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DON’T let the Passover sneak up on you!
Short but vital blog today. Passover. For most of us it is coming in April 2022 this year. There are various calendars being used out there, so be sure you know when you’ll be keeping the footwashing and partaking of the bread and wine service. For most of you, the Passover service will be kept sometime between April 14-16, 2022, depending on your calendar you use.
For those keeping Jewish or rabbinic calendar, Passover day is April 15, 2022, and the bread and wine and footwashing kept the eve of the 15th – end of April 14. The first holyday of Unleavened Bread for many will be April 16, sabbath. For those following the conjunction method and sighting of the new moon in Israel, it will be a day or so later.
Remember scripture is clear that Passover day is Nisan or Abib 14, the daytime portion when our Messiah was crucified. The first Hebrew month is called Abib or Nisan.
Leviticus 23:5-6 “On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord's Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.”
Yeshua’s own example for us was that he did the footwashing and bread and wine service the eve of Abib 14, and then died in the daytime portion of Abib 14. Remember Biblical days start and end sundown to sundown. The 15th of Nisan/Abib starts the Feast of Unleavened Bread, again starting at sundown and ending at sundown.
Do also be aware though, that traditionally the whole time – Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread were sometimes all lumped together, and simply called “Passover”, just as we might today call the 7-day Feast of Tabernacles and 8th day Festival – “the Feast of Tabernacles”, though they are technically 2 separate festivals.
Ezekiel 45:21 "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall observe the Passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.”
But back to my topic: Have you given much thought to Passover this year? Are you ready to take the bread and the wine? Or did you find Passover rapidly coming up – and you haven’t given it much thought? If that is what has happened, resolve to make changes so it never happens again. It’s our own fault if that’s happening. But frankly it’s also a reflection on your ministers if that happened. Pastors should have been discussing Passover-type topics for the past few sabbaths.
So here’s my point: If you’re among those keeping it in April, and you realize it has come up so quickly and you feel caught off guard, this blog is for you!
God’s people must NOT, must NOT, let the pivotal event in all human history since Adam and Eve were created to “sneak up” on you, to catch you off guard.
When we get new wall calendars each year, I make a point to mark up the calendars with the Passover and the holy days of God, as well as our personal anniversaries or plans we have. Some of you may have dispensed with wall calendars ages ago. But however you track time, be sure you do. Then I do the same in my cell phone calendar and even make a note 2-3 weeks before Passover, to start thinking heavily about God’s love for me and for you.
Remember that Passover pictures the Son of God, called “the Lamb of God”, who himself was God (John 1:1-3, 14), who gave his life to pay the penalty for your sins and mine and of the world (John 1:29) so that humanity would not all have to die for all of our sins.
This event, this spilled holy blood of the Lamb, broke the back of Satan’s tyranny, pictured by the death of the first born in Egypt that broke Pharaoh’s hold on Israel. The Passover paid the ransom for sin, paid the penalty for sin, soothed God’s wrath over all our sins, and cleansed each of us of all of our sins. ALL of them, bar none. ALL of them, no matter how horrendous they were (1 John 1:7, 9). If you and I deeply repented of each of our sins and our failings and then came humbly before our Maker and confessed our sins and accepted Yeshua of Nazareth as the promised Messiah (Anointed One), then ALL of our sins are washed away in his blood.
Upon baptism we were baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ.
“For by one spirit were all baptized into one body…and have all been made to drink into one spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13).
Whose body was that? Of course, it’s HIS body. “We, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another” (Romans 12:5). So now we are seen as “members of HIS body, of his flesh and of his bones” (Eph 5:30). “His body, which is the church” (Col. 1:24)—and us individually as members of that body.
We are part of HIM, folks. The Bible speaks repeatedly of how we are IN HIM. So if you think of your own body and your own blood, our blood is coursing through our whole body, giving nourishment, and cleansing the body from head to toe, literally.
Well we are now part of His body and so His blood continues to cleanse us. Just like YOUR own blood cleanses YOUR body when you cut yourself and infection begins. Your blood immediately sends out white blood cells and attacks the infection, protecting and cleansing your body. God’s blood does the same for the parts or members of HIS own body – you and me. His blood at Calvary forgave us of all our past sins. Now as we live in him, He continues to cleanse us as long as we continue to stay attached to him, to abide in him as John 15 tells us. Remember life is in the blood. He spilled his blood for me and for you.
When God looks down upon his children, does He see all of us coming under His son’s blood? Remember what God said in Exodus 12 – “When I see the blood [splashed on the door posts and lintels of the houses], I will PASS OVER you” – and the people in that household were spared (Exodus 12:13).
WE – when we repented and answered our Creator’s call – also came under the blood. God must see us as people who take this all very seriously.
SO, are you ready for Passover? You do NOT want to be taking it in an unworthy manner or unworthily. We need to give it careful thought. We need to be sure we especially in the days before Passover are not taking any ongoing sins in our lives lightly.
You’re ready if you are very soberly thanking and praising Yeshua for his great work in your behalf. You’re ready if you’ve been giving thought to Passover the last so many days or even weeks. You’re ready if you have examined yourself and realize – “Boy do I EVER need the washing and cleansing of his blood over me”. We’re told that after we have examined ourselves, “so LET him drink of the cup” and eat of the broken bread.
“Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and SO LET HIM EAT of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment on himself, no discerning the Lord’s body.” (1 Cor. 11:27-29).
We don’t examine and then decide we are unworthy. No, no, no. Ultimately just the Lamb is worthy. But when we are IN him, as we are – by His Spirit – we too become worthy because we are a part of Him, his holiness, HIS perfection, HIS righteousness. But we never, never take this lightly.
We diligently put out leaven – but be sure you are even more diligent in fighting sin and temptations in your life. The most effective way is NOT to focus on your sins and weaknesses, but keep your mind and eyes fixed on Jesus Christ, who conquers it all. We become what we think about. Focus on Messiah and become more and more like him in so doing.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 -- “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Be sure you are cleaning out the crevices of your heart. Be sure your focus is on the spiritual elements of this season way more than the physical parts of it.
We were washed at our repentant baptism, but we also still do the foot washing each Passover to remember to be humble and to serve one another, as well as to keep the spiritual dirt of sin off of us as we walk our walk of life day by day. And as you wash feet this year, don’t miss this: recognize that Yeshua has ALREADY WASHED this person and we accept that person as a brother or sister in the body washed of any sins, of any gossip about his/her sins, and just love one another in the love of Christ.
So please – be sure to be taking time to focus on Passover and that means focusing on Messiah! I suggest you hear my sermon on “Do this in remembrance of ME!” (Christ speaking).
I would also recommend this: if you can --before Passover, spend a day in fasting as you examine yourself, your life, your commitment to the Way to which you’ve been called.
But even if you don’t fast, at least spend some time in the days preceding Passover and even after Passover—to recommit to a life attached to Jesus Christ and to express your thanks and gratitude daily to our truly amazing Father in heaven and the Son of God who gave himself for you, because of his love for you.