Passover in the NT & the symbolism within Passover.
To get us started looking at Passover in the New Testament, I’ve listed most of the verses that do or may contain references to Passover, Unleavened Bread or First Fruits (all celebrated in one week’s time) and have mentioned a brief summary. May these verses richly bless you as you prepare for Passover coming in just a few weeks!!
Matthew 26 – Preparation for the Passover/Last Supper
Mark 14 – Preparation for the Passover/Last Supper
Luke 2: 41-52 – Yeshua in the temple as a child at Passover
Luke 22 – Preparation for the Passover/Last supper
John 2:13-25 – Yeshua’s first Passover during His ministry – He cleanses the temple, foretells his death, and many believe.
John 3:1-21 – Yeshua’s conversation with Nicodemus, which, likely took place during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
John 6:4 – Mentions it was passover… interestingly, however, Yeshua is not in Jerusalem (where he would have to be for Passover) but in the Gallilee, and the very next chapter states that the Feast of Tabernacles was nigh. In the previous chapter he was in Jerusalem at a feast. So, the more likely chronology is John 2/3 – Yeshua in Jerusalem for the Feast of Unleavened Bread/Passover. John 5 – Yeshua in Jerusalem for the Feast of Weeks/Pentacost. John 6 – Yeshua in Gallilee at the end of the summer, likely the feast drawing nigh is Trumpets/Day of Atonement but translators may have added pesach in at some point. John 7 – Feast of Tabernacles is nigh, Yeshua goes up late & in secret, as the people want to kill him, but still goes up – as is commanded that all men be in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, Weeks & Tabernacles.
This understanding is of course open to interpretation, and putting the matching gospel accounts together helps round out the story … but when we understand the culture of the time, the chronology is very “off” if John really intended to write Pasach in John 6:4 … John is the one Gospel writer who spends the bulk of his book filling in the events immediately surrounding the feasts in an attempt to show the Jews how Jesus fulfilled the feasts, so for him to put in such a brief mention of Passover (the most important feast in Yeshua’s first coming) seems very unlikely in my mind.
John 11:55 – Passover is again at hand. The Jews are seeking to kill Jesus. From this verse till John 20:25, John covers the beginning of the month of Aviv thru the week of Unleavened bread.
John 12:1 – 6 days before Passover (Aviv 8) Jesus comes to Mary/Martha/Lazarus. Presumably the next day, Mary annoints Jesus Feet at the supper they prepare for him (this is a big event, not likely pulled off the day he arrives)
Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD!
John 12:12,13 The next day = Triumphant Entry … likely on the 10th of the Month of Aviv when the Passover lamb was to be brought into the homes and onto the Temple mount for the following 4 days, to be inspected and found spotless. – Jesus Preaches to the people (Cross referencing the other gospels from Triumphant Entry onward gives a more clear picture of what Jesus did in the following 4 days prior to his crucifixion in the afternoon of Aviv 14, as the Passover lamb.)
Of interesting Note – John puts the cleansing of the Temple at the begining of Yeshua’s Ministry… However, Mark, Luke & Matthew put it at the end. Many Scholars believe it happened twice – once a the beginning, and once at the end, following his triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
Mark 11:15-19, 27-33, Matthew 21:12-17, 23-27 & Luke 19:45-48 & 20:1-8
Yeshua cleanses the temple a second time, following His Triumphant entry into Jerusalem as the Passover "Lamb of God"
John 13 – Before the feast of Passover, Last supper begins
John 18:28 – the Jews do not enter Pilate’s judgement hall, lest they be defiled and unable to eat the Passover meal in less than 18 hrs.
John 19:14 – on the Preparation of the Passover (Aviv 14 during the early part of the day – lambs to be sacrificed between noon and 6 pm, roasted and eaten in the early hours of Aviv 15 – day starts at sunset) Yeshua is presented, “Behold Your King!”
1 Cor 5:4-13 Paul identifies Yeshua as the Passover, and urges the removal of spiritual leaven.
Hebrews 11:28 – By faith Moses kept the Passover.
Acts 12 – Peter is taken captive during the Feast of Unleavened bread, Herod intended to bring him forth to the people after Pascha (translated correctly as Passover not Easter)
Acts 20:6 – Paul sails from Phillipi after the feast of Unleavened bread.
First Fruits Wave Offering
Acts 26:23 & Rev 1:5 – may be referencing Feast of First Fruits in “Jesus was the First begotten of the dead” – as First Fruits is celebrated on the first day of the week after the weekly Sabbath in the midst of Unleavened Bread, and was the day Yeshua appeared to Mary after His resurrection, and Ascended into Heaven (Jn 20:17) prior to his walk on the Road to Emmaus that evening.