Today is April 12, 2017 unless you are Jewish and then according to the Hebrew calendar the date is Nisan 16, 5777.
This date is a very important day each year. Let me give you a brief and important look at why this date is important for Christians as well.
The Book of Exodus gives the historical account of God delivering the Children of Israel from Egyptian bondage as promised. God sent Moses to tell Pharaoh to “let His people go!” Pharaoh refused and so a series of 10 plagues were released by God upon the land of Egypt and the inhabitants excepting the Jews. The Jews were given a special covering by God and as long as they followed the instructions given them by Moses the plagues did not affect them.
The 10th and final plague was a terrible plague. The angel of death passed through all the land of Egypt killing the firstborn child and animal alike from the palace to the prison. The holy hope was to be covered by the blood of a lamb. Moses instructed the Jews to do as God directed. Here were their instructions as recorded in:
Exodus 12 KJV
1 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
3 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:
4 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.
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
6 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.
7 And 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.
12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, 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.
13 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, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
According to Exodus 12:51, on that selfsame day the Lord brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt. Reading the entire account from Exodus Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, the Bible continues to give instructions as concerning this all momentous time of the year and specifically today’s date on the Jewish calendar. God is very date conscious and date connected.
The killing of the Passover Lamb was commanded to be observed on the evening of the 14th day of Nisan which is during the full moon. The day following is considered a special Sabbath whereupon begins the yearly Feast of Passover which lasts for 7 days. The day after that special sabbath, the 16th day of Nisan, begins what is referred to in the Book of Leviticus as the “Days of Omer”.
So, today at sundown began the yearly recognition of the Days of Omer. Now what are the Days of Omer and who cares … or to better put it, what difference does it make to us?
The Days of Omer count down the specific number of days between the Passover Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Pentecost. Or in other words, God was sending a message each year and inviting each one of His children to participate in a few dress rehearsals which the Bible calls Feasts. Each one of the 7 Feasts observed by the Children of Israel was a dress rehearsal and a reminder of not only what God did in their history but also what God was going to do in their future.
The Passover Feast of Unleavened Bread pointed the Children of Israel to a time when God would sacrifice a Passover Lamb and cover them with the Blood of that Lamb so that the angel of death would pass over them. The Feast of Pentecost which took place 50 days after the Passover Feast of Unleavened Bread on which day God sent the Holy Spirit as recorded in the 2nd Chapter of the Book of Acts.
Th days between these two feasts are known as the Days of Omer – which are a countdown to what God did on Mount Sinai, what He did in Jerusalem and what He will yet do in the ultimate fulfillment with the release of a power the likes of which this world has never seen! We can rest assured … God has a plan and He has perfect timing!!!
Look at how the Bible scriptures fit together … only God …
Exodus 12:6 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.
Matthew 26:17 ¶ Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?
Mark 14:12 ¶ And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?
7 ¶ Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.
8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.
9 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?
10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.
11 And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?
12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.
13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.
14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.
15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:
16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:
18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.
19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
Sound familiar? I encourage you to read the rest of this account and how Jesus was betrayed a few hours after that last supper by Judas to the High Priest, arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane and judged. Later that same night Jesus and through the next morning Jesus was taken to stand trial before Pontus Pilate and King Herod before being beaten, mocked, led outside the city of Jerusalem and crucified on Mount Calvary between two thieves.
Jesus died on the cross as a sacrificial Lamb without blemish. He was buried in a tomb in a nearby garden and then on the 3rd day, early on that Sunday morning, Jesus was raised from the dead victorious over sin, death, hell and the grave and He lives forevermore!