Passover and Revival
Why should Passover be important for Christians? Robert Heidler, in his book The Messianic Church Arising, gives us several explanations:
(1) The root of our faith comes from the Jews, and we are spiritually united with Israel.
(2) Our Scriptures contain multiple references to the celebration of Passover and tell us to remember God's Word. "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord." (Exodus 12:14)
(3) Passover is included as part of God's plan of salvation. Without Passover the Jews would have died in Egypt and Jesus would not have been born. Without Jesus there is no salvation.
(4) Passover teaches us about Jesus—The Passover Lamb. (1 Corinthians 5:7) It was by His blood that we were redeemed and set free to walk in the promises of God.
Robert Heidler's book explains that "Every element (of Passover) points to Jesus." Jesus is the One who brings us deliverance, redemption, and freedom. He celebrated the Passover with His disciples: "Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, 'Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.'" (Luke 22:7)
Under two kings of Judah, the temple was cleansed, items of defilement were removed from the sanctuary, and the covenant with the Lord was renewed. Hezekiah had the Levites consecrate themselves so that they could make sacrifices to the Lord. He then reinstated the practice of celebrating Passover. Though it was done in the second month of the year instead of the first, God was pleased with their offerings and blessed the people. A spirit of generosity came upon them as they were revived. (2 Chronicles 30)
Josiah's acts of devotion to the Lord are recorded in 2 Chronicles 34 and 35. He destroyed idols, purified the land and the temple, and read the Book of the Covenant. He reinstituted the celebration of Passover in Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 35:18 tells us, "...none of the kings of Israel had ever celebrated such a Passover as did Josiah..." A celebration like this brings unity to the community and revives it.
It appears that the celebration of Passover is directly linked with revival. My belief is that if the church began to acknowledge and honor Passover, She would be renewed and revived. Even the simple act of reading the Biblical accounts of Passover and acknowledging that Jesus is our Passover Lamb could begin a revival of our faith. Wednesday at sundown begins Passover. Are we ready to celebrate?
Joan E. Mathias