Preparations for the Passover

Posted by Thaddaeus


Mark 14: 1; 12-16


The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were to take place in two days’ time.  On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, "Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?"  He sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water.  Follow him.  Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, 'The Teacher says, "Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"'  Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready.  Make the preparations for us there."  The disciples then went off, entered the city, and found it ust as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover.


Background:  The roots of our Catholic faith are Jewish; yet, most of us don’t know much about our Jewish roots.  By way of explanation, Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are separate and distinct Jewish feasts.  Passover comes first followed the next day by the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, except when the next day is a Sabbath.  In the year of Our Lord’s Passion, the feasts were separated by the Sabbath.  Scholars and theologians trace the crucifixion to Friday when they sacrificed the Passover lamb.  All four Gospels agree.  Do you see the contradiction?  Jesus was already dead and buried on the first day of Unleavened Bread when his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?”  The timeline is out of sequence with the official Jewish festival calendar.  It is unless there is more than one Jewish calendar.  And, that’s the key to unlocking the 2000-year mystery.

Preparations for the Passover:  One possible explanation is that Jesus and his disciples follow the Essene Jewish festival calendar.  The ancestors of St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin, were devout Israelites connected to the Essenes.  The Essenes follow a solar calendar, which causes Passover to begin on a fixed day.  The first day of the Essene Feast of Unleavened Bread would have been on Wednesday, two days before the official Jewish Passover.  The traditional site of the Upper Room is in the Essene quarter of Jerusalem.  Also, the man carrying a jar of water is likely Essene because, in other Jewish sects, carrying water is relegated to women.  Moreover, it was more typical than not for Essene men to be unmarried and remain celibate.  Another explanation is that Jewish custom allows Galilean Jews to eat the Passover meal one day earlier than local Jews.  This coincides with the Catholic Church’s tradition of Holy Thursday.