Passover to Pentecost – Jesus’ Four

The time period of Passover to Pentecost (Counting the Omer) is, was, and will be an important event in the history of the Jews but also for Christians!  It defined the start of the Jewish calendar and propelled them as a group to gain the “Promised Land.”  Jesus’ life and ministry was to fulfill the “type and shadow” of Passover and the meeting of God in the desert.  The work of salvation had to be finished at Passover!  Jesus, however, had other task(s) to accomplish: send the Holy Spirit and birth His Church!

In Jesus’ life there are four recorded Passovers in the Gospels.  John, in his Gospel, used the term “Passover” the most and records three of the four Feast.  Luke talks about two of them and Mark and Matthew cover the last one where He was offered up as our sacrifice. The four recorded Passovers and Counting of the Omers are:

  • Luke 2:11; He also writes the story of the Ascension to Pentecost.
  • John 2:13 to 4:43 (this ending story is my guess)
  • John 6:4 to 7:1
  • John 12 to 21 and continues into the Book of Acts. (See After the Cloud)

One thing that all four of these Passovers have in common is that Jesus returns to Galilee.

  1. In Luke 2 Jesus twelve when He gave His parents a prelude to His ministry. A fun thought here is Nicodemus may have been present for that question and answer session.
  2. The second recorded Passover was the start of Jesus’ public ministry. Nicodemus was definitely part of this story and he was in a question and answer session with Jesus.  The time frame of John 2 to 4, I chose for the “Counting of the Omer” because of what happened in these chapters.  Jesus and the disciples were baptizing (in the Jordan) and going to Jacob’s Well in Samaria, this is where Joshua went during his “first fifty” days, and the “blessings and curses” were read on the two mountains.
  3. Jesus’ “second Passover” in His ministry period is not well defined. In John 6 and 7 more “shadowing and mirroring” is done: Jesus feeds the 5000, talks about manna and the true Bread of Life, and foretells Judas’ betrayal.  The group ends back up in Galilee and the next reference in the chapter is to the Feast of Tabernacles (7thmonth of the year).
  4. The third and final Passover is what Christians now associate with Easter. (See the Day of Preparation.)

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Passover to Pentecost -Out of Egypt – Things You Might Recognize

Passover to Pentecost -Out of Egypt – Things You Might Recognize        Week 2 Day 2

As someone who is coming “out of Egypt” and has watched many others make their way or at least try I found the Biblical narrative amazingly helpful.  Here are components of the trip that you might recognize:

  • Good Influence – God will send someone (Moses and Aaron) that you will identify with. The message will be simple “God hears you and He is concerned for you.
  • Bad Influence – A someone/thing will have a hold on you (Pharaoh). Frequently they are very demanding and possessive.  You may not be sure why they have a hold on you, but it can be strong.  It may be that in the beginning there was a good reason they were given that power over you. (Joseph and the famine)
  • Stuck – A feeling of being stuck in the situation, and that you cannot change it. There is possibly an aspect of where you are that you really enjoy.  You may have a feeling that you are needed; frequently you are being used to improve a situation. (Israel was building Pharaoh’s storage cities.)
  • What Lies Ahead – You may look ahead and imagine all kind of things that you will give up or have to do. God only gave Israel two things they were responsible for before they left Egypt – Celebrate Passover ever year, and consecrate your first born male child to the Lord.  The very thought of the journey may have been intimidating; they may have never been more than a mile or two from their houses.
  • From bad to “Are you kidding me!” – When you first hear the Gospel, hope will rise up inside you. Then Pharaoh hardens his heart, and things around you start to fall apart (plagues).  Three plagues happened to Israel and Egypt, but seven were only on Egypt.  This may seem strange but the plagues were to show that Egyptian gods were no match for the Lord!  Those three plagues may have been the ones the Israelites had strong ties with.
  • Preparation – Jesus will take you as you are. I have seen these steps and components worked on later in the spiritual journey.  Passover was a preparation time for Israel; things had to be done and plans had to be made before they were freed.  I think it fair to say most people will count the cost (or some of them) before they go on the Jesus Journey.  Oh, they made the preparations for the meal and then the miracle(s) happened.
  • Finally on the journey – Reality will hit, but learn from what Israel did.
  1. It may take you a while to get to the next level of growth. It was fifty days to Mount Sinai and the Word.
  2. Expect new enemies, the Amalekites. They were a problem for Israel for centuries. (see the post on the Amalekites)
  3. Things will change. Israel ran out of the water and food they had brought with them. God showed up and showed off for them.
  4. Israel DID not ask God for supplies, instead they complained and blamed. I want to believe if Israel would have sought the Lord instead of complaining this story may have been written differently.

Other thoughts:

  1. Abraham and Sarah was the foreshadowing of all of this “going out of Egypt.” The story is in Genesis 12: 10 – 20 and it sounds very much like the story in Exodus.
  2. Joseph and His Brothers – The brothers experienced some of these conditions, while trying to take care of their families, before they brought Jacob/Israel into Egypt.   (Genesis 42 – 44)
  3. Jacob did come out of Egypt but he was dead. (Think about that) Pharaoh did give him royal treatment and had him escorted to the burial cave.
  4. Two other people came out of Egypt. Jeroboam (1Kings 11: 26 – 40 and 12: 15 – 20) He was a stumbling block for Israel, but he choose that course when God had promised him something better.  Jesus – Matthew 2: 19
  5. Moses left and came back. The first time he was a hunted man, the second time he left he was in charge of a million people.  As leader Moses had his own set of problems and learning experiences.  He also moaned and complained, but he learned and believed.  He had to have Aaron to speak for him.  Jethro’s visit was for Moses but it affected the people also.
  6. Israel did leave with things of Egypt, but that is tomorrows post.

IF YOU HAVE NOT STARTED THIS JOURNEY PLEASE SEE – FOLLOWING JESUS!

Plagues – Before Passover

Plagues – Before Passover

Exodus 7:14 – I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgement I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites.

Since this is the week before Passover I am dealing with things that had to occur before that night.  As Christians, celebrating Easter, we don’t think much about the ten plagues that occurred to bring about the first Passover.  My guess is that before each of us had our personal “Passover” we had things going on in our life that opened our hearts to Him.

My purpose here is not to discuss the plagues in detail; I have lightly touched on them in: The Wonders That Plagued Egypt, Reflections on the Judgments in Exodus, and Frogs in the Bible.   My focus is their connection to Passover.  I don’t think that it took more than a year to do all of these and God had a timetable to watch; He brought them out on the anniversary of their arrival – Exodus 12: 41.  This website was a good read on the subject:  http://jesusalive.cc/ques219.htm .

To me it seems that the wonders that were done had to happen for two groups of people: the Egyptians and the Israelites.

Egyptians – Pharaoh was the primary target of the plagues.  The decision to release the people had to come through him, and he had an attitude problem.  The people had to be conditioned to WANT to give away their riches.  They gave away a lot of stuff.  Read about the quantities of materials that were needed to construct the Ark and the Tabernacle; they really did plunder Egypt.

Israelites – The community was affected by the first three plagues and could have been affected by the last one if they had not followed instructions; starting with the plague of the flies in Exodus 8:20 God did not bring the rest of the plagues on His people.  It seems like God was teaching His people about Himself and trying to build their faith in Him.  I know for sure that since they ushered in Passover and the Exodus, which was the turning point for them as a people, they were important.  The story is talked about in many other places in Bible I put some of them in a post – The Exodus Story in Other Places.

pic from  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amietophrynus_regularis#mediaviewer/File:Pantherkroete-04.jpg

A Look at Holy Week

The ancient Hebrews used a lunar calendar, this means that the 1st of the month was during the New Moon phase and that would make the 15th of the month the Full Moon phase.  It was fun to connect the days of Holy Week with the lunar calendar; it just shows the orderliness of our God.

Day of our week Day of the  lunar calendar Passover Holy Week events
Sunday 10th Choosing and prepping the lamb The ride into Jerusalem, people prepared the way
Monday 11th Jesus cursed the fig tree and cleared the Temple courts,
Tuesday 12th Explained the dead tree and taught the people
Wednesday 13th He was prepared for his burial at the dinner
Thursday 14th Lamb is slaughtered and prepared at twilight Room prepared, Passover observed, prayed in the Garden
Friday 15th Burned any leftover lamb Trials and crucifixion
Saturday 16th Jesus preaching to the spirits in Hell
Sunday 17th He rose and showed himself to select people

 

The first Passover, when the Lord kept watch to bring the People out, they started for Succoth.  The starting point was Rameses; the distance is about 30 miles so that was a long walk on very short notice.  Pharaoh actually ordered them to leave.  The celebration observes seven days of bread with no yeast because that is what happened on the first Passover.

I have been writing for several years on numbers in the Bible.

  • Thirteen was about how new things started in association with that number.
  • Fourteen actually started events.
  • Fifteen is linked with cleaning things up to celebrate.
  • Sixteen was that God kept His eye on things

I found the connections between those studies and the days of the month for Holy Week interesting.

I have other studies on the days of the Holy Week – Thursday, and post labeled Easter 2015,

The Number Fourteen in the Bible

The biblical significance of the number fourteen is very understated if you are just 14looking in a concordance, as there are not a lot of instances of it mentioned.  Many of them are associated with one very important day but fourteen and its symbolism goes very deep and starts with how it is written in Hebrew. Each of the twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet represents a number.  The first nine letters are the ones for single digit numbers and the others take on higher numerical values.  An acrostic psalm is one that each verse/section starts with a letter of the alphabet so they either have twenty-two verses like Psalm 25 and 34 or twenty-two sections.  Psalm 119, which is acrostic, is divided into twenty-two sections of eight verses.  (Please see my blog for different way to read Psalm 119.)

The fourteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is Nun, like Joshua, and is pronounced “noon”; in the counting system it represents the number fifty.  The meanings and types and shadows that are associated with Nun really are a great study in itself so I will encourage you to look deeper but here are my gleanings from the literature.  Nun equals the word David so it is immediately associated with the Messiah. (See more on fourteen in the Book of Matthew and the Christmas story.)  For Christians it goes deeper than that since it also means “fish” in Aramaic, which leads to the symbol of the fish or ichthus.  The thirteenth letter in Hebrew is Mem, which represents water that is needed for fish.  Nun is a shared letter with several other languages so in the literature you will see that it also represents a snake/eel and seeds.  The snake that Moses made in the wilderness, Nehushtan, was a shadow of Jesus and He referred to Himself as a “seed of wheat” that had to “fall to the ground and die.”  Nun is used to portray life and faithfulness so you can see it is a very symbolic letter.

There are two different Nuns, one is standing and the other is kneeling.  They can also be written with “crowns.” (Please see the website Hebrew4Christians listed below.)  When they are combined to make the word Nun together they represent the righteous one (who is upright) and faithful one (who is bent) or love and fear.

fn_bluei                                                                          n_bluei

“image copyright Bitsela, used courtesy of free-bitsela.com”

Numerically Nun is fifty or Pentecost, which leads to what I would like to propose the number 14 means in Scripture – the new thing actually starting.  Pentecost was the beginning of the Church of Jesus and the new anointing of the Holy Spirit.  Just as 13 was signaling the start so 14 is the start.  Remember Mem is before Nun in the alphabet. Just as Joshua son of Nun “started” the Promise Land or David started the family tree of Jesus things associated with 14 show things starting.  My groupings below are just a product of my need to sort things but hopefully they will help.

Fourteen

  • Exodus 12:6 – The 14th day of the month was the start of Passover or when Israel as a nation was started.  Most references to 14 in the Bible are about a Passover that was being celebrated.
  • Esther 9:15 – The day of Purim was the 14th day of the month; this is when the Jews were allowed to kill their enemies.  This started a new period of freedom for them.
  • Ezekiel 40 – Fourteen years after Jerusalem was destroyed Ezekiel had the visionKing's timeline the end of the New Temple.  In verse one the reference to 25 years is how long Ezekiel was in exile. (Please see the timeline at Jeremiah 52.)  One way to look at the 70 years of Exile is 14 x 5 = 70.
  • Acts 27:27 – It was the 14th day of being in the storm when Paul got the crew to eat so they could start “new” on the island.
  • Matthew 1:17 – Matthew used fourteen because David translated into numbers equals fourteen.  (See Jesus’ Generations in Matthew)

7 + 7 = 14

  • Genesis 8:9 -12 – Noah sent the dove out twice and waited a total of 14 days.  That showed that the earth had dried and started growing again.
  • 1 Kings 8:65 – Solomon and the people had 14 days of partying for the new Temple.
  • 2 Chronicles 30:15 – Hezekiah and the people had 14 days of partying for Passover. Which had not been celebrated in a long time so it was a sort of new beginnings.

12 + 2 = 14

  • Ezra 3: 1+8 – Zerubbabel and the people had been back in Jerusalem a year and in the second month of the second year they started to build the Second Temple, 12 months + 2 months = 14 months.  In the 7th month of the first year they built the altar and started sacrificing burnt offerings so it could be a 7+7.

Other 14’s (You may need to work with me here.)

  • Genesis 31:41 – Jacob worked 14 years for his wives and then started working for his family.
  • Book of Joshua – The tribe of Benjamin and a “clan” of Judah got 14 towns each to start new life in the Promise Land.
  • 2 Kings 18:13 – Hezekiah and Jerusalem were attacked in his 14th year as king and he got the boil with the death sentence.  But he got a new lease on life and 15 more years (2 Kings 20:6).
  • 1 Chronicles 25:5 – Heman had 14 sons through the promise of God so he had a new reason to praise God.

“Pushing it” 14’s

  • Genesis 14 – King of Sodom rebels in his 14th year and Abraham rescues Lot.  In verse 22 is where Abraham starts to really acknowledge God, up until now God was “doing for” Abraham.
  • Exodus 14 – Moses and the people were directed back to the Red Sea so they could actually start out of Egypt; until now they were just wandering around inside of Egypt.
  • No, I did not check all Chapter 14’s in the Bible so who knows what gems of knowledge are waiting to be found.  Yes, I did check all the 13th chapters when I studied the number 13.

Acrostic Psalms

A quick look at the “14th verses” of some of the acrostic Psalms. (This is not all of the acrostic psalms.)  These may not show a “starting” I just like the scripture.

  • Ps 25: 14 The Lord confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them.
  • Ps. 34: 14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
  • Ps.37: 25 – 27 Verse 27 is similar to Ps 34:14 Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.
  • Ps.145:14 The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
  • Ps 119: 105 Your word is a lamp to my and a light for my path.

The 14’s after the 13’s

Remember Joseph after 13 years of slavery/prison was leader of the country in the 14th year and several others that I listed in post on The Number Thirteen in the Bible.  I hope this study has shown you that biblically fourteen is important and that the significance of fourteen is alive and well in your life and that “new things” are starting in your life now.  A study of the number fifteen is available at Cleaning Up to Celebrate. A study on sixteen in the Bible is at Sixteen In The Bible.

http://bethaderech.com/learning-hebrew-the-letter-nun/

http://hebrew4christians.com/Grammar/Unit_One/Aleph-Bet/Nun/nun.html

The Nun graphics came from http://free-bitsela.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=897&g2_page=6