Summary Lesson 21: “Looking Forth The Great Day Of The Lord To Come”
- Jewish Rituals Look Forward to the “Great Day:” Religious Jews still practice many forms of ancient rites and rituals whose meanings have become distorted or lost over many years. With the restoration of priesthood, we are privileged to comprehend how the “New Covenant” restores the true doctrine. Old rituals contain signs of the “Great Day of the Lord to Come.”
- Remembrance and Looking Forward: Although “wine and bread” are partaken weekly and three times during the Passover meal (Seder), there is only one time in Jewish ritual when bread precedes the wine. That is at the end of the Passover when the children find a “lost piece of bread,” (afikommen). It is blessed and broken with the master of the house eating the first piece, and others follow. Then, the cup of wine is filled completely with the instruction to “drink all of it.” The Passover Seder meal is done in remembrance of the first Passover deliverance, yet the prayers look forward to a greater deliverance in the future.
- How Is Jesus’ Seder Different than Any Other? One item that makes the Last Supper different from any other night is the explanation of the bread taken before the wine. Jesus taught His Apostles that He was the Deliverer, that wine followed by bread (three times) was a symbolic anticipation of a future atonement. It was henceforth changed to bread followed by wine—symbolic of the deliverance He was to carry out within the next four days
- Returning From Above and in Red: A tradition to hide the “afikommen” above something (often in a red cloth) may also connote the second coming of the Messiah. The first time he came in a manger, likely under the house of relatives whose “katalima” (guest chamber or inn) was filled with other family members. The second time he comes dressed in red and in great glory from above. The Red Heifer ritual (Num. 19:1-9) was for forgiveness of sins. This was made possible through the “red” bleeding atonement of the Lord later on the Mount of Olives. Jews have a tradition that this red calf offering had to be high on the Mount of Olives, above the Temple itself and opposite the Gate Beautiful. Those who have had the experience of sitting on the upper part of the Mount of Olives opposite of the present day Gate Beautiful can attest to the spirit of Gethsemane (well away from the traditional Church of Gethsemane on the lower part of the mount).
- Consider the “Day of the Lord to Come:” Where will He appear? What will He wear? “. . . he shall stand upon the mount of Olivet . . .” (Doctrine & Covenants 133:20) “. . . I have trodden the winepress alone . . . I will stain all my raiment.” (Isaiah 63:2-3)
- Winepress–Gethsemane: The old English word “winefat” is from the Hebrew word for a “wine press” or “vineyard.” It is from that word in we get “Gethsemane,” where the Savior bled from every pore. His stained clothing is reflected in his return to the Mount of Olives in red. The fact that some will be asking-indicates that they have not been instructed. They just don’t know the account of the Gethsemane suffering and of the crucifixion. ” . . . What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet? Then shall they know that I am the Lord . . . I am the Son of God.” (Doctrine & Covenants 45:51-53)