In our quest to understand what occurred on Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym, we will have to travel back in time and consider Yahowah’s prophetic testimony and Covenant promises and then compare them to the eyewitness and historical accounts of their enablement and fulfillment. So to set the scene, let’s first examine the 24th chapter of Luke, recognizing that his hearsay presentation is sufficiently consistent with Yahowchanan’s eyewitness account that it is likely accurate. That said, the Greek historian sought to add some interesting details he must have thought the eyewitness missed, and with them we should be a little less enamored.
“They said, ‘The Master has been restored to life, He has stood up and has risen (egeiro) in reality (ontos – in point of fact) and has been seen by (horao) Shim’own.’ And they recounted and related (exegomai – fully disclosed and described so as to make fully known) the Way (hodos) just as (hos – because) He was known (ginosko – and understood) by (en – and in) them as broken bread (klasis artos).” (Luke 24:34-35)
Based upon what I have learned studying Yahowah’s testimony, there is little chance the Disciples would have referred to Yahowsha’ as their “Lord” or “Master.” They most certainly didn’t refer to Him using the Greek kurios, which was hinted at here via a Divine Placeholder. These titles were all assigned to Satan in the Towrah, Prophets, and Psalms. But since Luke wasn’t there, was reporting hearsay, and wasn’t inspired, we have no way of knowing for sure what was actually said.
As for the Disciples, they knew that Yahowsha’s body suffered on Passover, and that as the Passover Lamb it would have been destroyed that same night. And they assumed that there had to be some tangible connection between Him and the Feast of Unleavened Bread because He had equated Himself to broken Matsah. But it would be a real stretch to assume that they understood how this would all materialize on FirstFruits. He had told them about these very things during Pesach supper, three days earlier. But it was all a bit fuzzy to them now.
Continuing on, we find three interesting words: apolaleo/free speech, histemi/standing upright, and eirene/salvation. These concepts are related.
“And as they shared (apolaleo – spoke freely about) Him and these things (houtos), He Himself (autos) stood upright (histemi – having come into their presence, He stood upright enabling them to stand, establishing and rescuing them, upholding them with authority and making them safe, acknowledging their validity, recommending and authorizing them, having paid for them so that by choice they could choose continued existence) in their midst (mesos – among them), saying: ‘Be assured of salvation (eirene – of a state of peace and tranquility by being joined to Me in a harmonious relationship, be assured of freedom and safety, of prosperity and great joy).’” (Luke 24:36) The message is consistent from witness to witness, from Yahowah to Yahowsha’. Well, at least it is in Hebrew. He actually said, “Shalowm.” It means “reconciliation,” and speaks of bringing us back into harmony with the Covenant.
That said, we humans have always found the truth startling. Some even fear it. Most reject it.
“But they were startled and teetering in panic (ptoeomai), frightened (emphobos) because they were of the opinion (dokeo – they supposed that) they had witnessed (theoreo – observed) a spirit (pneuma). And He said to them, ‘Why are you agitated (tarasso – troubled and restless)? And by whose account and for what reason (dia tis) have internal deliberations (dialogismos – personal questions and introspection, inward thinking) arisen in (anabaino – stepped into the midst of) your hearts?” (Luke 24:37-38)
At His celebration of FirstFruits, Yahowsha’ resembled light, in that He reflected both an energy and particle nature. He was both soul and Spirit. So the disciples had seen a spirit—the Spirit of Truth. Yet that frightened them because it was not what they expected.
They were without excuse. These men were told what was going to happen just as we have been told. But the truth, diminished and convoluted in human hands, had been replaced by supposition—misguided opinions. And that’s precisely what dialogismos is telling us. These men were startled by the Truth because they had turned inward for answers. Rather than searching the Scriptures for them, so as to understand what had happened and what would happen, they teetered in panic.
I’m not picking on the disciples. We are no better than they were. The truth is available to us too by way of the Towrah and yet when we hear that Passover predicts and explains the purpose of the blood of the Lamb, that Unleavened Bread embodies the sacrifice of separation, and that FirstFruits represents our adoption into the Covenant family, many are bewildered by this news.
When we hear that man’s replacement, Easter, is a satanic rite born out of the Whore of Babylon the religious are startled. It’s true that God’s name is Yahowah and the Savior’s is Yahowsha’ yet these truths are not popular. We have grown more comfortable with the satanic title “Lord.” We use terms based upon sun gods like “Bible” instead of “Towrah,” “Church” instead of “Called Out,” and “Holy” instead of “Set Apart.” We “worship on Sundays” rather than engage in a relationship with Yahowah the “Sabbath.” We celebrate “Christmas” and ignore “Tabernacles.” We take “mass or communion” outside of the context of Passover and Unleavened Bread which explain the nature of the broken bread and wine.
Mind you, recognizing these things does not make me better than them or you. Whatever I possess of value is attributed solely to the enrichment of Yahowah’s Towrah Teaching through the enlightenment of the Ruwach Qodesh, the Set-Apart Spirit. While working with Yahowah is an honor, only those who know that they are worthless apart from Him are useful to Him. I am qualified because I recognize that I’m not qualified. Therefore, do not credit me with what you are learning.
Fortunately, Yahowah loves us in spite of ourselves. Because He revealed Himself, we can know Him. Because He exists, we can exist in His presence. Empowered by the Spirit and the Word we can know the truth and we can be useful.
The point Yahowsha’ is translated making in this next paragraph is that He had defeated death, and that through Him, we can too. And also that, in our eternal state, we will be able to diminish some of our spiritual energy and accept a material form when so desired. Most of the time it would be counterproductive, as we’d be stuck in the ordinary flow of time, but not always. Sometimes we may want to touch another person, share a meal with them, or just sing a song, all of which requires a physical presence.
I’m hoping that this is not too confusing. But the underlying issue here is that energy and matter are the same thing. It is just that matter is a reduced form of energy. That means that to accept a physical presence, we’ll have to dial down our spiritual energy from time to time, just as Yahowsha’ was doing now.
“Use your eyes to look at (horao – to perceive and understand) My hands (cheir – My power and ability to help) and My feet (pous – My authority), because (hote) I (ego), Myself (autos), exist in your presence (eimi). Touch (pselaphao – reach out, find, and feel) Me and see. For a spirit does not have (echo – possess or hold on to, wear) flesh (sarx – a physical body) and bones consistent with what you are witnessing (theoreo – beholding and surveying) being possessed by (echo – being worn by) Me.’” (Luke 24:39) While Yahowsha’ had been reunited with the Set-Apart Spirit, He was also corporeal – at least when He wanted to be.
At this point we know that the Ma’aseyah’s new, restored nature was comprised of a material component. It had physical dimensions. Moreover, He was able to eat.
“When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But (de) they even now (eti – still) were in disbelief (apisteo), separated (apo), yet rejoicing in amazement (ekthaumazo – marveling in wonderment). He said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ So they handed Him a piece of broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He received it and ate in their presence.” (Luke 24:40-43)
Though He didn’t need food to sustain life anymore, He could still enjoy it. It’s the best of all worlds. And that’s good news for us because our eternal nature will be like His.
The next statement is important. At the crossroads of the world, in the land most steeped in Scripture, most every aspect of the Ma’aseyah’s ministry was fulfilled in public view. There were hundreds of prophecies predicting precisely what had just occurred, and hundreds more predicting exactly when and where mankind would be redeemed. Yahowsha’ was the living embodiment of the fourth day of creation, of the Lamb of Light provided by God in Yitschaq’s stead, of the prophet predicted by Moseh, and the Ma’aseyah foretold by the Prophets. Yahowsha’ fulfilled the Towrah’s Mow’ed Miqra’ey just as surely as He endured the hellish sacrifice and enjoyed the miraculous restoration depicted in Yasha’yah / Isaiah 53 and Mizmowr / Psalm 22. And in what follows, Yahowsha’ told us where to look if we want to understand these things, if we want to stand upright on His firm foundation rather than tremble in fear and uncertainty.
“Moreover (de),’ He said (lego – affirmed, taught, and advised), ‘This is the Word (logos) which I articulated (laleo – shared, speaking freely about) for your advantage (pros) while I was still with (eti sun – existing in a different state and time with) you, because (hoti) all things (pas – collectively and individually) which are written (grapho – expressed and memorialized by letters on a page) concerning the account (peri) received and established by (nomos) Moseh (Moseus – a transliteration of the Hebrew Moseh, meaning to draw out), the Prophets (Prophetes – from phemi, to make known and affirm pro, beforehand), and the Psalms (Psalmos) must by necessity (dei) be fulfilled (pleroo – rendered precisely, completely, and perfectly) as they relate to and concern (peri) Me.’” (Luke 24:44) So let it be said, so let it be done. So let it be known, so let it be relied upon. The Word and Yahowsha’ are one.
Let’s read that again: “Moreover,’ He affirmed, ‘This is the Word which I articulated for your advantage while I was still with you, because all things which are written concerning the account received and established by Moseh, the Prophets, and the Psalms must by necessity be fulfilled as they relate to and concern Me.’”
If you don’t know what Moseh received from Yahowah through inspiration you simply can’t fathom what happened during these three days, why it happened, or when it occurred. If you don’t know what the prophets predicted and what the psalmists proclaimed you may “marvel in wonderment” but you’ll never be established sufficiently in the truth to be an effective witness.
No religions were born this day. No new doctrines were taught. The Mow’ed Miqra’ey established in the Towrah, the prophecies inspired by Yahowah, the Mizmowr / Psalms received by Dowd / David, were all made manifest. These things happened because it was necessary. Man required redeeming. And the Scripture that provided the Way required verification.
“Then, at that time (tote), He opened their minds and caused them to think (dianoigo nous – explained by way of thought and reasoning), bringing things together so as to make them wise and upright in (suniemi – intelligent, possessing the capacity to be sent out understanding) the Scriptures (Graphe – the Written Word).” (Luke 24:45)
This is the purpose of the Spirit. She opens our minds, helping us think by connecting related things together. The means to being upright and the source of wisdom and understanding are found in the same place—the Word of God: His Towrah Teaching.
The only “Scriptures” available at the time Yahowsha’ spoke these words were contained in the Tanakh—a Hebrew acronym for Towrah, Prophets, and Writings. There was no “Bible.” The “Christian New Testament” had yet to be written. And even when it was, it was not inspired by God and thus not Scripture. Yahowsha’ defined the whole of Scripture with the words: “the account received and established by Moseh, the Prophets, and the Psalms.” A “New Testament” was not added to an “Old Testament.” The totality of Yahowah’s Testimony is contained in the Hebrew Scriptures. Everything He wants us to know is based upon the Towrah’s foundations. Without it, everything crumbles.
To understand Yahowah’s Scripture, the Towrah, the Prophets, and the Psalms, we must open our minds first. Only then will we be able to process the information intelligently by way of thinking and reasoning. And the best way to do this, according to Yahowsha’, is to connect related things together.
For example, the last days of Yahowsha’s earthly life can be connected to the Exodus enactment and Qara’ / Leviticus proclamation of the Mow’ed Miqra’ey of Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, and Seven Sabbaths. And these things can be associated with their predicted fulfillment in Dany’el 9, Mizmowr 22, and Yasha’yah 53. Bring these thoughts together and you will become “wise and upright.” You will be “intelligent, possessing the capacity to be sent out.” You will “understand the Scriptures.”
In the word you will find the Word and the Way. For example, Yasha’yah 52 and 53 speak of the “Suffering Servant.” Therefore, it also found its way into Luke’s historical account
“And He said (legos – taught and affirmed) to them, ‘In this manner and way (houto) it is Written (grapho): the ΧΝ (placeholder for Ma’aseyah) must experience suffering (pascho – must be afflicted in a horrible way, must endure and feel pain) and then rise up enabling others to be restored (anistemi – becoming restored) out of (ek) lifelessness and abandonment (nekros – desolation and destitution, and especially: abandonment) on the third day.” (Luke 24:46) The entire chapter of “Ga’al – Redemption” was dedicated to this specific prophetic proclamation.
This is what Pesach, Matsah, and Bikuwrym were all about. It is their message and purpose. That’s why at the heart of this statement we find: “the ability to rise and enable others to be restored (anistemi) out of (ek) lifelessness and abandonment (nekros).”
Anistemi is a compound of ana, meaning “to come into one’s midst,” and histemi, meaning “to take a stand, having come into one’s presence, standing upright enabling others to stand, establishing and rescuing others, upholding them with authority, and making them safe and causing them to rise, acknowledging their validity, recommending and authorizing them, having paid for them so that by choice they could choose continued existence.” It’s hard to overestimate what was done ana, “in our midst.”
Histemi may be among the most important words in the eyewitness and historical accounts. It is what was predicted, tying the Upright One and the Upright Pillar to the Upright Pole. Stauros, which is derived from histemi, provides the basis for the word we errantly translate “cross.” The themes of standing upright and establishing others thereby enabling them to rise through the sacrifice of the Suffering Servant permeate Scripture’s depiction of redemption throughout the Towrah. When we connect these awesome thoughts and expose this profound truth we become wise, we become prepared, and we become useful.
Yahowsha’s solution provided the Way “ek/out of nekros/lifelessness and abandonment.” He ransomed us from the consequence and penalty of sin which had previously left us lifeless and separated from Yahowah. Because Yahowah is life, to be apart from Him is to be dead.
Let’s finish this historical portrait and then divert our attention to Yahowsha’s reference to “three days.” That discussion will bring us to the heart of the issue.
Speaking of understanding Yahowsha’ within the context of the Hebrew Scriptures, God says that they say that:
“Changing one’s mind (metanoia – thinking differently) and proclaiming the forgiveness from (aphesis – a release from bondage, a pardon from) wandering away in sin and error (hamartia – from the consequence of guilt) should be publicly proclaimed (kerusso – be published and openly heralded with authority) by way of (epi) His personal name (onoma) [that of Yahowsha’] to (eis) all (pas) races and nations (ethnos – all groups of people) starting with (archo) Yaruwshalaim (Hierousalem). And you are witnesses (martus) of Him and of these things (houtos).” (Luke 24:47-48) And through them so are we. They did their job, now we must do ours.
So, why do you suppose Yahowsha’ required three days to fulfill these Towrah promises? How did He suffer during two days only to be restored on the “third day?” And why did He feel compelled to specify that all of this was foretold? After all, in this discussion connecting His life to “the account received and established by Moseh, the Prophets, and the Psalms,” “He affirmed, ‘In this manner and way it is Written: the Ma’aseyah must experience suffering and then rise up enabling others to be restored out of lifelessness and abandonment, on the third day?”
Yahowsha’ answered this vital question earlier—or at the very least He told us where to look for the answer. Those who look will find a revelation “received and established by Moseh that was necessary to fulfill” over the course of three days. It can be found in the heart of the Towrah. And when we come to understand the relationship between these three days and Yahowsha’s fulfillment of them, the door will be opened to understanding when the next harvest of souls will occur, when the Tribulation will start, when Yahowsha’ will return, and when the Millennial Sabbath will begin.
More importantly, if you come to understand these three days, and their relationship to the blessings of Covenant and Seven Sabbaths, when these meetings continue to unfold, you will be in good company and enjoying them.
The blueprint for prophetic prophecy can be found in Qara’ / Leviticus 23. “These Godly (‘el-leh) appointed meeting times (mow’ed – fixed assembly betrothal appointments which focus on the specific purpose designated by the Authority) of Yahowah ( ), these related and beneficial (‘asher) set-apart (qodesh) Invitations to be Called Out and Meet (miqra’ – summons to be welcomed; from qara’, to call out, to read, and recite, to meet and to greet), shall be proclaimed (qara’ – called out, read aloud, and recited) in relationship to (‘asher) their appointed meeting times (mow’ed – their fixed betrothal appointments where the assembly focuses on the specific purpose that was designated by the Authority).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:4)
These “mow’ed – specific meeting times,” these “fixed betrothal assemblies,” are not only to be “qara’ – proclaimed, called out, read aloud, and recited,” they are named as such—Miqra’. Further, Yahowah’s “Miqra’ey – His Invitations to be Called Out and to Meet,” are all “‘asher – related and beneficial.” They are all “mow’ed – meetings specifically designed” to develop the “‘asher – relationship” between God and those who are “qodesh – set apart.”
These days are important to Yahowah. They are set apart from all others on the calendar as fixed appointments between us and our Maker. They are: annual review meetings with the Boss.
Day one: “In the first (ri’shown) month (chodesh – time of renewal, ‘abib – the time young barley ears form and green), on the fourteenth (‘arba’ ‘asar – four and ten) at twilight (‘ereb – sunset), is Yahowah’s ( ) Passover (Pesach).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:5)
Let the record speak for itself. Passover isn’t a “Jewish” holiday. It’s Yahowah’s Passover.
In God’s accounting, a day begins at sunset. The fourteenth day of a month would commence as the sun set in the early evening of the thirteenth day following a renewal of the moon. It would last through sunset of the following day.
In 33 CE, the year of Yahowsha’s sacrifice, Passover began on Thursday evening March 31st. It was then that the Ma’aseyah observed Passover dinner with His disciples. It was still Passover when He became the perfect Passover Lamb on Friday afternoon the 1st of April, sacrificing Himself on the upright pole. This accounting was recorded by the eyewitnesses Mattanyah and Yahowchanan, and also by the hearsay accounts of Mark and Luke. Their reports were in harmony with Moseh’s Qara’ revelations in chapters 23-25, with Dowd’s 22nd and 88th Mizmowr, with Yasha’yah 52-53’s prophecies regarding the Suffering Servant, and with the precise timeline established by Dany’el / Daniel 9 and reaffirmed by Zakaryah / Zechariah.
In this introduction to the Mow’ed Miqra’ey, the word Yahowah used for “first” is ri’sown. It is from the same root as re’shyth, Scripture’s first word, designating “the beginning of time” on day one of creation. It is symbolic of our existence and of eternal life. It is also indicative of these things being related, of the seven days of creation presenting the same prophetic plan as that depicted in the seven Mow’ed Miqra’ey.
The word for “month” is chodesh, the root of which is chadash. It conveys “renewal and restoration.” It suggests that Passover and Unleavened Bread renew and restore us. Even “twilight” is interesting. The Light came and revealed Himself in the darkness of our world.
Before the Exodus Passover, Yahowah told His people “In the first month of the year,” which is ‘Abib, “you are to bring the lamb into your home on the tenth day of the month.” This is why Yahowsha’, the perfect Passover lamb, came into Yaruwshalaim on Branch Monday, four days before Passover.
Yahowah said: “Your lamb shall exist as (hayah) an unblemished (tamym – blameless and innocent) male (zakar) son (ben), a year old (shaneh) and he shall exist with you (hayah) and be confined and guarded (mishmeret – kept responsibly) until the fourteenth day of the same month.
And the whole (kol) assembly (qahal) of the congregation (‘edah) of Yisra’el (those who live with Yahowah) shall sacrifice (shachat – take its life by killing) him around twilight (‘ereb – sunset).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:2-6)
While Yahowsha’ was “perfect” because He observed the Towrah, He was declared “innocent” by Pilate, the Roman authority responsible for judging Him. Further, His sacrifice corresponded perfectly to the designated time of the slaughter. It was just before sunset that He surrendered His body and Spirit.
The Shemowth accounting which follows was fulfilled by Yahowsha’ on another upright pole, this one providing the doorway to life in heaven. “You are to take (laqach – lay hold of, seize and receive) part of (min) the blood (dam) and put (nathan – entrust, dedicate, exchange, devote, and pay with) it on (‘al) the two upright pillars of the doorway (mazuwzah) and the crosspiece of the doorframe of (masaqowp – the lintel; from shaqaph, meaning that which looks out and down upon) the homes (beyth – families) which by way of relationship (‘asher – beneficially) you shall eat (‘akal) its flesh with Unleavened Bread and bitter herbs . It is Yahowah’s ( ) Passover (Pesach).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:7-8)
The reason Yahowah wanted the Yahuwdym to eat the lamb was so that they would understand that the sacrifice wasn’t a gift to God, or a service to Him, but instead something for them to benefit from and enjoy.
In its bitter fulfillment, “Yahowsha’ broke the bread and said, ‘Take and eat. This is my body broken for you.’ And He took the cup and gave it to them, saying ‘Drink from it all of you for this is My blood of the covenant which is to be shed on behalf of many for forgiveness of sins.’” (Mattanyah / Matthew 26:26-28)
When we are washed in the blood of the perfect Passover Lamb, our lives are spared on that account. God said so during the Exodus.
“I Am Yahowah ( ), and the blood will exist (hayah) as a sign (owth – a token, a proof, and as a miraculous signal) for you on your homes (beyth) where you (‘attah) by way of relationship (‘asher) are therein at that time (sham/shem – are known by name). And when I see (ra’ah – when I consider) the blood I will pass over (pacach) you on that account (‘al – on that basis and for that reason).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:13)
It is so subtle it is usually missed. The sign was for us, not for Him. Passover was a sign of things to come—the reconciliation of the Covenant.
But there is much more. Passover isn’t a somber affair. It is the ultimate party. On this day we are adopted into Yahowah’s family, inheriting all that is His.
“This day will exist (hayah) as a memorial (zikarown – a reminder, a means to recall and understand). And you shall hold a feast (chagag – celebrate, throwing a party), a festival feast (chag) with Yahowah ( ) throughout your life and generations (dowr), celebrating the festival feast (chagag – reveling in the party) as a written prescription which cuts you into the relationship (chuqah – a clearly communicated and inscribed instruction of what you should do in life to live) forever (‘owlam – into perpetuity).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:14)
Forever means that the observance of Passover was never to end; it wasn’t to be replaced by anything. And it is designed as a “chuqah – a written prescription which cuts us into the relationship, a clearly communicated and inscribed instruction of what we should do in life to live” “‘owlam – forever.”
So why do you suppose the Catholic Church made the celebration of Passover illegal, punishable by death? Why did they replace Yahowah’s Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits with Satan’s Easter? And why do Protestant and Orthodox Christians follow their ungodly example? Is it any wonder we don’t understand the majesty of God’s plan?
Day two: “The fifteenth (chamesh ‘asar – the five plus ten) day (yowm) of this same (zeh) month (chodesh – the time of restoration and renewal) is the festival feast of (chag – celebration of) Unleavened Bread (Matsah – that which drains out and removes, bread without leavening-yeast/fungus which is symbolic of sin and corruption) unto Yahowah ( ). Seven days shall you eat bread without yeast (matsah).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:6) The Unleavened Bread sacrifice was designed to remove the fungus of sin from our souls.
In Shemowth / Exodus 13:3, the “Mow’ed – Meeting” of Unleavened Bread is a: “day to be remembered and to be memorialized as the day in which you came out of the crucible of Egypt and bondage.”
In Shemowth 13:9 we discover that the Feast of Unleavened Bread “exists as (hayah) an awe inspiring and miraculous sign (‘owth).” It is: “a memorial reminder for explicit retrospection, a record worth remembering (zikarown) because the past event is related to a significant future fulfillment.”
It is: “Yahowah’s instruction (towrah).” It is “a day to be made conspicuous, to be announced and declared, to be made known and to be expounded (nagad) to your son (ben).”
Chag is a provocative term. While it is usually translated “feast or festival,” and speaks of a “celebration and party” in this context, one of its related roots provides a contrast – something common to Hebrew. Depending upon the context, a chag can “commemorate a terrifying sacrificial pilgrimage.” Yahowsha’ would go on one of these, and on this very day. That is why we are called to celebrate it. He made the sacrifice so we wouldn’t go on this same terrifying journey.
It was a Sabbath when His soul descended into She’owl to be afflicted. By going on this journey He removed all corruption from our souls (symbolized by the elimination of leavening-yeast from bread).
This thought is further advanced by Moseh in Dabarym / Deuteronomy 16:3. He says that matsah/Unleavened Bread is also “the bread (lechem) of affliction and misery (‘ony).” ‘Ony is from ‘anah, which like chag has a light and dark side, a dichotomy to reveal the consequences of our actions. While the primary meaning of ‘anah is “to respond and answer and invitation,” and “to serve as a witness,” in certain contexts it can be rendered: “to be cast down and to be bruised, to be humiliated and to be humbled.” Yahowsha’ endured the “afflicting” aspect of ‘anah so that those who “‘anah – respond to and answer” His invitation to avail ourselves of what He did for us on this day would not be afflicted.
Therefore, the second of three days in 33 CE was Matsah, Unleavened Bread. It was “an awe inspiring and miraculous sign, a memorial reminder designed for retrospection, a record worth remembering because it was a significant fulfillment of the Towrah.” In my estimation, it was the single most important day in the history of the universe.
The work done on this day by the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ is considered completely satisfactory by God, in and of itself, to remove all corruption from our mortal souls, past, present, and future. That is why Yahowah says:
“This first, foremost, and primary (ri’shown) day (yowm) exists as (hayah – I exist as) a set-apart and cleansing (qodesh) invitation to be called out and meet (miqra’ – a unified out calling, a convocation to read, recite, and proclaim).
You shall not (lo’) do (‘asah – fashion, accomplish, or produce) any of (kol) the laborious service (‘abodah – work done in service to another) of the business of the heavenly messenger (mala’kah – the work of the mal’ak/theophanic representative, the visible manifestation of God).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:7-8)
Salvation is the gift of the Covenant. It was paid for and delivered by Yahowsha’ – the diminished corporeal manifestation of Yahowah.
God is serious about this. The removal of sin has eternal ramifications. He said: “Indeed, any soul (nepesh) who consumes leaven during this time shall be cut off (karat – shall be severed from the source of life, be taken away, and be permitted to perish, separated) from Yisra’el (Yisra’el – those who live with God).” (Shemowth / Names / Exodus 12:19)
Day three: It is about harvests, a metaphor for saved souls, and entering the Promised Land as a member of our Heavenly Father’s Family. Yahowah said:
“Speak to the sons of Yisra’el (Yisra’el - individuals who strive with and are empowered by God) and say, ‘Indeed when you enter (bow’) the land (‘erets) of relationship which beneficially (‘asher) I give to (natan – bestow as an enduring existence to) you and you reap the harvest (qatsyr), you shall arrive and be included (bow’ – come in) as a gathering of (‘omer/’amar – that which is bound together as sheaves of grain for the purpose of transporting) FirstFruits (re’shyth – the beginning, the first, the best, the choice, that portion which has been set apart, the uttermost family).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:10)
Once sin has been removed from our souls, we are prepared for the harvest. We can now be included in the gathering of FirstFruits, inheriting our Father’s riches and living forever with Him.
This verse confirms as much, adding the realization that our approval before God is a favor. “The priest (kohen – the one who officiates) shall wave (nuwph – lift up and present) the gathering (‘omer/’amar – that which is bound together in sheaves of grain for the purpose of transporting them) before (paneh – in the presence of) Yahowah ( ) for you to be accepted and approved through mercy (ratsown – to be found acceptable and desirable by way of a favor, to be found satisfactory and pleasing through free will and choice) on the morning after (mochorath) the Sabbath (Shabat – the day of rest and reflection, the seventh day or promise).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:11)
The next verse tells us that together with “the gathering (‘omer/’amar – that which is bound together as sheaves of grain for the purpose of transporting) is the work of (‘asah – the produce of) a male lamb (kebes), a son (ben) without any imperfection (tamym – one who is perfect, blameless, and innocent; from tamam, meaning one who accomplishes, completes, and fulfills), who changes and alters (shanah) for an ascending offering (‘olah – that which rises and goes up) to Yahowah ( ).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:12) I know such a Lamb. He changed and altered me. As a result of His work, I too will rise.
And this is because: “The gift (minchah – the sacrificial offering) of purified grain (‘slet – bread flour with the hulls removed revealing the inner pristine kernel, distinguished from meal which is the whole grain inclusive of its impurities) is mixed and anointed with (balal – mingled with through the process of immersion in) olive oil (shemen).” (Qara’ / Called Out / Leviticus 23:12)
Yahowsha’ is the Olive Tree and the Tree of Life. Oil is symbolic of being anointed in Yahowah’s Spirit, of being cleansed, of being healed, enlightened, and accepted. And grain is symbolic of saved souls, the Children of the Covenant.
The gift of mercy, the work of the lamb, and acceptance by choice and by favor, lie at the core of Yahowah’s Mow’ed Miqra’ey. They are the path which enables the Covenant.
These are the “three days” about which Yahowsha’ was speaking when He said: “In this manner and way it is Written: the Ma’aseyah must experience suffering and then rise up enabling others to be restored out of lifelessness and abandonment, on the third day.”
There are only a handful of other references that tangentially meet the criterion of “three days” set in the context of: “all things (pas – collectively and individually) which are written (grapho – expressed and memorialized by letters on a page) concerning the account received and established by Moseh, the Prophets, and the Psalms that must by necessity be fulfilled (pleroo – be rendered precisely, completely, and perfectly) as they relate to and concern [the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’].” And even they all serve to explain what happened, why it happened, and when it would happen.
The first meaningful reference to “three days” can be found in the initial enactment of the Passover in Bare’syth / Genesis 22. Abraham and Isaac journey three days to Mount Mowryah. Their travel time is listed because most every detail of this dress rehearsal foreshadows Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s fulfillment at the very same place exactly forty Yowbel / Yah’s Lamb Years of Redemption later.
There are several references to three days in the Exodus account—especially as they relate to the plagues of Egypt. And that shouldn’t be surprising since the Exodus serves at the basis for the Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread leading to FirstFruits.
There is a particularly poignant passage in Bamidbar / Numbers 10. While it doesn’t establish a prophecy that “must by necessity be fulfilled” by the Ma’aseyah, it serves to confirm that the Mow’ed Miqra’ey are prophetic reminders, that they are everlasting statutes, that they are tied directly to our salvation, and that our restoration leads to an inheritance with God. Further, all these things are related to the Ark of the Covenant, to the Tabernacle of Testimony, to the Way of Salvation, and to three very important days in their future and our past.
As the Yisra’elites are about to leave Sinai we find Yahowah emphasizing that the Mow’ed Miqra’ey invitations to meet are: “everlasting prescriptions for living throughout all generations.” He says that when we: “battle the adversary we should signal a warning and shout for joy (ru’a) blowing a trumpet (chatsotsarah) to recall and remember (zakar) the presence (panym) of Yahowah ( ), our God (‘elohym) and then you shall be saved (yasha’).”
God reveals that: “the appointed assembly days (mow’ed yowm) based upon the summit and beginnings (ro’sh) of months are times of great joy and gladness, times to make an ascending sacrificial offering (‘olah zebach) of deliverance and restoration (shelem/shalam – a voluntary peace offering to reestablish a friendship and alliance by way of making a ransom payment). These shall exist (hayah) as a memorial reminder (zikarown – a commemoration and symbol designed to remind someone to claim their inheritance right) before God (panym ‘elohym). I Am Yahowah ( ), your God.”
Moments later we learn that a pillar “cloud rose over the Tabernacle (mishkan – dwelling place) of Testimony and Witness (‘eduwth).” Then, trusting and relying upon Yahowah, the Yisra’elites “set off from the mount of Yahowah ( ) the way (derek) of three days with the Ark (‘arown – chest) of the Covenant (beryth – of relationship, alliance and friendship, of a marriage agreement) of Yahowah ( ) traveling in their presence for three days to seek out a resting place of salvation (manuwchah).” Every word foreshadows what was to come.
The next mention of three days can be found in the book that bears the Ma’aseyah’s name. There we learn that success comes by way of Yahowah’s Word, that through it we gain practical insights and become wise, that God wants us to be bold and courageous, that there is a direct correlation between knowing Scripture and God being with us, that passing over takes three days, and that those who follow these instructions will inherit Yahowah’s gift of the Promised Land.
“I Am (‘ehayah) came after the death of Moseh, the servant of Yahowah ( ). Yahowah ( ) spoke to Yahowsha’ ( ), the son (ben) of Nuwn/the Perpetual who Propagates (nuwn), saying, ‘Arise (quwm – stand upright, confirm, and fulfill by) and pass over (‘abar) this Yarden/Jordan (yarden – that which goes down and prostrates itself), you and all of the family (‘am) into the land (‘erets) which through relationship (‘asher) I am giving (nathan – bestowing and entrusting as an eternal gift) to the sons (ben) of Yisra’el (those who strive and endure with God and who are empowered by God) . Just as I was with Moseh so I will exist (‘ehayah) with you. I will not withdraw and let you fall (raphah). Nor will I forsake (‘azab – leave, abandon, desert, or damn) you.”
Yahowah told Yahowsha’, and us through him, to: “Prevail by being exceedingly strong, alert, courageous, and bold (ma’od ‘amats), observing, heeding (shamar), and doing (‘asah) all the prescriptions (towrah) which by way of the relationship (‘asher) My servant Moseh instructed (tsawah – directed, commanded, appointed, and assigned) for the purpose of (ma’an) gaining practical insights, being circumspect, and wise (sakal – gaining understanding based upon proper teaching which leads to success) in all (kol) relationships (‘asher) and walks of life (halak).
This written account (ciphrah – this scroll communicating rehearsals, its accounting and declarations) of the Towrah Teaching (towrah – guidance and direction) shall not depart from your mouth. Recite and meditate upon (hagah) it day and night, observing all that is written (kathab – recoded and inscribed) in it. Then, in that case (‘az – at that time) you will prosper (tsalach – be empowered) in the Way (derek) because Yahowah ( ), your God (‘elohym), is with and beside (‘im) you relationally (‘asher) in all your walks of life (halak – comings and goings).”
This understood, “Yahowsha’ ( ) instructed (tsavah - commanded) those who were literate (shother – the officials and officers) and the family (‘am), saying, ‘Pass over (‘abar) the midst (qereb) of the encampment (machaneh) prepared and established again with (kuwn) provisions for three days. For you shall pass over this Yarden/depression and enter, inheriting (yarash – seizing possession of) the land which through relationship Yahowah ( ), your God, is bestowing and entrusting to you as an inheritance.” (Joshua / Yahowsha’ 1:1-11) This theme of “three days” in relationship to Yahowsha’s trials and Passovers is repeated four more times.
The last mention of “three days” within the context of the written accounts received by Moseh, the Prophets and the Psalms relates to travails of Yownah, a man whose book serves as a prophetic portrait of the Ma’aseyah. As you probably know, Yownah / Jonah wasn’t keen on the idea of “going to Nineveh to speak out against the Assyrians.” Steeped in the religion of Ba’al and Babylon, they had become ruthless terrorists. Therefore, the reluctant prophet elected to flee “Yahowah’s ( ) presence,” and the specter of a painful death, by way of boarding a ship headed to Tarshish. But since God wanted Yownah to go a different direction, one that was in accord with His plan, “Yahowah ( ) cast (tuwl) His great and empowering (gadowl – that which multiplies and increases, distinguishes, and enables one to do great things) Spirit (ruwach) of God toward (‘el) the sea, and there existed (hayah) a great and empowering (gadowl) windstorm (ca’ar - gale) such that they would imagine (chashab) the ship (‘onyah – from ‘onah and yah, that which is allowed to meet and encounters Yah) would be broken to pieces (shabar).” (Yownah / Jonah 1:4)
Immersed and empowered by the Ruwach/Spirit, Yownah (a man whose name means Dove, the symbol of Yahowah’s Spirit) was now prepared and ready to go. He now knew that the stormy waters would be calmed, and he would be protected, if the sailors tossed him into the sea. And just as soon as they did, the Ruwach/Spirit which was now in and around Yownah, enveloping him, stopped howling and the sea immediately calmed. Everything worked out according to plan because “Yahowah ( ) assigned and prepared (manah) a great and empowering (gadowl – large and magnificent, that which multiplies and increases, distinguishes, and enables one to do great things) fish (dag – from dagah, meaning that which increases) to engulf (bala’) Yownah (yownah – dove, the symbol of the Spirit). Yownah was in the inward part (me’ah – the bowels, belly, or heart) of the fish (dag – that which increases) for three days and three nights.”
This “giant fish” was the gadowl ruwach—the Mighty Set-Apart Spirit of God. It is His Spirit which protects and empowers us, engulfs and surrounds us, gives us life and increases us, magnifying every aspect of who and what we are. This is why Yahowah used gadowl to describe both His Ruwach/Spirit and the “dag/that which increases.” In fact, it is why dag means “that which increases.” It is why He used a different word for Ruwach/Spirit and “ca’ar/gale force winds.” It is why Yownah’s name means “Dove.” It is why ‘onyah/ship means “that which is allowed to meet and encounter Yah.” Further, we are told that the Dove’s enclosure was especially “prepared and then assigned” to the task of enveloping and protecting this man who was now about God’s business.
There is no “whale” in this story. As clearly as words allow, Yahowah is demonstrating the miracle of His Spiritual protection, and specifically what it means to be immersed in the gadowl/great and empowering Spirit of God. He is telling us that He will protect those who are willing to do His bidding. He is telling us that through the power of the Spirit He will enable us to do what He wants done. Yownah’s mission was overwhelmingly successful. The people of Nineveh repented and Assyria was protected for a century.
The reference to “three days and three nights” in this passage throws many off track. They do not recognize that Yahowsha’s torment began Thursday night and continued through Saturday night. And they do not understand Yahowsha’s reference to the Dove’s experiences in Mattanyah—something we’ll review momentarily.
The account of Yownah paints a portrait of the Ma’aseyah and the Set-Apart and is therefore prophetic with words which are reminiscent of Mizmowr / Psalm 88, a passage we analyzed in the “Tsadaq – Vindication” chapter which depicts the Ma’aseyah’s pleas from She’owl during the Mow’ed Miqra’ of Unleavened Bread. “Yownah (Yownah – Yahowah’s Dove or Spirit) intervened (palal - interceded) unto (‘el) Yahowah ( ), his God, out of the inward part (me’ah – bowels, belly, or heart) of that which increases and empowers (dagah), saying I called out (qara’) from (min – on account of) my anguish and adversity (tsarah – my time with the Adversary in dire straits and in this unfavorable condition and circumstance) unto Yahowah ( ) and He answered and responded (‘anah) to me out of the belly (beten) of She’owl (she’owl – the place of questioning). I cried out and You heard my voice.” (Yownah / Yah’s Dove / Jonah 1:15-2:2)
The most similar passage in the 88th Mizmowr reads: “I have summoned You for help day and night before Your conspicuous presence (neged). Intervene (tapilah – intercede), arrive and come inside (bow’ – bear and carry Me) with Your presence (panym). Incline (natah – extend) your ear to my plea for intercession. My Soul (nepesh) has had its fill of (saba’ – has experienced sufficient adversity and is overwhelmed with) anguish (ra’ah), and My life (chayah) is approaching She’owl.” (Mizmowr / Song / Psalm 88:2-3)
Neged is the pivotal word. It is the “visual, even conspicuous” manifestation of the unseen God who abides “in our presence, with us and near us.” Confirming this, neged is based upon nagad, which means: “to be conspicuous, to expose and make known, to avow, acknowledge, and to confess.” Nagad defines the job Yownah the Dove was sent to accomplish: “to announce a verdict, report a warning, to expound on a message, to publish important information, to declare and proclaim.” A nagad is a “messenger.” Further, neged is related to nagah (נָגַהּ), meaning “to radiate light, to shine and give light in the physical world.” The Spirit of God serves to enlighten men.
Yahowsha’ is quoted referencing this verse in Mattanyah. He recites it in the midst of a rather heated and unpleasant conversation. Confronted by the Yisra’elite religious and political establishment, the Ma’aseyah revealed that Yasha’yah 42 (a passage we reviewed in the “‘Yshayah’el/God Existing as Man” chapter), applied to Him. Undeterred, the clerics accused Yahowsha’ of being Satan because He cast out demons. To which He answered: “A House divided cannot stand.” It was in this context that He said: “speaking against the set-apart and cleansing Spirit is unforgivable, now and forever.” And it was here that Yahowsha’ said “a tree is known for its fruit.” He used this as the basis for proclaiming that the religious and political leaders: “were the offspring of demons.”
Immediately thereafter, Yahowsha’ reminds us that words are very important. “For out of your words you shall be rendered upright and declared innocent (dikaioo – pronounced guiltless, acquitted and set free; justified and vindicated) and by your words you shall be judged guilty and condemned (katadikazo – be brought down according to the standard, be sentenced and punished).”
Just as in a wedding where a simple “I do,” serves to betroth husband and wife, creating a family, Yahowsha’ is knocking at the door to our heart hoping to hear us say, “Come in.” But what He does not want to hear us say is anything that causes anyone to leave that door shut. For that there is a severe consequence.
Those who criticize Yada Yah’s Scriptural-based condemnation of religion and politics usually do so by saying, “It’s just semantics; you are being too literal. And by undermining peoples’ traditions, you’re offending them so they won’t listen to you anyway.” A “semanticist,” incidentally, is someone who “studies of the meaning of words.” A “literalist” is someone who “is in accord with scriptures and who strives to convey their actual verbatim and uncorrupted meaning.” So I plead guilty to taking Yahowah’s words seriously, to trying to understand what they actually mean, and to thinking that doing so is a worthy endeavor. Based upon this verse, methinks God agrees.
This brings us to Yahowsha’s reference to Yownah / Jonah and to three days. God is obviously annoyed and thus He is toying with these people. To understand this passage you must first appreciate the circumstance and the audience.
“Then, at that time, certain individuals among the Scribes (grammateus – public servants, politicians, judges, teachers, theologians, and journalists) and Pharisees (Pharisaios – the sect of rabbis who recognized, promoted, imposed, and valued the Babylonian Talmud and man’s oral traditions over Yahowah’s Scriptures) said, ‘Teacher (didaskalos) we want (thelo – we desire) to see (horao – to witness with our own eyes and to personally experience) a sign (semeion – an unusual occurrence, a token which distinguishes) from you.’ But He answered and said to them, ‘An annoying, works oriented (poneros – unethical, diseased and blind, worthless, wicked) and adulteress (moichalis – those in relationships with whores and false gods) generation (genea – descendants of “poneros and moichalis”) seek (epizeteo – clamor for, crave, and demand) a token (semeion – a sign). But (kai – and so) no (ou) sign (semeion – unusual occurrence) shall be given (didomi – granted, supplied, or furnished) to them (autos), except (ei) the token that distinguished (semeion – the unusual occurrence of) the prophet Ionas (Greek transliteration of the Hebrew Yownah, symbolic of the Spirit). For just as (gar hosper) Ionas/Yownah was three days and three nights in the center (koilia – innermost part) of the great fish (ketos – from chasma, meaning that which opens wide) so (houto) the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in (en – by or with) the heart (kardia – the center of circulation and life) of the land (ge – earth).” (Mattanyah / Matthew 12:25-40)
The prophetic predictions and the eyewitness confirmations are well documented and perfectly clear. Yahowsha’ arrived in Yaruwshalaim, the “heart and center of the land” on Monday, March 28, 33 CE, the exact day Dany’el predicted over 500 years earlier. But He didn’t stay. According to Mark 14, Yahowsha’, sought to thwart the desire of the “Chief Priests and Scribes to seize Him by stealth and kill Him” prior to “the Feast of Passover, so as to diminish the likelihood of a riot by the people.” He did this by spending “two days,” those being Tuesday and Wednesday, “in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper.”
While the Ma’aseyah was willing to sacrifice Himself on our behalf He was not willing to have any aspect of His fulfillment of the three days depicted in the Mow’ed Miqra’ey of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits occur on days other than those previously specified.
So then Yahowsha’ returned to Jerusalem, “the heart and center of the land” on Thursday for Passover dinner. He stayed in town (courtesy of Caiphas’ dungeon accommodations) so that He could attend His own crucifixion on Friday, which was still Passover. The body of the Ma’aseyah began the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread, which commenced at sundown and continued through Saturday, in the tomb of Yowceph of Arimathea. Roman guards were positioned just to make sure He remained in town. Sometime after sunset on Saturday, April 2nd, and before sunrise on Sunday the 3rd, Yahowsha’ rose. But in His restored state, He did not leave Yaruwshalaim until later that morning, going to heaven and then to a “village called Emmaus, which was sixty stadion [seven and a half miles] separated from (apo) Yaruwshalaim.” There is a reason we were given this otherwise irrelevant information by Mark and Luke.
The bottom line is: Yahowsha’ gave a sign that the religious and political leaders of Jerusalem “could see, personally witness and experience.” “The Son of Man was three days and three nights in the heart (kardia – center of circulation and life) of the land (ge).” His promise was fulfilled uninterrupted for their viewing pleasure beginning on Thursday afternoon and ending late Sunday morning. That’s three days and three full nights.
Before we leave this verse, I must tell you that I was initially very troubled by it, at least as it appears in English translations. Clearly, Yahowsha’ wasn’t in, as inside, the earth for three days or three nights. Many very famous pastors use this quote to claim that He was, but by so doing they are essentially saying that the precise timelines laid out by the eyewitnesses are all wrong. They are also saying that Yahowsha’ was wrong in claiming that there was a direct correlation between His suffering for three days with the inspired Scripture recorded by Moseh and the Prophets in the Towrah and Psalms.
But all one has to do is correctly translate the words and think a little, and the truth becomes obvious. This passage isn’t a contradiction; it’s a confirmation. According to Strong’s, the primary meaning of ge is land, not earth. Ge is the Greek equivalent of ‘erets, which also means “land.” The majority of the time ‘erets is used in Scripture it applies to the Land of Israel—to the Promised Land. And even if ge were afforded its fourth most prevalent meaning, from the perspective of Yahowah, from the perspective of Scripture, from the perspective of the audience listening to Yahowsha’, Yaruwshalaim was, is, and forever will be the heart, the center of circulation and life, of the Earth.
The bottom line is from prophecy to fulfillment Scripture can be trusted.
Also recognize that the Scribes and Pharisees “wanted to see (horao – to witness with their own eyes, to personally experience) a sign from Him.” And this is what they were given. Had the sign been three days and three nights inside the earth, they could not “have seen or experienced” it because they were not yet there.
This reminds me of an old joke. It goes something like this: A little girl spoke to her teacher about whales. The teacher said it was impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it is a large mammal, its throat is small. The little girl said, “But how can that be? Jonah was swallowed by a whale.” Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human, saying, “It is physically impossible!” Undaunted, the little girl said, “Well, when I get to heaven I will ask Jonah.” To this, the teacher said, “What if Jonah went to hell?” The little girl replied, “Then you can ask him!”
This brings us back to the heart of the Towrah, to its center of circulation and life. Yahowsha’s fulfillment of these “three days” occurred exactly as and when they were predicted in Qara’ / Leviticus. They occurred on the same day, in the same way, and in the same order as they are presented in the Mow’ed Miqra’ey. Everything fits right down to the smallest detail.
We turned our attention to this testimony because it is used by so many to refute the obvious connection between the Mow’ed Miqra’ey and our Redemption. The self-serving and anti-Semitic politicized clerics of Christendom in their ignorance and disdain for the Towrah would have you believe that Lent, Good Friday, and Easter have replaced Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits. I don’t think so—nor does God.
Since Yahowsha’ fulfilled the first three prophetic rehearsals, the very heart of the Towrah, in the right order, on the right day, and in the same way, don’t you suppose their three day succession and Yahowsha’s three day fulfillment are connected? And since Seven Sabbaths was fulfilled right on schedule fifty days later, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that Yahowah will be consistent with the rest of His redemptive plan?
Might the harvest of the Covenant’s children occur on the next Mow’ed Miqra’, that of Taruw’ah? After all, every reference to this harvest mentions trumpets and shouting. And shouldn’t we expect Yahowsha’ to return to salvage His Covenant with Yisra’el on the sixth Mow’ed Miqra’, the Day of Reconciliations? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that the Millennial Sabbath, the time when Yahowsha’ lives in our presence for a thousand years, might begin on the seventh Mow’ed Miqra’, that of Tabernacles—the Festival where we campout with God? And might this predicted thousand-year Sabbath occur during man’s seventh millennia? Are you making the connection?