I learned something today in our Synagogue staff meeting that really blew me away. As a Catholic Religious Educator I was used to the simple (now I understand simplistic) correlation between the Last Supper and a Passover seder.  (Seder means order or sequence, as in order of service – the sequence of prayers in the ritual meal.  The Passover Seder is a particular order of service for Passover.) But the Last Supper was not a Passover Seder, could not have been a Passover Seder. So the struggle within Christian theology to figure out the day of the week of the Last Supper and whether it coincided with Passover is pointless. Why? For the simple reason that the Passover Seder is a Rabbinic tradition developed AFTER the destruction of the Temple in 70AD and codified in Rabbinic texts around 200A.D.

So any paralleling between the Passover and the Last Supper is anachronistic. Perhaps in fact the Last Supper ritual of bread and wine was a Sabbath ritual or Sabbath-like. Certainly the tradition of the four blessings with wine did not exist at the time of Jesus death.  Was the Last Supper ritual written as a theological midrash (interpretation) by the Gospel writers, comparing Jesus with the Passover lamb? This would have made sense after his death when they were struggling to find some redemptive value in it and not see it simply as a failure.  Did Jesus compare himself to the lamb which was sacrificed in the Temple on the feast of Passover for the expiation of sins ? Again, that is possible if he knew he was going to die and saw his upcoming death as that of an innocent victim whose death brought salvation to his followers.  But what if Paul developed the midrash of the Last Supper?  Paul who was a rabbinic scholar. Paul who came to believe in Jesus after his death.  Paul who was the first to write the account of the Last Supper.

There is a lot to consider here. 

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