THE MEMORIAL OF THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST
OF THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST
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"Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed"
(1 Corinthians 5: 7)
The biblical method for determining the date of the celebration of the memory of the death of Jesus Christ is the same as that of the Passover of the Bible. Nisan 14 (Biblical calendar month), the fourteenth day after the new moon (being the first day of the month of Nisan): "In the first month, on the 14th day of the month, in the evening, you are to eat unleavened bread until the 21st day of the month, in the evening" (Exodus 12:18). The "evening" corresponds to the beginning of the day of nisan 14. In the Bible, the day begins after sunset, the "evening" ("And there was evening and there was morning, a first day" (Genesis 1: 5)). The problem is knowing, according to the Bible, what new moon it is. There are two definitions. Psalms 81:3 (of the Bible), allows us to understand what new moon it is: "Blow the horn on the new moon, On the full moon, for the day of our festival".
The new moon represents its complete disappearance, in ambivalence (in this Psalm) to the appearance of the full moon. Therefore, given the biblical criteria of the determination of the new moon (total disappearance), it has been chosen for the determination of the date of the memory of the death of Christ. The site link http://pgj.pagesperso-orange.fr/calendar.htm (In French), allows you to check the exact lunar astronomical calendar (with the mention NL ( for New Moon)), to determine the first day of the month of Nisan (according to the biblical criteria). For the year 2020, the first day of Nisan, will be according to the lunar astronomical criteria (please click on the first photo of the slideshow): March 24, 2020 at 9:28 am (UTC). That is, the first biblical day of Nisan will begin after sunset on March 23, 2020 to continue on the day of March 24 until the next sunset (See Genesis 1:5). The date of the celebration of the memory of the death of Jesus Christ for the year 2020: Nisan 14 will begin Sunday, April 5, 2020, after sunset (according to biblical criteria).
- The Passover is the pattern of the divine requirements for the celebration of the memorial of the death of Christ: "Those things are a shadow of the things to come, but the reality belongs to the Christ" (Colossians 2:17). "For since the Law has a shadow of the good things to come, but not the very substance of the things" (Hebrews 10: 1) (REALITY OF THE LAW).
- Only the circumcised could celebrate Passover: "If a foreigner resides with you and he wants to celebrate the Passover to Jehovah, every male of his must be circumcised. Then he may come near to celebrate it, and he will become like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised man may eat of it" (Exodus 12:48).
- Christians are no longer under the obligation of physical circumcision. His circumcision becomes spiritual: "You must now cleanse your hearts and stop being so stubborn" (cleanse : circumcise the foreskin of) (Deuteronomy 10:16, Acts 15: 19,20,28,29 "Apostolic Decree", Romans 10:4 "Christ is the end of the Law ").
- The spiritual circumcision of the heart means obedience to God and his son Jesus Christ: "Circumcision is, in fact, of benefit only if you practice law; but if you are a transgressor of law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. If, therefore, an uncircumcised person keeps the righteous requirements of the Law, his uncircumcision will be counted as circumcision, will it not? And the physically uncircumcised person will, by carrying out the Law, judge you who are a transgressor of law despite having its written code and circumcision. For he is not a Jew who is one on the outside, nor is circumcision something on the outside, on the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one on the inside, and his circumcision is that of the heart by spirit and not by a written code. That person’s praise comes from God, not from people" (Romans 2:25-29) (PRIMARY DOCTRINES OF THE BIBLE).
- The spiritual uncircumcision of heart represents disobedience to God and his son Jesus Christ: "Obstinate men and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, you are always resisting the holy spirit; as your forefathers did, so you do. Which one of the prophets did your forefathers not persecute? Yes, they killed those who announced in advance the coming of the righteous one, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become, you who received the Law as transmitted by angels but have not kept it" (Acts 7: 51-53) (PRIMARY DOCTRINES OF THE BIBLE (Forbidden by the Bible)).
- The spiritual circumcision of the heart is required for the participation in the commemoration of the death of Christ (whatever the christian hope (heavenly or earthly)): "First let a man approve himself after scrutiny, and only then let him eat of the loaf and drink of the cup" (1 Corinthians 11:28).
- The Christian must make a self-examination of conscience before participating in the commemoration of the death of Christ. If he considers that he has a clean conscience before God, that he has the spiritual circumcision of heart, then he can participate in the commemoration of the death of Christ (whatever Christian hope (heavenly or earthly)) (1 Timothy 3:9 "clean conscience") (Heavenly Resurrection; Earthly Resurrection; The Great Crowd).
- The requirement of Christ, to eat symbolically of his "flesh" and his "blood", is to all faithful Christians, to eat "unleavened bread", representing his "flesh" and to drink from the cup, representing his "blood": "I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the wilderness and yet they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever; and for a fact, the bread that I will give is my flesh in behalf of the life of the world.” Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I will resurrect him on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in union with me, and I in union with him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. It is not as when your forefathers ate and yet died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever" (John 6:48-58) (CHRIST THE ONLY PATH ; CHRIST THE MEMORIAL).
- Therefore, all faithful Christians, whatever their hope, heavenly or earthly, are required to eat part of the "unleavened bread" and to drink part of the cup from the commemoration of the death of Christ, it is a commandment: "So Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. (...) Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will live because of me" (John 6: 53,57 ).
- The commemoration of the death of Christ is to be celebrated only between faithful followers of Christ with the spiritual circumcision of heart: "Consequently, my brothers, when you come together to eat it, wait for one another" (see 1 Corinthians 11:33) (IN CONGREGATION).
- If you wish to participate in the "commemoration of the death of Christ" and are not Christians, you must be baptized, sincerely desiring to obey the commandments of Christ: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things" (Matthew 28: 19,20) (BAPTISM SAVES).
How to celebrate the memorial of the death of Jesus Christ?
"Keep doing this in remembrance of me"
The commemoration of the death of Jesus Christ must be celebrated in the same way as the Passover, only between spiritual circumcised people, between faithful Christians, in congregation or in family (Exodus 12:48, Hebrews 10:1, Colossians 2:17; 1 Corinthians 11:33). After the Passover celebration, Jesus Christ set the pattern for the future celebration of the remembrance of his death (Luke 22: 12-18). They are in these biblical passages, gospels:
- Matthew 26: 17-35.
- Mark 14: 12-31.
- Luke 22: 7-38.
- John chapter 13 to 17.
The evening was spent in three stages: The moment of the Passover celebration (John 13: 1-3). The transition between this event and the establishment of the new celebration, which would now replace the Passover: the commemoration of the death of Christ, as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29-36; 2:17, Hebrews 10:1).
During this transition, Jesus Christ washed the feet of the twelve apostles. It was a teaching by example: to be humble to one another (John 13: 4-20). Nevertheless, this event should not be considered a ritual to practice before the commemoration (compare John 13:10 and Matthew 15:1-11). However, the story informs us that after that, Jesus Christ "had put his outer garments on". We must therefore be properly clothed (John 13: 10a, 12 compare with Matthew 22:11-13). By the way, on the execution site of Jesus Christ, the soldiers took away the clothes that Jesus Christ wore that evening. The account of John 19: 23,24 tells us that Jesus Christ wore a "inner garment without a seam, being woven from top to bottom". The soldiers did not even dare to tear it up. This makes us understand that Jesus Christ wore quality clothing, consistent with the importance of the event. Without setting unwritten rules in the Bible, we will exercise good judgment on how to dress (Hebrews 5:14).
Then Jesus Christ dismissed the traitor Judas Iscariot. This shows that this ceremony is to be celebrated only between faithful Christians (Matthew 26: 20-25, Mark 14: 17-21, John 13: 21-30, Luke's story is not always chronological, but in a "logical order" (Compare Luke 22: 19-23 and Luke 1: 3 "to write them to you in logical order"; 1 Corinthians 11: 28,33)).
The celebration of the commemoration is described with great simplicity: "As they continued eating, Jesus took a loaf, and after saying a blessing, he broke it, and giving it to the disciples, he said: “Take, eat. This means my body.” And taking a cup, he offered thanks and gave it to them, saying: “Drink out of it, all of you, for this means my ‘blood of the covenant,’ which is to be poured out in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you: I will by no means drink again any of this product of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in the Kingdom of my Father.” Finally, after singing praises, they went out to the Mount of Olives" (Matthew 26:26-30). Jesus Christ explained the reason for this celebration, the meaning of the sacrifice his human life, the meaning of the unleavened bread as the symbol of his sinless body, and the cup, symbol of his blood. He asked that his disciples to celebrate the memory of his death every year on Nisan 14th (Luke 22:19).
The Gospel of John informs us of Christ's teaching after this celebration, probably from verse 13:31 to verse 16:30. After which, Jesus Christ uttered a prayer that can be read in John chapter 17. The account of Matthew 26:30 informs us: "Finally, after singing praises, they went out to the Mount of Olives". It is likely that the song of these praises took place after the prayer of Jesus Christ.
How to proceed?
Based on the pattern left by Christ, the celebration must be organized by one person, an elder, a pastor, a priest of the Christian congregation. If the celebration takes place in a family setting, it is the head of the Christian family who must celebrate it. If there is no man, but only Christian women, the sister in Christ who will organize the celebration should be chosen from among the older women (Titus 2:3). She will have to cover her head (1 Corinthians 11: 2-6).
The one who will organize the celebration, will decide the Bible teaching in this circumstance based on the story of the Gospels, perhaps by reading them by commenting on them. A prayer addressed to Jehovah God will be pronounced. After which, praises may be sung to Jehovah God and in homage to his Son Jesus Christ.
Regarding the bread, the cereal is not mentioned, however, it must be made without yeast (How to prepare the unleavened bread (video)). With regard to wine, in some countries it is possible that faithful Christians can not obtain it. In this exceptional case, the elders will decide how to replace it in the most appropriate way based on the Bible (John 19:34). Jesus Christ has shown that in certain exceptional situations, exceptional decisions can be made and that the mercy of God will apply in this circumstance (Matthew 12: 1-8).
There is no Biblical indication of the precise duration of the celebration. Therefore, it is the one who will organize this event that will show good judgment, just as Christ has ended this special meeting. The only important biblical point about the timing of this event is that the memorial of the death of Jesus Christ must be celebrated "between the two evenings" of Nisan 14th. After sunset from Nisan 13 to Nisan 14, and before sunrise. It was at this moment that Jesus Christ made this celebration. John 13:30 informs us that when Judas Iscariot left, shortly before the celebration, "it was night".
Jehovah God had set this law regarding the celebration of Passover: "The sacrifice of the festival of the Passover should not be kept overnight until the morning" (Exodus 34:25). Why ? The death of the Passover lamb was to take place "between the two evenings". The death of Christ, the Lamb of God, has been decreed by "judgment", also "between the two evenings", before morning, "Then the high priest ripped his outer garments, saying: “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? See! Now you have heard the blasphemy. What is your opinion?” They answered: “He deserves to die. (...) And immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter called to mind what Jesus had said, namely: “Before a rooster crows, you will disown me three times”" (Matthew 26:65-75). So the death of the Passover lamb has been followed by the death of "the Lamb of God", Jesus Christ, "in the name of the law", "between the two evenings" (Psalms 94:20 "it is framing trouble in the name of the law"; John 1:29-36; Colossians 2:17 Hebrews 10: 1). May God bless the faithful Christians of the whole world through His Son Jesus Christ, amen.
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