Passover was instituted by Yahuah Elohim to be a memorial of the final plague on Mitsrayim (Egypt) when the angel of death passed over the Hebrew people, the children of Yisrael, but slew the firstborn of Mitsrayim, both people and animals. The Hebrews had been instructed by Yahuah through Moses to kill a lamb for each family group and apply the blood to the lintels and doorposts of their dwellings. The angel of death passed over the dwellings of the Yisraelites who were under the protection of “the blood of the lamb” and they were delivered from death. You may read the complete account in Shemoth (Exodus) chapters 12 and 13.
The phrase “Last Supper” is not found anywhere in scripture. These words were used by Leonardo da Vinci to describe his painting of Yahusha’s last meal with His disciples, prior to His crucifixion, but he along with many other people get it wrong if they think that it was just a meal to be taken with His disciples, as we will see as we go on into this study.
It is thought by some that Passover was held the evening of the same day as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, that is on the fifteenth of the month of Aviv, the evening following Messiah’s crucifixion. The reason that the authorities had to have his body placed in the tomb before sunset was because the following day would be the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, that is a High Day or Holy Feast day, which is a day of rest.
However when we look into the Torah for the appointed times we find these facts.
Passover is observed and celebrated on the fourteenth day of Aviv, between the evenings, That is a whole day of 24 hours from evening of the thirteenth to evening of the fourteenth day of Aviv, and then following that at evening on the fourteenth, the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins. Therefore Passover is celebrated the whole day of the fourteenth of Aviv. The following words from Wayyiqra (Leviticus) are directly from the instructions of Yahuah to Moses for the people of Yisrael and must be taken into account when we examine the question “Passover or Last Supper”.
Each day on the Creator’s reckoning of time begins at evening. Aviv is the first Hebrew month of the year and is the beginning of Spring/green ears.
Debarim (Deuteronomy)16: 5 “You are not allowed to slaughter the Passover within any of your gates which Yahuah your Elohim gives you, but at the place where Yahuah your Elohim chooses to make His Name dwell, there you slaughter the Passover in the evening, at the going down of the sun, at the appointed time you came out of Egypt and you shall roast and eat it in the place which Yahuah your Elohim chooses, and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents”.
There we have the order and timing of events for observing the Passover. Notice that the children of Yisrael did not set out for the Promised Land right after eating the Passover as is commonly taught by many teachers, but were told by Yahuah to stay at home for the remainder of the day until sunset in their tents. This is significant as we shall see later.
Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23: 4 -
The following day, the fifteenth, which is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, is a rest day as is also the twenty-
Bemidbar (Numbers) 33: 3 So the children of Yisrael departed from Ra’meses in the month of Aviv, on the fifteenth day of the first month, on the morrow of the Passover the children of Yisrael went out with boldness before the eyes of all the Mitsrites (Egyptians).
This confirms the fact that they did not set out on their journey towards the promised land on the night of Passover.
They did not set out on Passover the 14th, but stayed in their tents until the following morning the 15th, and then set out on their journey, as we have already seen in Debarim 16: 5. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was not instituted until the following year, so that day was not as yet a rest day.
Now we will look at the Passover the day before Yahusha’s trial and crucifixion in the four gospels
Matthew 26: 2 Yahusha said “You know that after two days the Passover takes place and the Son of Adam is to be delivered up to be impaled”.
26: 17 And on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Yahusha, saying to Him, “Where do You wish us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”
This day (the thirteenth of Aviv) is what was known as preparation day, the true preparation day, and was included along with Passover under the whole heading of “the Feast of Unleavened Bread”. See Mark 14: 12.
18, 19 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near. I am to observe the Passover at your house with my disciples’.” And the disciples did as Yahusha had ordered them, and prepared the Passover.
26: 26 -
Mark 14: 1, 2 Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread was after two days. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to take Him through treachery and put Him to death. And they said, “Not at the Festival lest there be an uproar of the people”.
Luke 22: 7 -
Johanan (John) 13: 1 -
Thus we have three witnesses to the words of Yahusha confirming this truth and recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke.
In the gospel of Yohanan chapters 18 and 19 we come across a problem. You will notice that these chapters in Yohanan are written from a third person point of view. The Jewish scribes and pharisees made Passover a day later than the day ordained by Yahuah.
During Yahusha’s agony in the garden of Gethsemane, Kepha (Peter) cut off Malchus’ ear with his sword and Yahusha immediately healed him, a miracle that the priests and pharisees all witnessed. This should have proved to them that here was the Messiah, and then they should have followed Him.
We know from the accounts of these events in the other three gospels that they all happened on the day of the fourteenth of Aviv, which is Passover day.
Yohanan 18 : 28 Then they led Yahusha from Qayapha (Caiaphas) to the palace, lest they should be defiled, but that they (the priests, scribes and pharisees) might eat the passover (after sunset on the 15th of Aviv). Blatant disobedience of Yahuah’s Torah!
Then after Pilate found no fault in Him, verse 39 goes on with Pilate speaking -
“But you have a custom that I shall release someone to you at the Passover”. (This was a day late because of the custom of the Pharisees).
And then later in chapter 19: 14 And it was the (pharisees) preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour, Pilate said to the Jews, “See your sovereign”! But they shouted, “Away, away, crucify Him”!
And after the Roman soldiers crucified Him we read in verse 31 -
Therefore, since it was the preparation day, (as they wrongly believed), that the bodies should not remain on the stake on the Sabbath -
What is going on here, for we know that Kepha has already on the previous night, taken the Passover meal which included the sacrificial lamb, with Yahusha and the other disciples.
The scribes, pharisees and sadducees had their oral law and the Talmud, their written law which they devised themselves over the centuries and according to those teachings which Yahusha called ‘doctrines and commands of men’ they were to take the Passover on the evening of the feast of Unleavened Bread, that is the fifteenth of Aviv.
But that is not what the Torah instructs us to do!
The Torah instructions for us are -
Leviticus 23:5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between the evenings, is the Passover to Yahuah. And on the fifteenth day of this month is the Festival of Unleavened Bread to Yahuah -
The Jews got the preparation day and Passover wrong and were a day late, unfortunately.
You will notice that this particular Passover is mentioned many times in the gospels of Matt, Mark and Luke, and also in Yohanan’s gospel.
In Matt Yahusha said, “My time is near, I am to observe the Passover at your house with my disciples”.
In Mark as well as in Luke He said, “Where is the guest room in which I am to eat the Passover with my disciples”.
And also in Luke He said, “Go and prepare the Passover for us to eat. With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before my suffering”.
Notice that Yahusha said “Before my suffering”.
The Passover had to be taken prior to His trial, scourging and crucifixion, not afterwards as the scribes and pharisees were doing. They completely missed the fact that here was the Messiah, the Son of Yahuah, His Lamb.
If He were wrongly observing the Passover, that is, not according to the Torah, which is recorded in the first five books of scripture given to Moses, then we cannot believe anything that He said and He cannot be the Messiah. But we see from scripture that He did everything according to the Torah of His Father, and fulfilled it to the very letter.
Matt 5: 17 Yahusha said “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete”.
Many times Yahusha strongly rebuked the scribes, the pharisees and the sadducees. In fact the whole of Matt chapter 23 is given to the castigation and judgment of them. In this chapter eight times He said “Woe to you scribes and pharisees, hypocrites”!
Mark 7: 6 to 8 Yahusha said “Well did Yeshayahu (Isaiah) prophecy concerning you hypocrites, as it has been written, ‘This people respect Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me, and in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commands of men’. Forsaking the command of Elohim you hold fast the tradition of men”.
Timetable of Days for Feast of Unleavened Bread during Month of Aviv
10th day -
13th day -
14th day -
15th day -
15th to 21st days -
21st day -