Everlasting Kingdom: Unraveling the Bibleís Secrets

The New Testament Passover

Part 2, Sequel to “When Did Ancient Israel Celebrate the Passover?”

Article Preview: There has long been confusion over the night of Yeshuaís (Jesusí) bread, wine and foot washing ceremony. Was Yeshua celebrating the ancient Israelite Passover a day early, on the right day, or not at all? This treatise resolves many Scriptural issues. The Scriptures cannot be broken. Here is some missing harmony. But with this explained, fascinating new implications come to lightówhich will hopefully affect you the next time you take the symbols of His body and blood. (Back to Part 1?)

Next letís consider another aspect of the “Body” of Christ. Beginning in John 6 we read:

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John 6:28-51 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. 30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? 31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Fatherís will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Christ made it plain that He, “Christ”, the person speaking to the group, was the “Bread of Life”. But, He further clarified Himself by adding, in verse 51, that He was the “living bread” and that the bread “is my flesh”. So, now we can understand another aspect of the “Body of Christ”. His body (flesh) is also the “Bread of Life”.

In light of this, letís consider yet another well-known scripture that might add a little more substance to this subject:

Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.

Does this add a new dimension toward how we are to approach the “Body of Christ"? This is the “first” personal request for the “self” that Christ listed in this “template” for prayer. This references a request to God for physical sustenance. However, could this also be a reference to our daily need for “spiritual” bread? (This in NO way implies that we should partake of the physical symbols of the “Passover” daily, but arenít we to partake of them “spiritually” on a daily basis?)

Letís add one final scripture for consideration:

1 Corinthians 10:15-17 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

This scripture is interesting because it adds the dimension of the “present” day. Paul pointed out that we are all to be partakers of that “one bread” at Passover, which can be none other than the “Body of Christ”, but he preceded that comment with the stunningly sobering statement that “we”, the true members of the Church of God, are that same Bread! How is that possible? It is possible only through spirit because the same spirit that literally dwelt in Christ dwells in those who have surrendered their lives to Christ and are submitting to God and His Laws and Commandments. Thus, even Christ, a spiritual entity, dwells in those who believe on Him and believe what He said.

Perhaps we should consider the following scriptures from a somewhat different perspective than previously. Do not all of these scriptures state that it is our “body” which is a temple?

1 Corinthians 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. [Greek: each of you, or, all of you]

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Ephestians 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord....

In fact, our “body” has become a temple, housing both Christ and the Father, has it not? The “temple” of God is our “body”, and as such, because it “houses” God, it is holy. Additionally, we have Christ actually “dwelling” in us, in a very real way, though somewhat beyond our full comprehension. In this light consider this sampling of scriptures. There are many others beyond these, but these will hopefully provide sufficient food for thought.

2 Corinthians 1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God....

2 Corinthians 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin....

Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

Romans 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Ephestians 4:12 For the perfecting of the [saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ....

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his bodyís sake, which is the church....

So, just what does this mean to us with regard to the “Passover"? Of all of the “Passover” accounts, Paul would appear to explain it best in I Corinthians 11. In verse 27 it states:

1 Corinthians 11:27-29 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lordís body.

Paul told the Corinthians that anyone who fails to properly “discern” the Lordís “body” takes the “Passover” in vain, condemning himself in so doing. What do these statements mean? None of us would deliberately do so, would we? The word “discern” in verse 29 means: “to separate, make a distinction, discriminate, to prefer”. How are we “to separate”, or to “make a distinction”, or “discriminate”, or “to prefer” the “Body and Blood of Christ” at the New Covenant Passover? Did you notice, in Corinthians, that Paul associated both the “eating” of the “flesh” and the “drinking” of the “blood” with bringing on “damnation” if taken in an unworthy manner? So the “blood” is an inseparable part of the ceremony of “discerning the Lordís body”, as Paul referred to it here. This is a package! One cannot eat the bread unworthily and drink the wine worthily, or the other way around, it is either all or nothing. You either “discern” both of them right, or both wrong, there is no middle ground.

This subject is often confused with being “worthy” to take the “Passover”. Who is “worthy” to take of the “Body” and “Blood” of Jesus Christ? I heard a “Church of God” minister state in a sermon that, “... of course, no one is really “worthy”, but....” This is not an uncommon thought in the Churches of God, but is it true? Not only is it not true, it is Satanic! That is right out of the Catholic “universal” Church. What makes someone “worthy” to receive the body and blood of our Savior and Lord? It is not simply the fact that we have Christ dwelling in us-that we have “Holy Spirit” dwelling in our “body” and melding with our “mind"? Anyone who has God dwelling in them is not only “worthy” to take the “Passover”, but had better take the “Passover"!

So then, with that clarified, letís look at what the Corinthians were doing that caused them to be taking the “Passover” in an unworthy manner.

1 Corinthians 11:17-34 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse . 18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. 20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lordís supper. 21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. 23 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: 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 [or COVENANT] in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lordís death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lordís body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. 33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. 34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

Notwithstanding all of the varying “explanations” that you might have encountered over the years, please consider, one more still. It would appear that the Corinthians were trying to duplicate exactly what took place on the “night He was betrayed”. Christ did indeed “eat” a last supper, and during that meal, which we hope we have shown was not the Old Covenant Passover meal, Christ instituted a number of “new” things. Each new part has a specific purpose and all were to be kept as a memorial in “remembrance” of the “death” of Christ (verse 26).

In simple terms, the “bread” aspect of the Passover of Christ represents the ultimate “sacrifice”, that of Him voluntarily laying down (or “giving” as in, “which is given for you”) His life as “payment” for every sin that we have “repented” of, both physical and spiritual. “With His stripes we are healed”, or because Christís body was “broken” or beaten, the Father has accepted His “broken”, or beaten body as payment in full for the penalty of physical sin, which is sickness and premature physical death. By the sacrificial death of His fleshly body, the payment for the spiritual penalty of “eternal death”, for breaking the spiritual law, is now covered for those who rightfully claim it from God. This has everything to do with Justification as we, I would imagine, are all familiar with. But consider “eternal life"; Christ said that if you eat His flesh, His “bread”, you will live forever.

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

How is eating the “body” or flesh of Jesus Christ going to enable us to “live for ever”? How does this relate to Romans ?

Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

The Passover bread is in remembrance of Christís “death”, not his life, as Paul stated. So, how do we “reconcile” this?

First, letís take a brief look into the “blood” of Christ, and then we will be in a position to put the pieces together.

The Blood:

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

The Passover “wine” represents Christís blood. What does the “blood” represent, or better phrased, what “function” did the shedding of His blood perform? It was “shed” for the forgiveness of sins, but just what is it about the “shedding” of His blood that provides forgiveness of our sins? The answer is found in verse 28 above. The blood that was shed performed the function of “sealing” or “ratifying” the “New Covenant”, which allows for the full and complete forgiveness of any sin, truly repented of, without exception.

Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

But the “blood” of the very “Son of God” is priceless enough “blood” to pay the price “once” and for “all”. Read the entire book of Hebrews. Then go back through it a notice the “blood” references. Below are those “blood” verses.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil....

Hebrews 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people....

Hebrews 9:12-14 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh.... 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hebrews 9:18-22 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people.... 20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Hebrews 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others....

Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus....

Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Hebrews 11:28 Through faith he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

Hebrews 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

Hebrews 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Hebrews 13:11-12 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant....

The New Covenant has been ratified. The door to eternal life has been opened. The process has begun in earnest to create “Sons of God”. These passages reveal the inseparability of the Passover “bread and wine” representing the “Body and Blood”.

How could anyone claim the “payment” while rejecting the forgiveness, or vice versa? The “sacrifice” was complete and both aspects were an integral part of it. The body cannot live without the blood, and of what value is blood without a body?

The relationship of the “living bread” of the flesh of Christ has more to do with the living Spirit of the living Christ. It is the living bread that we are to partake of daily, not the sacrificed flesh of our Savior. However, it is the “flesh” and “blood” of our sacrificed Christ that made the living bread available. This is why we need to be in “daily” contact with our Father and our Savior, asking God for “our” daily bread of the living Christ. It is then our responsibility to conduct ourselves with the greatest of care and concern for God, Jesus Christ, and all that they teach us and give us. Take nothing for granted, but give thanks for everything, all the while taking on more of the very nature of God in us. Every word that we speak and every act that we do, ought to be measured against the awesome, incredible, and total sacrifice of both God the Father, and Jesus Christ. If we do any less, then we have behaved as the Corinthians did, who incurred Paulís (thus Godís) rebuke.

The Corinthians did not “discern” the Lordís body (which includes the body and the blood); they had not carefully considered the astounding significance of the “sacrifice” of Christ. They were not in deep awe and appreciation for the grace that was extended to them, providing the opportunity to receive eternal life. They allowed themselves to be distracted from the real purpose of their meeting by becoming more involved with the meal than the symbols that came out of the meal. They failed to appreciate that the symbols, that they were consuming, represented the “One” whose life and death created the opportunity for them to have an eternal future. Therefore, Paul corrected them; and also clarified what is required of us today. The “meal” just is not a required part of the Passover ceremony. On the surface, there is no reason to separate the meal from the gathering. However, in practice, it appears to be the only way to insure that we humans, as weak and pitiful creatures, could avoid condemnation. Disposing of those parts of the “last supper” for which there are no redeemable features or necessities resolved the problem for the Corinthians, and prevents a problem for us today. Christ simply used that last meal as a basis from which to “establish” the “memorial” ceremony of the “New Covenant”. The focus for us is the New Covenant, not the meal.

Christ would have desired to have a last meal with His disciples for a number of reasons: one being that was His final opportunity to give them His parting instructions before His death. Yes, He could have given final instructions to the disciples after He was resurrected, but would that have made the impact that was necessary to influence them for the rest of their lives and in their final minutes, their martyred deaths? In all likelihood the effect would not have been as instrumental. Yet, the most important reason for the meal was the fact that He needed it in order to institute the memorial ceremony itself.

Although there is no genuine need to consume a full meal when we keep the New Covenant Passover today, we might contemplate what and why we consume the “symbols” that we do. Today, we are served wine in tiny “thimbles” along with “Lilliputian” sized morsels of hard unleavened bread, snapped off like pretzels. Quite a number of brethren have expressed to me the same thought or maybe even “complaint”, being that if the symbols are so wonderful and important, then why is it that the quantity of wine “offered” to us is barely enough to swallow? Also, concerning the “bread”, why does the minister make such a ritual out of “snapping” each piece of bread? Since not one bone of Christís body was to be broken, why then does it seem that the “ministry” appears to almost relish the opportunity to snap and crack the bread, even moving the microphone closer so that it will pick up the snapping sounds? If it was the “beating” that Christ took that is being commemorated, “by His stripes are you healed”, then why should the tearing and shredding of human flesh by “stripes”, from a shard laden whip, sound like the “snapping” or the breaking of bones? Furthermore, if this “bread” (body) is so important, then why canít we take several pieces of the “broken” (snapped) bread? The same comment applies for the wine, why drink so little? There is little to no difference between this “aspect” of our Passover ceremony and the Lutheran churchís “communion” I grew up with. Virtually all of Christendom utilizes a form of this practice in a manner very much resembling the Catholic Mass. The “hardware": (trays, “thimbles” and white cloths) is identical as well.

I realize that this is “merely” symbolic, so you may ask what difference could it possibly make. Conversely, because it is the most important “symbolism” possible, what might our “symbolism” reveal to God and Jesus Christ by our being so “chintzy”? Christ said that if we eat His flesh, which is the “living bread”, we would live forever. Presumably it does not take much “bread” to sustain us through the rest of the year in order to live forever. By the way, what was it that the book of Hebrews recorded concerning the “blood”? Does it occur to you that this may be an area in which we have been way “too” Protestant like? We are now in a position to change “the traditions of men” if we want to. Maybe we should, what do you think? We have. Send us your sincere thoughts on this, along with any ideas that you may have about this. We would appreciate hearing from you on this.

What is the Connection Between the Old Covenant Passover Symbols and the New Covenant Passover Symbols?

The WCG taught that the “bread and wine” that were served, “replaced” the previous symbols or that Christ “changed” the symbols from the “passover” lamb and unleavened bread of ancient Israel. Let there be no misunderstanding concerning the fact that the WCG taught this. The proof of this took place the same night, every year, after the Passover service. Any remaining unused wine was poured down the drain that very night before sunrise. Any remaining “morsels” of unleavened bread were taken home by someone with facilities to “burn” it before morning.

[As an aside, they were not to eat it, but had to only burn it up completely. How does that “tradition” square with Ex. 12:10, which specifies that nothing of it remain until morning? This verse more than implies that it “should” all be eaten by the Israelites, but that if there was “too much” lamb for everybody to eat, only then would they go ahead and be sure to burn anything “uneaten”. If it was the “same” Passover, but with different symbols, then what would be wrong with eating the “extra” unleavened bread after our service was over, so that it would not have to be “burned”?]

Where do you suppose that this “tradition”, or practice, of burning the bread and pouring the wine down the drain, came from?

Exodus 12:8-10 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 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.

Yes, it came from the Old Covenant Passover. Now, that brings up a question. Since we now know for certain that the ceremony that Christ “instituted” occurred a day before, or more specifically, the night before the night that the Destroyer “passed over” ancient Israel and the Old Covenant Passover was eaten, is there any reason at all to burn and dispose of the New Covenant Passover symbols before sunrise today? The only possible reason would be if we were still “keeping” the Old Covenant Passover, right? Are we? No, we are not “celebrating” the Old Covenant Passover today. The Old Covenant “Passover” was the “slain” lamb! Christ fulfilled that once and for all. We do not “slay” any lambs, nor splash any blood anywhere, today. There is no need to. So, what is the “connection”? Letís see.

In the Old Covenant Passover there were three general symbols; the “blood” that was put on the doorway; the “body” of the slain lamb, which was roasted and eaten; and the “unleavened bread” that was eaten the same night as the lamb. There are some who believe that there was no “unleavened bread” eaten with the lamb because they believe that the instruction was to prepare and roast an “unleavened” lamb. I will allow you to prove whether this is so, or not, on your own, should you be so inclined. But, if you are interested, then you might start by looking up the word for “unleavened” and see if it refers to a form of bread or not. The number is in Strongís and is “matstsah”. It appears in the Bible 53 times and is translated into, “unleavened bread” 33 times, “unleavened” 14 times, “cakes” 5 times, and “without leaven” once.

Now, what happened to these Old Covenant symbols that were supposedly “changed” or “replaced”? “Changing”, or “replacing”, requires some sort of a one to one “exchange”, does it not? For example, if the “lamb”, which was supposedly a “type” of the “body” of Christ, became the “unleavened bread” of todayís service, then what happened to the “unleavened bread” of the Old Covenant service? Do you see the problem? This may be the very reasoning that led a number of Godís people to believe that there was no “unleavened bread” eaten with the lamb. Unfortunately, they may have just “exchanged” one erroneous understanding for another. So continuing, if the lamb has now become todayís unleavened bread, then what did happen to the unleavened bread of the Old Covenant? Well, under this kind of thinking, since we used to think that we thought we might have actually understood what we thought we meant, I have no idea! What possible sense does it make to go from eating “unleavened bread” WITH the “lamb”, to eating “unleavened bread” instead of the lamb? All we seem to have accomplished, in retrospect, was to “reduce” the number of symbols. Then we reasoned that symbolism of the “unleavened bread” “changed” as well! What did the “unleavened bread” represent in the Old Covenant Passover? Do you recall?

Exodus 12:39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.

The “unleavened bread” was unleavened because the Israelites had insufficient time to allow the normally used leavened bread to rise, so, would it be fair to say that it represented their being “thrust out” of Egypt in “haste”? Yes, per Ex. 12:33.

The problem then becomes “how”, or better yet “why” did this “unleavened bread” go from representing “haste”, to representing the “body” of Christ today? I hope that the point has been made, if not please let me know and I will elaborate further, the simple answer to “how” is that it did NOT go from representing “haste” to representing the “body”!

In the Old Covenant Passover the “unleavened bread” represented “haste” and it still does. In the “New Covenant Passover” the “bread” represents the broken and beaten Body of Christ and it still does. We are dealing with two distinctly different “covenants”, instituted at two different times, for two different but similar purposes. Therefore, we cannot directly equate symbols from the Old Covenant Passover to the New Covenant Passover.

While we are on the subject of the Passover “bread”, here is another point that I would really appreciate hearing (or reading) your thoughts on. We know that Christ instituted the “New Covenant ceremony” at the beginning of the 14th day of the month, which is a day before the “First” Day of Unleavened Bread, so why should we use “unleavened” bread for the “New Covenant ceremony”? Is there any Biblical evidence that on the “same night in which He was betrayed” Christ used “unleavened” bread with His last meal? If it is “only” necessary to have and eat “unleavened” bread during the 15th through the 21st, then why would, or should “unleavened” bread have been consumed before the 15th? Biblically, why would God need to issue instructions to do the “normal”, such as to tell us when to eat regular “leavened” bread? Doesnít God typically issue orders, or instructions, to us for “actions” or “behaviors”, which are outside of whatever is “normal”, such as “when” to eat “unleavened” bread? The rest of the time we need no special instruction to perform our “normal” behavior. We are told to “rest” on the 7th day, not on the 6th or 8th day. We are told to “fast” on the 10th day, not the day before or the day afterward. We are told to eat “unleavened bread” from the 15th (through the 21st), not from the 13th or 14th, and so on. We normally eat “leavened” bread from the 22nd day of the first month through the 14th day of the first month of the next year, right? Along this line, I am somewhat familiar with the several thoughts on what was served on the 14th in Judah at the time of Christ. Some theorize that it was a “fast” day of sorts. Some say that Christ was keeping a “love” feast (Chagigah), which may also be what led the Corinthians into their trouble with Paul (and God), and that Christ, in Luke 22:15, was saying “I have earnestly desired to eat this [as] a Passover with you before I suffer.” The Companion Bible agrees with the latter scenario. Others say that the “de-leavening” was performed beginning at 10 A.M. on the 14th. Even if that were the case, since the night of the 14th is a full 12 hours or more before the “10 A.M. time conjectured by some for the Jews to de-leaven, there is still no reason to abstain from using “leavened” bread during the “meal”. With NO Biblical Old Covenant, or New Covenant instruction to the contrary, what other conclusion can we legitimately claim? By the way, it only took about an hour (or less) to de-leaven in those days. Regardless of the somewhat conflicting scenarios we are left with one single unswerving fact, the symbols were instituted sometime during the beginning of the 14th, a day with no “special” instructions to abstain from the “norm”.

So, WHY do we use “unleavened” bread on the Passover? The only rational comes from the “mixing” of the “covenants” as had been taught by both the Catholic and Protestant world. Exclude the Old Covenant instructions concerning the lamb, bread, bitter herbs, and blood, and there is not a single scripture in the Bible to support taking “unleavened bread” during the New Covenant Passover. Go ahead; look for yourself, please. I have asked others to look, some with well over three decades of service to God and His people, and they have told me that they cannot find so much as one scripture to justify its use. We canít find one. Can you?

Letís be sure to ask the right question on this, too. The question is, “what kind of bread did Christ use on the 14th?” The question is not, “what kind of bread do we want to use?” One point on this concerns the New Covenant Passover in Gentile lands. Would they have had any reason at all to “de-leaven” before the 15th? They would not have had any of the Jewish Pharisaical “traditions” or ceremonies to unlearn. There is a complete absence in the New Testament scriptures concerning any possible ramifications for them, as opposed to the Jews. There is no supplemental, “by the way, you GentilesÖ” in Paulís writings for the Gentile convert.

What about ourselves? I remember my wife preparing “homemade” unleavened bread on the 12th or 13th day of the month for use during our Passover service. This was two or more days before the “First” Day of Unleavened Bread. She had to be extremely careful to have all of the leaven removed from sight or access during the preparation and baking of the “unleavened” bread for our Passover service. Our home was not usually completely de-leavened until the daytime portion of the 14th, the day after the service. It did not seem all that illogical to us at the time; we didnít really question it until just a couple of years ago. It was never a question until I came to see the glaring truth about the 14th and 15th as you have been reading in these two articles. What sense does it make to “make” unleavened bread before the house is unleavened? The answer is little to none!

So I ask you, as a brother, especially if you think I have gone off the deep end, to please explain to me from the Bible, why we should have unleavened bread for the “New Covenant Passover”.

If the only thing you can find to counter this is “symbolism” then please do a Bible study into the use of the word “bread” in the New Testament. Also, review those “bread” scriptures from earlier in this article that refer to the “body” of Christ. They were not spoken during the Days of Unleavened Bread. Actually, the “living” bread reference was around the “Last Great Day”, wasnít it? What makes physical bread alive? Isnít it the yeast? Also, “leaven” is only “bad” when it represents some sort of “sin”, right? What about the “leavened” loaves for Pentecost? Does this mean that God somehow accepts sin on Pentecost, but hates it the rest of the time? Perhaps the “leaven” in the Pentecost loaves does not represent sin; perhaps it represents those who have been eating the “living” bread of the body and flesh of Jesus Christ? Can we agree that whatever it represents, that this particular bread cannot represent sin and that it cannot be bad? So leaven does not have to represent sin all the time, does it!

Can we use I Corinthians to support using unleavened bread for Passover?

I Corinthians 11:7-8 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.

Please read the context here. Paul was telling the church at Corinth to get their “behavior” and attitude right and he was using an analogy to the Days of Unleavened Bread to illustrate the point. This was a point raised within the Days of Unleavened Bread, a time when there should not have been any leavening around anyway.

Letís not overlook one more point, of paramount importance, concerning the leavened versus unleavened bread issue. “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Cor.5:7) Christ IS the Passover! The undeniable common factor between the two Passovers is the significance of a “sacrifice”. Just as the Passover (remember that the term “passover” is synonymous with the lamb) was slain toward the end of the 14th, so in like manner Christ died. But, in what state did He die? Was He pure and white and perfectly “sinless” as some portray Him today, or, did He take on so many of humanities sins that the Father had to turn His back to Him? Wasnít Christ a “sin” sacrifice, offered to atone for our sins? As He hung there dying, He had never committed a single sin Himself, but He died because of our sins. Our sins literally killed Him. He willingly paid for the penalty of our sins by His death, so that we could, as He said, “have eternal life”. So, even if one were to insist that leaven always represents sin, one must also conclude that there is no “symbolism” in the entire Bible prohibiting the use of “leavened” bread in the New Covenant Passover service!

Epilogue

This concludes the “sequel”. Is there more to this than what has been covered thus far? Of course there is. Perhaps there will be addenda in the future, perhaps due to your letter to me. Please write or e-mail your thoughts. You are my brother, as I am yours. Letís help each other get ready for that great day when we will “drink of the fruit of the vineÖwith you in My Fathers Kingdom.” We are to serve in this life. Serving others is how we serve Christ, and that is how Christ continues to be the servant that He said He would be-through us.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

If we are to be successful servants, even sons, then we would anticipate hearing those special words: “acceptable unto God”, that we hope to hear from our Father. We will then know that we “served” our way into the Kingdom, as will Christ and our Father. If we do serve, then donít be surprised if you hear more than you might have anticipated. Christ and the Father will have anticipated that day for quite some time. They will be at least as joyful about the occasion as any of us. So, donít be surprised if you should hear our Father say, “Well done, you good and faithful servant, Iíve been expecting you!”

The End
Richard Fix
January 2002
Edited by
Lonnie Martin

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