The 12 Apostles - Who were they?
Christians would no doubt be reflecting on Jesus death at this time of the year in particular.
No doubt questions arise regarding his sacrificial death and about those closely associated with him at the time.
Jesus' 12 Apostles are those that would come to mind recalling that they spent the previous evening with him on Nisan 14.
Their names according to Mathew chapter 10 in the bible.
1 PETER - formally known as Simon Peter
2 ANDREW – Brother of Simon Peter
3 JAMES – Brother of John
9 JAMES – Known as the “The lesser one”
11 SIMON – The Zealot/ Simeon
12 JUDAS ISCARIOT
NB :- MATTHIAS replaced Judas Iscariot as one of the 12 Apostles following his betrayal of Jesus on the night of the Passover, Nisan 14.
Of the twelve, eleven were evidently Galileans with Judas Iscariot considered the sole Judean.
They were from the working class; four were definitely fishermen by trade; one had been a tax collector.
The 12 were selected out of a large group of disciples and were designated “apostles” by Jesus with their primary mission to preach and to continue with him. According to the Mathew account, the apostles “continued with him” in close association during the remainder of his earthly ministry, receiving extensive personal instruction and training in the ministry.
Since they continued to be Jesus' pupils they were still called “disciples” however after the Passover they were consistently called “apostles”.
At the time of their appointment, Jesus gave them miraculous powers to heal, as well as to expel demons. After Jesus' death they continued to have these powers.
Despite their years of close association with Jesus and knowing him to be the Messiah, they abandoned him at the time of his arrest and they were slow to accept the testimony of a woman who first saw Jesus after his resurrection. Mathew 26:56, Luke 24:10.
The resurrected Jesus gave them further enlightenment and following his ascension to heaven on the 40th day from his resurrection, they showed great joy and “were continually in the temple blessing God” Luke chapter 24.
The 12 Apostles - The Lord's Evening Meal - Nisan 14
Over 15 centuries after the Exodus, on Nisan 14 of the year 33CE, Jesus gathered with his 12 apostles in Jerusalem to celebrate the last valid Passover. This was to be the memorial of his death by means of the Lord’s Supper, or Evening Meal.
Upon gathering the 12 apostles he said to them, “I have great desire to eat this Passover with you before I suffer”. Luke 22:15
According to John, Jesus dismissed Judas before instituting the Memorial Meal.
During the Lord’s Evening Meal that followed, Jesus passed the bread and the wine to the remaining 11 apostles, telling them to eat and drink. Luke 22: 19, 20
Afterwards he spoke to them as “the ones who have stuck with me in my trials”.
What a privilege it was for these apostles to share Jesus' last moments with him on Nisan 14!
NB:- Nisan is the postexilic name of the first Jewish lunar month of the sacred calendar, corresponding to part of March and part of April.