Observing the Passover
In Exodus 12 we received the original instructions for the Passover. Now, however, because some men had become defiled by coming into contact with dead bodies, thus becoming ceremonially unclean, they would have to miss the Passover. They appealed to Moses because they really didn’t want to miss out entirely on this divinely commanded feast (Leviticus 23:5 Leviticus 23:5In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s passover.
American King James Version×).
God reveals Himself in encounters like this one. He isn’t the harsh, heavy-handed, unreasonable God some would make Him out to be. This event gives us a glimpse at how compassionate and understanding He actually is in making it possible for us to follow Him. He is giving and serving, not willing that any should perish, but that all mankind should ultimately be in His Kingdom. Thus, He establishes the second Passover for those who, for reasons beyond their control, miss the first Passover.
It isn’t usually published on sacred calendars, so how can you tell when to keep the second Passover? There is an easy rule of thumb to use so as not to get confused. Just add four weeks and two days to the first Passover. For example, if the first Passover was on a Tuesday night the second Passover will be on a Thursday night.
Of course, we must never purposely skip the first Passover. God the Father literally gave up His Son Jesus Christ so that Christ could come to earth and die to take away our sin. Passover pictures this aspect of God’s incredible plan of salvation. By God’s good graces some have been called to be a part of that plan at this time. Moses explained that those who disregarded the Passover would be cut off and bear their sin. It is the same for us today. To skip, or treat the Passover lightly, is to say to our Savior, “Thanks, but no thanks.” We would remain in our sin (verse 13). Let us never drift down such a dangerous spiritual path.
To better understand the significance of the Passover, see “The Passover: Why Did Jesus Christ Have to Die?,” God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind, pp. 10-19.