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Jesus’ Death and Resurrection – Which Jewish Passover?

Jesus’ Death and Resurrection

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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.

More Than One Passover

It may surprise you to learn that in first century Judaism there were five Jewish sects which observed “Passover,” each with distinct days for the sacrifice of their lambs.  These Passovers were the Mosaic Passover, the Samaritan’s Passover, the Essene’s Passover, the Sadducees’ Passover, and the Pharisaic Passover. Which one did Jesus observe in his Passover seder (the “Last Supper”) and through his sacrificial death? This is another of the mysteries which I am examining and which many researchers fail to consider.

That there were several “Passovers” is the first puzzle piece in our quest to determine the true day of Jesus’ death.

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Jesus’ Death and Resurrection – Traditional vs Actual Dates

Jesus’ Death and Resurrection

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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.

Traditional Dates

Historically, the Christian church has held to a tradition that the death and burial of Jesus were on “Good Friday” of the week of the crucifixion and that the resurrection was on Sunday morning, before the women mentioned in the Gospel accounts arrived at Jesus’ tomb. Is the tradition true?

It should be noted that “Good Friday” was not celebrated in the early Church. For the first 200 to 300 years, the early church celebrated the death, burial, and resurrection events within the framework of the Feasts of the Lord (Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits), as the church was still very Jewish; and Jesus was regarded as the true Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7 – “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”). This early church celebration included two days of fasting prior to the celebration of the resurrection and was not anchored to a particular day of the week, since the Jewish Passover could float to various days of the week, depending on the lunar Jewish calendar.

So how did the first and second day of fasting eventually evolve into a distinct day of celebration known as “Good Friday?” The history leads us once again to the Roman Catholic Church.

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Jesus’ Birth – Conclusion: Where Was Jesus Born?

Where Was Jesus Born?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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 Conclusion . . .

Our case for the topic “Where was Jesus Born” has concluded that Jesus was, indeed, born in Bethlehem – in a specific structure called Migdal Edar, which is Hebrew for “Tower of the Flocks.” I believe the case for this location is strong and true.

The coming to earth of Jesus, the very Son of God, to be born of a young Jewish virgin, in an obscure structure within the town of Bethlehem in Judah, where the lambs destined for Temple sacrifice were birthed, certainly seems fitting for the Christ child. That the shepherds in this specific field knew from the angel sent from God exactly where to find the child – wrapped in swaddling clothes – is testimony to the wonder of Christ as both a child of God and Saviour of mankind. It is also testimony to us that this is where Jesus was born.

Note: In my next Post I will begin a new study regarding “When Were Jesus’ Death, Resurrection, and Ascensions?” We begin that study with the first of eleven puzzle pieces: The Jewish Passover.

Jesus’ Birth – The Significance of Migdal Edar

Where Was Jesus Born?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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.

Why Migdal Edar?

The specific field, flock, and shepherds visited by the angel of the Lord who came to announce the birth of the Savior were chosen by God for a reason. God does not work by happenstance.

The location in Bethlehem might have been chosen to honor David, who was selected by God to be the King of Israel. David was beloved by God and in the genetic line of the Messiah. It is even likely that the shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem were in the same fields where King David once tended his father’s sheep and composed Psalms to honor God. The shepherds in the field to which the angel came undoubtedly knew the Psalms, especially those written by David, who grew up as a shepherd himself. Perhaps the shepherds had recently read Psalm 8:

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. (Psalm 8:3–5, KJV)

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Jesus’ Birth – The Case for Migdal Edar

Where Was Jesus Born?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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.

Jesus’ Birth – The Case for Migdal Edar

John the Baptist exclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, KJV). I believe he was making a statement which, among other things, pointed to a particular place in Bethlehem as the birthplace of Christ. How so?

As we have seen many times, bits and pieces from Scripture, taken together, often provide a road map.  In this case, I believe the road map supports my position that Jesus was actually born at a place called Migdal Edar (Heb. “Tower of the Flock”) in Bethlehem. In addition to the statement by John the Baptist referring to Jesus as “the Lamb of God,” these bits and pieces of Scripture come from diverse sources, from both the Old and New Testaments in the Bible. I believe all of the following will ultimately be shown to point to Migdal Edar as the birthplace of Jesus:

The shepherds who – while “watching their flocks by night” – became aware of exactly where to find the newborn Messiah “in Bethlehem”

The special lambs born and raised in the fields of Bethlehem, to be used specifically as Temple sacrifices

The account of the death of Jacob’s wife Rachel, on the outskirts of Bethlehem

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Jesus’ Birth – Traditional vs Actual Site

Where Was Jesus Born?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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.

Traditional Site vs Actual Site of Jesus’ Birth 

The destination tourists are taken to see where Jesus was born is a cave! This is the traditional site of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.

Standing over the traditional site is The Church of the Nativity, a basilica of the Roman Catholic Church, which was built by Emperor Justinian in 530 AD (6th Century). The basilica was built over the cave which Roman Emperor Constantine had identified as the birthplace of Jesus. At the request of his mother, Helena, Constantine built the original basilica over that cave in the 4th Century. After the original basilica was destroyed, the present basilica was constructed by Emperor Justinian.

So how did Helena and her son, Emperor Constantine (who ruled from AD 306–337), establish the site of Jesus’ birth? Did they have excellent historical records and eyewitness accounts to lead them to the correct site in Bethlehem? Well, not exactly. They found their site by relying on dreams and visions.

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Jesus’ Birth – Conclusion: When Was Jesus Born?

When Was Jesus Born?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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 Conclusion . . .

Under the topic of “When Was Jesus Born?” I have evaluated biblical, historical, and astronomical evidence to confirm the actual birth date of Jesus from four specific sources, as detailed below.  These four sources represent four of the eight pieces of the puzzle for this topic and effectively disprove the traditional date of December 25, 1 BC as the birth date of the Messiah. When assembled, the pieces of the puzzle conclude that Jesus was born on Wednesday, Tishri 1 (September 11) of 3 BCon the Feast of Trumpets (Hebrew: Yom Teruah; also called Rosh HaShanah).

I believe that the case presented is strong and that the birth date presented is, in fact, the actual birth date of Jesus.

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Jesus’ Birth – Sequence of Events

When Was Jesus Born?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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.

Historical Events Related to the Birth of Jesus

This chapter offers a sequence of historical events around the time of Jesus’ birth and ministry, concluding with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD.  This sequence is the work of Paul Wierwille and Ernest Martin and includes many of the dates and events of historical importance which I have noted in the Posts associated with the topic “When Was Jesus Born?”

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Jesus’ Birth – Sabbatical and Jubilee Years

When Was Jesus Born?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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.

Jesus’ Birth and the Start of His Ministry

In addition to Biblical, historical, and astronomical sources, there is yet another method we can employ to assist us in solving the puzzle of Christ’s birthdate. This method – our puzzle piece 8 – uses the Bible to obtain chronological information about the Jewish Sabbath Days, Sabbatical Years and Jubilee Years. The method can also be used to determine the proper chronology of other events in Jesus’ life – as reported in the New Testament – including the start of his ministry and the year of His crucifixion.

What is this key? It involves understanding the chronology of the Feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23) during the ministry of Jesus, as well as the Jewish law related to the Sabbatical and Jubilee Years and cycles (Leviticus 25).

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Jesus’ Birth – The Death of Herod

When Was Jesus Born?

Note: The following Post is taken from the 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 Death of Herod – Matthew 2:14–23

 Aside from the accounts in Matthew which include the visit of the Magi to worship the Christ child and of the family’s subsequent escape to Egypt, there is very little in the Bible regarding the death of Herod and the early years of Jesus’ life.

Herod’s death is mentioned in three verses in the Gospel of Matthew:

“So he [Joseph] got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son’

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. . .

 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.’ So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: ‘He will be called a Nazarene.’” (Matthew 2:14–16, 19-23 NIV)

From Matthew we can therefore see that Herod’s death most certainly occurred after the birth of Jesus, after the Magi’s visit, and after the family’s sojourn to Egypt.

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