Arial View of Jerusalem’s Old City with Mount Zion (Church with the Upper Room and King David’s Tomb) with the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu over the site of the Palace of the High Priests, Ananias and Caiphas., the Site of Yehoshua’s Interrogation Proceedings
The Cosmic Passover Drama during Yahshua’s Death on the Tree
Looking at the Death of Yahshua (Jesus) from the Perspective of First Century Judaism
By Robert Mock M.D.
April (Passover) 2007
Nineteen hundred and sixty seven years ago on April 5, 30 CE, the most cataclysmic and action packed drama occurred in the city of Jerusalem. There on a tree, some called the “almond tree of Aaron’s rod”, hung the body of a young Jewish rabbi. He was discipled under the teachings of Hillel the Great and Menahem the Essene, the former nasi (“President”) and av beis din (“Father of the Court”) of the Great Sanhedrin between the dates of 30 to 20 BCE.
Yahshua was a world traveler in His youth with his great uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, that Roman Decurio in charge by the Emperor of Rome to oversee the “Saracens” or Jewish miners at the Cornish tin mines in southern Britain. Joseph was also a member of the Roman Provincial Council of Judea and the esteemed Elder who apparently sat on the hereditarial seal of David in the Great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.
Now the greatest drama was almost over, or only just begun, as this young rabbi that had led a reformation to change the entire Jewish temple culture appeared to be destroyed by the temple hierarchy of the House of Ananus and all their Sadducean kinsmen from the House of Boethus. He had sought to change the religious attitude of the brooding Pharisees of the School of Shammai into a spiritual revival to elevate them to the “kingdom of God on earth” and the throne of His Father in heaven. From a human point of view, this supreme sacrifice appeared to be a futile gesture of a failed mission to carry the “Good News” to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. Without such a mission accomplished, they could not open the gates to the Gentiles with the divine understanding about the God of Creation, who was the God of Israel.
Here was the dream of that great jurist, Hillel the Great, who as the president (nasi) of the Sanhedrin, sought to bring the concept of the Almighty One of Israel to the gentiles of the world, not just to the small remnant of the ancient Israelites who received their covenant at Sinai. Had not this rabbi been proclaimed to be the messiah not only to the gentiles, but to all their lost tribal brethren? Were they not offered to come into a new and reNewed covenant relationship with the Ein Sof, the Unknowable and Unseen Almighty One of Israel, through His Only Begotten Son and emissary, Jesus the Messiah (Yahshua ha Maschiach)?
Did not this rabbi receive the pronouncement of the Supreme pleasure of His Father in heaven where in a mikvah immersion in the waters of the Jordan River, He was baptized by John (Yohannes) the Baptizer and heard the words:
Matthew 3:17 - “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”.
Did not this rabbi follow the ways of Torah to the “letter of the law”? Did He not preach a message that “no jot nor tittle” will be taken away from the Torah? Did He not also take the commands of Torah and follow them as a hasidim, fulfilling not only the Torah to the letter of the law but beyond the letter of the law to their ultimate spiritual fulfillment?
Matthew 5:17-18 – “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law (Torah) or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law (Torah) till all is fulfilled.”
It was His disciples (talmidim), patterned after the ancient schools of the prophets, that fulfilled the mission of the Essenes; formed an oppositional temple hierarchy that worshipped in the temple of Herod with a non-animal sacrificial ritual, and created the Nazarene Sanhedrin, named after their Master, Yahshua Notzri (the Nazarene). The Nazarene Sanhedrin gave governance in a manner that emulated the government of the “Kingdom of Heaven” that their Master lived, preached, and portrayed during His ministry in Galilee and Judea.
Now the angelic archons in the heavens along with the mighty seven archangels that commanded the seven emanations of the Divine to all the created worlds, hung their heads in suspense as they watched this inter-galactic drama between the emissary of the Divine One, who sent His Son on a rescue mission to the last or the remnant of His covenanted and chosen people.
Had the Jewish people not been co-opted and were now controlled by the globalist forces of Rome (Edom) with the “face” of Hellenistic Greece? Had not the Maccabean defenders fought over the desecrated temple, about one hundred sixty years earlier (40 x 4) prior to the birth of this babe destined to be their messiah? Did they not bravely fight to preserve the last vestige of Hebrew-Israeli culture from being destroyed by the Grecian tyrant, Antiochus Epiphanes IV?
Was it not Antiochus who sought to eradicate the last vestige of Jewish covenanted culture (circumcision, Sabbath (Shabbat) worship and temple festival celebrations) and substitute it with Hellenistic culture in the city of Jerusalem? Was not this Hellenistic culture absorbed into the Roman global force that was seeking to control the whole world? Are not these the same shadow pictures we follow closely today as the times of tribulation progress before our eyes?
This “Passover Drama” was ordained in the Supreme Council in Heaven before the creation of this orb in our solar system. While the heart of the true follower of HaShem, the God of Israel, yearns and seeks salvation, the idea of salvation is not man’s idea, it is the idea of God from the unfathomable depth of love for His creation. Salvation is not an experience for man. Salvation is the “door” by which salvation comes into the consciousness of man’s life and elevates us to a higher level of experience while at the same time opening our eyes to a divine reality on a much deeper level.
Hebrews 1:1-4 – “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days (yamim acharonim) spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds (olamim); who being the brightness of His glory and the express image (sefirot) of His Person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels (heavenly Malachim), as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent Name than they.”
There the mighty seven archangels that had been created in the Creation of the Spirit World now stood witness to that inter-galactic “Big Bang” that brought the unfathomable energies of the Divine One of the ten dimensions and ten emanations through the creation vortex like a divine black hole. Here, through the Tiferet of the Sefirot, the Divine Image of the Almighty One of Israel became the “funnel cloud” for the creative powers of the Father. Here the ancient sages of Judah in their mystical merkabah journeys witnessed the Metatron, (YHVH Elohim) the “Angel before the Presence of the Almighty One of Israel”.
The Olive Trees in the Garden of Gethsemane where the Disciples Slept while Yahshua Prayed – Photo by Robert Mock
In the seventh heaven, the other “Sons of God” that reigned as the Supreme Elders in the Council of the Universes (Revelation 4:4) also watched with bated breath. It was one of their own, Adam, who lost His seat in the heavenly council by Satan (HaSatan) who was now roaming this planet earth like a roaring lion. (Job 2:6, I Peter 5:8) As HaSatan walks back and forth over the face of the earth, seeking to incite God against those who love Him (Job 2:9), the “Eyes” of the Lord God are roaming to and fro over the face of the earth showing Himself strong in defense of those who are loyal to Him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)
Now this lifeless figure of Yahshua was hanging on a mere splinter of wood in a manner of being accursed of God. (Deuteronomy 21:20-24) He was now trapped as hostage in this three dimensional space. As the Leader of the Angelic forces, their Supreme Commander of the Lord’s Host (Joshua 5:14) hung breathless and silent as the planet convulsed in a global earthquake. The elemental forces on earth shook and raged in the World of Action (Yesod) and cried out in anger and fury.
The Jewish people earlier had cried out in adoration and acclamation as the real and living Pesach Lamb rode down the street of Jerusalem like a newly arrived king on the back of a donkey. They shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David, Blessed is He who comes in the Name of our Lord, Hosanna in the Highest!” (Matthew 21:9) Now these same pilgrim followers cried and wretched in agony as they and the whole universe witnessed the fury of the Divine over the denial by the aristocratic Sadducean high priestly family of the House of Ananus and the whole Sadducean House of Boethus, Camydus, Cantherus, and Phabi. They were the unworthy descendants of their revered ancestor, Zadok, the high priest of King David. It was they and their adherents and accomplices, the Pharisaic disciples of the School of Shammai who conspired in the killing the emissary and “Son” of HaShem (“The Name”), they called their Own, but rejected rather His own.
The Exterior of the Church with the Upper Room sitting over the Tomb of David – Photo by Robert Mock
It was a travesty of Jewish jurisprudence that the arrest and arraignment of Jesus the Nazarene (Yahshua haNotzri) even occurred. It would not be until this modern era after the rise of National Israel that we would see such a travesty in justice when Jewish leaders would ally themselves with Rome and turn against their own orthodox Jewish brethren. Today this has been replicated when the globalist government of Israel selectively began marking for elimination the orthodox rabbis who honor the Torah and decry the western economic stranglehold on the Jewish Nation of Israel.
Is not this the same government that cast out the Torah observing Israeli families from their homes and businesses in Gaza in hopes for peace with Hamas (“violence” in Hebrew) and the Arafat’s Palestinian protégées, the modern Amaleks of today?
The testimony is clear that the Jewish temple leadership feared this rabbi called Yahshua ben Yosef (Jesus the son of Joseph).
Mark 11:18, 12:12 – “And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching…And they sought to lay hands on Him but feared the multitude for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left and went away.”
Luke 22:2 – “Now, the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called, Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people.”
The power that Rabbi Yahshua wielded in Jewish religious and political life was phenomenal. Yahshua was only a potential nuisance to the Sadducean temple leadership and Shammaite Pharisees as long as His mission was kept in the regions surrounding Galilee. Here was the nesting ground for Hashmonean royal aspirants and the hotbed for rebel revolts against the Roman government rule.
The Interior Dome of the Tomb of David under the Sight where Yahshua and His disciples had the “Last Supper” – Photo by Robert Mock
When the ministry of Yahshua moved into Judea and Jerusalem, He became a rival to the power and authority against the corrupt Sadducean aristocracy who held the rights to the high priestly temple authority. He boldly challenged not the authority but the hypocrisy of the Shammaite Pharisees who set up rigid standards on how to follow the Torah, but did not follow their own standards. These were the same disciples who had usurped the mantle of spiritual authority in the Land of Israel from the Pharisee disciples of the revered Hillel the Elder and Menahem the Essene.
The House of Ananus had created the greatest money laundering business in the eastern regions of the Roman Empire along the Mediterranean Sea Seaboard. It was also the most corrupt Jewish government in Jewish history as some rabbis have proclaimed, they descended into the 49th level of degradation, called Tuma. The vast wealth that flowed into the Temple of Herod was totally within their hands.
When Yahshua for the second time strode into the temple and threw out the money-changers (Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:15), the entire buying and selling of oxen, sheep and doves halted in the temple Bazaars of Hanan. It was a political attack at the heart of the entire corrupt temple economic culture. The “golden calf” had risen again, this time not at Sinai but in the heart of the House of the Lord. The Eriv Rav, the “mixed multitude, at Sinai had again returned as Jewish leaders, pandering after their Edomite (Roman) overlords, so that the gold of the Jews would buy them power and prestige with the Roman government.
The Cenotaph of the Tomb of David – Photo by Robert Mock
We are first introduced to a young priestly scribe, Annas, who appeared on the religio-political scene as the accuser of Mary’s apparent conception outside of wedlock. He cast doubt on the former “temple virgin” as whether she had broken her vows and now deserved to be stoned to death. According to this scribe, Annas, had she not broken the strict rules that governed the dynastic conception of heirs apparent to the royal House of David? Had she not broken her Torah vows?
By the time of Yahshua’s bar mitzvoth, if our name similarities give us our link, this young priest called Annas had now moved unto the throne of the high priest. His family was a powerful high priestly family, the son of Seth, the grandson of Boethus, of the House of Zadok, the high priest of David. Annas (Ananus the Elder) became the founding father of the powerful Sadducean family that purchased the possession of the office of the high priest and kept it within their family for the next forty four out of sixty years. By graft, power, and influence, these families of the aristocracy bought and sold the office of the high priest from the Roman government. They in turn made the Office of the Procurator in Caesarea one of the wealthiest appointed Roman authorities in the entire empire. For the next fifty years, the House of Ananus and the House of Joseph would struggle for the heart and soul of the Jewish people.
In order to comprehend the significance of the historical importance of Jesus the Nazarene, we have to understand the drawing power of His charismatic spiritual message. The most fervent followers of His resided in the southeastern corner of the city of Jerusalem on the crest of the Mount called today, Zion. Here in the Essene Quarters was the orthodox haven called the third party of first century Judaism. Radical, mystical, pious, apocalyptic, and sectarian, the Essenes have always remained a mystery.
The Essenes for centuries truly had been an enigma. They were cloistered in reclusive communes from Damascus to Qumran along the Dead Sea, upwards to Galilee and down into Egypt. The messianic vision in first century Judaism was driven by the apocalyptic dreams of the Essene mystics.
The Essene Quarter in Jerusalem also had its own gate so that purity laws of cleanliness could be kept to its fullest details. The guardians of the Essenes had the primary mission; to protect the Tomb of their forefather King David and to protect the sacred lineage of any Davidian heir that could be the potential future messiah and heir to the throne of David. Yahshua was one of those Davidian heirs whom the Essenes guarded with watchful eyes.
Is it of any wonder that the site for the beginning festivities of the Passover for Yahshua and his disciples (Talmidin) was selected under such mysterious circumstances? They were to watch for a male “water carrier” who would lead them to the secret and sacred spot later called the House with the Upper Room. Here is the first clue; in first century Judea, it was unusual for a man to carry a water jug.
The 13th Century Franciscan Reconstruction of the Church with the Upper Room – Photo by Robert Mock
As the disciples were being shown to the upper terrace where they would celebrate, they scattered so as not to be noticed, for this event was kept in strict secrecy and known to only a selected few. In the tradition of the Jewish Pesach festival, that morning, Simon bar Jonah (Simon Peter), Yohannes (John), and Yacov (James) went to the temple bazaars to purchase a lamb. Nowhere was the Rabbi to be found. Then they, with the other disciples along with thousands of Jewish pilgrims, streamed into the Upper City with their lambs and kids, in haste to fulfill the commands of the Lord. There they entered the Temple of Herod and went to the court of Israel. Up the fifteen steps to the Nicanor Gate, and through the large opened bronze Hekel doors they could see the temple trumpeters blowing their silver trumpets in proclamation that the time for the slaughtering of the lambs had come. Beyond the Nicanor Gate, in the court of the Priests, a great fire was burning on the Great Altar that was erected before the Holy Place of the Temple.
Behind the priests with their silver shofars irradiated by the gleaming sun, were two long rows of Levites, dressed in shimmering white linen garments. These two rows went from the place of sacrifice in the court of women to the Great Altar and back. As permission was granted, the pilgrims entered with their sacrifice, two by two, and were ushered to the other side of the court of women to perform their sacrifice. Two of the disciples, Peter with the lamb, and John, carrying the knife, approached the place of sacrificial block. In route, they walked pass the long rows of Levites that were passing, hand to hand, golden beakers that were broad at the mouth and narrow at the rim. As Peter laid his lamb on the sacrificial block, the priest quickly slit the vessels of the neck. One drop of blood fell into the golden beaker. The rest of the blood drained through a hole in the sacrificing block down the drains lined with lead from the Mendip mines in Corwall, England to the garden district below the temple. Then the golden beaker was passed, from Levite to Levite, until it reached the officiating Priest standing before the altar, who sprinkled it on the great fire. When finished, the golden beaker was sent down a second row of Levites back to the place of sacrifice.
Yohannes, now with the lamb, wrapped in a sheet, resting on his shoulder with Simon bar Jonah behind, left the court of the Priests and walked down the three steps to the court of Israel. In route, they passed by musical ensembles of priests with hand harps, timbrels, and flutes raising their voices in adoration to the Almighty One of Israel as the blood of the lambs was sprinkled on the great altar. Below in the court of men, the rest of the disciples of Rabbi Yahshua, bowing their heads in worship and adoration singing, “Hallelujah, praise ye the Lord, praise Him, His servants, praise the name of the Lord” in antiphonal rhythm with other pilgrims singing, “Praised be the name of the Lord from this day for ever and ever.” Following the narrow streets of the Lower City, they went to the Mount called Zion. There they found the unknown man posing as a watercarrier. With a sign of recognition, separately, they entered unnoticed, one by one, into the house with the upper terrace, prepared to cook the young lamb on the three legged stove while enjoying the beautiful vistas of the entire city.
Another unusual event was occurring. As strange as it may seem, the entire terrace of celebration was fully prepared for its noble guest and disciples. In secrecy, with no one else was in attendance, the disciples were to spend the afternoon in celebration with their Master. When the Master actually arrived, the historical story is untold. How He arrived, or when where He came from, will also be left untold. What is known, Yahshua was a hunted man. The temple rulers with their hired servants and spies were on the lookout for the Rabbi of Galilee that the high priest had warned with a veiled threat.
John 11:47-54 (parts) – “Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, ‘What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.’ And one of them, Caiphas, being the high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.’
Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation and that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad. Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews…”
Hidden in the guarded section of the Essene District, the Master plus His twelve, ascended up a shielded flight of steps that led to an upper terrace, in accustom to the building styles of the region. Over the terrace was a canopy of thin bamboo rushes with a tapestry of dried out palm leaves forming a canopy of protection from the elements of the sun and rain, and a protective panoramic view of the city of holy city of Jerusalem. The temple was to the northwest. The walls of the city were to the south and east. The palace of Herod and the praetorium of the Romans was to the north and northwest. The palace of the High Priest was nearby, outside the Essene Quarters, to the west on the slopes looking down upon the Kidron Valley below. From there, an elevated walkway went from the palace and the homes of elite to the temple complex, to shield the aristocracy from the masses of peasant rabble below. Here Yahshua would be in protective custody of the guardians of the Tomb of David, and shielded from the eyes of any prying onlookers below.
The Tomb of David where the
Site of the Hebrew Nazarene Synagogue and the
“House with the Upper Room” are Located – Photo by Robert Mock
Upon the patio terrace, preparations had been made by a third party of unknown secret followers of Yahshua. Silk tapestries and curtains were hung over and shielded the patio fence. Towards one end of the terrace, a canopy was erected where beneath a couch was placed for the Master with reed matting as places to sit for the twelve disciples. Planks of wood on risers formed a low table that was overlaid with fine coverings. Vessels for food, earthenware cups for drinking and according to tradition an alabaster vessel as a gift from His uncle, Joseph of Arimathea were strategically placed on the table. Specially prepared fresh unleavened matzot was laying on earthenware pottery with greens and herbs to dress the meal along with baskets of fruit. Bowls of water were carefully placed for the ceremonial washing of the hands. Earthenware basins with amphors of water were placed nearby for the washing of the dusty feet. Delicate spices were sprinkled on the napkins and handkerchiefs. Incense was lit in a covered dish, nearby to the Rabbi’s couch. The lamps were trimmed with oil. All was carefully prepared in loving attention to exact and specific details by what we can only suspect to have been the disciples of Nicodemus and the servants of Joseph of Arimathea.
According to one scholar, the “Last Supper” was not a Pesach meal for its non-halakhic Torah atmosphere, during the meal, precluded such a fact. There was no Korban lamb that was eaten and the bread was “sopped” during the meal which suggested that it was leavened bread.
John 13:26 – “Jesus answered, “’It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.’ And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.”
This may have been a preparatory meal for the Passover to plan for the Passover celebration. It would truly become the last supper that Jesus ate with any human on this earth before returning in His glorified being.
The Entrance to the Tomb of David – Photo by Robert Mock
Here He lifted up only the third 3rd Passover Seder cup, the cup of redemption. He then proclaimed that the next time that He would return to this planet earth, He would share the 4th Passover Seder cup with them. At that time, they would celebrate that moment when God “would take us to be His own people” and redeem us again into the Promise Land.
When we read the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, it suggests that the Passover meal was the Last Supper, yet the Gospel of John states that the Jesus was crucified before the Passover.
Matthew 26:17 – “Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover.”
Mark 14:12 – “Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, ‘Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?
Luke 22:7-8 – “Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed.”
John 13:1 – “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from the supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.”
As our knowledge of the first century Provincia Iudaea (Province of Judah) matures, we begin to find that the controversies of how to observe the Torah (halakhah) were as dynamic as they are today. Maybe this is one reason, Torah sages suggest that in the “days of Jesus”, as it is today, the state of spiritual connection with the God of Israel was in the lowest state of spirituality, or at the 49th level of Tuma. Halakhah (how to keep the Torah commands), though rigid, was not universally observed by all. As such, in the days of Jesus, at least three, and possibly four different times, the Passover Seder Seders were held. These times were accepted respectfully by the Sadducees, the Pharisees, the Essenes, and the Jewish pilgrims from the Galilean and the Babylonian Diaspora.
The first solution, according to Kenneth F. Doig in the article titled, “Doig’s Biblical Chronology – Exact Dating of the Exodus and Birth and Crucifixion of Jesus” (Kenneth F. Doig, New Testament Chronology, Lewistonw, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 1990) suggests that the Jews of the Diaspora did observe two Passovers. The second solution suggests that there were two different calendars, the “sunset” calendar of the Pharisees and the “sunrise” calendar of the Sadducees. The third solution suggests that the Last Supper was held on the solar Jubilee Calendar of the Essenes in the Synoptic Gospels and in John’s account, the Last Supper was to have held according to the lunar sunrise calendar of the Sadducee Temple calendar. Then there was a fourth solution, that the “Passover” was an idiom, or a figure of speech that included the Passover as the whole week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
It is interesting that on Thursday, April 6, 2007 that Pope Benedict XVI did testify during his homily on ‘Holy Thursday” during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the following:
Pope Benedict XVI – “"In the narrations of the Evangelists, there is an apparent contradiction between the Gospel of John, on one hand, and what, on the other hand, Matthew, Mark and Luke tell us.
According to John, Jesus
died on the cross precisely at the moment in which, in the temple,
the Passover lambs were being sacrificed. His death and the
sacrifice of the lambs coincided. This means that he died on the eve
of Passover, and that, therefore, he could not have personally
celebrated the paschal supper, at least this is what it would seem… Jesus
celebrated Passover with his disciples probably according to the calendar
of Qumran, that is to say, at least one day earlier -- he celebrated
without a lamb, like the Qumran community who did not recognize
the Temple of Herod and was waiting for a new temple."
He went on to suggest that “Jesus may have celebrated the Passover according to the solar calendar of the Qumran Essenes, who always celebrated their Passovers on the eve of Wednesday (Tuesday evening). The fact that the Essenes were vegetarians, is also suggested to be accepted by the Synoptic Gospels.”
At this moment, let us ponder, why would the Pope want to discuss during the Easter-Passover season about a crucifixion model of the Last Supper that would be contrary to the whole Friday to Sunday schema of Roman Catholic Orthodoxy since the 4th century CE? Is there a reason for the appearance of the papacy’s sudden discovery of the Jewish roots of the Early Christian faith?
Courtyard of the Mount Zion based Diaspora Jewish Yeshiva at the Tomb of David that the Vatican is Seeking to Take Possession
– Photo by Robert Mock
It was in February, 2005 that BibleSearchers Reflections posted a series of articles on the “Study in the Israeli-Vatican Diplomatic Relations that will Lead to the Prophetic Fulfillment of “On that day, all Nations will Seek to Surround Jerusalem.” The lead article was, “The Vatican Seek to Reclaim its Own – “The Church with the Upper Room”. In this series of three articles, was the detailed historical summary of the Roman Catholic bid to take control of the holy sites in Jerusalem. The first bid was take possession of the Church with the Upper Room that was transformed into its present Gothic architectural structure by the Franciscan monks in the 13th century. When Ariel Sharon resisted and refused to turn the title of the building that housed the “Church with the Upper Room” and also the Tomb of David to the Roman Catholic Church in the winter of 2006, he found himself put into the state of the “living death” in the Israeli Hadassah Hospital by the “avenging angel of the Lord”.
On October 25, 2005, when Vatican came calling to the President of Israel, Moshe Katsav, and Katsav refused to deal with the Vatican, by July 2006, allegations began to surface that led to the threat of indictment against President Katsav of sexual harassment, breach of trust, obstruction of justice, and fraud. Are we seeing the Vatican making the appearance of returning to their Jewish roots in order to complete the bid to divide the city of Jerusalem, finally take possession of holy sites in Jerusalem, and eventually the entire Temple Mount?
Behind the Railing, the Ancient First Century Maccabean Pathway felt used by Yahshua and His Disciples – Photo by Robert Mock
As early as 1550 BCE, the Hebrews living in Egypt were in the throes of a major catastrophic era that catapulted them into to a new era: redemptions from slavery and restoration to the Land promised to their forefather, Abraham. This was the land of Canaan in the land of Israel today. On the day of redemption, when the “blood” of the slain lamb was sprinkled on the door post, the “first born” of that family was saved from the avenging angel of death passing over Egypt. The march to a new life also began with eating of the paschal lamb on that first Passover. While the Passover is Yahweh’s Passover (Exodus 12:11, Leviticus 23:5, Numbers 28:16, and II Chronicles 35:1), we can also call it the Hebrew’s Passover.
Almost a thousand years later, the remnant of the Hebrews were being redeemed from their 70 years of bondage in Babylon and Persia. Here the Judeans (Jews) from the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin returned to resettle Jerusalem. At this time, new ways of observing the Torah festivals were instituted and with it the Passover Seder as we know it today. The modern Torah Seder is not the same that the Hebrews observed while in Egypt and the Sinai desert. Babylonian influence, such as the Seder egg, crept into the more primitive Palestinian Seder rites that soon disappeared after being augmented by the influence of the Babylonian Haggadah. In a way, we can call the modern Passover Seder a Jewish festival where the instructions on how to practice or perform this Seder is spelled out in instructional manuals, called “The Haggadah”.
Was it not the commands of the God of Israel at Sinai, who stated?
Leviticus 23:5-6 – “On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord.” (See also Numbers 28:16-17)
When Moshe (Moses) was in Egypt, he was given special instructions that the Israelites were not to hold a festival in the land of Egypt. Therefore, Moses went to the Pharaoh seeking permission to go to the land of Goshen so that the Israelites could a festival.
Exodus 5:1 – “Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, ’thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’”
The First Century Maccabean Pathway Descending into the Kidron Valley Below – Photo by Robert Mock
Why was such a strange command given by God to Moses? Was it His divine purpose just to say, “I won’t permit it?” The reality appears that the God of Israel did have a divine purpose for He intended to deal with the Pharaoh, the representative of Egypt’s divine god, Ra, person to Person. He did not want the Israelites to become involved, so that none of them would be hurt or killed.
A festival by the Israelites in Egypt would have been offensive to the Egyptian priesthood. The festivals would have been celebrated with animal sacrifices and grain sacrifices, yet the Egyptians worshipped the animals and the grains as their deities. It was these deities that the Israelites were going to sacrifice to the God of Israel. Such an act would have been detestable with the Egyptian priests of Ra and could have provoked the death warrant for Moses and many Hebrews.
Exodus 8:25-26 – “Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, ‘Go, sacrifice to your God in the land.’ And Moses said, ‘It is not right to do so, for we would be sacrificing the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God. If we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, then will they not stone us? We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as He will command us.’”
Was not the goddess of Hathor in Dendura portrayed as the sacred cow? Was not the sacred bull that was worshipped as Apis, the actual embodiment of Ptah, Atum-Ra, and later Osiris to the Egyptians? These bulls were housed in the temple for their entire life, then embalmed, and given their funerary rites while being encased in giant monolithic stone sarcophagi in the Serapeum at Saqqara. Even the grain sacrifices of the Hebrews would have been offensive, for Nepri was the grain god, Ermutet was the goddess of the crops, and the jackal-headed Anubis was the guardian of the fields. Above all, was Osiris, a member of the Egyptian sacred trinity, was the god of agriculture. Now the Israelites were going to sacrifice the Egyptian gods to the Almighty One of Israel.
Yet, the Passover was held in Egypt. Why? The Passover was a memorial, not a festival, to an event that occurred in Egypt. It would also point to a more profound event that would occur in the future. The mood of Passover was symbolized by pain and suffering. On the afternoon of the 14th day of Nisan, the Hebrews were to sacrifice their favorite unblemished lamb, the best of their flock.
For the Hebrews, who did have faith (emuna) in the sovereignty of their God, the blood of this lamb was to literally “save” the firstborn sons of their family and the firstborn of all their sheep, goats, and cattle. It was take a lot of faith, emuna, to believe their Sovereign God in asking them to do such an incomprehensible task; slay the lamb, take the blood and put it on the doorpost of their dwelling and their firstborn sons and animals would be saved from death.
The Secured Enclosure to the Mikvahs of James the Just and the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia
– Photo by Robert Mock
The shadow-picture in Egypt to the Israelites was now about to see its complete fulfillment sixteen hundred years, or 40 generations later. Only a few hours after the Last Supper, the “Only Begotten” firstborn “Son of God” would be impaled, like the Korban lamb, His blood splattered on the upright wooden tree (stake) so that all the world, who had “emuna” (faith) in the sovereign God of Israel would be saved from eternal death.
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through Him, might be saved.”
While the Passover was a memorial day symbolizing suffering and death, the Festival of Unleavened Bread was a celebration of joy for the Hebrews. Their days of slavery and servitude to the Egyptians were over. While the Passover had only one sacrifice, many sacrifices were to be offered these seven days during the Festival of Unleavened Bread, as an aroma that was pleasing to the Almighty One of Israel.
Numbers 28:24-25 – “In this manner you shall offer the food of the offering made by fire daily for seven days, as a sweet aroma to the Lord; it shall be offered besides the regular burnt offering and its drink offering. And on the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work.”
While the 14th day of Nisan was day of Passover, the 15th day of Nisan was the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread. There were several distinctions that separated the Passover from the Festival of Unleavened Bread.
Yet, something happened, when the Jews were taken to Babylon in the 6th century BCE. The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread began to merge into one festival. This historical fact is confirmed by the Encyclopaedia Judaica:
Encyclopaedia Judaica – “The feast of Passover consists of two parts: The Passover ceremony and the feast of Unleavened Bread. Originally, both parts existed separately; but at the beginning of the (Babylonian) exile, they were combined.” (Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 13, p. 169)
By the time of the first century, when Yahshua began His ministry, there was practiced during the Passover several times in which the Passover Seder was observed.
In as much as Yahshua (Jesus) was a Jewish rabbi, the practice of a Passover Seder would be whether He accepted the traditions of the Sadducees (“Sunrise Reckoning where the day begins at sunrise”), the Pharisees (“Sunset Reckoning where the day begins at sunset”), the Essenes (the Passover was always celebrated on the eve of Wednesday, according to their solar calendar), or the Galileans and other pilgrims from the Diaspora where a “Double Passover” was observed.
Excavated Site of Possibly the Hebrew Nazarene Synagogue (Acts Jerusalem Church) – Photo by Robert Mock
Actually, it was a little more complex, as the Pharisees in control of the synagogues and religious education in Judea in the days of Jesus were from the School of Shammai, the Pharisaic traditions of the Essenes were probably more closely akin to the revered School of Hillel the Great. Here is where we see the great debates of Rabbi Yahshua with the Pharisees. He was challenging the halakhic rulings of the Pharisees of the School of Shammai, in defense of the Hasidic Pharisees of the School of Hillel the Great.
To add even more complexity, Rabbi Yahshua was from Galilee, and could have observed the “Double Passover Seder” according to the traditions of the Galileans in the Diaspora. Yet, as a Hasidic rabbi, who followed the Torah, above the letter of the law, Rabbi Yahshua probably adhered more closely to the Passover observations of the great Rabbi Hillel and his Av Beis Din, the “Father of the Court” of Hillel’s Sanhedrin, Menahem the Essene. Therefore, Yahshua may have observed the Passover in a manner closer to the non-sacrificial observing, vegetarian Essenes who rejected the corrupt “traditions of men” by the Pharisees of the School of Shammai and the corrupted temple sacrifices by the Sadducee high priests.
As the month of Nisan and the beginning of the Festival Year of the Lord began, according to the commands of the Lord, it was to begin on the sighting of the “New Moon” over Jerusalem, called the Rosh Chodesh Nisan (First day of the month of Nisan). Yet, there were neither telecommunications nor international media to notify the Jews around the Roman Empire, or the Babylonian Diaspora that the Jewish Passover season had now begun. Pilgrims coming from Babylon had to plan in advance. Knowing with great certitude when the festival would begin was of great importance. Even the sighting of the New Moon could have been in question, so a “Double Passover” began to be observed; on the 15th and 16th days following a 29 day month, and the 14th and 15th days after a 30 day month. Either way, the 15th day of Nisan was observed as the “High Shabbat” of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was also a “High Shabbat”, or a second “Sabbath” which made the Festival of Unleavened Bread an eight day festival like the fall Festival of Succot (Feast of Thanksgiving).
On the 1st day of Nisan in 30 CE, the signal flares spread from Jerusalem to the Euphrates Valley where most of the Jewish pilgrims came from. As explained in the Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah 22b:
The Stone Carved Steps Leading into the Subterranean Mikvahs of the Nazarenes
– Photo by Robert Mock
Rosh Hashanah 22b – “At first they used to kindle flares, but after the misleading deeds of the Samaritans it was decided that messengers go forth….And where did they kindle the flares? From the top of the Mount of Olives (they signaled) to Sarteba, and from Sarteba to Agrippina, and from Agrippina to Hauran to Bet Baltin (a Babylonian city near the Euphrates). They did not go beyond Bet Baltin, but there the flare was waved to and fro and up and down until a man could see the whole diaspora before him like a sea of fire.”
During the next 14 days, we witnessed the following: the Passover Lamb was selected in the fields on the 10th day, and brought into the city of Jerusalem, just after Yahshua strode in through the northern Damascus Gate into the city of Jerusalem to the awaiting throngs of pilgrims with palm branches, waving and shouting, “Hosannah to the Son of David, Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord. Hosannah in the Highest” (Matthew 20:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19)
The next three days (10th, 11th and 12th), the Pesach Lamb was inspected for its ritual purity within the courts of the temple. At the same time, the Lamb of God was inspected for His theological and Torah observance purity according to the Law of Moses. During this time, Yahshua had virtual control of the temple as the people were flocking to witness the healing physical, and spiritual power of the Galilean rabbi who brought in living color how the “kingdom of God” could become a living reality.
On Tuesday evening, the 13th of Nisan, Yahshua met with His disciples in the Essene Quarters, and there in the Upper Terrace over the Tomb of King David, He participated in a Passover without the Pesach Lamb with His disciples, ala vegetarian according to the customs of the Essenes in Qumran, in what we know today as the Last Supper. When the Last Supper was over, Yahshua with His disciples left for the final time, the Mount called Zion. He was now outside the custody of the Essenes and together they walked down the paved Maccabean pathway near to the gate near the Palace of the High Priest, into the Kidron Valley. They were going to a place where they could rest in the garden district of the Mount of Olives looking directly towards the temple of Yahweh. The night was one of agony, broken with the sounds of an armed multitude. The hopes of the messianic fulfillment for the redemption of National Judah from Rome were crushed. Bound by a mob, Yahshua was taken back to the palace of the high priests where he would undergo interrogation, torture, imprisonment and abuse.
On Wednesday, the 14th day of Nisan, as daylight began to break over the western slopes of the Hills of Moab east of Jerusalem, Yahshua was taken to the Council of Hewn Stones, where the Great Sanhedrin met in an emergency meeting, near the high priest’s temple residence. Here Caiphas was residing in ritual purity for the preparation of the lambs that were to be slain on the temple mount that day. It is estimated that upwards to 300,000 lambs were prepared to be eaten by the Jewish pilgrims over the next twenty four hours for the three million Jewish Passover participants.
The Stone Steps Leading Down into the Mikvah Baths of the Early Nazarenes under the Leadership of James the Just, brother of Jesus – Photo by Robert Mock
It was on Wednesday evening, the eve of the 15th of Nisan, according to the traditions of the Sadducee’s, that the first Passover Seders were conducted according to the Temple calendar of the Sadducees that was controlled by the families of the high priests. As the Passover lamb was being slain on the court of the Temple at the ninth hour, the Pesach Lamb of God was hanging from a tree with a cross-arm gallows in fulfillment of the commands of the Torah:
Deuteronomy 21:20-23 – “And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘this son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.
If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you shall hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.”
This sounds reminiscent of the charges by provocateurs that were placed against Yahshua. These charges would later set the stage for the accusations that He would face during the interrogation proceedings, imprisonment in the palace of the high priest, and the trial later in the Great Sanhedrin that eventually led to His acquittal but eventual conviction of death for blasphemy by the High Priest Caiphas:
Matthew 11:19 – “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors, and sinners!’ but wisdom is justified by her children.’”
Israeli Tour Guide, Ronni, a Messianic Jew at the Site of the Hebrew Nazarene Mikvah Baths – Photo by Robert Mock
With the Passover over, the first day, of the Feast of Unleavened Bread arrived on Thursday, the 15th of Nisan. According to the “Double Passover” traditions of the Diaspora Jews arriving from Galilee and the Babylonian Diaspora, the 15th day the Passover was celebrated of Passover and supported by the Shammaite Pharisees. This second “sunrise” Passover influenced by the Babylonian pilgrims would be celebrated twenty four hours after the traditional “sunset” Sadducee Passover Seder, on the 14th of Nisan.
By the 16th of Nisan, Friday, the preparation day for the weekly Shabbat, Yahshua had been in the tomb for two nights and two days. Then Yahshua rested in the grave on the seventh-day Shabbat, the 17th of Nisan, in celebration of the creative act of His Father, through Himself as the Tiferet of the Sefirot of the World of the Divine. As the sun was setting on the western horizon overlooking the Great Sea, the Lord of the Universe arose from the grave, while the priests of the temple were collecting the first fruits of the barley sheaves from the temple fields in the Kidron Valley at the base of the Mount of Olives. Three days and three nights, Yahshua had laid in the tomb in the “pit” of Sheol, as He prophesied to the Shammaite Pharisees and the scribes seeking a ‘Sign” from Him:
In the Syriac Didascalia Apostolorum 21, there was reported an ancient tradition that Yahshua ate the Pesach meal on Tuesday evening, the eve of the 13th of Nisan. He was later arrested on Wednesday and crucified on Friday. (J. Danielou, “The Dead Sea Scrolls and Primitive Christianity” (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1958, rep. 1979, 26-29; J. Jeremias, “The Eucharist Words of Jesus” (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1966), 24-25; quoted by Kenneth F. Doig, “Doig’s Biblical Chronology – Exact Dating of the Exodus and Birth and Crucifixion of Jesus”)
The ancient third century Syrian Eastern Catholic Christian traditions, called the “Catholic doctrine of the Twelve Apostles and the Holy Disciples of our Lord”, relate that the Last Supper was a Pesach meal, according to the solar sunset calendar of the Essenes. It was the Essenes and the hasidim, who opposed the Sadducees as corrupt priests. This Passover Seder even occurred before the slaying of the lambs which happened on Friday according to the temple lunar sunset calendar three days later on the eve of the seventh-day Shabbat.
We also have the ancient traditions of the Essenes that are now more fully understood after the revelations of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran. It was on July 2006, that BibleSearchers introduced the life and works of the Torah giant, Rabbi Yacov Emben, defender of the Torah in the days of the messianic heresy of Sabbatai Zevi, and later the studies on Rabbi Jacob Emden, by orthodox Rabbi Harvey Falk, in the articles, “Jesus the Pharisee from the School of (Beit) Hillel in the Eyes of Talmudic Scholar, Rabbi Jacob Emden” and “Rabbi Harvey Falk defends ‘Jesus the Nazarene’s Mission to the Gentiles”.
These were later followed up with the articles, “The Essenes, the Hasidim and the Righteous Gentile of the Nations” on September 2006 and “Jesus the Nazarene and the Pharisees of Beit Shammai” on April 2007. It is interesting that the Last Supper does not reflect any roasted lamb and would reflect a vegetarian tradition, as accepted in the Essene tradition, who felt that the first century temple culture of the Sadducees and the Pharisee of Shammai was corrupted.
It is also interesting that this vegetarian tradition is reflected also in the modern Jewish Pesach Seder, where the Pesach Lamb in symbolized by a lamb shank bone, but no meat is eaten, where we know that the Passover lamb could not be sacrificed in the temple court with the destruction of the Temple of Herod in 70 CE.
The Site of the Last Supper, located over the Tomb of King David – Photo by Robert Mock
At the same time, it is believed the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia instituted a non-sacrificial Passover festival in the Temple of Herod presided by James the Just, the brother of Jesus, who represented the Nazarenes as their high priest. James the Just was also the nasi of the Nazarene Sanhedrin. Clearly the traditions do reflect that the real Pesach Lamb of God that was slain, fulfilled the role of the traditional Pesach Lamb. As the Omens against the Jewish temple service unfolded over the next forty years, the evidence became more clear that the temple sacrificial service presided by the Sadducean high priests was not pleasing to the God of Israel and was rejected.
According to the Gospel of the Apostle John, after giving them the re-Newed Covenant with partaking of the Bread and Wine, Yahshua confronted Judas Ischariot with his demonic mission and offered to him leavened bread sopped in wine in symbolism that the last of the leavening was leaving this upper terrace as the time for the Passover had now arrived in the land.
John 19:31, 33 – “Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a ‘high day”), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away…But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.”
This apparent insertion into the gospel text, of unknown origin and date, has set the tone and the dating for the death of Yahshua for almost two thousand years. In the Hebrew traditions, the High Sabbath was called the “Shabbat haGadol” or the Sabbath, or mandatory rest days during festival or feast days. (Leviticus 23:7, 8, 21, 24, 27, 28, 32, 36, and 39)
The weekly seventh-day Shabbat always occurred on the seventh-day of the Jewish weekly cycle. Yet, the festival “High Shabbat” was a floating Sabbath that occurred any day of the week. Many Christian traditions have followed the orthodox Roman Catholic Church’s tradition that Yahshua died on the “cross” on Friday, the preparation day for the Jewish Sabbath. Unfortunately, that acknowledgment of the seventh-day Sabbath by the Christian traditions did not reflect in the Catholic recognition of the sanctity of that sacred day in celebration of the creation of the world, as commanded in the 4th Command of the Decalogue.
Exodus 20:8 – “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
The messianic Nazarenes, or the Jewish followers of Yahshua as their Jewish messiah, could easily reflect that Yahshua did lay in the tomb and “rested” on the day that He and His Father in heaven celebrated as a day of rest from their mighty “Acts of the Creation” of this planet earth. On the Festival of Passover (Pesach), the 15th and the 21st day of Nisan were “High Sabbaths”, yet they did not necessarily fall on the seventh-day Sabbath as they were floating Sabbaths. Yet the days before the 15th and the 21st day were preparation days for the festival Sabbaths.
This difference in the interpretations in the “High Sabbath” between the Jewish and Catholic Christian traditions makes a profound difference in the interpretation of which day Yahshua (Jesus) was crucified, or hanged from a tree. The Christian Catholic tradition has proclaimed that the preparation day before the crucifixion of Yahshua was on Friday before the Passover Sabbath that was the seventh-day, which happened to be the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath. The Hebrew-Jewish traditions do not recognize the Catholic Christian traditions that the “High Sabbath” was the merging of the Seventh-day Sabbath and the Festival Sabbath of Passover. Instead the Jews proclaim that the “High Sabbath” was the Festival Sabbath that was on any day of the week, Sunday through Saturday. The Christian Catholic traditions have “High Holy Days” that are associated with their Christian festivals but the Hebrew-Jewish traditions do not have any references in the Torah, the TaNaKh, or the Talmud of any “High Holy Days” associated with the Jewish festivals.
There is yet another interesting Sabbath in reference to the Passover. The “Great Sabbath of Passover” is called the “Shabbat haGadol” or the “Sabbath” that is five days prior to the day that the Hebrews were to leave Egypt. According to tradition and the oral writings, the Israelites were commanded by Moses to take a lamb a tie it to their bedpost on the 10th day of Nisan. Suddenly the Egyptian people noticed that a large number of lambs were being bought on the Egyptian market and inquired why. They were informed that the lambs were to be used as a Paschal Offering, sacrificed in preparation for the next coming plague, the Plague of the Firstborn. The Egyptian firstborn were inflamed and demanded that the Pharaoh immediately release the Hebrews, which he refused. A civil war broke out and the Egyptian firstborn attacked the Egyptian army of the Pharaoh which resulted in the death of many of the Egyptians that committed atrocities to the Hebrews. Even though the Egyptian priesthood was incensed that the Israelites were sacrificing an Egyptian deity, a lamb, they also were helpless and powerless to intervene.
It is interesting that the day of the “Great Sabbath of Passover”, “Shabbat haGadol” on the 10th of Nisan in 30 CE, the high priest went to the fields to bring in the Pesach lamb at the same time that Yahshua rode in through the northern Damascus Gate into Jerusalem on a donkey, arriving as a Davidian royal proclaimant, and instead became the Pesach Lamb of God.
The Exterior of the Upper Terrace of the House where the Last Supper was Held with Yahshua and His Twelve Apostles – Photo by Robert Mock
This difference is profound for the student of the Brit Hadassah (New Testament) if they are accepting the death of Yahshua to be a Jewish hanging or a Roman crucifixion, even though the Roman Christian Church did not even exist in that age. The implications in the interpretation and understanding of this most extraordinary event is also equally profound. Christian and Nazarene theology leads us to reevaluate the chronology in Hebrew biblical understanding and exegesis that suggests that Yahshua was executed on any day of the week not necessarily just Friday or the eve of the Seventh-day Sabbath. This also profoundly enhances the literal understanding of the mystical and mysterious prophecy of Yahshua, called the “Sign of Jonah”.
It was early in his ministry, the wedding at Cana was over and Yahshua was heading to Jerusalem with his new disciples in the spring of 28 CE. He promptly went into the temple’s Bazaar of Hanan and there made a very political and provocative move. He took a “whip of cords” and drove out the servants of Ananus the Elder that were selling the sheep and the oxen for the temple sacrifices. He then threw over the tables and stalls of the money exchequer of the temple as the money exchangers fled in terror from His presence. The exchange rates were now scalping the peasants, while the gold of the Jews was flowing into the Temple of Herod, Inc’s coffers in increasing amounts.
Yahshua then walked to the sellers of the doves, whose prices had risen to such extravagant prices that the poor “daughters of Israel” no longer were able to redeem themselves and their child in the temple of the Lord and were now pronounced unclean. To the sellers of the doves He shouted:
John 2:16 – “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”
“The Jews”, the chief priests, the temple scribes, and synagogue rulers, the Pharisees of the School of Shammai, confronted Yahshua to question, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?” (John 2:18) They wanted a supernatural sign to prove to them His authority that He had the authority to desecrate the business and temple management system. Yahshua told them, they would someday see the “sign”:
John 2:19 – “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up!”
Their response was as profound as their lack of spiritual insight:
John 2:20 – “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
The Mikvah Baths of the High Priests of the House of Ananus
– Photo by Robert Mock
It was on the road to Caesarea Philippi, north of Galilee, that Yahshua confronted His disciples with the question, “Who do men say that I am? (Mark 8:16) At that time the populous in Galilee were talking among themselves that Jesus was “John the Baptist”, “Elijah” or one of the prophets. He then asked, “Who do you think that I am?” It was Peter, the son of Jonah (Simon bar Jonas), who proudly proclaimed, “You are the Maschiach (Messiah).” (Mark 8:28-30)
The moment became solemn and tense, for Yahshua then warned them that they were not to tell anyone their feelings about His messiahship. Yahshua then began to open to them the revelations about His future mission and the implications upon His and their lives.
Mark 8:31 – “And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, and chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”
It was now near the close of His Galilean ministry. The feeding of the five thousand had made Yahshua a popular folk hero to the Galilean peasants. The account of the transfiguration of Yahshua by the chosen three disciples had made Him a messianic hero to His chosen twelve. He then sent out his seventy chosen disciples, who may have later made up His Nazarene Sanhedrin of seventy to harvest the souls desiring to be participants in the “kingdom of God” in the surrounding villages. They returned from reaping the harvest for souls to be put in service for the Messiah. When they returned, they told of stories of their power over the agencies of Satan. The thrust of the messianic mission of Yahshua was quickly expanding.
Then in Jerusalem, He was healing a person who was aphasic, or could not speak. He was called a “mute”, and the cause of being unable to speak, and the thrust of His healing was by casting out a demon from his body. Yahshua was immediately attacked as being “Beelzebub, the rule of the demons”, and wanted to know His “Sign” for His healing authority.
Matthew 12:39-42 – “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except for the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and there nights in the belly of the great fish, so awill the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. A Queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.”
The “Jews”, after His death and resurrection, were now able to reflect upon the “Sign of Jonah” that was sought by the temple rulers, Pharisees, and scribes. Spiritual understanding was now to be transformed into a literal reality. From Wednesday night, Thursday and night, Friday day and night, and whole day of the Seventh-day Shabbat (Sabbath), Yahshua lay in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. With the temple guards protecting the exterior of the tomb to prevent the disciples from stealing His body, Yahshua arose in a second cataclysmic earthquake, one in which the bowels of the earth would give up Yahshua as the “first fruits” of the “dead” along with a whole company of resurrected saints that were later carried back to that other dimension where the temple of heaven was located.
The sun was setting over the horizon and the preparation day for the Sadducean Passover was about to begin. The disciples were clueless on what was about to shatter the reality of their life. They had been learning how to be in covenant with the God of Israel with their hasidic Master, who lived a life of Torah above the letter of the law. They were now given a re-Newed covenant that was coupled with the sacrificial offering of the Pesach lamb and the redemption of bondage from the slavery of sin. They began to wonder, what was coming next?
Yahshua sat back on His sofa in the upper terrace and with his talmidim (disciples) surrounding Him sitting on mats on the floor, began a lengthy discourse. He would send their minds to the throne of the Almighty One, revisit the relationships of the World of the Divine, and begin to dismantle their messianic anticipations that were premised only on the salvation of the Jews and the Zionistic anticipation of a global messianic State of Israel.
The Upper Terrace
The New Commandment of the Nazarene’s – “Love One Another”
The Divine Relationship of Yahshua and His Father in Heaven
The Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is Promised to Yahshua’s Disciples
Help from the Holy Spirit will come in Yahshua’s Name
Yahshua, the True Vine, the Father, the Vinedresser, and Disciples the Branches
When the Master’s Disciples Obey the Torah, They are called Friends of Yahshua
The Rejection by the World
Joy of Yahshua when We understand that He has Overcome the World
Yahshua’s Prayer for His Coming Mission, and the Sanctification of His Disciples
Yahshua’s Prayer for the Unity of His Nazarene Messianic Believers
Index for “Looking at the Death of Yahshua (Jesus) from the
Perspective of First Century Judaism”
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Index for “The Divine Mission to Bring the “Good News” to the Gentiles”
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Letter of Rabbi Jacob Emden concerning Jesus the Nazarene -
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Index for “The Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia of Jerusalem”
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Index for “Spring Jewish Festivals – Passover and Pentecost”
“Looking at the Death of Yahshua (Jesus) from the Perspective of First Century Judaism”
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“Catastrophes and the Time of the End”
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“Looking backwards to the Redemption during the Exodus – Looking forward to the Restoration by the Messiah”
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When does the First Month of Nissan (Aviv) Begin?
The Epic Drama on the Passion of The Christ
Message from BibleSearchers
BibleSearchers scans the world for information that has relevance on the time of the end. It is our prayer that this will allow the believers in the Almighty One of Israel to “watch and be ready”. Our readiness has nothing to do trying to halt the progression of evil on our planet earth. In our readiness, we seek to be prepared for the coming of the Messiah of Israel so that goodness and evil will be manifested in its fullest. Our preparation is a pathway of spiritual readiness for a world of peace. Our defender is the Lord of hosts. The time of the end suggests that the Eternal One of Israel’s intent is to close out this chapter of earth’s history so that the perpetrators of evil, those that seek power, greed and control, will be eliminated from this planet earth. The wars of the heavens are being played out on this planet earth and humans will live through it to testify of the might, power, justice and the love of the God of Israel. In a world of corruption and disinformation, we cannot always know what the historical truth is and who is promoting evil or mis-information. We cannot guarantee our sources but we will always seek to portray trends that can be validated in the Torah and the testimony of the prophets of the Old and the New Testament.
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