Guide Free at Last: A Life-Changing Journey through the Gospel of Luke

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Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others … and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa II], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent.

A Jew could kill or rob from Gentiles with no rabbinic penalty, but this would be to break the 6th and 8th commandments against murder and theft. A gentile [who kills] a gentile and a gentile who kills an Israelite are liable [for punishment]. An Israelite [who kills] a gentile is exempt. Concerning thievery? The term apikorsim refers to Jews who deny the Torah and the concept of prophecy.

If there is the possibility, one should kill them with a sword in public view. If that is not possible, one should develop a plan so that one can cause their deaths. What is implied?

I shall return the ladder to you soon. With regard to a gentile idolater with whom we are not at war, a Jewish shepherd of small livestock, and the like, by contrast, we should not try to cause their deaths. It is, however, forbidden to save their lives if their lives are threatened. For example, if such a person fell into the sea, one should not rescue him. The evidence is thus clear, breaking rabbinic and secular law was allowed by the rabbis in order to do away with one perceived as an enemy. The synoptic gospels are thus accurate in this regard and present a view of 1st Century C.


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Judaism consistent with historical evidence. The day before Passover, is also a Holiday on the Jewish Calendar. Since it was the 1st born that were saved during the Passover, first born Jews celebrate another Holiday called the Feast of the First Born. Jesus was the 1st Born of his family and therefore held a regular traditional Seder the night before he went to the cross. This meal was held on Wednesday night, the day before the lamb was slain in the temple.

On Thursday, Jesus was sent to the cross, the lamb in the temple was slain at the time of Jesus death. Jesus was put in the cave on Thursday, he died on Thursday, no Friday. He rose on Sunday, in the ground a full 3 days and nights no matters how you count it. Any orthodox Rabbi knows about the Feast of the First born. I fail to see why this explanation of these events do no make the light of day.

There are scholars that say the early church gradually created the Eucharist from an early pot luck fellowship dinner. That could be considered to be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. However it is such a radical change, there is no room for gradual development. The Seder change to the Eucharist and the change from Sabbath worship to the first day of the week require deliberate decisive action.

All twelve had to agree or there would have been conflict. Acts 15 records the first Jerusalem council. It was serious consideration of a much more minor matter that was an extension of revealed principles. The lambs for the Passover were killed on Friday before the Seder. Jesus himself was killed on Friday as the Passover Lamb. However the historical record states lambs were killed on Thursday and Friday.

Various reasons are given and some accounts are from many years later. The fact they exist does prove that there was a remembrance of the two day practice.

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It is known that the Essene teaching and practice was to celebrate the Seder the day before the rest of Israel. Does this prove Jesus was Essene? Perhaps Jesus observed the Passover on the normal day in the prior years. This year He told them to prepare on Thursday. They knew this was to be exceptional.

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His followers were filled with anticipation. Many thought Jesus was going to reveal Himself as the Messiah and bring in the Messianic age. Everything about this Passover meal was exceptional. The normal practice was to celebrate in family groups, those without families were mixed in. Jerusalem was overflowing with pilgrims from all the diaspora for the Passover. Those who traveled together from a town or synagog would camp and eat in close association.

Free at Last by Leesa K. Donner

Most expected to sit on the floor in a circle around the common bowls. That is how they ate at home, all had to be in reach of the food. Ten people make a circle less than eight feet in diameter. Hundreds would fit in the large upper room. Jesus broke the normal practice for this Seder.


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He ate with His chosen twelve disciples. That meant they could not eat with their families. Should we suppose that the twelve left their families behind and went off by themselves? That would have been a horrible violation of social mores. Everyone came along, otherwise Jesus would have been publicly crude and selfish. What great man proclaiming love among his followers could do otherwise? Just because the Gospels do not mention them is no proof that all the rest were not there.

What about those He healed? Do you think Jairus whose daughter had been raised would have sought Jesus out? Would Zaccheaus have gone somewhere else? Counting the known followers of Jesus, adding family members quickly leads to a figure over The only ones missing would have had social obligations that kept them away. Joseph of Aramathia and Nicodemus were members of the Sanhedrin. The Centurion, whose servant was healed, may have been out of place. The Picture of the Last Supper is changed from the Twelve at table to close to sitting in circles on the floor.

The second image is much closer to the truth. The upper room was prepared for passover and available. Every space for miles around was packed tight, roofs, every bare patch of ground covered with campsites. How could a room have been available, much less a room prepared for passover celebration? Distant synagogs, Alexandria, Antioch, Babylon, had guest houses for their members when they came to Jerusalem. There were a reported of such guest houses in Jerusalem. The Torah mandated all Israelites come to the Temple for three festivals a year. In between the festivals those places were for students and travelers from their community.

It was not just the upper room that was prepared and empty. The whole large house was ready for a large contingent and equipped to prepare their feast. That was not a major task when scattered at many camp sites but requires an establishment with great facilities. Records state between , and , lambs where sacrificed for Passover in the years before the Temple was destroyed. Perhaps the pilgrims had a problem, the rabbi fell and was injured, slowing their travel. A messenger was sent to inform the people at the house. Jesus told the disciples they would meet a man carrying water, who would lead them to the house.

That still does not explain why the steward would permit them to use the building, unless, he realized this was by divine intervention. He might have sent the man for water, anticipating their immanent arrival.

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Then another messenger came saying they were further delayed until the next day. If it was a house for Essenes, they would have been forced to celebrate Passover where they stopped and not at the house. It was custom, not law, that the lamb was sacrificed at the Temple. The steward of the house, the disciples, recognized a miracle. Jesus knew this house was available before the steward of the house knew. The Decalog mandates Sabbath worship. How can the obedient faithful decide to break that commandment to worship on Sunday? Just because Jesus rose from the grave on Sunday is not authority for them to make that change, without His clear command.

They hurried back to tell the news and were present when Jesus appeared again. Very little is recorded. Could it be that the Sunday evening group had been praying? They might have been following the familiar synagog liturgy and then shared a snack? Bread and wine? Did someone remind them that when they shared bread and wine Jesus commanded at His last supper with them, they were to share the bread as His body and wine as His blood.