Thursday, April 6, 2017

Passover Preparation

I wish the debates in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD resulted in the early Church retaining the Jewish Calendar where we celebrate Passover/Good Friday on the 14th Nisan instead of the current Gregorian calendar of the 6th century AD. Next Monday evening is the beginning of Passover followed by 7 days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In an unfortunate twist of history now the Jewish Passover and Christian Good Friday more often than not do not coincide in time and dates. Yet the Gospels make it clear that Jesus died on the Feast of Passover as a fulfilment that the Son of God has been designated the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. The passion narratives especially of John's Gospel set the death of Jesus in the context of Jewish Feasts where Passover and Feast of the Unleavened Bread take centre place. For instance, the Jewish leaders did not want to enter Pilate's compound lest they became unclean and rendered themselves unclean to eat the passover.
Without the roots of Judaism where Christianity grew our faith is much poorer just as so many today even pastors and Christian leaders know so little of the Old Testament background of many things Christian. No wonder one false teaching as recent of the middle of last century teaches that we have no need of the OT since we are NT Christians, so they claimed. I re-read a chapter of my monograph on Rev 11:1-14:5 where OT contexts and allusions abound in almost every verse of John's Revelation. I told my wife that half the story has not been told. I have taught the book of Revelation twice in Singapore at the MDiv level but I had hardly scratched the surface. I wish I could teach it as a doctoral module where the intricacies of the OT texts so creatively weaved by John could be brought to light.

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