The Great Transition
The Great Transition
Maundy Thursday and The New Covenant Given
Compiled in 2014, revised for April 3, 2020
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- The Passover Meal and the Last Supper
- The Passover and the New Covenant Connection
- The Intimate Transition
- The Scriptural Anticipation and Fulfillment
- Addendum: Explanation of the Last Supper Timeline of the Last Supper.
The Passover Meal and the Last Supper
The Middle English word Maundy is derived from the Old French mandé derived from the Latin mandamentum do vobis meaning a new commandment I give unto you. Maundy Thursday means The New Commandment Given Thursday.
In church tradition, Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Resurrection Sunday and commemorates the evening when Jesus shared the last supper with His disciples before His execution and resurrection. On this solemn night, Jesus intimately ushered in the new and final covenant God had promised long ago to His people. He raised the wine and said, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” (Luke 22:20)
This last supper was a Passover meal on the evening before the actual Passover Feast was celebrated that year. Jesus said, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer…” (Luke 22:15) Jesus shared this holy, special meal with His disciples the night before Passover because He knew He would be sacrificed on Passover.
(Many scholars believe the last supper occurred on Wednesday. For an explanation of this timeline and other conclusions, please read the Addendum at the end of this document. I confirmed my findings with two Messianic Jewish scholars.)
The Passover and the New Covenant Connection
The Passover Celebration each year is a memorial to the Lord’s deliverance of His people from their cruel bondage in Egypt. Moses had given instruction to prepare them for their day of deliverance. Each family was to kill a spotless lamb, apply its blood to the doorposts and lintel of their houses with hyssop, then roast the lamb and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They were to be girded to flee in the morning. The Lord said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:13
Unleavened Bread is eaten for seven days after Passover to remember their hasty exit from Egypt when the bread had no time to rise. The bread would nourish them as they journeyed out of Egypt toward the sea that would part for their escape. Their deliverance foreshadowed the greater, final deliverance that was to come through the Messiah.
Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah is the Passover Lamb Who was slain for all humankind. He was killed at the same time the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover Celebration that year. He passed away at 3:00 p.m., the same time the High Priest ceremonially killed the one sacrificial lamb for all the people.
When we receive Jesus and His sacrifice on our behalf (John 1:12), the Lord sees His blood on the doorposts of our hearts and passes over us. We are delivered from judgment, the bondage of our rebellion, and the power of sin and death for all time!
The prophet Isaiah declared hundreds of years before, “He was pierced for our transgression and crushed for our iniquities. The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him and by His scourging we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” (Revelation 5:12)
The Intimate Transition
Jesus had consistently taught and modeled the New Covenant to His disciples while they travelled together in ministry, but now at this last supper, He gently transitioned His beloved friends from the Old to the New Covenant with words that bridged the past and present to the future. Their understanding of this life-altering, vast event in history would be their final preparation before His departure.
Jesus began this hallowed meal by acknowledging the need for cleansing. (See John 13:1-30)
- Jesus washed the dust of the roads off His disciples’ feet. He desires to serve us each day by cleansing our spirits by His Word and the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus taught His disciples to follow His example of servanthood as they proclaimed His cleansing Truth. Our fellowship is to be cleansing; it is to be marked with servanthood and truth.
- The Father cleansed their fellowship that night from the betrayer in their midst.
John, the disciple, wrote in one of his epistles, “If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) Jesus’ ensuing fellowship with His friends that evening would become more intimate without the darkness present.
Jesus continued to unfold understanding of the New Covenant both during the meal and afterwards as He led His disciples across the Kidron Valley toward the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. Following are a few of His stark, intimate, and transitioning statements of preparation:
- Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. (John 13:31)
- Where I go, you cannot follow me now, but you will follow later. (John 13:36)
- If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself so you can be with Me where I am. (John 14:3)
- I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14:6)
- The Father will give you another Helper that He may be with you forever. (John 14:16)
- He abides with you and will be in (John 14:17)
- After a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. (John 14:19; 15:16)
- I taught you; the Holy Spirit will teach you. (John 14:25-26; 15:13a)
- Abide in Me and I in you. (John 15:4)
- Just as the Father has loved Me, I have loved you; abide in My love. (John 15:9)
- You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. (John 15:20b, 22)
- I came into the world from the Father; I am leaving the world and going to the Father. (John 16:28)
Somewhere along the way to the garden of Gethsemane at the base of the Mount of Olives, they all stopped to rest. Jesus lifted His eyes and prayed to the Father (John 17). As I ruminated on this infinite, breathtaking, new covenant prayer, I wrote the following paraphrase of the concepts:
- Father, it’s time. The reason for it all has arrived – Your glory! Glorify Me, so I may glorify You.
- Eternal life is knowing You and Me – the True God and the One He sent.
- Father, take Me to Yourself again in the glory we had before the world was. I accomplished everything You gave Me to do, and now I want to come home to be with You as we were before.
- Father, You gave me the precious gift of Your chosen ones. I revealed You to them. They believed I am from You and received Your words through Me. So, since I am going to You, Father, but they remain in the world, I have requests on their behalf, and on behalf of all who believe in Me through their word:
- Keep them in Thy Name and My Name, so they may be one as We are.
- Keep them from the evil one in the world.
- Keep them in My joy, even though the world hates them because their lives oppose evil.
- Set them apart from the world to do Your will in the truth of Your word.
- Perfect us in unity. Make us one, so the world can see Your love for Me and them. Your glory binds us together as one!
- Let them be with Me where I am to see My glory.
The Scriptural Anticipation and Fulfillment
Jesus ushered in the New Covenant. All Scripture points to this night!
The New Covenant is – Promised, Manifested, Secured, Realized, Experienced, Indwelling, Permeating!
The New Covenant Promised
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and write it on their heart; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. They will not teach again each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.
The New Covenant Manifested
And his [John the Baptizer] father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people…” (See 1:67-79)
When [Jesus] had taken bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”
The New Covenant Secured
When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” and bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
Hebrews 7:18; 8:6
There is a setting aside of a former commandment because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a bringing in of a better hope through which we draw near to God…
But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, since He is the mediator of a better covenant…
The New Covenant Realized
They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while [Jesus] was speaking to us on the road, while He explained the Scriptures to us?” And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” They related their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
The New Covenant Experienced
When the Day of Pentecost [the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot] had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind filling the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
… the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Who, according to His great mercy, has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
He saved us, not on the basis of our righteous deeds, but according to His mercy by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit Whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
The New Covenant Indwelling
I have been crucified with Christ [Messiah], and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God Who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I [the Apostle Paul] was made a minister according to the stewardship given to me by God for your benefit to fully preach the word of God – that is, the mystery that has been hidden in past ages and generations – but has now been manifested to His holy ones [His called-out, born anew children] – this rich and glorious mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
The New Covenant Permeating
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His Name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not need the light of a lamp nor of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.
Addendum: Explanation of the Last Supper Timeline
All Scripture anticipated and pointed to this New Covenant Jesus ushered in. Only four books of Scripture contain the accounts of His life – the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The Gospel of John contains the clearest account of the timeline of Jesus’ last days on earth. I wrote this paper based on this clear description. Jesus’ Passover meal with His disciples occurred the night before the actual Passover Feast. Jesus, the Lamb of God, was killed the next day when the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover Celebration. Jesus died as our Passover Lamb!
In the other Gospel accounts, there appear to be contradictions to this timeline, but upon further evaluation, these discrepancies are merely either translation issues or a misunderstanding of Hebrew terminology. Here are a few clarifications to keep in mind when reading the Gospel accounts:
- Sabbath (Shabbat) means rest. All Jewish Feasts are Shabbat rests. Since the celebration of the Feasts is based on the lunar calendar, they can occur on any day of the week. However, the weekly Shabbat always falls on Saturday.
- At the time of Jesus’ death, two Shabbats occurred back to back (Passover on Friday and the weekly Saturday Shabbat). John 19:31 called this Shabbat a “high day” or a special or great Shabbat.
- The two terms Feast of Unleavened Bread and Passover are used interchangeably in the Jewish culture and are considered to be the same Feast.
- Often the term the first day of is translated as the day was approaching.
- Here is a probable timeline:
For a more-detailed timeline of Jesus’ life, please see my paper entitled “A Timeline of Yeshua Messiah’s Life”
- Wednesday Evening
The Last Supper – Jesus’ Passover meal with His disciples. The Day of Preparation begins (removing the leaven).
The Day of Preparation for Passover, Nisan 14. Jesus appeared before Pilate, was killed, died and buried before sunset at the same time the lambs were killed for Passover that year.
- Thursday Evening
The Passover meal
The First day of Unleavened Bread, Nisan 15.
- Friday Evening
Shabbat – weekly day of rest begins
Shabbat – weekly day of rest
The Feast of First Fruits – Jesus rose from the dead before sunrise. Mary of Magdala came to the tomb “while it was still dark” (John 20:1); “just before the sun rose” (Mark 16:2); “as it began to dawn” (Matthew 28:1)
The tomb was empty!
- Wednesday Evening
To read more about how Jesus has fulfilled the spring Feasts and will fulfill the fall Feasts, please see the vibrant, watercolor Art Card Collection called The Feasts of Israel Fulfilled at Flower Girl Greetings.com . Each card includes the information about each Feast on the back of each card, as well as the Old and New Covenant connections!
Shale Fragments™ - devotionals by Beth Ann Phifer is a division of Flower Girl Greetings, LLC. ©2020, All Rights Reserved.
Blessings and love in Him,
I love all of the amazing Biblical insights Beth Ann shares. Her research is thorough and her conclusions are complete.