Q. Was the Last Supper a Passover Seder? The gospels are somewhat confusing to me concerning this. Matthew , Mark , and Luke seem to indicate that it was. But the gospel of John indicates that Christ was betrayed and crucified before the Passover Seder. Is there a conflict between the Gospel accounts?
A. All four gospels agree that Jesus was crucified on Preparation day (Matt. 27:62, Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:31). This is what the 14th (Passover) was called in the Lord’s time. The Seder, which means “order”, is a long leisurely meal which recalls all the events surrounding the exodus in their proper sequence. It normally requires several hours and is done on the afternoon of the 15th. Matthew, Mark and Luke called the 14th the first day of Unleavened Bread, but strictly speaking it was the day before the Feast of Unleavened Bread began. Lev. 23:5-6 confirms that Passover is on the 14th and the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the 15th.
Jesus and His disciples ate an abbreviated Passover more like the first one, which was eaten shortly after the sunset marked the beginning of the 14th. Following the meal He was betrayed, tried and convicted, and bound over until He could be brought before Pilate. Early in the morning he was sentenced to die and by 9 AM was on the cross. He died that afternoon and was in the tomb before the next sunset brought the beginning of the 15th.