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In Remembrance of Me

Chapter 72 - "In Remembrance of Me," of The Desire of Ages, has a very significant paragraph in regards to a correct understanding of the feast days. The paragraph (the second on page 652) is reproduced directly below followed by a phrase-by-phrase look at it.

The text:
"Christ was standing at the point of transition between two economies and their two great festivals. He, the spotless Lamb of God, was about to present Himself as a sin offering, that He would thus bring to an end the system of types and ceremonies that for four thousand years had pointed to His death. As He ate the Passover with His disciples, He instituted in its place the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice. The national festival of the Jews was to pass away forever. The service which Christ established was to be observed by His followers in all lands and through all ages." (DA 652)

The text with notes added to clarify the meaning:

"Christ was standing at the point - it must be referring to the point in time and that point was the event of the last supper

of transition - a change is happening

between two economies The two economies being:

  1. the Jewish economy (EGW uses that phrase 160 times)
  2. the Christian economy (EGW uses that phrase 62 times)

and their - the Jewish and Christian economies. Either economy, in their time, could only be considered to be part of God's plan insofar as they were consistent with His plan.

two great festivals. - for the Jews it was Passover. For the Christians it was the commemoration now known as the Lord's Supper.

He, the spotless Lamb of God, - mentioning His role as the lamb makes a connection to Passover. "For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:" (1 Cor 5:7)

was about to present Himself as a sin offering, - in presenting Himself as a sin offering, had He been accepted, He should have been slain as a (the) sin offering. He was not because He was not understood, recognized or accepted as such. So, instead He offered the symbols in place of (for the moment) Himself. (I contend - see my book: In the Heart of the Earth: The Secret Code that Reveals What is in the Heart of God - that the meal He ate with His disciples was the real Passover meal eaten at the right time which was early in the evening of Nisan 15 as the Feast of Unleavened Bread was beginning.) The lamb was to be slain and prepared on Passover day (Nisan 14) and eaten in the evening. The disciples had asked Him where they should prepare the Passover (Matt 26:17-20, Mark 14:12) and He said He was eating the Passover with them (Luke 22:12). I take what the Word says and conclude that the meal He ate with them was a proper Passover meal and that they ate it at the right time. See my book for more details.

Then, in what sense was He "about to present Himself as a sin offering" if the time for the offering of the sacrifice was the afternoon before the meal was eaten? (the afternoon of Nisan 14). He had already, by His appearances in the temple in preceding days, been available for inspection as the lamb was to be inspected from Nisan 10 to 14 to see that it was without blemish. At this "point of transition" He took the opportunity to present to His disciples once again His role as the Lamb of God. This time He used symbols that would fix it more firmly in their minds and give them something they could use to commemorate His sacrifice for them.

that He would thus bring to an end - something was to end; we just need to look more carefully to determine what it was.

the system of types and ceremonies - again, we need to correctly understand what these include and what they do not. EGW has many statements saying things like sacrifice and oblation were ended. Here is one from The Desire of Ages that even connects it to Daniel's prophecy that he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease":

"In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." Daniel 9:27. In the spring of A. D. 31, Christ the true sacrifice was offered on Calvary. Then the veil of the temple was rent in twain, showing that the sacredness and significance of the sacrificial service had departed. The time had come for the earthly sacrifice and oblation to cease." (DA 233).

that for four thousand years - what is here said to be coming to an end after 4,000 years was not the festival of the Jews as it, of course, had not been around since creation and had only been around for more like 1500 years. What is here referred to as coming to an end was the system of animal sacrifices instituted when the first animal was slain in Eden after Adam and Eve sinned. Of course, it would have included all the sacrifices of the Jewish system.

had pointed to His death. - It is primarily the animal sacrifices that pointed to His death. The wave sheaf didn't point to His death (it symbolized the resurrection. Its at-least-partial fulfillment happened at His resurrection after His death. Pentecost didn't point to His death. When was it done away with? Even the Pentecost recorded in Acts chapter 2 was after the cross. We are still looking for the second Pentecost. The fall feasts are referred to by Ellen White as to be fulfilled at the Second Coming. We are hoping for their soon fulfillment.

As He ate the Passover with His disciples, - "the Passover" is referring to the meal. He ate the Passover meal, not the Passover feast day.

He instituted in its place - "its" is referring to the meal not the day. Again, Christ did not eat the day. "Its place" is its place in space or its place in time (see below). Actually, the Bible never uses the terms "Passover day " or "day of Passover." See my book Is Nisan 14 the Feast of Passover? for a complete discussion of that.

the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice. - He ate the meal in the evening hours of Nisan 15, at the time of the eating of the Passover meal.

The national festival of the Jews - not the Lord's Passover. The national festival of the Jews was what they had made out of God's feast. They had added their own traditions to the observance.

was to pass away forever. - the national festival of the Jews is what passed away, not the feast days of the Lord.

The service which Christ established - since Christ established it, it could be called the Lord's Passover or, as we refer to the observance, the Lord's Supper.

was to be observed by His followers - as His followers, we should observe it as closely as we can in regard to the correct time and format.

in all lands and through all ages." (DA 652) - since the Jews had rejected the covenant and it was now to go to all people in all lands it would not be possible for all of God's people to travel to Jerusalem for observance of the Passover.

The paragraph just examined can thus be understood to be saying that Christ instituted a service to take the place of the Passover meal. This was so that those who should afterward believe in Him and wish to celebrate the Passover as a memorial of His saving them from the slavery of sin could more closely identify with His death through the symbols used. There would be no further need to sacrifice animals as all could look back and appreciate the great sacrifice and the high cost of the redemption that was freely provided for us.

We could now rewrite the paragraph inserting the clarifications as described above and it would read thus:

"Christ was standing at the point of transition between the Jewish and Christian economies and their two great festivals of the Passover meal and the Lord's supper. He, the spotless Lamb of God, was about to present Himself as a sin offering, that He would thus bring to an end the system of types and ceremonies that for four thousand years since the fall of man had pointed to His death. As He ate the Passover meal with His disciples, He instituted in the place of the Passover meal the service, the Lord's Supper that was to be, in future, the memorial of His great sacrifice. The national festival of the Jews, their Passover observance, was to pass away forever. The service which Christ established, the Lord's Supper, was to be observed in the place (in time) of the Passover meal by His followers in all lands and through all ages." (DA 652)

Here are a couple more quotations related to the above:

"And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Luke 22:19. In the last Passover our Lord observed with His disciples, He instituted the Lord's Supper in place of the Passover, to be observed in memory of His death. The national festival of the Jews was to pass away forever. The service which Christ established was to be observed by His followers in all lands and through all ages." (FLB 300.3)
"While the disciples were contending for the highest place in the promised kingdom, Christ girded Himself, and performed the office of a servant, by washing the feet of those who had called Him Lord. He, the pure and spotless One, was about to offer Himself as a sin-offering for the world; and as He ate the Passover with His disciples, He put an end to the sacrifice [not the feast day] which for four thousand years had been offered. In the place of the national festival which the Jewish people had observed, He instituted a memorial service, the ordinance of feet washing and the sacramental supper, to be observed through all time by His followers in every country. These should ever repeat Christ's act, that all may see that true service calls for unselfish ministry." (ST, May 16, 1900 par. 6)
Passages such as the one we have examined here from the chapter In Remembrance of Me need to be carefully examined to determine, from the context, the real meaning of terms used. It can be seen here that the paragraph is not necessarily to be understood as abolishing Passover observance. The real change is in what is done at that time; previously the Passover meal, now the Lord's Supper.  
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