- In the early church, was the Last Supper Considered a Passover Feast?
- During the Passion - What laws might Jesus and his disciples been accused of breaking?

NOTE: Hopefully, this question will solicit solutions - from those that accept the presupposition - that : "The Last Supper was Jesus and his disciples fulfilling the Mosaic/Jewish Passover Seder", (i.e., Messianic Jews, Jews for Jesus' "Christ in the Passover", etc).

Question :

In other contexts, Jesus justified breaking the Sabbath to meet the needs of others, (Matthew 12:1, Matthew 12:10, etc.).

But, if a widely held Christian tradition is correct - then Jesus egregiously violated Passover Sabbath requirements - If it is presupposed that the Last Supper was indeed a "Passover Seder, (Wikipedia)".

Regardless of which specific actions may have violated Passover and Sabbath ordinances - what are the possible justifications for Jesus to lead his disciples to disobey?

(See During the Passion - What laws might Jesus and his disciples been accused of breaking?, for possibilities.)

Note: The scope of this question is not intended to address the host of commands the rest of Israel, the Priests, and Pharisees, would be breaking too.

Acceptance Criteria: +1 for expert responses : "formally valid", relying on referenced facts - regardless if there is agreement. Will accept the strongest answer - regardless. (Please, this is NOT a debate!)

  • 1
    I think you are off by one day. The Last Supper took place on the day before Passover. See John 19:14: Pilate sat down in the judgment seat ... And it was the preparation of the Passover, about the sixth hour. Your question has no meaningful answer because your presupposition is false.
    – user33515
    Mar 7, 2017 at 2:44
  • @elika kohen in man's understanding, it was a 'violation,' as to Messiah's duties He was simply being the 'light' He came as, to give them understanding of what a Sabbath signified in scriptures, alongside all that is symbolised by the rituals and feasts which the descendants of Israel are still steeped in to this day in disobidience. Would you say God 'violated' His laws by having Hosea marry a harlot in Hosea 1:1-2?
    – Ted O
    Mar 7, 2017 at 4:53
  • It might help to somehow include your supposition in your title.
    – user33515
    Mar 7, 2017 at 5:29
  • +1 because this is a good question. She's not saying anything is true or not true. She's simply asking a question. Elika, I don't know enough to answer this but I wonder if the sacrificed animals have anything to do with the answer. I think it's fair to question whether or not Jesus was against eating meat. I'm not convinced but the text seems to possibly support that. Mar 7, 2017 at 5:31

2 Answers 2


1. Scripture -

There is a key part of your Luke 22:36, (from Isaiah 53:12) reference where Yeshua says,

"...For I tell you this: the passage from the Tanakh that says, ‘He was counted with transgressors,’ has to be fulfilled in me; since what is happening to me has a purpose.”

2. Explanation -

In response to, "widely held Christian tradition", this is inaccurate. Christianity (in modern vernacular) did not exist at that time. Sabbath (original) and Passover Seders are Hebrew concepts and practices. Sabbath was made for man, not man for Sabbath. Meaning, GOD gave it to us for our benefit. Many ideas about what can and can't be done on Sabbath are rabbinic laws, i.e., they are not wholly Biblical and were constructed during the time when the Jewish people needed to maintain their culture/faith/commandments in foreign lands. A saying about the rabbinic laws is, a fence around a fence.

GOD created Sabbath, Yeshua is GOD, and GOD is doing something here that is far more important than Sabbath. Keeping Sabbath is not a salvation issue (though there are reasonable arguments that it is extremely important, especially during feasts). I am part of a Messianic congregation, and maybe Jewish teaching would not agree, but there are things that have higher importance than Sabbath -- as Yeshua has stated in multiple verses.

  • Neil - +1 A.) I feel there are only two necessary issues unaddressed: B.) #1 Is it still a transgression - even if "The Messiah" were to tell them to sin? If they were not sinning - how were they fulfilling the prophecy TO transgress? But if they sinned - Is this a violation on his part? (Lev.6:1;Is.3:12;...); against his own commandments? (Matt.5:19;Matt.18:7;...); C.) And #2 - Is it valid to lead people to sin - simply because Scripture says they will? Was Jesus really intentionally being a stumbling block? D.) And perhaps - What was the purpose for them to transgress? Mar 7, 2017 at 6:28
  • Luke 22:37 is translated as transgressor, HIS reference is Isaiah 53:12, and that says sinners (CJB). So, maybe that is another reason why this had to happen -- "transgressing" commands. Yeshua is never going to make us stumble or sin, where that sin condemns us. If you believe HE would make us stumble, then you have to believe that when Adonai told the people of Israel to kill all those in the promised land, that those people were going to hell for murder. By the way, HE had them kill all those people because they were evil -- serious evil.
    – Neil
    Mar 8, 2017 at 4:19
  • Neil - I completely understand your argument. A.) Regarding: "widely held Christian tradition"; this is inaccurate. B.) This is actually held by ancient Catholic authorities too, (not just Messianic); See : hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/22042/… Mar 8, 2017 at 4:48

You already quoted Jesus' answer to the question

Jesus answered your question in Matthew 12:6-8

I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you know what this meant, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice," you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is the Lord of the sabbath.

The statement "I desire mercy, not sacrifice" is itself from Hosea 6:6

For it is loyalty that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Since Jesus is one with God, author of the Law, he is free to amend the Law.

This is the interpretation of other Biblical authors

In general, other parts of the Bible allude to the supersession of the Old Covenant (with the Jews) with the New (through Jesus, open to all humanity). In particular Hebrews 8:7-13 and Corinthians 3:6,

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Paul's canonically accepted writings are clearly set against the Judaizing tendencies of some other early Evangelists, up to and including Peter. While the Law is important, as discussed in the first half of Romans, the old covenant is replaced by a "new covenant in my [Jesus'] blood" (1 Corinthians 11:25, in part).

  • kingledion +1 for relevant reference; A.) If it is as you say - and Jesus "abrogated" the law, then perhaps it is valid for Messianic Jews to fight on the High Holy Days, Sabbaths, etc; (a modern dilemma); and, it would also be valid for Christians to use this text in defense of joining the military, in general, (another dilemma); B.) But, for another contradiction to be avoided : then, it would seem to indicate that "Not one [letter] will fall away until all is fulfilled in the Kingdom" must have been fulfilled previously, (which might point to other challenges). C.) Thanks! Mar 7, 2017 at 20:24

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