The prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane is after the Last supper, which we talked about before, and what happened after that prayer. Now let us take a look regarding how the Last supper is mentioned in the four Gospels. Jesus was nailed to the cross in Passover. Thus, we start with the Bible knowledge regarding the date of Passover. Next, there was an event of foreknowledge in the preparation of Last supper. Since someone said that the coming again of Jesus Christ might happen in one of Passovers, we’ll talk briefly about the predictions about Jesus’ coming again.
1. Which day is the Passover according to the Bible?
The dates referred in the Bible are according to the Jewish calendar. In Leviticus 23:5-6, it is said clearly which day is the Passover, “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.”
Jewish calendar is different from the calendar we are familiar with. Our familiar one day is from morning at 12:00 am to night before 12:00 am next day. Jewish one day starts from the dusk before that day to just before the dusk of that day. For example, if Jesus resurrected at Sunday after the death of three days, then three days before that Sunday is the Passover since Jesus was nailed to the cross at the Passover. Therefore, remembering the Last supper should be in the night of Thursday like what the Catholic churches currently do. Good Friday is used by both Christians and Catholics.
If we want to count rigorously, we must use the Jewish calendar. Nowadays, the celebration dates are based upon the calendar we are familiar with. Therefore, it is said that we celebrate according to the government requirements, but we must not forget the real date. The most important thing is to remember Jesus, knowing why He came. In the era of the New Testament, there is no need to observe these celebration days. The Bible says clearly in Galatians 4:10-11, “You observe days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.” “Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day – things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.” (Colossians 2:16-17) In the Law, we should follow the Jewish calendar. But in the era of the New Testament, we have the abiding Holy Spirit. As long as we “Do not quench the Spirit” as said in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, we’ll naturally fulfil the requirements of the Law.
2. The foreknowledge in the preparation of the Last supper
In Mark 14:12-16, it says clearly, “On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?” And He sent two of His disciples (Peter and John) and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”‘ And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.” The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.” (Also refer to Luke 22:7-13.) Obviously, He knew ahead what would happen. In the New Testament, one can observe such foreknowledge events very often.
“On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed,” such a day refers to the day of the Passover. By counting the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread together, there are totally eight days. Thus, in Matthew 26:17, it says consistently, “Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”” This has no contradiction with what said before in Leviticus 23:5-6.
3. Predictions for Jesus’ coming again
A prediction with a fixed time in the future cannot be verified if such a prediction is true or not before that fixed time. Nowadays, all such verifiable predictions failed. No fixed time prediction is like such a statement that Jesus’ coming again must happen in one of those celebration days. Really, the Bible records many things that happened in celebration days. For example, that Jesus was nailed in the cross represents that the true Passover sheep died for us to achieve salvation. In fact, if there are 365 people or 366 in leap year, one person can predict different day from the others for Jesus’ coming again. The date of the prediction of one person has to be correct. However, a true prediction is not something like such a trick.
In Matthew 24:36, it says, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” The God has the absolute authority, and the Bible is inspired by Him. Let us take a look what the Bible says. “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, …”(2 Peter 3:10) In Revelation 16:15, it also says, “(Behold, I am coming like a thief. …)” If we can truly use what the Bible says as our absolute standard, there is no reason for any prediction for His coming again. He is coming like a thief.
(Verses refer to those in NASB unless otherwise specified.)