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The Four Passovers in Jesus Public Ministry

In my most recent posts concerning the 70 Weeks Prophecy, I showed how the prophetic days—1260 days, 1290 days and 1335 days—all fall within a seven year period beginning and ending on the Jewish holy days mentioned in Leviticus 23 or, as was the case of the 1290 days, the count began on a significant day having to do with those annual Festivals. In order for this understanding to be true, the Scriptures must refer to or at least imply four Passovers to have occurred during Jesus’ public ministry. The problem is the Gospel of John mentions only 3 Passovers: John 2:13, John 6:4 and John 12:1. For this reason some Christians believe Jesus’ public ministry lasted only 2 years or 2 ½ years at the most. If this is so, the prophetic days mentioned above cannot refer to Jesus’ first coming. Therefore, it will be necessary for me to show four Passovers to have occurred during this period.

I hope to prove that the “missing” Passover is that of 30 CE, so the Passovers of John 2:13 and John 6:4 occurred in 28 CE and 29 CE respectively. Many Christians believe Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem in Luke 9:51 refers to his going to Jerusalem to die, but this isn’t so. Notice that when compared with its sister Scriptures, Luke 9:51 shows Jesus set his mind to go up to Jerusalem by the farther side of the Jordan (Mark 10:1), thus coming to Bethany as they journeyed to Jerusalem (Luke 10:38). Therefore, since Jesus went to Bethany first, which is only a few miles from Jerusalem (John 11:18), his “ascension” in Luke 9:51 could not have referred to his coming to Jerusalem to die, because all accounts of the Passion Week show Jesus went to Jerusalem first and then to Bethany.

After the 2nd Passover in his Gospel, John clearly shows Jesus went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles but secretly (John 6:4; 7:1-10), because the Jerusalem authorities sought his life (John 5:18). Nevertheless, the particular journey begun in Luke 9 was very public. The Samaritans knew his intentions and refused to receive him, since he was going to Jerusalem (Luke 9:52-53). It should be noted that the Samaritans were upset with Jesus, because his journey had to do with a special time of celebration, and they felt Jesus was showing a preference for the Jews over them. They were jealous because Jesus intended to celebrate one of the annual holy day seasons in Jerusalem rather than with them. Moreover, Jesus sent out the 70 into various towns and villages on the way to Jerusalem (Luke 10:1, 17) showing it was hardly a secret that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. Therefore, Jesus journey of Luke 9:51 had to have occurred later than John 7:1-10.

Moreover, Jesus’ journey was during a time of harvest (Luke 10:2), which would necessitate Jesus’ journey to be either immediately prior to the next Passover following the Feast of Tabernacles in John 7:1-10, or the Feast of Tabernacles the following year. So, no matter which holy day Jesus intended to observe in Luke 9:51 (Passover or Tabernacles) it necessitates an additional Passover, because even if Jesus was celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles a third Passover is implied to have already occurred, since Jesus’ journey had to be later than John 7:1-10.

Jesus often used the surrounding scenery to elucidate a spiritual principle. Therefore, when he says “Consider the lilies…” (Luke 12:27) he was speaking of what the people were able to see at that specific time. These lilies were scarlet in color, arrayed more gloriously than the scarlet robes of Solomon. These lilies bloomed from late winter in January to the spring in early May. This indicates that Luke 12:27 and consequently his ascension in Luke 9:51 refers to his coming to Jerusalem to celebrate either the Passover or Pentecost. Since Jesus had already been in Jerusalem by this time (cp. Luke 10:38), the harvest mentioned in Luke 10:2 must refer to that between Passover and Pentecost. Therefore the feast that Jesus so publicly made his way to celebrate (Luke 9:51-53; Luke 10:1-2), yet slowly so as to spend time with those along the way (Luke 10:1; Luke 10:38), could be none other than the Passover.

Finally, Luke 13:1 indicates Jesus’ visit to Jerusalem was during a major Jewish holy day. Pilate’s official residence was at Caesarea. However, it was customary for the Roman procurator to travel to and stay at Jerusalem in Herod’s palace and officiate at the Antonia whenever one of the Jew’s three great Festival periods occurred. Luke 13:1 shows itself as a time when Pilate came to Jerusalem, which he did only when a great many pilgrims came to worship at the Temple. He did this because of the danger of sedition developing when so great a number of zealous pilgrims gathered in one place (cp. Matthew 26:5 and Mark 14:2). Luke 13:1 speaks of an event to which Josephus may also refer in Antiquities of the Jews; Book 18; Chapter 3, paragraph 2 (cp. Wars of the Jews; Book 2; Chapter 9, paragraph 4). The fact that Pilate was present in Jerusalem indicates Jesus’ visit was during one of the three major festival periods in 30 CE. Therefore, Jesus’ journey in Luke 9:51 demands an addition Passover season and Jesus’ public ministry lasted 3 ½ years, making it possible for us to use the prophetic days (1260, 1290 and 1335) to refer to Jesus confirming the (New) Covenant with his people (Daniel 9:27). May God quicken his word to the hearts and minds of his people everywhere.

 

7 responses to “The Four Passovers in Jesus Public Ministry

  1. Rob

    November 18, 2012 at 09:46

    http://www.pgfracing.com/April730AD.xlsx Excel Time Line That Shows The Math On Crucifixion and other Word(Bible) dates. Did include a link on the time line back to this page. http://www.pgfracing.com/crucifixion.php also for your consideration.

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      November 18, 2012 at 12:16

      Hi Rob, and thank you for the link. I have to admit that I have studied the Crucifixion as to the day that it occurred. I believe it occurred on a Wednesday, and thus far no one has been able to explain how the women bought and prepared spices that week when Jesus was laid in the tomb while the sun was still setting and the Sabbath came on. If we allow for these folks to go out and buy and then prepare the spices, the Crucifixion couldn’t have occurred on a Friday or even a Thursday, since the Holy Day was also a Sabbath. I am willing to believe whatever is true, but, as I said, no one has come forth with an adequate explanation concerning the woman laboring and nothing but a Sabbath (or two) between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. There must be a day upon which the women can both buy and prepare the spices for the Lord’s anointing for burial between his death and resurrection.

      Lord bless you,

      Eddie

       
  2. William

    September 14, 2012 at 23:29

    Eddie,

    I thank you for your quick response. I really appreciate and enjoy your blog and have learned much from it. I still hold to Jesus being crucified on Passover Nisan 14 in the year 32 AD and this is why I believe this. We know from Luke 3:1-3 that John the Baptist Jesus’ cousin started his ministry in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. We know from well established Roman records (and there are many references to this) that Tiberius started his reign on the Roman Julian date of August 19, 14 AD which means he would have started his 15th year on August 19, 28 AD. This would put Jesus’ baptism in the fall of 28 AD and I agree with you that the scriptures are clear that Jesus ministry spanned 4 Passovers which would be in 29, 30, and 31 with him being crucified on Passover 32 AD. Which is a ministry of 3.5 years.

    But I believe even more compelling evidence of a 32 AD crucifixion comes from the timeline established by Gabriel in Daniel 9:25 of seven sevens and sixty-two sevens for a total of sixty-nine sevens which equals 483 Biblical years. Daniel 9:25 “know and understand this: from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed one, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ it will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.” 483 years times 360 days in a Biblical year is 173,880 days. When you convert this to the Julian/Gregorian calendar year by dividing 173,880 by 365.24199 you get 476 years plus 25 days. These 25 days are of huge importance because it lines up the Nisan moon of 32 AD to the Nisan Moon of Nehemiah 2 in 445 BC (-444 AD) when the decree was issued. Which is a time span of 173,880 days or 476 years and 25 days.

    We know the decree issued by king Artaxerxes to Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem was at the Nisan moon in his 20th year. See Nehemiah 2:1-6. From Nisan 445 BC (-444 AD) to Nisan 32 AD is 476 years or 5888 moons. The reason the time line terminating in 32 A.D. fits the requirement is simple. 32 A.D. was an embolismal year. The 2 years before and after 32 A.D. were not embolismal years. So their Nisan to Nisan time spans of 5,887 moons fail to fit 173,880 days The Passover month came late in 32 A.D. making it 5,888 moons. The extra moon allowed the extra days to be fitted in. That is why the 25 days is huge!

    We know that Israel according to the Gospel accounts saw the anointed one on Palm Sunday, Nisan 10 riding into Jerusalem mounted on a Donkey fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. From Nisan 10, in the year 32 AD going back to Nisan 2, in the year 445 BC is 476 years and 25 days or 5888 moons plus 8 days. The moon phases are mathematically and celestially correct. If all this is correct then Jesus would have been crucified on Passover Nisan 14 32 AD which would have been on Thursday. We know that a special Sabbath always occurred with the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

    Nasa maintains a great site that tracks the moon cycles back to 4000 BC. You can verify the moon phase data for 32 AD and 445 BC here at http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/phase/phasecat.html.

    But I guess the bottom line is this. That no matter wither Jesus was crucified in 31 AD or 32 AD His crucifixion and shed blood has redeemed you and I and other ransomed ones before the Judgment Bar of God! That makes you my brother in Christ and for that I am eternally grateful. Keep up the great work and keep the faith!

    Willliam Black

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      September 16, 2012 at 01:24

      Greetings William,

      Thank you for your encouraging words about my blog. It is my life’s desire to be used of God to help others understand his word. It is my hope that he does this whether or not I am aware. May the Lord bless you for your kindness.

      Concerning what you wrote as it applies to the time of Jesus’ death, there are several reasons why I cannot accept a Thursday Crucifixion. We both agree that the Holy Day Sabbath does not necessarily fall upon the 7th day of the week. You cannot believe in a Thursday crucifixion without knowing this. Nevertheless, the Scriptures place a workday between the two Sabbaths in the week when Jesus died. Consider Luke 23:55-56…

      And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. (Luke 23:55-56 KJV

      The word of God is very specific that the women prepared the spices to anoint Jesus’ body on the day before the Sabbath. Then they rested according to the commandment. That is, according to the Law given in the Ten Commandments. But this isn’t all. The Scriptures say further in Mark 16:1…

      And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. (Mark 16:1 KJV)

      According to how I read this, the women bought the spices they intended to use to anoint Jesus’ body after the Holy Day Sabbath (the 15th of Nisan) on the 16th of Nisan, but since they prepared the spices before the Sabbath (the 7th day or the 17th of Nisan that week), Jesus had to have been crucified on a Wednesday.

      Concerning Luke’s 15th year of Tiberius’ reign, there is a **possible** flaw in how people calculate this date. Indeed, Augustus died in 14 AD, and there was a very smooth flow of imperial power to Tiberius. If nothing more can be added Jesus’ ministry could not have begun—according to the Scriptures—before the fall of 28 AD. Nevertheless, Tiberius had been acting with full imperial power one year before Augustus’ death thus causing his reign to begin in 13 AD. So, should Luke’s record be interpreted from the year Tiberius actually owned imperial power or the year he was confirmed by the Senate as the sole reigning emperor? Note the citation:

      Thus, when in AD 13, the powers held by Tiberius were made equal, rather than second, to Augustus’s own powers, he was for all intents and purposes a “co-princeps” with Augustus, and in the event of the latter’s passing, would simply continue to rule without an interregnum or possible upheaval. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiberius]

      There is more but it is late, and I need to go to bed. I’ll try to finish up tomorrow. May the Lord continue to bless your effort to understand the Scriptures.

      Eddie

       
    • Ed Bromfield

      September 16, 2012 at 10:48

      Hi William,

      I’ve a good night’s rest in me and ready to hit the ground running; so let’s go! :-)

      Concerning Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy, it is commonly believed in Christendom that the first 69 weeks are fulfilled, and the final week is yet in the future, but I reject such an understanding. The prophecy, itself, makes no such implication. Moreover, nowhere in the Bible do we find any other prophecy that is partially fulfilled at one time, only to be complete at a much later time. I am not speaking of prophetic types that are fulfilled in the prophet’s day but really refer to Jesus and are fulfilled much more perfectly in his day. The 70 Weeks Prophecy, once begun, was to bring us to Messiah’s day and be fulfilled in his work. I have blogs on this, if you care to read them. They can be found HERE, HERE, and HERE.

      Concerning your understanding of the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy, the Bible doesn’t tell us to convert any of its references to the Julian or Gregorian calendars in order to understand how they were fulfilled. But, it does use the Hebrew calendar, the calendar used by the Jews in Palestine during the first century AD. I believe Daniel, himself, gives us the key to pointing out the Messiah and his work, and this key has to do with the final week of sevens in the 70 Weeks Prophecy. It is found in Daniel 12, which is really a continuation of the Prophecy of the Kings of the North and the Kings of the South found in Daniel 11. Revelation 12:6 interprets Daniel’s “time, times and half a time” in Daniel 12:7 as 1260 days. Daniel then speaks of 1290 days in Daniel 12:11, which taken with the 1260 days in verse-7 equals one prophetic week or the 70th week of Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophecy. Then Daniel mentions 1335 days in Daniel 12:12.

      What does all this mean? I have to tell you that I spent countless hours trying to figure this out in my youth. But a few decades ago I stumbled across the answer quite by accident (or by Divine appointment). I discovered that there were exactly 1260 days between the Last Great Day Sabbath in the Jewish annual Feast of Tabernacles and the Passover three and a half years later. This is the key to understanding the meaning of these final days and they pinpoint the year of Jesus’ crucifixion. The prophetic days which always have 30 day months must be superimposed upon the Hebrew calendar, showing the annual festivals. There will always be 1260 days between the Last Great Day and the Passover on a four year calendar (unless a second 13th month is added to the calendar to keep the Passover in its season), because both Holy Days fall on fixed dates of the month. The Passover is always sacrificed on the 14th of Nisan and the Last Great Day always falls upon the 22nd day of the 7th month in the Hebrew calendar. The days of the week will change like they change for our Christmas holiday. However, the only way the 1290 days and the 1335 days fit is if Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday. No other day of the week works out. Why? because the 1290 days begins on a variable date within the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but is always a Sunday, and it ends on the fixed date of the day of Atonement 3 ½ years later. The 1335 days begins on the Feast of Trumpets, on the day Christ began his ministry and ends on the only variable Feast day of Pentecost just over 3 ½ years later. It begins with the Spirit upon Jesus (Luke 4:18) and ends with the Spirit falling on the first believers (Acts 2).

      These days are, in my opinion, grossly misinterpreted by modern Christendom, and the fruit of their understanding has led countless people to believe in the false return of Christ. It is wrong—plain and simple. NASA can help verify all this, but it cannot interpret it for us. While it is true that NASA can verify that the Passover fell on a Thursday in 32 AD, it is also true that the government can verify that the Passover in 31 AD fell on a Wednesday. According to our calendar that would be April 25th.

      Concerning Artaxerxes, I am convinced that good Christians have ignorantly helped to befuddle how we should look at Daniel’s prophecy. There are errors in how we figure ancient history. This is a fact. The experts don’t agree on everything. They are guessing. There are proven errors in how we understand the beginning of Daniel’s prophecy, and they concern a charlatan by the name of Claudius Ptolemy, a second century AD astronomer/astrologer, who was more interested in substantiating his own pagan beliefs than he was in the truth; and guess what—we base our understanding of Daniel upon his works! I blogged about him, and you can read about it HERE, if you wish. Due to the error in our understanding of ancient history based upon Claudius Ptolemy’s works, we begin Daniel’s prophecy with Artaxerxes rather than the only man in history who made an edict to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple—Cyrus the Great. The word of God even names him as the man (2Chronicles 36:22-23; Isaiah 44:24-28), but this is rejected, even by well meaning Christians, because we have hung out hats on the works of a charlatan, and we continue to support his errors as our truth.

      I know this will be difficult for you to believe. It is tough to recognize and admit an error in one’s belief about a matter. I know this from personal experience. Nevertheless, having all our beliefs agree is not the mark of a Christian. Receiving one another as brothers in the faith, despite disagreement is a mark of the true Christian. This can be seen by reading and studying the book of Acts. Peter and Paul disagreed, and they both disagreed with James, the Lord’s brother, but each received the others as brothers in the faith. It is my hope we can do the same. :-)

      Lord bless you William,

      Eddie

       
  3. William

    September 12, 2012 at 21:08

    If I read this right according to you Jesus was crucified on the 4th Passover of His ministry? Which means he was crucified on Nisan 14 in the year 32 AD? Which would be a Thursday? Is that the way you see it?

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      September 13, 2012 at 00:16

      Hi William,

      Not exactly, I do believe Jesus was crucified on the 4th Passover of his public ministry, but I believe he was crucified on a Wednesday. This comes out to 31 AD if he began in the Fall of 27 AD, which I think is correct. However, I am not certain that we can calculate back to the Passover in the 1st century because the Jews figure things differently today. I believe it was a very simple process in Jesus’ day, but today the calculations are very involved. In fact, I believe they calculate in such a way today that there will never be a Holy Day and a Sabbath back to back. If this is so, then the Bible shows there were such weeks were an annual Holy Day was on Friday and the following day was a Sabbath. So, I don’ t think we can calculate today back to the time when Christ lived. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t know how we would begin since things are done differently today. Anyway, according to my understanding Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday, probably in 31 AD.

      Lord bless you, and thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. :-)

      Eddie

       

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