Wednesday, February 7, 2024

2024 Memorial - When?

Question received:
Dear Pearl,
We had some questions about the date of the Memorial. When you read the gospel of Matthew, Mark and Luke, these evangelists place the death of the Lord Jesus on the day of Passover. However, John reports that it was on the day of Preparation, when the lambs were slaughtered (Nisan 13), because the Jews did not want to defile themselves by entering the governor's house so that they could later eat the Passover meal (John 18:28).
Interestingly, when we entered the Jewish calendar in 2024, according to it, Nisan 14 will be on April 22. However, the Watchtower states that the Memorial falls on March 24. What do you think?

My Reply:
                 [For those who would like to listen to a meeting we had on this post: (Click Here)]

If you read Exodus chapter 12, you will learn that Passover was not a single day, but rather it was a seven day observance. 
For the seven days, *no leaven was permitted to be present in the *household of an Israelite (Ex.12:15)  
[household *(Eph.2:19; Gal.6:10NKJV) of an Israelite (Rom.2:28-29; 9:6;  1Peter2:10; Gal.3:29; 6:16)].
   [The spiritual application of the symbolism of leaven, is deciphered by the words of Jesus 
     *(Matt.16:6; Luke 12:1; Matt.23:13-15,23-25,26-28,29-31; 5:20).]
The start of a new Jewish day occurs at sunset, unlike our own 24 hour day which starts at midnight.
The 24 hour Jewish day starts with darkness at sunset, continues through the daylight hours, up until the next sunset / nightfall.

The first day of the Passover week, (Exodus12:1-20)(Ex.12:15) was the Day of Preparation. That was the first day when no leaven was permitted.  So the first day of Passover which is also the Day of Preparation, started at sunset on Nisan 13. That evening was also the start of eating bread without leaven.
So when the disciples asked Jesus where he would like to eat the Passover (Matt.26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7), they were asking about where they should prepare to have the first meal of the first day of Passover. That was the first day and meal of the week with no leaven. Remembering that this first day started at sunset and continued until the next sunset; the day of preparation and slaughter of the lambs, would be included in that Jewish day. 
       (To our modern thinking, the next morning would be a new day in relation to the previous day's sunset, 
         but not according to the thinking of Jesus, his disciples, or the Jewish nation.) 
The Day of Preparation started at dusk when Jesus would have the Memorial Supper, that day would continue through the night when Jesus was arrested, continue through Jesus being condemned, crucified, and buried (John 19:31NIV). All of this was the same day that the Passover lambs would be slaughtered as part of the Day of Preparation, continuing up until the concluding sunset of Nisan 13, when Nisan 14 and the sabbath would then begin.

Once we understand the Passover week and the sunsets as being the start and end of each Jewish day; all the scriptures regarding the timing of Christ's memorial supper and death, will now be in harmonious agreement.

The sunset which launched Nisan 13 started the 24 hour Day of Preparation and was also the first day of the Passover week requiring unleavened Bread. The list of events that occurred during that 24 hour span from sunset to sunset, included:
- Christ's Memorial with his disciples
- the arrest of Jesus
- Christ's interrogation by the Jewish leaders
- Christ's scourging and sentence by Rome
- The Passover lambs being slaughtered 
     and preparations being completed for the Sabbath to start Nisan 14 at sunset
- Christ's crucifixion and death
- Christ being laid in a tomb.
     All these events occurred during Nisan 13 (Day of Preparation), before the initiating sunset of the Nisan 14 Sabbath.

Jesus had the Memorial and died on the same Jewish day, Nisan 13, which occurred between the two sunsets. That 24 hours was the first day of unleavened bread, the first day of the Passover week, and the Day of Preparation. Jesus did not have the memorial on Nisan 14. He had it on Nisan 13. According to this factual knowledge and testimony; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all agree.
    So when we read that the day in which Jesus ate his last meal with his disciples, is the same day that the lambs were slaughtered (Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7;  1Cor.5:7); we must remember that the meal occurred the evening before the lambs were slaughtered... not the evening after. We perceive this, when we accept the Jewish Preparation Day as occurring from sunset to sunset.
Mark 15:42-43; Luke 23:50-52,53-54; John 19:13-15,31,42

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

There are about 5 posts on this Main Page which discuss the modern timing of the Memorial and how to arrive at the proper date. I will give you one post link from 2021 which explains some of this, in addition to my explanation below. (

In harmony with how Jesus, his disciples, and the nation of Israel determined the timing of the Passover week, I will guide you through that procedure.
The Jewish calendar is lunar... meaning that it is based upon the moon's cycles.
The first month of the Jewish year (Nisan) is determined by the Spring Equinox and the new moon.
This year, the Spring equinox takes place on March 19. The new moon before the equinox occurs on March 10, before sunset. (The time of day is important, because if it occurs after sunset, we must wait for the following sunset as the fresh Jewish day and start of a fresh month.) 
Once we know both dates, we need to consider how many days are between them.
If there is more than half a month (15 or more days), then the equinox belongs to a Jewish leap year and the month of Adar II as the last month of the previous year. 
In that case, the first month of the new year (Nisan) would have to be postponed until the next new moon after the Spring equinox.
As already stated, there are 9 days between March 10 and March 19. Therefore, the new moon and sunset on March 10, begins the first month "Nisan" and the new Jewish year.

Since the new moon occurs before sunset on March 10; we can consider the sunset of March 10 as starting  the first day of Nisan. (If the new moon occurred after sunset on our March 10 modern calendar, then that sunset and Jewish day to follow, would belong to the previous Jewish day and Jewish month. We would then wait for the sunset on March 11, to start the first day of Nisan.) 
By overlapping our modern calendar with the Jewish; the new moon occurs between the sunsets of March 9 and March 10 (our modern March 10 during the night hours of our morning -1am). Therefore, the new sunset on March 10 can initiate Nisan 1.
sunset on March 10 is Nisan 1.
Now we need to determine when Nisan 13 takes place, so that we can observe the memorial on the *Lunar date and time that Jesus instituted it 
March10=Nisan1; March11=Nisan2; March12=Nisan3; March13=Nisan4; March14=Nisan5; March15=Nisan6; March16=Nisan7; March17=Nisan8; March18=Nisan9; March19=Nisan10; March20=Nisan11; March21=Nisan12; March22 after sunset=Nisan13.

I cannot be accountable for those who apply and arrive at a different calculation and conclusion. Many erroneously believe that Nisan 14 is the day Jesus had the memorial. Others of the modern Jewish faith have altered the method of calculation (i.e. to wait until the fresh new moon after the equinox). I've read that the Watchtower calculates according to the sunset in Jerusalem and then converts it to the next sunset of one's own location. The problem with this, is that the old Jerusalem is irrelevant 
(John 4:21; Matt.21:43; John 15:5,16; Heb.13:15;  1Pet.2:5,9; Isa.43:21; Heb.9:11;  2Cor.5:17; Rev.21:2).
New Jerusalem is not a location on earth, but rather, a designation in the heavens (Eph.2:6; Luke 10:20; Gal.4:26; Heb.12:22; Rev.3:12).

No one answers to me, nor do I answer to anyone except Christ. We each stand before the judgment seat of Christ for our own decisions.
  If further information is needed by any reader; please use the search box, or contact me by means of the contact box located in the right side column of this page.

Additional Pages for Study (coming soon)