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Paschal Full Moon – God’s Plan

The other day I was kind of frustrated. I couldn’t figure out why we don’t know what year Jesus died. In the accounts of his life and resurrection, we know he went to the cross on Friday and was raised on Sunday. He was having Passover dinner with the Apostles the night he was taken. Passover is determined by the Paschal Full Moon.

From Wikipedia, “The calculations to determine the date of the Paschal Full Moon are somewhat complex, but can be described briefly as follows: Nineteen civil calendar years are divided into 235 lunar months of 30 and 29 days each (the so-called “ecclesiastical moon”.) The period of 19 years (the metonic cycle) is used because it produces a set of civil calendar dates for the ecclesiastical moons that repeats every nineteen years while still providing a reasonable approximation to the astronomical facts. The first day of each of these lunar months is the ecclesiastical new moon. The fourteenth day is the ecclesiastical full moon. Exactly one ecclesiastical new moon in each year falls on a date between March 8 and April 5 inclusive. This begins the Paschal lunar month for that year, and thirteen days later is the Paschal full moon.”

Okay, it’s the moon that determines when Passover begins. I started looking up lunar phases, crescent moon, etc.

Also from Wikipedia, “Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan, which corresponds to the full moon of Nisan, the first month of the Hebrew calendar, in accordance with the Hebrew Bible. Passover is a spring festival, so the 14th of Nisan begins on the night of a full moon after the vernal equinox.”

Unless God has been tinkering with the full moon, which we would know because at the very least the Chinese would have recorded it, we can very easily calculate back. I mean, it’s the moon. So I started looking around for calculators to determine Nisan 15 around the year 30, plus or minus 5, to see when Nisan 15 would fall on a Thursday; Thursday night being their Friday as evening being the start of a new day in 1st century Israel. Found a couple charts which say not valid before 326.

And then I got to this part of the above article. “To ensure that Passover did not start before spring, the tradition in ancient Israel held that the 1st of Nisan would not start until the barley is ripe, being the test for the onset of spring. If the barley was not ripe an intercalary month (Adar II) would be added. However, since at least the 12th century, the date has been determined mathematically.”

I started checking around on the net. No one seems to have records that I could find for when the Paschal Full Moon, hence Passover, was actually celebrated before the early 4th century. From then back, things get a bit arbitrary.

And so I’m frustrated. I’m letting God know my frustration. “Why can’t we figure this out? It can’t be that difficult to calculate back to a full moon!” I stewed on it for a couple of days and started up the conversation with God again. And he hit me with the answer. We can’t calculate back to determine in which the year Jesus was crucified.

God, all those millenia ago when speaking those words, “Let there be light”, knew exactly how to calculate everything that was to take place so His only begotten Son could take our place as the sacrificial lamb on Passover. While we can’t determine what has already taken place, whether you believe it was thousands or millions of years before, he knew in advance exactly what he was doing to make that monumental action take place on Passover.

Zechariah 12:10
And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

Isaiah 53:1-12
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Psalm 42:1
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.

You are awesome.

1 Comment

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