This year something very unusual happened. When it happened last, I could not tell you. But it is so significant that I had to post something here. Actually, I do not know where else the posting of this information might be appreciated more.
You may or may not be aware, but the Passover Holidays are intertwined with the spring Christian holidays in ways that are so important that they need to be pointed out. In fact there are essential elements and symbols of Christianity that have virtually no meaning apart from their Jewish roots, yet, these important symbols and their meanings are almost (if not completely) lost on modern followers of Jesus. Not only that, but many of these important symbols' meanings are lost on the Jews who repeat them every year.
The story starts in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 12. Actually, the story of the Exodus starts earlier, but this is not the time to start at the very beginning of the tale.
In Exodus 12, the story is being told that God is going to free the Israelites from their bondage in slavery to the Egyptians. (In the Bible, Egypt represents sin in the world and the Exodus represents leaving the world of sin, by the means of a sacrificed Lamb, and entering a communion with God.) God had already ravaged the Egyptians with the first 9 of the 10 plagues. The 10th plague, the slaying of the first born, was about to be carried out.
The Israelites were commanded to re-arrange their calendar to focus on the event of the Exodus. On the 10th day of Nissan, the Israelites were commanded by God to take into their homes a perfect Lamb, without defect, and to care for the Lamb for 4 days. After that, they were to slaughter the Lamb and put its blood on the doorposts of their homes. When God came to destroy the first born of Egypt, He would see the homes that were covered by the blood of the Lamb and death would not enter their homes, but would "Passover" them.
Recall, for a moment, that John called Jesus "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." That identification by John, who was viewed by all of the people as a prophet, was not lost on the people of the day. Does the Church today know what that reference meant or means now?
This year, the 10th of Nissan, the welcoming of the perfect Lamb into the homes of the Israelites, was on Palm Sunday: the day that the Israelites welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem. For 4 days the people formed a relationship with the perfect Lamb of God. Then He allowed himself to be slaughtered and His blood was poured out.
It is no coincidence that people who believe in Jesus as Savior accept that His blood was poured out for them personally. He is the Perfect Lamb, who is brought into a relationship with the believer (brought personally into the home of the believer) and then His blood was shed for the removal of sin and death passes away from the believer. Each believer therefore must have his or her own personal "Passover."
On the night before He allowed this sacrifice, Jesus celebrated the holiday with his friends. The bread of the Affliction (matzoh) was broken and they shared the ceremonial glasses of wine. These have become the "Lord's Supper," celebrated in churches all over the world.
To this day, every Jew who celebrates Passover must use matzoh which is striped and pierced. It is not kosher, if it is not striped and pierced. This calls to mind the passage of Isaiah 53 - he was pierced for us and by his stripes we are healed. The Jews use this symbol every year and do not even know what it means. Christians use the symbol in their churches and do not know where it comes from. Another symbol on the Seder table of every observant Jew is the presence of 3 pieces of Matzoh. They represent the Trinity, but the Jews do not realize this. The leader of the Ceremony takes out the middle matzoh and breaks it. Who is the middle of the trinity? (The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.) The Son IS the middle matzoh. Then the leader of the ceremony takes the pieces of the broken matzoh and wraps it in a napkin, which is a symbol of a burial shroud, the broken matzoh is then hidden (buried). After the ceremonial meal, members of the family (usually the children) search for the broken, buried matzoh, and it is retrieved (from the grave.) It is only after the hidden matzoh is recovered that the ceremony can end. It is the last food eaten with the last cup of wine. (Any guesses about this symbolism?)
On Palm Sunday the Lamb came into Jerusalem, He was there 4 days, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday, He was sacrificed on the cross. He died before the Romans came along to break his legs - to hasten the execution, but they did not break His legs. It is forbidden to break the bones of the Passover offering. He was taken down from the cross before sundown, which is the start of passover. He was in the grave, Thursday evening - Friday morning - 1 day, Friday evening into Saturday morning - 2nd day, Saturday evening into Sunday morning - the 3rd day. The Son of man had to spend 3 nights and 3 days in the tomb.
On Sunday - Resurrection Sunday it is the Israelite's Festival of First Fruits. I am sure you have heard it said that Jesus was the First Fruits of the dead. The resurrection and First Fruits is the same day and it was so this year! Praise God. This is, frankly, so amazing I cannot believe people have not been talking about it.
Beginning on Resurrection Sunday Jesus walked among the living for 40 days and then He ascended. Beginning on the Festival of First Fruits, the Israelites count 7 weeks plus 1 day to the Holy day of Shavuot (The Festival of Weeks.) On Shavuot, God gave the Israelites the 10 Commandments. The Law came to the Israelites and through them, to the world, on Shavuot. On the same day the Christians celebrate Pentecost and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The law came through Moses and Grace through Jesus Christ - on the same exact day of the year.
This year, they will be on the same day again!
The first time Jesus was here, He fulfilled the promises of the Spring Festivals. When He returns, He will fulfill the Fall Festivals.
Though it is fodder for another post, the Fall Festivals begin with Rosh Hashanah. The head of the New Year. It is NOT a coincidence that Rosh Hashanah is called the Festival of Trumpets and that the Rapture will occur on the blast of the final trumpet. Rosh Hashanah does not commemorate creation, it commemorates when Adam recognized God as his King.
It also is NOT a coincidence that Jesus told His followers that the day of his return "no man knows the day or he hour," only His Father in Heaven. This statement by Jesus was not a mystery to his followers. The Festival when no man knows the day or the hour IS Rosh Hashanah. It is the only Holy day of the year which is so important that the new moon, which starts the festival must be agreed to by more than one man - thus no one man knows the day or the hour. Only God Himself knows exactly when the new moon begins.
The 10 days of Penitence begins on Rosh Hashanah and ends on Yom Kippor - the Day of Atonement. Yom Kippor ends with a series of blasts on the trumpets (shofars.) It will not surprise me if the Rapture occurs on Rosh Hashanah, the Festival of Trumpets, which no man knows the day or the hour exactly of the new moon, which opens and closes with blasts on the shofar. It may even be THIS Rosh Hashanah.
If I were you, I'd have oil in my lamps. You know what I mean?