Heading NE from Jericho to Jerusalem
1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.
3 “‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the LORD.
The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread
4 “‘These are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: 5 The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. 6 On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD’s Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. 7 On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. 8 For seven days present a food offering to the LORD. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.’” Leviticus 23: 1-8
I am busy compiling all the results from all of you who have responded to the survey of 7 days. For the next seven days, I am going to be examining some of the activities that scholars presume happened to Jesus on the last seven days of His earthly ministry before the cross.
I ask for your grace in this walk and pray also for each of us to have what one of my seminary professors call a "sanctified imagination". In other words, let's try to picture the scene and enter in so that we may better understand what Jesus did for ALL OF US.
Some events scholars agree happened on specific days, while others of course disagree. None of us know for sure. The scholars whose research I am using are Dr. Paul Kaufman of Ashland Theological Seminary and Rev Wayne Carver who is very involved in the Christian Jew Association of America. Both of these gentlemen have researched the Gospel accounts and other historical records of the time (primarily those of Flavious Josephus, a roman contemporary writer who recorded much that correlates with scriptures and adds additional cultural insights of these times.) In our journey, we are going get back to understanding that Jesus was an observant and obedient Jew and also begin to understand how indeed Jesus FULFILLS all of the requirements of Messiah as set for by God in the Old Testament.
First off - have you ever wondered why Easter is sometimes in mid March and sometimes in late April, (as it is this year)? It is because it follows the timing of Pesach or Passover as we call it on the Jewish Calendar.
The Jewish calendar is based upon the a 24 four hour day just like we are now, but the months are based upon the moon's revolving around the earth. Think about it from an ancient standpoint, you could tell when the moon was full or when the moon was slim. We have to depend on scientists and depend on a calendar. The problem with this system is instead of leap days, they have leap months. Passover happens in the month of Nisan (Nissan). Today you see this OT scripture that give us guidance for the Passover feast on the day of the month.
You might ask why are you starting at 7 days - well according to the Jewish tradition of when the Passover fell in the Jewish month - what we call Good Friday, was more than likely a Wednesday and Jesus indeed was in the earth for a full 3 days or 72 hours before raising on in between sundown on Sabbath (Saturday) and dawn of the next day, when the women made the discovery. (this is based upon looking back at the days of the Jewish calendar to the correlating Roman year) but of course this detail is known only by God.
Have I shocked you with all this information? It is one of many occasions of where church tradition has kinda superseded what might have actually been. BUT WHETHER JESUS was nailed to the cross on a Wednesday or a Friday the point is he took on our sins and we WE REMEMBER!
I didn't want this to be so long, so lets go back to the scripture.
Jesus and the disciples where tying up loose ends where they where (we suppose it was Jericho) more on that tomorrow and preparing to make the dusty rugged trip to Jerusalem for the Passover observance. Jesus knew that the climax of his earthly mission was about to happen. The disciples, not so much!
This sacred assembly that Moses called for was to happen at the Temple in Jerusalem. Thousands of other pilgrims were also packing for this trip of their Faith and their tradition.
I ask as you pray today you imagine Jesus and the disciples preparing for this journey, that you ask for strength for the journey you are on and that we all would see God as we walk these last difficult days to the resurrection.
As we pray today for our lives and for_________________. We praise God for what he endured for us and ask to consider the humanness of knowing there were only 7 days of this part of life. Jesus knew heaven of course and He came to bring the Kingdom to earth so we could KNOW, TRUST and HAVE CERTAINLY about Heaven as well.
Have a great day - Thanks for traveling along