Passover 2018 happens to fall on the same day as Good Friday this year, which I believe is not a coincidence. Many Christians really aren’t aware that Good Friday and Easter were dates that the Catholic Church created as “holy days” to honor Christ. Through this adoption of Good Friday and Easter into our Christian culture, the body of Christ lost all connection to the Feasts calendar God established to honor His son. But by the grace of God, Passover (Good Friday) and the Feast of Firstfruits (Resurrection Day) are identical dates this year, so we will be synced to God’s “appointed time” by chance (or is it!).
The problem of “changing God’s time and law” isn’t new since Christ came (Dan.7:25). In the Old Testament, it most notably happened after the reign of King Solomon when the Israelites split into two kingdoms(families). Ten of the tribes of Israel formed the House of Israel and removed themselves from Solomon’s son’s reign. But out of fear that the people would return to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feasts and not return, the leader of the ten tribes, Jeroboam, decided to change the Feasts times, laws, and place of worship (1 Kings 12:26-33).
“So he made offerings on the altar which he had made at Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month he had devised in his own heart” (1 Kings 12:33).
This change opened up the door for the iniquitous roots that would plague the House of Israel in years to come, and which is why most of the kings who ruled that we read in 1st and 2nd Kings were wicked and rebellious towards God.
Looking at the pattern in the New Testament, Jesus and Paul the Apostle made sure they didn’t miss a Feast. All of Paul’s missionary work was targeted to adhere to the Feast schedule. He understood the importance of honoring those Feast times. But the Feasts needed a New Covenant revelation of why and how they were to be celebrated. They were not to be pegged to an “earthly Jerusalem” any longer:
“Then I, John, saw the holy city, NEW Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.(Rev. 21:2).
The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD would actually help “cut off” the Old Covenant tradition of looking to a “temple” in Jerusalem to honor the Feasts. With the New Jerusalem, the believers are said to be join together in the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, united as one body, one heart, and one sound worshipping the Lord. Since believers are the temple of God (2 Cor. 6:16), there is no need for a temple made of hands to worship the Lord. We just need to align ourselves with God’s blueprint of corporately coming together to honor Him in truth. This blueprint is what God wants to awaken us all to.
Prior to every “fresh start” and new outpouring of God’s mercy and power, there is a pattern of a remnant of God’s people who are “awakened” to His truth. This awakening usually resulted in repentance and a turning toward the ways of God. The story of King Hezekiah is just one example of this awakening, which followed with a reinstatement of the celebration of the Feasts of the Lord that brought joy and healing to the people and the land (2 Chron.30,31)
Given that this Hebrew year has a significance of new beginnings for God’s remnant, an “awakening to God’s truth,” and a release from bondage, I was led to another similar “awakening” pattern in the biblical history found in the book of Ezra.
After 70 years of captivity in Babylon, the Judeans (Jews) were able to return to the Promised Land and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Led by Ezra the High Priest and Nehemiah, the Jews were given an opportunity to start again. Ezra was used by God to “awaken” the remnant to God’s truth by sharing the Law. The construction of the temple had just finished, and after hearing about God’s “Holy Days” found in the pattern of the Feasts, the Jews chose to celebrate the Passover:
“And the descendants of the captivity kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. For the priests of the Levites had purified themselves; all of them were ritually clean.
And they slaughtered the Passover lambs for all the descendants of the captivity, for their brethren the priests, and for themselves. Then the children of Israel who had returned from captivity ate together will all who had separated themselves from the filth of the nations of the land in order to seek the Lord God of Israel.
And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread, seven days with joy; for the Lord made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel” (Ezra 6:19-22).
Ezra directed the Jews back to honoring the Feasts, which resulted in joy and gladness amongst the people. BUT also included was favor with the heart of the king. Even Nehemiah goes into detail in chapter 8 on how they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles according to the blueprint of the law, which hadn’t been done since the days of Joshua!
Unfortunately, as time went on, God’s people had not separated themselves from the cultures and idolatry of the people who lived in the land. Ezra was besides himself since they had just come out of the 70 year bondage. So he pleads with the people to separate themselves for God’s service, and to see they have been given a second chance:
“Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been very guilt, and of our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and to humiliation, as it is this day.
“And now for a little while grace has been shown form the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage” (Ezra 9:7,8).
This Hebrew year, I believe that God is awakening us all to His Calendar truth and to separate ourselves from the “holy calendar” that man has made. This will give the body of Christ what Ezra and the people experienced, “a measure of revival in our bondage,” which will ultimately lead to healing and joy for the Church at large. And how about the timing today? It will be 70 years that Israel has been a nation, and it’s time our eyes are adjusted shift to the NEW Jerusalem. NOW is the time of awakening.
So you may be asking yourself again, “Why would God create these Feasts, call them His “Holy Days,” that He wanted us to honor for all generations?” And the simple answer is because they layout the blueprint in detail, in relation to their meaning and timing, of how Jesus would become our Savior and return as King.
Time is the one common denominator that ALL the world is on the same blueprint. We are all accountable to our days, months and years to the time established universal. Now is the time we all need to awaken to God’s calendar so we can sync into His plan of redemption in the earth. The Feasts give us the corporate pattern of how we become what God prophesies about, “The New Jerusalem!” That alone should get every Christian interested in discovering their value.
I pray you have a blessed Passover!