and sisters who are living in the land of Israel. We need to understand that our mission right now is not to be in the land. Specifically, per se, our mission is to go into all nations to build a global unified ministry for Yeshua. And yes, the land of Israel is one of those nations where we need to go into and make disciples that do everything that He says to do. But one of the things He says for us to do is that we are going to need to flee the Zionist land of Israel. And I say this with respect to our Jewish brothers and sisters. We have other studies on the website if you are interested. But the term Zionism basically refers to those who believe that you can bring Israel back to the land without the Messiah. The concept of Zionism is that the people can serve as the Messiah, an anti-Yeshua concept.
So, if you are a believer in Yeshua and you are dwelling in the land, you might want to pray about which takes priority. Dwelling in the land or obeying your Messiah and King. And that is all I am going to say and I hope to say that with love and respect. But no matter where we are living, our mission is the Great Commission now. Whether we are a Jew living in the land of Israel, or an Ephraimite in the dispersion, or maybe we do not know what we are. We are not supposed to be rehearsing the Pesach right now by sitting down and resting under a Babylonian, Egyptian, or Zionist Democratic government. Because as we show in the study Revelation and the End Times, Babylon will fall. You could also say that Egypt will fall. And we know for a fact that Zionism will fail because again, Zionism has the concept that the people can serve as the Messiah. And that is an anti-Yeshua concept. So, wherever we are living and whatever we are doing right now, we need to be rehearsing leaving Egypt (leaving the world) in the second exodus.
That means we still need to rehearse fleeing. If we are outside the land of Israel then we need to rehearse going back to the land of Israel. If we are inside the land of Israel then we need to rehearse fleeing the land of Israel when the Abomination that Makes Desolate is set up and then coming back to the land of Israel in the second exodus. That is what we are supposed to be doing. If you would like to know more about the details of the end-times, I recommend for you to study Revelation and the End Times. Or you can also check out the Revelation Simplified video series on our YouTube channel. But whoever we are, whatever we are doing, we are supposed to be rehearsing leaving Egypt (the world system). And we are going to talk about this more in the next section.
So, no matter who we are and no matter where we are living, yes, we have reasons to rehearse fleeing Egypt.
Now, even if we need to flee the land of Israel when the Abomination that Makes Desolate is set up, each of us who believe on Yeshua has the goal of going back home to the land of Israel in the second exodus, which comes after Armageddon. You can read about that in the study on Revelation and the End Times. When we come home after the second exodus, that is when we are going to build Ezekiel’s temple, sometimes called the Millennial temple. And that is when we are going to establish His true millennial government here on this earth. And at that time He will be our head in the heavens and we will be His body serving as His hands and His feet, doing the things that He says to do as communicated by His Spirit.
So, our conclusion is, yes. We should very much treat the Pesach as a dress rehearsal for fleeing during the second exodus. And we are going to talk about this in the next chapter. However, we will also see in the next chapter, we should not sacrifice a lamb today as it was in the days of Exodus twelve when there was no priesthood in Israel.