Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, but not without taking “….the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, YAHWEH will surely visit you (foretelling of the tribulation that will befall Israel at a time such couldn’t be fathomed, seeing that they had come upon a good life in GOSHEN from Canaan where they lived in tents); and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you (his brothers lacked such foresight, becoming comfortable with the life Egypt offered, enough not to bother about what will happen after their demise). – Exodus Chapter 13 verse 22.
Something of interest did however happen during that journey to the Land of Promise, which rather than take 40 days (possible if you look at the proximity between today’s Egypt and Israel) eventually took 40 years, though may not be totally responsible for the prolonged ETA to Canaan.
It is recorded in Exodus Chapter 13 verse 17 that after Pharaoh eventually let the children of Israel go, “…..that YAHWEH led them not through the way of the land of the PHILISTINES, although that was near; for YAHWEH said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:”. Years back I couldn’t bring myself to understand why YAHWEH will do that to his so called ‘Chosen People’ just moments after performing one of the most incredible deliverance feat in biblical and/or human history (depending on how you view it), but then I reflected on certain aspects of my life and how sometimes I got somethings almost relatively easy only to find the next step difficult, but then in achieving at that level I’d had some character built, which is exactly what YAHWEH wanted to impart in the lives of the Jews. I have never forgotten this part of the REDEMPTION STORY.
The first Passover after the deliverance from Egypt, and the first anniversary after the drowning of Pharaoh and his hosts in the Red Sea, was celebrated in the wilderness of SINAI, as recorded in the book of Numbers Chapter 9, with a little twist, that will again lead to the modification of the feast of Passover.
Verse 6 of that Chapter relates the story of “….certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the Passover on that day (much like women also who are considered unclean by reason of their menstrual cycle, and are barred from entering the temple which is usually the venue of the Feast of Passover): and they came before Moses and before Aaron (who had become de facto rulers and judges of the children of Israel at the time) on that day:”
YAHWEH instructed Moses to tell such people affected in this manner to keep the Passover in the next month on the Fourteenth day, and to eat it “…with unleavened bread and bitter herbs” (Numbers Chapter 9 verse 11) including all the other rituals associated with the feast.
The fact that a separate Passover is organized for those who unintentionally had to miss the first goes to show how important the feast is to YAHWEH and to believers.
The first Passover in the land of Canaan was celebrated in the plains of Jericho as recorded in Joshua Chapter 5 verse 10. A significant event took place the day after, as the MANNA which they hitherto enjoyed while they trekked the wilderness ceased to fall (verse 12) following the consumption of the old corn of the land.
Israel will go through a period of strict adherence to the will of YAHWEH under the leadership of Joshua, Moses’ successor. This will be followed by a mix of years of decadence and a return to path for which Israel either fell from grace or rose from the gutters depending on prevailing circumstances.
JOSIAH in his 18th year as King of Judah (many years after the split of Israel into two Kingdoms) was noted to have kept a Passover, the likes of which has never been held “….from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of JUDAH;” (II Kings Chapter 23 verse 23), before Israel was deported and never returned, then Judah followed suit (though they did return after 70 years in exile).
Judah, having learnt from the mistakes of the past appeared to continue to keep YAHWEH’s will as best they could, the Passover inclusive till the time of the Saviour.
Infact, the earliest age for which a story was associated with YAHSHUA was when He was 12 and it was in relation to the feast of Passover, in Luke Chapter 2 verse 41-42. Interestingly, He had travelled with His parents to the Temple in Jerusalem a place upon which YAHWEH had decided to place his name (a prerequisite for a Passover venue), where he had stayed back “…sitting in the midst of doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.” (verse 46).
Indeed, while YAHSHUA was on earth his life revolved a lot around Passover, such that even at His end it was again associated with Passover, seeing that Caiaphas “…..being the High Priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
And this spake he not of himself: but being High Priest that year, he prophesied that YAHSHUA should die for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also HE should gather together in ONE the children of YAHWEH (Jew and non-Jew) that were scattered abroad.” (John Chapter 11 verse 49-52).
This is how it came to be that Passover now concerns us all regardless of our creed and race, once we are believers and hence become adopted into the Commonwealth of Israel as sons and daughters of the SEED of Abraham.
YAHSHUA in fulfilling the requirements of the Passover also instituted another ritual which wasn’t meant to nullify the existing practice of the Passover, even expressing “….with desire I have desired to eat this PASSOVER with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof (since he was going to die), until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of YAHWEH” (Luke Chapter 22 verse 15-16) making a farce of teachings purporting that YAHSHUA’s death meant an end to the Passover.
What YAHSHUA instituted emphasized the need for humility and respect for our fellow men saying “Ye call me Master: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you……If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” (John Chapter 13 verse 13-17).
The Last Supper as many would like to refer to the event that inspired Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece, wasn’t instituted to replace the feast of Passover as already stated, but was marked a night before the Passover of which YAHSHUA was to be the Lamb. Messianic Jews worldwide mark this event on the 13th of Abib (incidentally 13th of April this year before midnight), some others simply include it as one of the events of the Passover night, after the “Passover Meal”.
YAHSHUA gave his disciples bread and wine representing his body (…which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me- Luke Chapter 22 verse 19) and his blood (….the NEW COVENANT in my BLOOD, which is shed for you- Luke Chapter 22 verse 20).
Whereas, Moses’ Passover procured deliverance for the Hebrews from the House of Bondage to the PROMISED LAND, the Passover featuring YAHSHUA as the LAMB procured Salvation for mankind from the eventual DEATH (wages of SIN) to LIFE!