Church of God, In Truth
Passover: 14th or 15th?
Passover: 14th or 15th?
PASSOVER 14TH OR 15TH?
"In th fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread" (Lev. 23:5-6).
The controversy rages on even after so many years and so much evidence has proved that there is only one evening and one midnight per day!!
Some say we are to partake of the Lord's Passover service at the beginning of the fourteenth day and others say we should partake of it at the end of the fourteenth day! Who is right? The Apostle Paul was inspired to say, "I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (II Cor. 11:3). In Exodus 12, we are informed God gave to His chosen people, the children of Israel, the beginning plan of salvation! This plan was not given just to Judah.
Notice; "The LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you" (Exo. 12:1-2). It was at this time God instructed His people how to keep the Passover Feast. He also taught them what it represented. "Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up UNTIL the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening" (Exo. 12:3-6). In God's calendar a day begins at sunset and ends with the following sunset. There is only one evening and midnight per twenty four hour day.
Certain Churches of God have made the statement that we must keep the Passover after the time that Christ had been sacrificed [3 PM] like Judaism teaches. They say that the lambs had to be sacrificed in the afternoon of the fourteenth as taught by Judaism! Not at the beginning of the fourteenth as God's Word states. "And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in [betwix– Strong's # 996 between] the evening" (Exo. 12:6). Let's examine these Hebrew words–"until," "evening" and "in"– in Exodus 12:6. The meanings will be taken from the New Brown Driver-Briggs-Genenius Hebrew-English Lexicon. "Until" in verse 6 is Strong's number 5704. It is defined as: even to–until–unto! The word "evening" in verse 6 is Strong's number 6153, meaning: a. sunset; evening. The word – "In" "betwix" in the original wordin g– is the phrase: betwee n the two evenin g; betwee n sunset and dark, Strong 's #996 [New Brown-Driver, etc].
God said, "They shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it" (Exo. 12:7) "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, [at midnight Exo. 12:29, of the 14th after the flesh of the lamb or goat had been eaten] and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, [at midnight on the 14th Exo. 12:29 and Exo. 11:4] and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever" (Exo. 12:7,12-14). God gave further instruction on the Passover in verse 21 through 29. "Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the Passover [before midnight on the 14th not the 15th]. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you [at midnight of the 14th] . And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as He hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD's Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. And it came to pass, that at midnight [of the 14th] the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle" (Exo. 12:21- 24). This took place at midnight of the 14th.
Passing over the houses that had the lamb or goats blood on the door post represented the sign of protection from the destroyer. This ensured the first born would not die when the destroyer passed over at midnight of the 14th!
As God's people we are to partake of the wine as a symbol of Christ's sacrificed blood He shed on the stake for us. The sacrificed life's blood of Jesus Christ is what the Passover [blood on the door posts] represented in the days of Moses. It takes blood to cover sin. Blood represents life. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Lev. 17:11). Only the blood of our Savior Jesus the Christ, the very Son of God can pay for the sins of all mankind. The blood of bulls and sheep could never pay for the sins of the whole world! "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause He is the mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance" (Heb. 9:11-15).
The point that seems to be missing when following the teachings of Judaism is that the death angel passed over at midnight of the 14th not the 15th! "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's Passover" (Lev. 23:5). Remember only one midnight per day! This is why in the New Testament Christ and His disciples kept the Passover meal one day prior to the Jews traditional 15th Passover and meal. What was involved in the killing, roasting and eating of the lamb or goat? How long did it take to kill, roast and eat of it? According to several commentators the killing, bleeding and preparing for the Passover meal a lamb or goat of young age would take no longer than about forty-five minutes. Cooking twenty to thirty pounds of young tender animal flesh would probably take about four and half to five hours! Eating a meal like this in haste would take about a half of hour. They were told to "..eat the flesh in that night of the 14th" (Exo. 12:8). [Night–Strong's #3915 — opposite of day]. "God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day" (Gen. 1:5). The rest of that night would have given the Israelites time to burn up what was commanded!
The teachers of Judaism have never obeyed or believed the whole law of Moses. "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?" (John 5:46-47). They added to God's Word by using man-made Babylonian practices, mixing religions and traditions. Christ realized that the Judaism of His day practiced man's traditions. "And He said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition" (Mark 7:9). This is why Christ kept Passover with His disciples at the beginning of the 14th of Abib. "And He sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat" (Luke 22:8). This is what Christ taught.
Now listen to what Judaism teaches. "The killing of the Passover lambs are to be done on the late afternoon of the fourteenth and the Passover meal was to be eaten at the beginning of the fifteenth. If this were true then the destroyer passed over at midnight of the fifteenth. This is not scriptural!! The destroyer passed over at midnight of the fourteenth, after the blood was placed on the door post. "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's Passover [midnight]. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread" (Lev. 23:5-6).
Judaism, that the Lord condemns, does not keep the correct day for the Passover. They do not recognize and accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Judaism does not keep the right day for Pentecost, they have never received God's Holy Spirit. By following and practicing Judaism you MISS the true Passover and the protection that occurred at midnight on the 14th!
We must keep our eyes on the simplicity of God's Word. God shows through His Holy Word the way to keep the Passover and all of His Holy Days. Judaism does not know there is a plan of salvation! Judaism does not know that each Holy Day represents another step in God's plan. We, as the people of God, must follow God's Word in spirit and in truth. "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:23-24).
REMEMBER THERE IS ONLY ONE EVENING, AFTER SUNSET AND ONE MIDNIGHT PER 24 HOUR DAY!!