The Passover And God's Passingover
God appointed the 14th of the first month to be His Passover and the 15th to be His Passingover. Do you understand the difference between the two?
We plainly see God's appointed time and law for Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread given in Lev. 23. The time that was appointed and commanded by the Lord for Israel and all His people today to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread is given clearly and plainly in Lev. 23:4-6, where God says "These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations,which you shall proclaim in their seasons. In the 14th day of the first month at even is the Lord's passover. And on the 15th day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread unto the Lord: seven days you must eat unleavened bread."
Also, once again God in Numbers 28: 16-17 makes it clear what day He appointed to be His Passover and what day of His month is appointed to be His Feast of unleavened Bread. God says in verse 16, "And in the 14th day of the first month is the Passover of the Lord." Verse 17, " And in the 15th day of this month is the Feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten." These words of God are very clear to us what day is the Passover and what day begins the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
We believe Exodus 23:18, where God says and gives His command, "In the first month on the 14th day of the month at even, you you shall eat unleavened bread, until the 21st day of the month at even" is to be understood to be from even (sunset) of the 14th until even (sunset) of the 21st day of the month," otherwise God would be contradicting Himself in His Word and confusing people from what He said and commanded in Lev. 23 and Num. 28. These are all plain Scriptures of God's law, about His commanded and appointed Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. We hope you can understand that these verses are giving us the clear commands of God as He intended.
God further says in Numbers 28: 18, "In the first day (of the Feast) shall be an holy convocation, (Holy Sabbath) you shall do no manner of servile work therein." God did command His people not to do servile work on any of His annual Holy Day Sabbaths and weekly Sabbaths, which included not to be gathering wood for cooking, not to boil, bake, or roast food and meat on any of His Sabbaths, weekly or high Sabbath days. Then did God turn around and at the same time command each family to kill a lamb, prepare a fire for roasting the lamb and then roast it, all on the Passover, if the Passover was a Holy day, which you all claim is a Holy Day and Sabbath. This would be a command given by God to the Israelites to violate His own Sabbath and Holy day commandment. This would be very confusing to His people.
These three places in the Scriptures state plainly and emphatically the law of God concerning His 14th Passover as a preparation day and 15th day being the first Holy Day, and annual Sabbath, which begins His Feast day of Unleavened Bread.
You seem to have let Ex. 12 and what God says there about His 14th Passover and the 15th, the first Day of Unleavened Bread to confuse you. In verse 18, it says, "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at even, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even." God must here in this verse mean for us undersatnd that the Hebrew word for even S.6153 and as it used in most all of its applications in God's Word to mean from sunset of the 14th and which also begins the 15th and continue to sunset of the 21st if we believe God is not meant to be contradicting in His Word and we both do believe that God does not contradict Himself. Because, if you are accepting the word until to mean up to the beginning, but not include the 21st day rather than continue to the end at sunset the even of that day, then you would have to likewise accept what God says in verse 15, "from the first day until the 7th day" and that until here would have to mean not to include the 7th day--making God's Days of Unleavened Bread a 6-day Feast and contradictory to other of His Scriptures that says it is seven days.
When you study the word until in Strong's Hebrew Dictionary, the word is S.5104, and 5703 and is taken from the root word of 5710, which means to advance, i.e. pass on or continue.
So the meaning in verse 18 means to continue, to pass on, or advance to even (sunset) of the 21st day or else we have found a place in God's Word where God is confusing, not truthful, and contradictory based on other plain and clear Scriptures in Lev.23 and Num.28 concerning the appointed day of Passover and His Feast of Unleavened Bread.
This problem that seems to be confusing is your accepting the word even in verse 18 to mean the beginning of the 14th, rather than the end of that day and the beginning of the 15th. Does God in His Word clearly give us when the Israelites did kill and sacrifice the lamb and do all the work pertaining to the sacrificing and roasting the lamb? God in Duet. 16: 5-7 clears up this problem by telling us in Verse 5 where the lamb's sacrifice was not to be killed and then in verse 6 tells us where and when it was to be killed. "But at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place His name in, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at even, at the going down of the sun, (not at sunset or after sunset) at the season that thou came forth out of Egypt. Verse 7, "And you shall roast and eat the lamb in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, and you shall turn in the morning and go unto your tents." Here in this verse the same word even S.6153 has a different meaning in the sense of before the sun sets and God explains that meaning here in this verse to mean the going down of the sun, which begins at midday of the 14th and continues to go down until the sun sets at the end of the 14th and which begins the 15th. There are a number of words in the Hebrew and Greek language that have more than one meaning and we must study and let God's Word help us to know the meaning as each as is used. Strong's dictionary does not always give us clear definitions and so we must let God in His word help us to understand meaning of His words
The Israelites families sometime after midday of the 14th, killed their passover lamb, took the blood and sprinkled it on their doorposts, gathered wood for a fire, then roast the lamb, which all would take 3 or 4 hours or longer. This was much work and preparation before the Feast when they were to eat the lamb at the beginning of the night of the 15th, His beginning Feast, as Exodus 12: 8 states and was the night to be much remembered, or observed. We must remember it was killing of the lamb and striking or sprinkling of its blood as the offering before God on their houses that gave protection to the Israelites from God's first born death plague that He smote Egypt with, as verse 13 of Exodus 12 plainly states. It was not the eating of the lamb that night on the 15th that protected Israel, but the blood of the lamb that they had earlier put on their houses. The eating of the passover lamb and unleavened bread that night comemorated God's passing over them by His great miracle of protection and then He leading them out of Egypt, the coming out of sin. This all took place beginning the 15th and they at that meal continued to eat unleavened bread for 7 days, until the even, the end of the 21st day, not to the beginning of the 21st day. So, one must remember that it was the blood of the lamb put on their houses on the 14th that caused God to pass over the Israelite's houses, not the eating of the lamb on the 15th. as His Word clearly points out. God's people at that time were to keep the Passover on the 14th in the afternoon, at the going down of the sun by sacrificing their lamb and then to remember God's great work and miracle of His passing over them on the night of the 15th as well as God leading them out of Egypt, out of sin that same night.
There are a number of Scriptures in the New Testament that confirm this teaching and law of God's Word, when the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread were kept, and some Scriptures that can be accepted and believed to contradict God's plainly stated law in Exodus 23, Lev. 23, Number 28, and Deut. 16. If one believed God contradicts Himself in His Word, then there will never be any room for agreement from His Word, to have unity in God's Spirit. We do not believe His Word contradicts itself and so there must be an answer to those seemingly contradictory Scriptures, found in Mat. 26: 17, Mark 14: 12, Luke 22: 7, and John 13: 1 where they speak of the first day of Unleavened Bread, beginning with Passover.
These Scriptures do not rescind God's stated law given in Ex. 23, Lev. 23; 6 and Numbers 28: 16-17. The whole 8 days were referred to at times in Scripture as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, as being call the Passover and God's passing over. For example, in Luke 22: 1, it says, "Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover." The word Passover also means God's Passing over. This fact along with the understanding that many had come to accept the 14th day as a day of unleavened bread because they prepared their unleavened bread that day for the Feast and got all the leaven out of their house even before that day started, but this is not commanded by God's Word, but they nevertheless did as yearly thing. So by custom, they referred to that day as the first of the days of unleavened bread, but none of these New Testament writers say that the first of those days was the Sabbath or 1st Holy Day, which began the week of unleavened bread that God's Word commands or else this would be a problem in God's Word.
They referred to the fact that the Pharisees did not want to kill Christ on the Feast Day, but they did kill Him on the Passover which is additional proof this first day they referred to as a day of unleavened bread was not a Holy Day. In Luke 23: 50-54, it states that Joseph, who did not consent to Christ's death, and who waited for the kingdom, asked to take Christ's body down to bury it before the High Sabbath, which was the first Day of Unleavened Bread. It says in verse 54 that day (Passover) was the preparation (day) and the Sabbath (High Day) drew on." Also these same similiar words are found in Mark 15:42, basically saying the same thing. These Scriptures confirm what God's law says in Exodus 23, Leviticus 23, and Numbers 28, about Passover being a preparation day, a day of servile labor and the 15th day the first Day of Unleavened Bread being the Holy high Sabbath where no servile labor was to be done.
A comment about the Passover: Some reason because Christ's people, His brethren, take the wine and eat unleavened bread at His Passover Service as He has commanded them to do at the beginning of the 14th because of the fact His sacrifice began shortly after that service, that this day should also be the first day of Unleavened Bread and that no leavened bread should be eaten on this day. Nowhere does God command that during the 14th day there should no leavened bread be found in your home, nor that leavened bread should be eaten. Why then didn't God or Christ command this day as well to be a day of unleavened bread? We believe the reason is because the 14th Passover represents and brings to mind the greatest sin, and most cruel sins of mankind committed against the God of heaven, our Lord, who came down in the flesh and was brutally beaten, terribly bruised, bad mouthed, spit upon, his blood spilled from his body all through that day of the 14th to the point that He as strong as He must have been, being a builder, could not carry (because of blood loss and bruises) the stake or cross that He was to be killed on that afternoon at the going down of the sun.
The Passover day represents the greatest sins of all mankind, the greatest leavened effect that the sins of man had reached and not a day of coming out of sin by man, not a day of repenting, but the acknowledging of the sins by man, man's terrible sins committed against the Creator of all the earth, who came down in the flesh and gave His life. This is also, what is to be remembered on this day, and not a day that was without sin, as the days of unleavened bread represents in Christians. The eating of the unleavened bread and drinking of wine at the Passover Service at the beginning of that day, the 14th, as Christ changed the Passover for us to keep, is to remind all of His people that Jesus Christ as the unblemished lamb of God lived a life, that was without sin, and who gave His life without sin in love and sacrifice for sinful mankind. Passover is to remind us of this very fact, or else by keeping it as a day of unleavened bread, we might begin to lose the awesome importance and the bringing to remembrance the meaning of Passover and what took place on this day.
Nina and I hope you all can come to see what we believe to be the clear teaching of God's Word and law concerning His Passover and His Feast of Unleavend Bread.
In Christ's Love,
Don and Nina Young.