Why tonight is not Passover

Well, tonight we’re meeting for the beginning of the Days of Unleavened Bread — the evening we’ve come to call the Night To Be Much Observed (after the wording of Exodus 12:42 in the KJV) or the Night To Be Much Remembered.  All are encouraged to discuss with others their journeys our of spiritual Egypt.  It really is a wonderful evening, and I know that my family and I are looking forward to sharing it with the congregation here in St. Louis.

We had Passover last night, remembering together what Christ was willing to go through so that we could be forgiven of our sins and ultimately join the Family of God for all eternity.  But why was Passover last night when most Jews, printed calendars, etc. say that it is tonight? Did Jesus have it a day early with the disciples since He was going to die the next day?  (Answer: No.)  What is the difference between the two evenings?

Many of you out there in the Living Church of God will get the opportunity to watch Mr. Gerald Weston’s wonderful message discussing why Passover really was last night (in the Old Testament as well as in the New) and why tonight, the beginning of the Days of Unleavened Bread, is a totally different observance.  However, if you are unable to do so, you can watch it online, instead.  It is longer than a sermonette but much shorter than a “split sermon.”  Check it out — it really explains things very clearly!  (Note: It was recorded to be played at the beginning of the evening, before the meal, so if you are not watching it at that time it may seem a little confusing unless you keep that in mind.)

To watch the message, click here or click on the picture below.  And have a wonderful evening!

Screenshot of sermons website.

5 thoughts on “Why tonight is not Passover

  1. Interesting — I’ve never seen a COG group have a pre-dinner message like this.

    But a question remains. Why is there no real record of anyone in the New Testament keeping this specific night? (As opposed to “keeping the feast” in general.)

    I can only imagine the mood among Jesus’s disciples, assuming they kept NBTMO only hours after their Lord was crucified. A night of rejoicing? I seriously doubt it.

  2. Howdy, Richard. We’ve had announcements to read concerning the NTBMO, and locally I am sure messages have been given leading up to the evening. (At least, I know I’ve given such messages, and I am sure that I am not alone.) But I think this is the first such video message that LCG has produced that can be used for this purpose, and a welcome first it is. As Mr. Weston mentioned, it is a return to a practice that was done when the church was smaller, and I think it has been a good thing this year.

    I don’t know that I would agree that “a question remains.” We have to be careful of committing the fallacy of arguing from silence (argumentum ex silentio) — the same fallacy many commit when they make the very same sort of argument concerning Christian observance of the Feast of Tabernacles, et al.

    As for the disciples’ mood and actions after Christ’s crucifixion, I am sure that much of that week was unique for them compared to their normal practice. For instance, we are told that they fled and scattered at Christ’s suffering (Matt. 26:31, 56) and were later hiding from the Jews in fear of their lives (John 20:19). What of Leviticus 23:7? I dare say that week was an exceptional (“forming an exception or rare instance; unusual; extraordinary”) week for them in many, many ways — ways both obvious and more subtle.

  3. Norbert

    I would agree with “a question remains”. But like numerous other doctrines that have more substantial evidence that lead to their conclusions, I believe it depends on how the supportive biblical precepts surrounding this particular issue is spun (Is 28:10-15).

    I believe the NTBMO and what was happenning with the disciples at the time are not necessarily in isolation to one another. That its’ uniqueness should be adding to the faith of Christ within each and every member who understand that night in spirit with the truth and not subtracting from the experience. And especially NOT something to be taken with the attitude, “Pfft… it’s irrelevant”. Not by saying that it is implying anyone here does take that attitude.

    But given the question “I can only imagine the mood among Jesus’s disciples, assuming they kept NBTMO only hours after their Lord was crucified. A night of rejoicing?”

    It indeed is a night of rejoicing because those same moments can happen to any disciple when hope of being delivered/saved seems lost in their own eyes. When faced with seemingly insurmountable odds that say everything to the contrary. Those events serve as an example to us on that night to encourage us to endure to the end because we have the same LIVING DELIVERER.

    “As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country.” (Eze 34:12-13)

    So again on the NBTMO, despite and yet also including the actions of the disciples, Christ is busy with the Father’s work to deliver all His people from bondage and leading the way.

  4. Howdy, Norbert, and thanks for your thoughtful comment. Your note moves me to think a bit further and to clarify a bit. I would hate to have come across as “Pfft… it’s irrelevant” and I apologize if I accidentally did so, since that’s not my position. Let me have another crack at it…

    I still don’t think “a question remains” if we’re asking whether or not the NTBMO and Passover are separate evenings, and the point about arguing from silence is still an important one if that is the matter under consideration. Also, I certainly don’t think it is a matter of “spinning” precepts, but, rather, of seeing them as clearly as possible, putting all available scriptural evidence together in the manner Isaiah 28 indicates.

    However, on the other matter I would hate to have come across as dismissing any thought of meditating on what the disciples first evening after Christ’s crucifixion might have been like for them, as I would think there could be much profit in that. Indeed, I tend to spend a lot of time imagining just such things.

    No, I do not think it was a night of rejoicing for them that particular week (because the Scriptures clearly indicate they spent those next few days in fear), which seemed, to me, to be what Richard was asking about. That was, to be sure, an exceptional week in many ways, as I mentioned.

    But one year later I’m very sure that it was a night of great rejoicing for them — their minds having been opened, being filled with God’s Spirit, and finally understanding the incredible meaning of all that had transpired the year before. The year before in the despairing hours and days immediately after His crucifixion and before His resurrection, they did not know He was their Deliverer and that His death served a great purpose — all for their good and, indeed, for their salvation. They only knew that He was dead, and with Him their hopes about their future and the future of Israel. A year later, not only did they know the truth about Him, but He was actually dwelling in them to be that Living Deliverer.

    I hope this clarifies (and extends) what I intended to say, and I appreciate the comments from both of you.

    Have a wonderful remaining Days of Unleavened Bread!

  5. Martin: My apologies that your comment is not being posted, but you are perpetuating the same mistakes that this video clearly and biblically contradicts, and I can’t, in good conscience, be a party to additional confusion in the church (though I am thankful that confusion on this matter does not exist in the Living Church of God). I know you do not see the contradictions in your words, but I do hope that you will begin to look. Let me see if I can help that process begin.

    You mention the day begins at midnight and refer to John 11:9 and Christ’s words that there are 12 hours in a day. Yet read the rest of Christ’s words in that verse: He defines the day as that portion of every 24 hours that has light so that a man will not stumble when he walks. Are you less prone to stumbling at 12:30am than you were at 11:30pm? Are you more prone to stumbling an hour after Noon than you are an hour before? Why does your definition of “day” and “night” differ so dramatically from the Lord’s? (Not to mention from Hebrew understanding and from commonsense, given the meaning of of the word “midnight.”)

    Like it is explained in the video, they did not leave their homes until the morning after the Passover, and morning did not happen in the middle of the night.

    I’d say more, but let’s leave things at that: cordial and with the hope that some reconsideration will occur. Thanks for writing.

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