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Which Passover?

A study of historical Passovers during the time Jesus was alive inevitably raises the following questions: During which Passover did Jesus die?  Does it even matter ?

I will answer the second question first.  Yes, it matters.  Because determining the correct Passover is necessary if we wish to establish with reasonable certainty the day of the week on which Jesus was crucified.  The analysis is a bit complicated, but definitely worth pursuing.

At the time of Jesus’ crucifixion week, there were actually five different Jewish sects observing ‘Passovers’, each with their own day of preparation, the day for the sacrificing of their lambs.  These Passovers were the Mosaic Passover, the Samaritan’s Passover, the Essene’s Passover, the Sadducees’ Passover, and the Pharisaic Passover. And while the Sadducees observed Passover based on the requirements of the Torah, others followed a timing based on the traditions of the Pharisees.

So which of these Passovers did Jesus follow as He approached the observance of His seder (‘Last Supper’) as the prelude to His sacrificial death?  Based on my study of scripture and the works of other theologians, historians, and scholars, I have determined that He followed the Passover chronology set forth by God through Moses, as recorded in the Torah (the Old Testament Scripture). I also believe – for reasons discussed at length on the Truth in Scripture website – that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday afternoon of the crucifixion week in AD 30, in accordance with the Mosaic Passover.

Some say none of this really matters.  But it does matter if we value biblical truth.

For a more complete discussion of this topic, please visit the following link on the Truth in Scripture website:  https://truthinscripture.net/2017/02/06/jesus-death-and-resurrection-which-jewish-passover/

Palm Sunday – Or Something Else?

The Passover celebration in Jerusalem before Jesus was crucified was different from all others. As Jesus was coming down from the Mount of Olives on Sunday, crowds of people came out to greet Him. The Gospel of John states, “They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!’” (John 12:13)

Scripture does not specify that palm branches are to be waved at Passover in the Spring. So why was that the case at this particular Passover celebration recalled by John and others among the Disciples?  Or was that the case at all?It is helpful to know ‘the rest of the story.’

The only Feast of the Lord celebration during which branches are waved is the Feast of Tabernacles, in the Fall of the year.  During this Feast, a cluster of ‘. . . palm fronds, leafy branches, and poplars (Leviticus 23:40) is waved to recognize and glorify the Messiah. Collectively, these leafy branches are called ‘lulav.’

So, why did John specifically mention that palm branches were waved on this Passover occasion, while Matthew 21:8 recalled branches from the trees’ [like the willow], and Mark 11:8 cited ‘branches they had cut in the fields’ [like leafy branches of the myrtle]. Collectively, the Gospel accounts of John, Matthew, and Mark seem to be describing the three components of the lulav.

Traditionally, Jewish Rabbis taught that ‘Whatever time of year the Messiah was to appear, the Jews were to greet and hail Him by taking up the lulav clusters and singing Hosannas to Him as the Holy One of Israel’ (Peskita de Rab Kahana, 27:3 – as referenced in Messiah in the Feasts of Israel, a book originally published in 2002 by author and Messianic Jew Dr. Sam Nadler.

That is the rest of the story.  So perhaps what we now call Palm Sunday could just as easily been labeled Lulav Sunday. Either way, what is most important is that we recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as the Jewish Messiah, the promised Son of God, and the Savior of the World. His entry into Jerusalem on that long-ago Sunday changed the world – regardless what plants the adoring Jews waved before Him.

Afterword

The Profound Mystery

Note: The following Post is taken from an upcoming book by Joseph Lenard entitled Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death,  Resurrection, and Ascensions. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here.

This is the final Posting of this book, Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed.  After all we have shared together regarding the life and death of Jesus, it seems proper to ask – and attempt to answer – one final question.

The question is this:  Why did Jesus come to die?

Popular theologian and author, John Piper, has answered this question in his book, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die (2006). He has stated the following:

The most important questions anyone can ask are: Why was Jesus Christ crucified? Why did he suffer so much? What has this to do with me? Finally, who sent him to his death? The answer to the last question is that God did. Jesus was God’s Son. The suffering was unsurpassed, but the whole message of the Bible leads to this answer.

The central issue of Jesus’ death is not the cause, but the meaning. What did God achieve for sinners like us in sending his Son to die?

Continue reading “Afterword”

Epilogue

Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed

Note: The following Post is taken from an upcoming book by Joseph Lenard entitled Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death,  Resurrection, and Ascensions. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here.

You might well be wondering: “What difference does all this make?” “Does it really matter when or where Jesus was born, when or where he died, or how he was killed?”

I admit that the mysteries I have presented about the life of Jesus are – for the most part – not “salvation” issues. It is entirely possible for you to achieve salvation in Jesus while clinging to your pre-conceived notions and assumptions about His life. After all, the truth is sometimes very hard to determine. Scholars and theologians have argued for centuries about the interpretations of Scripture, about archaeological findings, about ancient writings, and about eyewitness testimony as they have sought to establish the truth about the life of Jesus.

But even though truth is often elusive, I believe it is worth seeking – whenever and however we can.  

If you are reading this, then you have endured a rather detailed examination of many unique – and sometimes controversial – mysteries in the life of Jesus.  We have examined mysteries related to the when and where of His birth, the when and where of His death, and the when and where of His resurrection and ascensions (plural!). In addition, we have peeled back history, religious tradition, and Scripture to examine the mystery of how Jesus really died.

Continue reading “Epilogue”

Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Conclusion

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from an upcoming book by Joseph Lenard entitled Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death,  Resurrection, and Ascensions. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here.

I believe that the case presented by Dr. Ernest Martin for the ancient Jewish Temples being located above the Gihon Spring in the former City of David, south of the traditionalTemple Mount,” and for Fort Antonia being located on the Haram esh Sharif to the north, is very strong. Without question, this is a controversial topic, since the traditionalTemple Mount” location is supported by virtually all present-day theologians, historians, and archaeologists.  It is where you will be taken by your tour guide if you are on a tour of Jerusalem.

If the southern location is ultimately proven correct, then we will be forced to admit that for hundreds of years untold millions have stood in line to pay homage at the wrong place, that untold numbers of prayers have been tucked into the cracks of the wrong Western Wall, and that thousands of photos have been taken of a Jerusalem model depicting the wrong location and dimensions of the Fortress Antonia. If Dr. Martin’s controversial case is one day proven correct, it will be as if God has lifted a veil that for centuries has hidden the eyes of the world from viewing the truth.

Continue reading “Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Conclusion”

Where Was Herod’s Temple? – The Rabbis Forgot

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from an upcoming book by Joseph Lenard entitled Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death,  Resurrection, and Ascensions. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here.

By now a rather obvious question has probably occurred to you: How is it possible that the Rabbis lost their Temples? How in the world could the location of Temples built in Jerusalem by the likes of Solomon, Zerubbabel, Simon the Hasmonean, and Herod the Great be lost? How could the location of the Temples to the Most Holy God, the worship center of the Lord’s Chosen People Israel, have been misplaced for so many hundreds of years? That truly is a question for the ages!

Clearly, it is not just the Rabbis who misplaced the Temples.  The entire Nation of Israel and – dare I say – the entire world are just as complicit.  As Dr. Ernest Martin stated in his remarkable book The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot (2001):

“Not only did all Israel forget, all the peoples of the surrounding nations also forgot. All the Arabs and even later, all the peoples of Islam forgot. And too, all Christians in the world forgot. In fact, everyone on earth (including me) forgot.”

Continue reading “Where Was Herod’s Temple? – The Rabbis Forgot”

Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Jesus’ Movements

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from an upcoming book by Joseph Lenard entitled Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death, Resurrection, and Ascensions. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here.

What would the final movements of Jesus look like if Herod’s Temple was actually located in the ancient City of David over the Gihon Spring, as proposed by Dr. Ernest Martin? How would His movements from arrest at the Garden of Gethsemane to crucifixion and burial on the Mount of Olives be different than tradition would have us believe?

Continue reading “Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Jesus’ Movements”

Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Kuehl’s Temple

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from an upcoming book by Joseph Lenard entitled Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death, Resurrection, and Ascensions. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here.

The ninth and final puzzle piece in the topic Where Was Herod’s Temple? presents the case argued by Nancy Kuehl, who maintains that the traditional “Temple Mount” is the true location of the Temple, but that the walls of the Temple remained standing not in spite of the prophesy of Jesus, but because of that prophesy.

It is highly unlikely that you have ever heard this argument before!

Nancy Kuehl is the author of the noteworthy book, A Book of Evidence – The Trials and Execution of Jesus (2013), which I used extensively in my various Posts under the topic How Did Jesus Really Die?

Continue reading “Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Kuehl’s Temple”

Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Critique and Rebuttal

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from an upcoming book by Joseph Lenard entitled Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death, Resurrection, and Ascensions. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here.

In the eighth puzzle piece of my search for the true location of Herod’s Temple I present evidence for the case presented by Dr. Ernest Martin in Dr. Martin’s own words.  Much of what follows in this Post is excerpted from the article, A Critique by Dr. Leen Ritmeyer, Rebuttal by Dr. Martin (2001).

Dr. Martin – and his case that the Temples of Jerusalem were located over the Gihon Spring south of the traditional “Temple Mount” – is certainly not without critics. If I were to conduct a formal survey, it is extremely likely that Dr. Martin’s critics would be found to include virtually all present-day historians, theologians, Jewish religious leaders, and archaeologists. His critics would also include the usual group of traditionalists who blindly support the currently-celebrated dates and sites related to the birth and death of Jesus in Jerusalem, as well the traditional sites of the “Temple Mount” and Fort Antonia.

Continue reading “Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Critique and Rebuttal”

Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Temple Graphic

Where Was Herod’s Temple?

Note: The following Post is taken from an upcoming book by Joseph Lenard entitled Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death,  Resurrection, and Ascensions. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here.

What would Herod’s Temple and Fort Antonia look like if we were to build them using the eyewitness descriptions recorded by Josephus? This was precisely the question asked by Dr. Ernest Martin.

Dr. Martin discovered that the answer to the question looked entirely different than what is presented in the maps and models of Jerusalem that are popular with tourists today, and he developed a striking graphic to display what he believed represented the truth regarding the Temple location. The presentation of this image and Dr. Martin’s rationale for the location of Herod’s Temple and Fort Antonia constitute the seventh puzzle piece in my case for the true location of Herod’s Temple.

Continue reading “Where Was Herod’s Temple? – Temple Graphic”