Month 2:14, Week 2:6 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year:Day 5937:044 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Thursday 23 May 2013
Observing Late Passover
The Torah Grounds for Doing So
Continued from Part 1
"Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'If anyone of you or your posterity is unclean because of a corpse, or is far away on a journey, he may still keep Yahweh's Passover. On the fourteenth day of the second month, at twilight, they may keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs" (Num.9:9-11, NKJV).
Chag Sameach Pesach for those of you were unable to attend the first Passover meal or for those repenting from false Talmudic Calendar observation and returning to the biblical Creation Calendar! Welcome to what is sometimes called the "Little Passover" which will be celebrated this evening.
The New Covenant Requirement
Because of its importance, Pesach (Passover) is the only annual moed (appointment) that Yahweh provides for a late observance. It is one of the three compulsory Pilgrim Festivals (Pesach, Shavu'ot and Sukkot) at which a male representative from each family at a minimum was required to present himself before Yahweh at Jerusalem to make the obligatory sacrifices. Under the New Covenant, and during this time of diaspora (scattering throughout the nations) prior to the return of Yah'shua (Jesus) when He inaugurates the theocratic Millennium Reign at the New Jerusalem, we are still required to assemble at the qodesh (holy, set-apart) times wherever other believers are joining together to do the same. We are required to make the effort to gather with them.
A Second Chance for the Whole Year
But only at Passover are we given a 'second chance', as it were, as it sets the tone for the whole year. The way we treat this first annual moed is likely the way we will treat all the rest. What's important is that if you mess up the first time, Yahweh gives a second chance with an implied reminder that we should be better organised for the rest.
The Two Acceptable Grounds
What are the acceptable grounds for qualifying to have a second, late Pesach (Passover)? And how do these apply in the New Covenant? Yahweh gives only two:
Passover Compared to the Master's Supper
- 1. Becoming unclean because of touching a corpse; and
- 2. Unavoidably detained because of a long journey.
Under the Old Covenant a person who touched a dead body became ceremonially unclean for seven days (Num.19:11) and during that time was forbidden from partaking of any qodesh (holy, set-apart) meals (Lev.7:20). The same restriction applies today for the Master's (Lord's) Supper which is the 'filling up' or 'completion' of the Passover Meal, being instituted by the Messiah after it. Here we see, according to Paul's instruction, that the Master's Supper is not to be taken by anyone who is defiled by spiritual uncleanness:
Raising the Spiritual Bar: The Meaning of a 'Corpse'
"Therefore whoever eats this lechem (bread) or drinks this cup of the Master in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Master. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the lechem (bread) and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Master's body" (1 Cor.11:27-29, NKJV).
In other words, in the New Covenant Pesach, as in the more regular Master's (Lord's) Supper, Yahweh raises the spiritual bar to participation in this Qodesh Moed, requiring that we carefully examine our levim (hearts) for impurity of which a dead body is a type. So in other words, if you missed the Pesach (Passover) meal because you were unworthy because of resolvable spiritual issues - yes, that is how seriously we should prepare fot it as Passover is the chief 'Lord's Supper', as it were - then you are given a second opportunity to celebrate it. It's a requirement as a citizen in Yahweh's Theocratic Kingdom and it's central because it symbolically represents the decision to follow the Messiah - to become a talmid (disciple). Skip that and everything else is out of spiritual harmony.
The second ground for observing a late Pesach (Passover) is if, because of a long journey, you could not reach the designated place (Jerusalem in the Old Covenant) on time. There could be any number of reasons for this - family sickness, death, cancellation of flight, shipwreck, train break-down, and so on. Obviously a legitimate ground would not be because you planned to go on some pleasure trip and planned it badly because that would mean you did not take Yahweh's moed (appointment) seriously enough to be a Messianic Israelite. Yahweh's festivals are so important that He commands us to set-aside a third of our annual tithe to ensure we can afford it - travel, food, accommodation, etc.. for the whole family (the ideal) or a male representative (minimum provision).
Take the Moedim Seriously!
There are no other grounds to being permitted to attend a late Passover. In Yahweh's eyes, if you don't take His moedim (seriously) then you're not taking the Besorah (Gospel) seriously either. Like Sabbath-observance, it's a sign of faithfulness or a lack of it.
So I repeat, you may observe a late Passover (and all the other annual festivals that follow) if:
Repenting of False Calendars
- 1. You were unworthy to eat the first Passover because you didn't make right with Yahweh and man when you could have - perhaps you have been posponing something you know you need to repent of; or
- 2. You were unavoidably detained owing to an unforseeable mishap in journeying to the First Passover.
I would personally consider repenting of observing a false calendar (and therefore a falsely-timed Passover) to be grounds for attending a Late or Little Passover in order to observe the right one.
May you have a blessed Late Passover if this applies to you! Know that we here at the central assembly in Sweden are willing to organise a 'Little Passover' for anyone who may with to gather to observe this sacred time. Amen.
Continued in Part 3