The Magi series – VI. The Magi – Creation Mourns the Death of Its Creator and the Nation of Israel is Ended

Although the death of Jesus was not directly involved with the Magi, it is important that the sign in the heavens not be omitted either.  Of all the festivals which were involved in the birth of Jesus, one omission stands out prominently: the Passover.  This feast had a powerful message to its participants: while Israel was in Egypt and was helpless in the throes of slavery, Jehovah provided a miraculous redemption to free them not just from the Egyptians, but also from death.  However it would come at the cost of an innocent victim, the lamb whose Blood was pooled on the threshold, smeared on the doorway’s two sides and top lintel, making the door literally a doorway of Life – step inside you live, step outside you die.  It was the Sign of Covenant [Exodus 12:13], the mark to all, even to the messenger of death, that these People belonged to Jehovah Himself.  It was the picture of Jesus: “I am the Door.  If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved …” [John 10:9].

Again we start back at the time of the Babylonian Captivity.  The Rabbis had a dilemma: on the Day of Preparation for Passover, the slaughter of the lambs was to take place in the two hours of the evening, after which the lamb would be roasted whole [Exodus 12:9] (Justin Martyr (c. 165) stated that two wooden spits had to be placed at right angles to each other, stretching the lamb out on a cross).  Not a bone of the lamb was to be broken [Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; see Psalm 34:20; John 19:36], cooked for a people ready to travel immediately.

But if the Sabbath fell on a Saturday, as it did in 33 AD, and the evening was when the *Sabbath* began – cooking was forbidden on the Sabbath!  How could this be made to work?  The decision was to move the slaughter up to 12:30 PM – already in the day’s slide toward the evening, but with enough time to do the necessary roasting.

John noted that after Jesus was whipped and Pilate presented Him to the crowd,  “Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour [that is, 12 noon our time].  He said to the Jews, ‘Behold your King!’” [19:14].  After washing his hands, Pilate issued the order to crucify Jesus.  Allowing about a half hour to get to Golgotha, the One Whom John the Baptist had announced as “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” [John 1:29] was being executed just as the Passover lambs began dying.

In the heavens, the sun was in the middle of the constellation of the Lamb or Ram, where one might imagine the heart would be.  During the hours of the slaughter of the lambs, that heart literally went completely black – the sun turned off “from the sixth hour [noon] to the ninth hour [3 PM]” [Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33;  Luke 23:44].  It wasn’t an eclipse, since the moon was on the opposite side of the earth about to be eclipsed itself.  Not only did the Gospel writers speak of a darkness and an earthquake while Jesus hung on the cross, secular writers did as well.  Phlegon spoke of a “greater and more excellent eclipse” darkening the Sun, where the stars were visible in the sky – the Lamb constellation became visible with its heart now a black hole.

The Role of 40

Throughout the Bible, “40” identifies a time of preparation and purification, for example, Israel’s 40 years wandering in the wilderness; Jesus’ fasting for 40 days before Satan’s temptation, even Mary’s 40 days of purification before she could present the Baby Jesus in the temple.  Unlike the 40 years in the wilderness which brought God’s People into submission to His will, the refining time of 40 years after Jesus’ death sadly, conclusively exposed the Jews’ inflexible rebellion.

Jesus died on the Day of Preparation, 33 AD;  on the Day of Passover Nissan 15 [April 10], *73 AD* – *40 Hebrew years to the *next* day* – Rome broke into the fortress of Masada, and although the *People* of Israel did continue, the *nation* of Israel ceased for almost 1,900 years.

But what about the destruction of Herod’s Temple three years earlier on the August 10 [9th of AV],  70 AD?  John identifies three Passover celebrations in regard to Jesus’ ministry:

33 AD – John 19:14 – when Jesus was crucified
32 AD – John 6:4

[Note: Some feel that John 5:1 is another Passover, but it is called “a feast” or “the feast”, the usual designation for Khag HaSukkot (the Festival of the Booths) – see topic IV. Crowning of the King – Part 1]

31 AD – John 2:13
30 AD – assuming the “40 years to the day” holds also for the destruction of Herod’s Temple, the 9th of AV, 30 AD (which was also the memorial of the fall of the first temple in 423 BC) would correspond to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.    Perhaps it was when John the Baptist had pointed to Jesus as ‘the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!” – the beginning of the end of the Old Testament sacrificial system.

At our point of time, in 2033, it will be the 2000th anniversary of Jesus’ death.  2000 is the result of multiplying 40 times 50 – the significance of 40 we are aware of, but what about 50?  God had commanded that every 7th year was to be a Sabbath year, in which the land in particular was to be put into the hands of the Lord – no plowing, no harvesting, so that it could rest.  Apparently Israel did not trust that God would take care of them for that year because II Chronicles 36:21 identified one reason why Israel went into captivity was “to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths.  As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.”

In addition, every fiftieth year was to be an additional Sabbath year, the Year of Jubilee, a time when Israel would reset their whole society and would literally start fresh again with God and each other.  Obviously if Israel ignored the Sabbath Year, so also they would the Year of Jubilee.  Still, it shows that God is very conscious of the passage of time.   A read-through of the history in the Books of Moses has little gems like “Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.  And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years – *on that very same day* – it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt” [Exodus 12:40-41].

We don’t know what the 40 x 50 = 2000th year anniversary of Jesus’ death will bring.  But I suspect it will not merely pass by without the Lord putting a big arrow to it.  Perhaps there will be anniversary fireworks.

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The Day of the Resurrection was the feast of the First Fruits, the second harvest celebration of the festival year (the first festival was the Ingathering of the fruits and vegetables, the third was Pentecost when all harvests were finished).  This one signaled the change of harvests – the end of the barley harvest and the beginning of the wheat harvest.  Up to this point the farmer could not eat of the new harvest; and, in fact, it had just been the time of the Unleavened Bread.  But now the harvests were available for food, and leaven could start being used again. Was this also a marker of the passage from the harvest of the Old Testament to the harvest of the New Testament?

About this time, perhaps on this day, the Great Ages switched from the Age of the Lamb/Ram (which by no coincidence began in Abraham’s time) to the Age of Pisces the Fish.  Pisces had always been where two were tied together into one constellation – for the early Christian, was this not alluding to two natures (God and man) joined in the Person of Jesus; and the two Covenants (the Old and the New) also tied together in Him?  The letters of the Greek word for fish, ichthus, formed an anagram for “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior” – a simple confession of faith -, while the fish had been the early Church’s secret symbol to recognize each other especially during persecution.


Presently, as the Age of Pisces draws to its close, “the Age of Aquarius, the Water-Bearer,” stands next in line.  Ignoring modern astrologers, looking in the Bible there are many references in regard to the End Time to water, and especially to “Living Water.” “The Sacrifice of the Red Heifer” [Numbers 19] involves “Living Water” as an antidote to death’s contamination of the Israelite’s life; Jehovah describes Himself as “the Fountain of Living Waters” [Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13] and in Zechariah [14:8] the End Time will be characterized by “Living Waters shall go out from Jerusalem.”  In fact, Ezekiel 47 describes an ever increasing flood of water pouring out from under the Temple threshold.

In the New Covenant is the climax: “For I will pour Water on the thirsty one, … I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring” [Isaiah 44:3], as Jesus declares: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his innermost being will flow rivers of Living Water (but this He said concerning the Spirit…)” [John 7:38-39].  One of the main characteristics of Revelation’s New Jerusalem is “the pure river of the Water of Life (or Living Water)” [22:1].

These three ages were considered as a continuum: the forefoot of the Lamb/Ram rested on the knot tying the two fish together, which were considered as swimming in the waters of Aquarius.

Again, the signs in the sky must be taken with the bronze serpent Moses raised in the wilderness [Numbers 21:5-9] in mind.  Despite it being the sign of the amazing grace and forgiveness God had against the rebellion of Israel, eventually it had been entirely perverted into a false god which Judea burned incense to [II Kings 18:4].  However Jesus stepped back to its original meaning to emphasize its strong message of grace, mercy and forgiveness to any who look to Him for salvation [John 3:14-15].  So also the signs in the sky must always be interpreted according to the known history of God’s promises and activity, building up to the coming of Jesus.

Next: Herod’s Fear


Who were the Magi?  Why did they come to see Jesus?  What caused them to start their journey?  These are the topics which will be discussed throughout this series, based on research I had done for my book *Creation’s Ballet for Jesus*.  The attempt here was to keep each topic short, however that was not always possible, and Topic V, although not specifically dealing with the Magi, was added to include the missing major festival of Passover into the consideration.  The topics will be posted daily here in the following order for eight days, and also will be included on my Blog, ** (the specific blog address for each topic is listed with each day’s post).

I. The Magi – Who were they?  [p=1257 – same address as below, simply insert this location instead]
II. The Magi – Zoroaster meets Yahweh  [p=1260]
III.  The Magi – Astrology/Astronomy and a Living Prophet  [p=1268]
IV.  The Magi – Astrology/Astronomy meets the Jewish Festival Year – Crowning the King Part 1    [p=1271]
V.  The Magi – Astrology/Astronomy meets the Jewish Festival Year – Crowning the King Part 2   [p=1275]
VI.  The Magi – Creation Mourns the Death of Its Creator and the Nation of Israel is Ended

The Magi series – VI. The Magi – Creation Mourns the Death of Its Creator and the Nation of Israel is Ended

VII.  The Magi – Herod’s Fear
VIII. The Magi – Epilogue

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