the Passover. The Passover was one of the most important of the Jewish feasts, since it celebrated the deliverance from Egypt when the angel of death “passed over” the homes of the people of Israel (Ex. 12:1–30). At the time of Jesus, the Passover was celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month of the Jewish calendar (Nisan, which corresponds to the end of March and beginning of April). It was observed the last day before the first full moon after the spring equinox. From that day when the paschal lambs were killed and eaten, all leaven (symbolizing sin) was to be removed from the house, and only unleavened bread was to be eaten for seven days. This observance was known as the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” (14:12; Ex. 12:15–20), and was closely associated with Passover.
chief priests. See note 8:31.
scribes. See note 7:1.