The Examination of the Lamb

First Corinthians 5: 6-7

Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know the saying, “It takes only a little hametz (leavened dough, either cooked or not) to leaven the whole batch of dough?” Get rid of the old hametz, so that you can be a new batch of dough, because in reality you are unleavened. For our Pesach Lamb, the Messiah, has been sacrificed (CJB).

At the feast of the Passover, the man of the house was commanded to examine a lamb for the Passover meal (Exodus 12:3-6). For five days, from the tenth of Nissan to the fourteenth he was to examine the lamb to make sure it was without defect or blemish and worthy to be the Pesach sacrifice. Jesus entered Jerusalem on Sunday, the tenth of Nissan and was examined by the Jews for five days. As far as the Jewish religious leaders were concerned, they had two goals. They would question Yeshua in front of the multitude to turn the people against Him, and they looked for a specific way to charge Him with a crime so they could put Him to death by Roman law. But it was not successful. After those five days of examination by the Pharisees, by the Sadducees, by the Torah-teachers and by the Herodians, Jesus answered all their objections and questions; therefore, He was found to be without defect or blemish. Christ ate the Seder meal on the night of the Passover, the same night that all the Jewish people ate it. But because the Son of God qualified as the Pesach Lamb, He was slaughtered on the day of the Passover, the fifteenth of Nissan.1271

The prophet Isaiah pointed to the fact that the Messiah was to be the final sacrifice for sin (see my commentary on Isaiah Py – He Was Oppressed and Afflicted). The promise was that someday the sacrificial system would end, but more to the point, the Passover sacrifice would end. The reason it would end was because the Mashiach ben David would become the final Pesach sacrifice.1272

The Jewish way of calculating time is different than the way Gentiles calculate time. In Judaism, the night precedes the day. And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day (Genesis 1:5b). As a result, we must conclude that Jesus ate the Passover meal with His apostles, was crucified and buried all on the same day, Friday, the fifteenth of Nisan.

Shabbat on the ninth of Nisan: After arriving from Jericho, Jesus spent the Sabbath in Bethany at the home of Miryam, Martha and Lazarus (John 12:1). It was a day of rest, worship, and preparation for what was to be the most important week in His human life.

Sunday the tenth of Nisan: On the tenth day of the month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.This day marked His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (Mark 11:1-11), fulfilling the ancient prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. It was the first day of examination by the nation of Isra’el to see if He was without defect or blemish. When the daily burnt offering was presented by the Levites in the Temple in Jerusalem, at the same time Israelites of all the other tribes would gather in the four hundred or so synagogues throughout the Land in order to read portions of the creation account. The readings were divided up over the six working days. It is remarkable to see how the events of the creation week line up with those of the Holy Week. Sunday’s reading was from Genesis 1:1-8.

Monday the eleventh of Nisan: The second cleansing of the Temple, the cursing of the fig tree and Yeshua predicted His death (Mark 11:12-18). It was the second day of examination by the nation of Isra’el to see if He was without defect or blemish. The synagogue reading for Monday was from Genesis 1:6-13.

Tuesday the twelfth of Nisan: and the next morning the talmidim saw the fig tree that had withered after being cursed the day before. It was the third and main day of examination by the nation of Isra’el and her apostate religious leaders to see if the Son of Righteousness was without defect or blemish (Mark 12:1-44).The synagogue reading for Tuesday was from Genesis 1:9-19.

Wednesday the thirteenth of Nisan: On the fourth day of examination the Pharisees had finished their examination of Jesus and from that day on no one dared to ask Him any more questions. Christ pronounced seven woes on the Torah-teachers and Pharisees so they schemed to arrest and kill Him.Later that day Yeshua commented on the widow’s offering before He and His twelve apostles left Zion and returned to Bethany. As they paused on the Mount of Olives and viewed the Temple, He answered three questions and taught them about the necessity of being ready for His return.

Thursday the fourteenth of Nisan: After sundown, the night preceding the day, Messiah was invited to the home of Simon, the leper,for dinner. There, Mary, the sister of Lazarus, anointed Him with expensive perfume for burial. It was then that Christ rebuked Judas for wanting to sell the expensive perfume made of pure nard so the money could be given to the poor. Then Judas left Bethany, walked to the palace of Caiaphas the high priest in Jerusalem and agreed to betray the Messiah. During the day preparations were made for the Seder. After five days of examination Jesus qualified as the Pesach Lamb. Therefore, the Passover began at twilight (Leviticus 23:5), at the end of the fourteenth of Nisan, and continued on through the fifteenth of Nisan.

As the sun went down, Thursday turned to Friday the fifteenth of Nisan and the Passover Seder was celebrated in the Upper Room. Late that evening, all during the night, and early into the day, the history of mankind changed forever: Jesus agonized at Gethsemane (Mark 14:27-42), and was arrested and tried (Mark 14:43 to 15:15). By 9:00 am Yeshua was crucified, at 3:00 pm He had died on the cross for the sins of the world and was placed in Joseph’s tomb before sundown (Mark 15:16-47) (Day 1 in the tomb). The synagogue reading for Friday was from Genesis 1:24-31.

Shabbat on the sixteenth of Nisan: in the tomb throughout that day, or one full day (Day 2 in the tomb).

Sunday the seventeenth of Nisan: the Resurrection, a partial day (Mark 16:1-20) (Day 3 in the tomb).

During the five days of examination, while there were undoubtedly many more questions that are not recorded in the Bible (Yochanan 21:25), there were four main questions:

First: the Pharisees, Sadducees, Torah-teachers and Herodians asked Jesus: By What Authority Are You Doing These Things? (see Iy);

Second: the Pharisees and the Herodians asked the Shield of our salvation: Is It Right For Us to Pay Taxes to Caesar or Not? (see Iz);

Third: the Sadducees asked the Rock of our stronghold: Whose Wife Will She Be at the Resurrection? (see Ja);

And fourth the Torah-teachers asked the Lord of our strength: Which is the Greatest Commandment in the Torah? (see Jb);

But at the end of His testing, Yeshua asked them the one question that they could never answer: Whose Son is the Messiah? (see Jc).

 

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