Was the Last Supper a Passover Meal?
The first order of importance is to form a general timeline of the period surrounding Yahshua’s death and resurrection. For continued reference in this teaching, we will call these days the Hebraic calendar.
Below the Hebraic calendar, we are going to place the Gregorian calendar, just to offer a modern frame
The Hebraic day starts and stops around 6pm in Israel, just as the sun begins to set and it becomes dark.
On the other hand, the Gregorian day starts and stops at 12 midnight. This of course, is why you see the
days line up as you do on our visual chart.
Let’s start with identifying the week of Unleavened Bread to offer us some visual points of reference.
The “Passover” is on the 14th day of the Hebraic month. The first day and seventh day of the week of Unleavened Bread are days of rest. This corresponds with the 15th day and the 21st day on the Hebraic calendar.
In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is YHWH’s
Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the
Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy
convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. But you shall present a food offering to the
Lord for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary
“Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of
this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time. According to all its rites and
ceremonies you shall keep it.” So Moses told the children of Israel that they should keep the
Passover. And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, at twilight,
in the Wilderness of Sinai; according to all that YHWH commanded Moses, so the
children of Israel did.
Here are these two rest days as well as the week of Unleavened Bread as seen on our visual chart.
We see that in Leviticus 23:5-8, that YHWH’s Passover is at twilight. In this case, the Hebrew words
denote a better understanding. The literal Hebrew means, “between the two evenings.” There are two understandings of what “between the two evenings” might mean. One understanding is that it is referencing the time between sundown between the 13th and 14th and sundown on the 15th and the 16th. This would represent one full Hebraic day.
The second understanding, is that a day had two evenings. One evening was at about noon, just when
the day began its trek to sundown, and the other evening was when the sun hit the horizon at around
6pm. Thus “between the two evenings” would be interpreted to be between about 12pm and 6pm, with
about 3pm being the exact center. This means that a Hebraic “evening” is one of two pivot points in the
sun’s path that marks the start of sundown at around noon, and concludes at the moment of sundown.
For the purposes of the chart, we are simply going to note that the Passover sacrifice is at 3pm which is
exactly “between the two evenings.” However, we will also highlight the whole day as the “Day of
Passover.” We are not going to try to solve which position of “between the two evenings” is a more
accurate understanding. However, we will later reveal what our Messiah did and when, and we expect
that will offer you some clarity.
Now is the time that we need to accurately define “Passover.”
The “Passover” is a representation of the lamb. Three things occur with the “Passover.” The first being that the lamb is inspected on the 10th day of the Hebraic first month, then slaughtered on the 14th day of the first month, and then eaten on the 14th, and 15th day of the first month.
YHWH said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight (between the two evenings).
In Exodus 12, several things are revealed to us.
1) The lamb is identified and inspected for blemish on the 10th day of the month
2) The lamb is defined as the Passover.
3) The lamb is killed “between the two evenings” on the 14th day
Going back to our chart on the visual aid, the 10th day is the day the lamb was chosen and inspected.
We already have the day and time in which the lamb was killed on our chart. Exodus 12:1-6 is consistent with what we already have. This is somewhat interesting. Yahshua, as our Passover Lamb entered into Jerusalem on the 10th day of the first month. When Yahshua entered into Jerusalem during the time leading up to his death, the crowds were already assembled. The crowds were not only waiting for Yahshua, but also welcoming the lambs entering into Jerusalem that were to be inspected and readied for the Passover. Our Messiah entered into Jerusalem with all of the other lambs, and as a lamb ready for inspection himself.
And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of YHWH! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Yahshua, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who
comes in the name of YHWH! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Yahshua was coming to
Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of YHWH, even the King of Israel!”
How do we know that this was the 10th day of the Hebraic first month?
We know, because Scripture tells us.
Pay attention to the timeline illustrated in the John 12.
Then, six days before the Passover, Yahshua came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.
The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Yahshua was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
“Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of YHWH The King of Israel!”
Then Yahshua, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: “ Fear not,
daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”
Verse 1 establishes the time frame as 6 days before the Passover.
Verse 12 states that it was the “next day” which tells us that Yahshua entered Jerusalem 5 days before the Passover. This could be referring to “the Passover” sacrifice at 3pm on the 14th, or the “Passover” meal on the 15th day. 5 days prior to the 15th would be the 10th. So according to John 12, Yahshua arrived in Jerusalem on the 10th day of the first Hebraic month. This would be according to the commandment that the lamb was to be identified and tested for 4 days, starting on the 10th. Yahshua is fulfilling that role perfectly, as well as the prophecy that He would ride in on a donkey.
Now we need to continue with our examination of the Torah as it relates to the Passover schedule.
They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter
herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its
legs and its inner parts. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that
remains until the morning you shall burn. In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened,
your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is YHWH’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike
all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will
execute judgments: I am YHWH. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses
where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to
destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
“This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to YHWH; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast (chag).
We learned earlier that the Passover Lamb is killed on the 14th day. The Passover (as the lamb) is then
eaten along with unleavened bread and bitter herb. In verse 14, it is referred to as a feast unto YHWH.
This feast, according to verse 8, is to be eaten that night. There are Mo’edim of YHWH and there are chag of YHWH. Mo’edim simply means YHWH’s holidays, or appointed times. Chag means a feast, meaning we are told to eat a dinner. All feasts are appointed times, but not all appointed times are feasts…meaning, we are not told to eat at every Biblical holiday. How many feasts of Yahweh are there according to the TANAKH?
Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. None shall appear before me emptyhanded. You shall keep the Feast of Harvest (Shavuot), of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the Feast of Ingathering (Sukkot) at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. Three times in the year shall all your males appear before YHWH Your Elohim.
2 Chronicles 8:13
as the duty of each day required, offering according to the commandment of Moses for the
Sabbaths, the new moons, and the three annual feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the
Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths.
Now, we just read in Exodus 12, that the eating of the Passover Lamb, bitter herb, and unleavened bread is a feast (Chag) of YHWH. In Exodus 23 and 2 Chronicles 8, we just read that there are only three feasts, meaning this, the Passover Lamb, bitter herb, and unleavened bread is one of those feasts that includes the eating of the Passover Lamb. We know that The Feast of Weeks occurs about 7 weeks after the Week of Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of Booths, or Sukkot, occurs about 6 months after the week of Unleavened Bread.
This, of course, that simply leaves us the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Thus, what is typically called the Passover meal or Passover Seder by tradition is actually the Biblical day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We cannot have four Biblical feasts being the Passover Seder, Unleavened Bread, Shavuot, and Sukkot because the Bible says that there are only three annual feasts. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is when the Passover Lamb, bitter herb, and of course, unleavened bread are to be eaten.
So, when is the Passover Seder, or the more Biblically accurate Feast of Unleavened Bread, to be eaten?
Answer: On the 15th day of the first Hebraic month.
And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast (chag) of Unleavened Bread to YHWH; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.
This is why the daylight first, then nighttime model of a full Hebraic day does not work.
For example, the Passover Lamb is killed around 3pm on the 14th day and eaten the night that immediately follows, and then finished before sunrise. That would be considered eating the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the 14th day of the month. This would be a problem, because we are to eat the Passover Seder, or Feast of Unleavened Bread on the 15th. This means that when the sun goes down after the killing of the Passover Lamb, that it is the arrival of night that determines the 15th day of the month. If the Passover is killed in the afternoon of the 14th day, and the Passover Lamb must be eaten by the close of the following night according to Exodus 12, and Leviticus 23 states the meal must be eaten on the 15th day of the month, then according to the Torah, it is the arrival of night that defined the next day, the 15th day of the month.
A night first, and then day model of a YHWH’s calendar is forced by the Biblically determined sequence of the killing of the lamb, and when it is to be eaten. Now, we fully realize that there are some other verses that seem to imply that day is first, and then night, but again, that is the subject of another
We are now ready to proceed with related verses in Exodus.
Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven out of your houses, for if anyone eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day you shall hold a holy assembly, and on the seventh day a holy assembly. No work shall be done on those days. But what everyone needs to eat, that alone may be prepared by you. And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as a statute forever. In the first month, from the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. For seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses. If anyone eats what is leavened, that person will be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a sojourner or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwelling places you shall eat unleavened bread.”
Here the week of Unleavened Bread is more defined for us. It is the first day of the week of Unleavened
Bread that we are to remove leaven out of our homes. For more on that subject, we would recommend our teaching “The Leaven of Heaven.” The main thing to point out is that in verse 18 it specifically mentions that the 14th day at evening as to when we are to start eating Unleavened Bread. This of course ends on the evening of the 21st. This is further evidence that the 14th transitions into the 15th in the evening. The eating of unleavened bread must include all of the 21st as we already defined earlier that the week of Unleavened Bread consists of the 21st and is in fact, a day of rest. Thus, the evening is the last moment of a day as the sun dips below the horizon.
Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Pick out and take lambs for
yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover Lamb.
It is the Passover sacrifice of YHWH, who passed over the houses of the children of
Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.
This further reveals that the “Passover” is really a lamb, not a day. If we were trying to force the “Passover” to really be a day, the question would be “are we referring to the day it was killed (the 14th) or the day it is to be eaten (the 15th)? This is why so many become confused as to when the Passover is to be eaten. Some confuse matters by misunderstanding when a day starts…and others call the Passover a day, when in reality, it is more Biblically defined as a lamb, not really a day. The Passover Lamb is killed on the 14th day. The Passover Lamb is eaten on the 15th day at the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
On the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of YHWH. And on the
fifteenth day of this month is the feast; unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days.
We need to continue offering visual references on our chart.
Another mo’ed, or appointed day during this week, is the day of Firstfruits.
The day after the weekly Sabbath, during the Week of Unleavened Bread is the day of Firstfruits.
And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them,
When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the
firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before YHWH, so
that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And on the day
when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt
offering to the Lord.
Yeshua was our “firstfruits” and had to rise at the onset of this day.
1 Corinthians 15:20
But in fact Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Going back to our visual chart, we see that that we need to determine when the weekly Sabbath is during the week of Unleavened Bread so that we know where to place the day of Firstfruits. After Yeshua was buried, Mary went to purchase spices to anoint our Messiah. According to Mark 16:1, Mary purchased spices AFTER the Sabbath.
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought
spices, so that they might go and anoint him.
Yet Luke records that Mary already had the spices BEFORE the Sabbath.
It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with
him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and
prepared spices and ointments.
Did Mary make two trips? Did she buy spices before and after Sabbath in two separate instances?
That is not likely. What is being referred to is actually two different Sabbaths. The 15th day of the first Hebraic month is considered a Sabbath, as the first day of the week of Unleavened Bread.
So the spices must have been purchased after the 15th day of the Hebraic month, but also before the weekly Sabbath. We also know that our Messiah was in the tomb for exactly three days and three nights.
For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of
Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
The Greek is literally translated here, as it is from a Hebrew idiom found in Jonah 2:2-3, the place to which Yeshua referred in giving His sign. In that place, “heart of the sea” parallels “into the deep,” which Jonah in the previous verse calls “the belly of Sheol,” which is the pit where the dead are laid or the grave. So, heart of the earth means “underground,” just as heart of the seas means “underwater.” “In the heart of the earth,” then, was a Hebrew metaphor signifying being dead and buried. In John 11:9 Yeshua declares that there are twelve hours that define a day.
Yahshua answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he
does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
Using His definition of a day requires 36 hours of daylight (and conversely, 36 hours of night) to
Biblically satisfy the three day and three night prophecy. There are several other verses we need to consider in regards to the three days and three nights.
And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the
elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.
After three days, our Messiah was to rise again. The key word is after three days, not on the third day.
Three days from what? The time stamp of when this timeline begins is from Yeshua’s rejection of the elders and chief priests and ends with Yeshua being killed. Again, our Messiah defined a day as 12 hours, speaking to a period of daylight (John 11:9). So, what we need to do is count three 12 hour daylight periods.
The 15th day is the first full 12 hour period of daylight.
The 16th is the second full 12 hour period of daylight.
The 17th is the third full 12 hour period of daylight.
And AFTER that third full 12 hour period of daylight, our Messiah would rise. This occurred after the three days and three nights that Yeshua prophesized in Matthew 12:40. As we can see, that landed on the beginning of Firstfruits.
Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Again, what we need to do is count three 12 hour daylight periods.
The 15th day is the first full 12 hour period of daylight.
The 16th is the second full 12 hour period of daylight.
The 17th is the third full 12 hour period of daylight.
And after that third full 12 hour period of daylight, our Messiah would rise.
Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who
does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What
things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Yahshua of Nazareth, a man who was a
prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and
rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he
was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these
Related to this topic, this is the most difficult section of verses to reconcile. Everything we have read so far determines the death of Yeshua to be on a Wednesday afternoon and a resurrection on Saturday
evening. Verse 21 specifically would suggest that Yeshua died on Thursday, not a Wednesday. In addition, verse 21 states that the day he rose is the third day, where as Mark 8:31 says he would rise AFTER the third day.
So how can this be reconciled?
Perhaps the best way, to understand this comment, is to examine what verse 21 literally says in the
Greek as compared to the immediate context of the previous verse. The immediately preceding thought is that the disciples “were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel.” The sign that Yeshua had given to them to prove all of this, was of being “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40).
The sense of the subsequent comment, however, is that their hopes were obliterated because the three
days and nights of the sign had already passed! They were afraid that Yeshua did not fulfill his prophecy of three days and three nights. If we read what is being said in the Greek, this becomes even more clear.
The idiomatic phrase in the Greek literally reads, “One is passing this day as the third,” implying “the third day has passed.”
In essence, they were not saying that it was the third day of Yeshua’s sign but, unfortunately, that the third day was already passed and they were rather discouraged. This is further solidified when it is realized that Yeshua sensed their frustration and distrust of Yeshua’s fulfillment of the three days and three nights prophecy.
And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have
spoken! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”
After Yeshua expresses his frustration with their misunderstanding of thinking Yeshua missed his three
days and three nights prophecy, he then explained it all them.
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the
things concerning himself.
They did not recognize Yeshua had actually risen until later:
When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.
And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They
said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he
opened to us the Scriptures?”
And with that, they were no longer concerned that the third day had passed while believing that our
Messiah missed his three days and three nights prophecy, because it was then that they realized he had
risen indeed. Their frustration and concern was resolved!
And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those
who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to
At this point, we must move on to consider other verses as it relates to the timeline.
We are told that Yeshua was buried just before the Sabbath:
Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of
the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and
he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Yahshua
(Yeshua). Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in
stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath
At first glance, this Sabbath referenced could be the 15th day of the first month, or it could be the weekly Sabbath. However, we know it cannot be the weekly Sabbath being mentioned because Mary went to the tomb three days and three nights later, and it was immediately after the weekly 7th day Sabbath…being the first day of the week.
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had
prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did
not find the body of the Lord Yahshua.
So Yeshua was placed in the tomb at sundown on the 14th likely minutes before the 15th day. All we
need to do is count forward three days and three nights to discover when Yeshua rose, and onsequently the day of Firstfruits, and the preceding weekly Sabbath. The 15th is the first night and first day and is a Sabbath. The 16th is the second night and the second day and is the day after the first Unleavened Bread Sabbath and the day before the weekly Sabbath, the day Mary bought the spices. The 17th is the third night, and the third day, and is the weekly Sabbath. Thus Yeshua rose here, between the 17th and 18th day at sundown. The weekly Sabbath was here on the 17th day. Firstfruits is here on the 18th day.
This fits with what occurred when Mary went to the tomb. When she went to the tomb, she discovered at daylight that the tomb had already rolled away and the resurrection had already occurred. Meaning,
Yeshua rose the night prior.
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Yahshua.
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought
spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when
the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll
away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone
had been rolled back—it was very large.
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still
dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the
other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the
Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.
In summarizing all of these, it appears that Mary went to the tomb before it was light. At some point
when it was dark, the stone rolled away from the tomb. As it became light, Mary realized that the stone
had been rolled away, that Yeshua was not there, and an angel was there.
So, according to the Scriptures, all we know is that Yeshua rose before it was light on the first day of the week, and after sundown as the 7th day Sabbath was closing. At this point on our visual chart, since we know the day of the weekly Sabbath, we can now overlay in the Gregorian days of the week. If our Messiah was our Passover Lamb, then he must have died on the day that the Passover Lamb was to be killed. According to all of the Torah Scriptures we have covered so far, that would have been on the 14th day of the Hebraic month.
So, what time on the 14th day did our Messiah die?
Matthew, Mark and Luke, state that the Messiah was on the cross already at the 6th hour and darkness fell until the ninth hour the 9th hour. At the 9th hour, Yeshua died.
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the
ninth hour Yahshua cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My
God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This
man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine,
and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether
Elijah will come to save him.” And Yahshua cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
However, John records that Yeshua was still on trial at the 6th hour, which seemingly conflicts with
Matthew, Mark and Luke.
Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover (14th day). It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
Most scholars recognize that John was being consistent with the Roman reckoning of time, which started at midnight. John’s usage of time starts the day at midnight to begin. Thus, the 6th hour is about 6am. This is consistent with the fact that our Messiah was captured in the garden in the early morning.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke however, were using the Hebraic reckoning of hours of daylight. This is consistent with the 12 hours of daylight that our Messiah mentions in John 11:9. At any rate, Matthew, Mark, and Luke point to the fact that Yeshua died at the 9th hour, which would have been about 3pm.
If you recall earlier, this is consistent with the understanding of “between the two evenings” being exactly between noon and 6pm, related to when the Passover Lamb was to be slain. Now we can place Yeshua’s death on our visual chart for reference. The night prior to Yeshua’s death, he went to Gethsemane to pray.
Then Yahshua went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” It was at this time, early morning, that he was captured.
While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Yahshua at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Yahshua said to him,
“Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Yahshua and seized him.
So our Messiah was captured and brought to trial early morning on the 14th day of the Hebraic calendar.
So, here is what we have so far on our chart.
We know that our Messiah fulfilled the selection and inspection of the lamb on the 10th day of
the Hebraic month.
We know that Yeshua was captured in the early morning of the 14th day and stood trial.
We know that Yeshua died at 3pm on the 14th day of the Hebraic Month
We know that the 15th day is when the Passover Lamb was to be eaten and was the Sabbath of
the first day of Unleavened Bread.
We know that the 16th is the day that is before and after a Sabbath and is the day that Mary
purchased the spices.
We know that the 18th is the day of FirstFruits and is the day that our Messiah rose.
We know that the Messiah rose prior to daylight on the 18th, but no earlier than the close of the
17th as the stone was already rolled away by daylight.
We still have not determined when the Last Supper occurred on our chart. Nor have we determined whether or not the Last Supper was a Passover Seder, or have we? So, already, some may have caught it. Let’s take a look at the chart, which we built using only Scripture.
If Yeshua died on the 14th day of the first Hebraic month, and the eating of the Passover was to be on the 15th day of the month, how could the Last Supper be a Passover Seder since it happened before our
Messiah died? The simple answer is that it cannot.
Anyone who places the Passover Seder at the Last Supper is causing one of two things:
Either our Messiah died on the wrong day or,
Our Messiah observed Passover on the wrong day.
Neither of these can be true.
What we can conclude is that the Last Supper was the evening prior to Yeshua being captured in the garden. This would have been the evening of the 13th, and going into the 14th Hebraic day.
It is not possible for Yeshua to be our Passover Lamb while at the same time being our Passover Lamb.
Now some have suggested that perhaps it is possible that Jewish leadership observed Passover on the wrong day, and Yeshua observed it on the correct day. Again, if that is true, since the lamb is to be killed on the 14th day and eaten the very next day on the 15th, then that would only mean that our Messiah died on the wrong day and was not our Passover Lamb. However, that is simply the first piece of evidence to examine and realize. We have much more to consider. There are some very compelling reasons why some believe the Last Supper was a Passover.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke all seem to suggest it. However, John is very clear that the Last Supper was not a Passover Meal, so we will start with John.
John 13 is in the context of the Last Supper. According to John, the Last Supper was before the Feast of
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Yahshua 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…
John iterates this again after the Last Supper to continue to state that even Yeshua being on the cross was BEFORE the Feast of the Passover, and was in fact the day prior in which the Passover was to be killed.
Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the
Jews, “Behold your King!”
John iterates again that our Messiah was taken down from the cross before the Feast of Unleavened
Bread, which is the same thing as the Feast of the Passover.
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.
So there they laid Yahshua, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was
The day Yeshua died (14th) was called a preparation day. John declared that the day AFTER Yeshua’s death was indeed a High Sabbath day. The 15th was considered a Sabbath because the Torah declares it to be a day of rest. The 15th day is also the day that the Passover was to be eaten. At the Last Supper, Judas excused himself from the dinner, and it was assumed that he was going to go purchase things they might need for the Passover meal.
Then Yahshua said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” But no one at the table knew for
what reason He said this to him. For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Yahshua
had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give
something to the poor.
So again, what day are we to eat the Feast of Passover/Unleavened Bread? We are to kill the Passover on the afternoon of the 14th, and eat the Passover on the 15th. The 15th day is also a High Sabbath.
If they were eating the Passover on the 15th day of the first month, that would have been a Sabbath.
Would any Hebrew obeying the Torah go and buy something on a Sabbath? No, absolutely not.
But they assumed Judas was going out to buy something. The only reason they could have assumed that is because the Last Supper was not the Passover meal. In addition, they are having the meal right then. Why would it be assumed that Judas is going out to buy something for the Passover meal when they are already supposedly having the Passover meal right then? Of course, such things do not make any sense.
In addition, if this was the Passover meal, where is the lamb? There is no lamb mentioned. Where is the bitter herb? There is no bitter herb mentioned. There is bread referenced, but we cannot even be sure that it was unleavened bread they were eating. In the New Covenant, the Greek word artos (ar-tas) was generically used for bread in general, but usually just referencing leavened bread. In the gospel accounts of the Last Supper, they used the Greek word artos. When unleavened bread was being referred to, the Greek word azymos (a-zu-mas) was typically used. So while we cannot prove they were eating leavened bread, it is interesting that they did not use the word for unleavened bread as the bread eaten during the Last Supper.
To summarize, here are the reasons the Last Supper could not have been a Passover meal.
1) Yeshua could not be the Passover Lamb and eat of the Passover at the same time. Either He would have died a day late, or celebrated Passover on the wrong day.
2) John states that the day our Messiah died was the day before the first day of Unleavened Bread
3) Those attending the Last Supper assumed Judas left to go buy things for Passover. If the Last
Supper was a Passover meal, then it would not have been assumed that Judas left to go purchase things for Passover. In addition, if the Last Supper was a Passover meal, it would have been a High Sabbath
4) The Passover meal Biblically requires the Passover Lamb, bitter herb, and unleavened bread.
There is no mention of the Passover Lamb and bitter herb or unleavened bread at the Last Supper. In addition, though bread was mentioned, it cannot be proved it was unleavened bread at the Last Supper because the recording of the event did not use the word for unleavened bread.
So why do some believe that the Last Supper was a Passover meal?
The reason is Matthew, Mark and Luke seem to suggest that the Last Supper was a Passover meal.
Mark 14:12, 14-16 (& Matthew 26:17-19)
(Verse 12) On the first (protos) day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover Lamb, Yahshua’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” In this instance, it appears that the timing of the Last Supper was on the first day of Unleavened Bread. On our chart, that would be the 15th day of the first Hebraic month. That would indeed place the Last Supper on the correct day that the lamb was to be eaten, as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, or also known as the Passover meal. But, do you notice the problem? Look at the 14th. That is when the Passover Lamb was to be slain. If it is truly the 15th day of the Hebraic month, then why is Yeshua not in the tomb? If Yeshua and his disciples observed the Passover meal on the 15th, and Yeshua is our Passover Lamb, then this would mean that our Messiah died on the wrong day! Our Messiah was supposed to die yesterday, yet here are the disciples talking to him. Well, there is no reason to panic here, it is simply a matter of translation. According to Strong’s, the Greek “protos” translated here as “first” can also be translated as “before.” In fact, here is an instance of “protos” being translated as “before” in another verse.
John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes
after me ranks before (protos) me, because he was before (protos) me.’”
In doing so, this record in Mark and Matthew can be rendered “Before the day of the feast of
Unleavened Bread” This makes much more sense when examined against the Passover event and Passover instructions. The Passover Lamb was not eaten on the same day as the Passover was slain.
Now it also agrees with John 13:1-2 and the Torah, instead of conflicting with it. Therefore, as soon as the sun went down on the 13th and became the 14th, Yeshua instructed His disciples to prepare the room for the Passover meal. This means that the Last Supper was still part of the “Preparation Days” which is what John stated.
Another confusing matter is that Yeshua instructs the disciples to say to the owner of the house “Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ That does sound like Yeshua intended to eat the Passover with His disciples.
Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I
may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large upper room, furnished and
ready. Make preparations for us there.” The disciples left, went into the city and found things
just as Yahshua had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
The preparation of the Passover in context here, refers to the finding of the room that the Passover Lamb was to be eaten. Yeshua did maintain the idea with his disciples that he “may” eat the Passover with them. It must be noted though, that he never said for certain that he will eat the Passover with them. Remember, the disciples do not fully understand what is about to happen, nor does Yeshua want them to fully understand. Yeshua needs to die on the 14th day of the first Hebraic month to become our Passover Lamb. Full transparency here would have put that plan at risk.
Now to be fair, Luke 22 also does make it sound like Yeshua did eat the Passover with his disciples.
And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.”
So they said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare?” And He said to them, “Behold, when
you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the
house which he enters. 11 Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to
you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ Then he
will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready.” So they went and found it just
as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.
Yeshua sent the disciples to prepare a room that they MAY eat the Passover, not WILL eat the Passover.
It sounds like we are splitting hairs, but Yeshua had to maintain discretion about his real plan for Passover. Yeshua was not going to eat the Passover, in fact, he was going to be the Passover Lamb.
This is at the end of the 13th day and the start of the 14th day, the same day that the lamb is to be slain.
This would place the timing nearly exactly 24 hours before the Feast of Unleavened Bread. By preparing for the Passover by securing the room they would be fully ready by the end of the 14th, entering into the 15th day.
When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to
them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I
say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
At this point, Yeshua becomes a little more clear as to the nature of his Father’s plan for him this
Passover. “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer”
This phrase is likely a figure of speech called a Hebraism, commonly used throughout the TANAKH in
Hebrew, and in Aramaic texts. Here it is in the Greek manuscript — “epithumia epethumhsa”
Other scholars have noted the usage here of a polyptoton or figure of speech, where the same root word is used with different inflections or forms. This particular Greek word is in the Greek aorist tense which indicates a one-time action in the past. It should be rendered, “at one time in the past I strongly desired to eat this (coming) Passover with you before I suffer.”
He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, “…if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me….”
He strongly desired to eat the Passover meal with His disciples, but knew that He was the Passover
Lamb and would suffer and die before the meal was eaten on the following evening. The usage of a Hebraism here indicates that either Luke translated from the Peshitta original text, or that the words were spoken in Aramaic or Hebrew (if Greek is the original text), and Luke rendered the Hebraism in Greek as best as possible. Here it is in the Peshitta Aramaic manuscript — “rigta ragtani”
Dr. George M. Lamsa in his translation of the Peshitta Aramaic has it as “I have desired with desire”.
It is past tense and used in the same manner as this Hebrew equivalent: “niksof niksafti”
The Hebraism is in the Nifal root stem and is a Nifal infinitive absolute followed by a Nifal 1cs perfect
(I) of the root word “kasaf”. In Genesis 31:30, a very similar use of this Hebraism is used, “niksof niksaftah” except that it is written a little differently (the second word is in Nifal 2ms perfect (you)).
The Genesis 31:30 usage is the interchange between Jacob and Laban near Mount Gilead when Jacob had left Laban with his wives and children (Rachel had stolen her father’s idols too). This Hebraism in Genesis 31:30 is “you longed greatly,” in intensive past tense.
Expanding the Hebraism in Luke 22:15, it means “I had (in the past) strongly desired, or, I had (in the
past) longed greatly”. Literally, it is “Desire, I had desired.” This means that the Last Supper was not a Passover meal, as our Messiah knew that this year he was going to have to die before the Passover meal was to take place. This only makes sense because our Messiah was to die as a Passover Lamb. The lamb must die before you eat of it, and our Messiah died when all of the other Passover Lambs were being killed as well. No one ate a Passover Lamb before it was killed, obviously. This means that the “Last Supper” was not a Passover meal, but simply a Hebraic dinner that preceded the Passover meal.
Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed.
This would seemingly conflict with John, as John stated that the day our Messiah died was the day prior to the Day of Unleavened Bread. It is possible they lumped in preparation day as part of the days of UB as many still do today, not Biblically according to the Torah, but according to tradition. However, there may be another answer as well.
Luke states in verse 1 “it was called” not perhaps by Scripture, but by custom. There are two points we need to make clear:
The words “came” + “day”
CAME: Is used only in the present and imperfect tense and should be seen as “to come or go,” “appear” or even better “to enter” as in “to enter into”
DAY: Is used to include the extremities of both parts and is inclusive of a “general time” more clearly defined by the immediate context. So when the two of these are placed back to back we see
“They were ENTERING INTO the day of Unleavened Bread when the Passover must be killed.”
This would then also agree with what Luke said just 6 verses earlier, in which he said the Feast of
Unleavened Bread was drawing near, meaning not yet having arrived.
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover.
This of course, is in perfect accord with the Torah keeping in mind that the whole feast was lumped together including the 14th though according to Torah it is separate. On another note of similar confusion…In tradition, Shemini Atzeret (the last great day) is often lumped in with Sukkot as part of and 8th day of Sukkot, though it is not really part of Sukkot according to the Torah (see Leviticus 23).
Also, Jewish authorities would not have had Yeshua’s trial and crucifixion during the week of
Unleavened Bread. In fact, they wanted him off the cross BEFORE the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
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.
The last set of verses we need to cover are found in Matthew.
On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees
gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that
deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure
until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people,
‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”
What is interesting is that here, it is clear that Matthew states that the day our Messiah died followed the Day of Preparation. This means that according to Matthew, our Messiah died on the 14th day of the
Hebraic Month, and was put in the tomb at the beginning of the 15th day of the month. Yet, in Matthew’s last chapter, chapter 26, he seemingly declared that the Last Supper was the first day of Unleavened Bread, which would conflict with verse 62 in the very next chapter that we just read.
Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Yahshua, saying, “Where will you
have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
Now, we already reconciled Matthew 26:17 when we realized that the Greek word “protos” could also mean before, meaning that the Last Supper was before the Feast of Unleavened Bread, also known as the Passover meal. Matthew 27:62-64 is just as clear as John on the timing. The day after Yeshua died, the Pharisees received permission to place guards at the tomb. The Pharisees were concerned about deception, so they would have done this as soon as possible, perhaps as soon as the sun went down. In that case, it would have been the next day, the 15th day. The guards would have been put into place nearly the same time Yeshua was placed in the tomb on the 15th. Again, note that John references the 14th as the “Day of Preparation”. This makes sense since the 14th is mostly a day about preparing for the Passover Feast that happens at sundown going into the 15th. Thus, the “Last Supper” occurred at the beginning of the “Day of Preparation” (13th/14th).
At this point, we have reviewed all of the verses relating to the timing of the Last Supper. In looking at our chart, we understand the following.
Yeshua arrived in Jerusalem on the 10th day of the first Hebraic month. This would have been a
Saturday. This is also the day that the lamb was to be inspected and tested according to the Torah.
On the evening of the 13th, going into the 14th day, the Last Supper would have occurred.
That same evening on the 14th, Yeshua went to the garden to pray. He was seized early that morning on the 14th, and brought to trial.
Yeshua was placed on the cross and died at 3pm, the time and day that the Passover was to be slain according to the Torah.
Yeshua was buried just before the High Sabbath of the first Day of Unleavened Bread. The first Day of Unleavened Bread is also when the Passover Lamb, bitter herb, and unleavened bread are to be eaten as the Feast of Unleavened Bread or also called today the Passover Meal or Passover Seder.
The spices were purchased by Mary after the High Sabbath, but before the 7th day Sabbath, being the 16th day of the first Hebraic month.
Yeshua rose on the beginning of the 18th day, also known as Firstfruits. This placed him in the tomb for exactly three days and three nights according to Yeshua’s prophecy.
Mary discovered that the tomb was already open and the Messiah was already risen once it became light on the 18th day.
As you can see, after having gone through every relevant verse, it is understandable why there is so much confusion on this topic.
The most important thing to understand is that our Messiah is the Passover Lamb. He could not have observed the Last Supper as a Passover meal, because that simply means that our Messiah would have died on the wrong day, or observed Passover on the wrong day.