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For those of you who have been trying to figure out how Yeshua (Jesus) died on a Friday and rose on a Sunday and was 3 days in the tomb . . . . he wasn’t. This was one of the things that always confused me until I learned about the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Sabbaths contained within it. And for those who don’t realize why that would matter, according to Yeshua in Matthew 12:40
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
To start with, you have to remember that the Hebrew calendar is fixed, but it is not fixed with the Gregorian calendar so it seems to move around on our modern calendar.
The months of the Hebrew calendar begin with the sighting of the new moon – though in modern times this has been predicted and pre-sanctified, I have found that, with very rare exception, it is spot on for when the new moon is sighted from my backyard.
Passover is used to refer to a bunch of things, but it’s really one meal/day. There is an 8 day Feast of Unleavened Bread. There is a Day of Preparation (the day the lambs were slaughtered FOR the Passover). Then there is Passover – the meal eaten by the Israelites. It all takes place in the month of Nissan.
On the 14th of Nissan was the Day of Preparation. Since days on the Hebrew calendar go from sundown to sundown, this is the evening that Jesus ate dinner with his disciples and then went into the Garden and then was crucified *at the same time that everything was happening with the Passover Lambs*. On the 15th of Nissan is the eating of the Passover meal – after the Lamb has been sacrificed. Everyone was rushing to get Jesus into the ground before sundown so that they would be ritually clean to eat the Passover meal. In the week of Yeshua’s crucifixion, he had his meal with his disciples on Tuesday night, meaning that Tuesday to Wednesday was the 14th of Nissan. He was crucified on the same day as the lambs were sacrificed, then the meal was eaten by the rest of Israel on Wednesday night as Yeshua spent his first night in the tomb.
Wednesday night/Thursday day = 1 day and night
Thursday night/Friday day = 2 days and nights
Friday night / Saturday day = 3 days and nights
After sundown on Saturday Yeshua was raised
Saturday sundown to Sunday sundown is First Fruits
Now it gets a little tricky at this point . . . Firstfruits is supposed to be dated this way,
From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks.. (Lev 23:10)
Modern Judaism says that this is to be done on the 2nd day of Passover. But the command does not specify this. Rather, this command comes after the section on the specifics of honoring Passover, but it begins with this
Lev 23: 9 The LORD said to Moses, 10 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. 11 He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. 12 On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the LORD a lamb a year old without defect, 13 together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah the finest flour mixed with olive oil—a food offering presented to the LORD, a pleasing aroma—and its drink offering of a quarter of a hinof wine. 14 You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live (NIV from blb.org)
And this begins the counting of the Omer. Since Shavuot (Pentecost) is on Sunday, counting 49 days (7 weeks) after First Fruits only aligns if it is on Sunday. Also, as a Messianic Believer, I believe that Yeshua came to properly interpret Torah and according to Matthew 28:1
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
We know this is connected to First Fruits because Paul declares in 1 Cor 15:20
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruitsof those who have fallen asleep.
So whether Passover is on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, First Fruits is the following Sunday.
*This week* Sunday evening to Monday was the day of Preparation, and Monday evening to Tuesday was the Passover, so tomorrow, Sunday, will be First Fruits.
And as the first sheaves from the barley harvest were raised be the priest as a wave offering before the Lord, Yeshua has truly been lifted up! Happy Resurrection Day! Happy First Fruits!
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