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Watchtower Study Week February 24 – March 02, 2014
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Shared on Feb 27, 2014 7:15 am by
Edited last by The_ObZeRvaNt on Feb 27, 2014 7:15 am
‘Do This in Remembrance of Me’
Watchtower Study Week February 24 –
March 02, 2014
Read or listen to the study article by following the
“After giving thanks, he broke [the loaf] and said: ‘This means my body which is in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.’”—1 Cor.
“and after giving thanks, he broke it and said: “This means my body, which is in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.””- 1 Cor.
Purpose of the study:
About the same time of the year, Jews celebrate the Passover and true Christians observe the Memorial of Jesus’ death. Why should we know about the Passover? How do we know when the Lord’s Evening Meal should be held, and what meaning should it have for all of us?
How Would You Answer?
Basically, how is the date set for the Memorial?
What is represented by the bread and by the wine at the Lord’s Evening Meal?
No matter what our hope is, why is it important to be present at the Memorial?
The study material will be considered under the following paragraph headings:
Commemorating Christ’s Death
Some Expressions Explained:
Spring equinox: The day in spring when there are 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness
The emblems: The unleavened bread and the red wine that are used at the Lord’s Evening Meal
Food For Thought:
The apostles partook of the wine that stood for Jesus’ blood of the covenant (See paragraphs 11, 12)
The Memorial is the only event that Jesus told his followers to observe
Jesus’ blood provides a ransom so that our sins can be forgiven
During the Memorial, we can think about all the blessings that the ransom can bring us
Additional Material / Research:
Footnote Paragraph 9:
German scholar Heinrich Meyer observes: “Seeing . . . that the body of Jesus was still unbroken (still living), and that, as yet, His blood had not been shed, none of the guests [the apostles] can have supposed . . . that they were in reality eating and drinking the very body and blood of the Lord, [so] Jesus Himself could not have intended His simple words to be understood in a sense which they did not then admit of.”
The moon circles our earth each month. In the course of each cycle, there is a moment when the moon lines up between the earth and the sun. This astronomical
configuration is termed “new moon.” At that point, the moon is not visible from the earth nor will it be until 18 to 30 hours later.
During 2014, the new moon nearest the vernal (spring) equinox will be on
), Jerusalem time. The following sunset inJerusalem (
) will come about 21 hours later. It is doubtful that the first sliver of the moon will be visible then. More likely, the first sunset when the initial crescent of the moon can be seen in Jerusalem will be on
. By the method the ancient Jews used, that will be the day when the first month (Nisan 1) will start, at sunset.
Hence, congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the earth have been informed that Nisan 14 will begin at sunset on
Monday, April 14, 2014
. That will be about the time of the full moon.—For more details on calculating the date, see The Watchtower of June 15, 1977, pages 383-384.
The Watchtower of June 15, 1977, pages 383-384
Questions from Readers
I understood that the Memorial celebration was always on the evening of a full moon. But in 1977 the Memorial was on
, and my calendar gave
for the full moon. Why the difference?
Often the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal and the full moon do coincide, but not always. There may, for example, be a day’s difference, depending on where you live and the calendar used.
To see why this is so you need to understand the basic method presently used by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses in establishing the date for the annual Memorial celebration.
It was on the 14th of the Jewish month Nisan, the date of the Passover, that Jesus directed his followers to commemorate his death. (Luke 22:14-20) Appropriately, the date for the Memorial celebration is arrived at as the Jews back then determined the date for the Passover. They began the month of Nisan when they could first see the new moon in the spring nearest the equinox. Passover came fourteen days later.—Isa. 66:23; Ex. 12:2, 6.
Jehovah’s Witnesses now follow this ancient pattern in determining the Memorial date. Please note that the first thing that needs to be established is when the new moon nearest the spring equinox (about
) will be visible in Jerusalem. This is not the astronomical new-moon time listed on a calendar or astronomical table. Why? Because the first thin sliver of the new moon is not visible until eighteen to thirty hours after the moment of astronomical new moon.
Let us take 1977 as an example. In determining the matter months beforehand so as to inform the congregations earth wide, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses had to calculate when the new moon would become visible in Jerusalem. From the astronomical standpoint the instant of new moon was at
) Jerusalem clock time on March 19, 1977. Of course, that new moon was not then visible nor would it be for many hours. But could the first sliver of the new moon be seen the next evening about sunset? Because of various involved factors it seemed unlikely that the moon could be sighted in the rather bright sky west of Jerusalem about sunset on March 20, 1977. Consequently, the Governing Body settled onMarch 21, 1977, as the time when, with assurance, the new moon would be in position to be seen from Jerusalem about sunset. Nisan 14 would thus commence at sunset on
. That is when Jehovah’s Witnesses held the Lord’s Evening Meal. What about the full moon that month? When was it?
Astronomical tables list the full moon as occurring on April 4 at 04:09 (
), Greenwich (England) Mean Time. But at that same moment if you live in another time zone obviously your clock would show a different time. For instance, Stockholm (Sweden) and Rome (Italy) are in the next time zone to the east of Greenwich. Hence, for them the moment of full moon occurred on April 4 at 05:09 (
). New York (U.S.A.) and Lima (Peru), though, are five time zones to the west of Greenwich, so for them the full moon was at
) on April 3, 1977. Because of this variation according to time zones some 1977 local calendars indicated that the full moon occurred on
and others said
In any case, the basic point to appreciate is that the date for the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal is determined by the new moon (visible inJerusalem), not the full moon. Nonetheless, the Memorial falls fourteen days after the appearance of the new moon. Thus it always occurs about the time of the full moon. It is good to know this in case some of Jehovah’s Witnesses are cut off from contact with the Governing Body and do not know what date for Memorial has been determined. In that situation, if they observed the Memorial on the evening of the calendar date for the full moon after the spring equinox, they would likely be celebrating it on the same date as the rest of their brothers or at least very close to it
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