First, I would like to thank Jean Stepnoski for bringing the Second Passover to my attention several years ago on Five Doves. I think that she is correct in pegging it as a prophetic model for a future event. Hopefully without stepping on her research, I would like to add a few observations of my own.
Second Passover came about because several Israelites wanted to celebrate the Passover but could not because contact with a dead body made them ceremonially unclean. Moses took the issue up with the Lord with the following result:
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell the Israelites: When any of you or your descendants are unclean because of a dead body or are away on a journey, they may still celebrate the Lord’s Passover. They are to celebrate it on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight. They are to eat the lamb, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones. When they celebrate the Passover, they must follow all the regulations.” Numbers 9:9-12.
So, Second Passover is not a mandatory holiday, unlike the 7 Feasts of Leviticus 23. Although voluntary, however, it can only be observed by someone who could not observe Passover because of contact with a dead body or because of being away on a journey.
Some have surmised that Jesus cannot celebrate Passover because He has been away on a long journey (i.e. to heaven). They point to parables found in Mark 13:32-37 and Matthew 25:14-30 which talk about men who go away on a journey only to come back unexpectedly. It is thought that these parables point to our need to be on alert because Jesus will also return unexpectedly. This interpretation seems sound to me.
The prophetic fulfillment of contamination from a "dead body" is not as easy to interpret. Some have surmised that we become “unclean” through spiritual contact with the sacrificed body of Christ. I have reservations about this interpretation, however. Other than the people* who had physical contact with His dead body, His body is no longer dead. We come into contact with the resurrected Christ. So, I don't see how we can become unclean through our contact with Him.
(*Jesus, the Passover Lamb, stayed on earth an additional 40 days after His resurrection. It is interesting to note that a Second Passover occurred during that period of time. Was that for the benefit of those who could not celebrate Passover?)
Romans 8:10 may provide the key: "But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness."
Apparently, we are all lugging around a "dead body" – so, our own sinful bodies can make us ritually unclean. We will not be able to celebrate Passover fully until our bodies are resurrected – whether at the Rapture or some another resurrection event. The mortal must be transformed into the immortal.*
(*Remember that Adam and Eve were not permitted to eat from the Tree of Life after they had sinned and became subject to death. But on the New Earth, the fruit of the Tree of Life will be available for all to eat. It is no coincidence that death will no longer an issue at that time.)
The only other time that we see Second Passover being observed in the Bible is in the time of King Hezekiah. The entire chapter of 2 Chronicles 30 is devoted to it.
“The king and his officials and the whole assembly in Jerusalem decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month. They had not been able to celebrate it at the regular time because not enough priests had consecrated themselves and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem.” 2 Chronicles 30:2-3.
In what seems to be an echo of the parable of the Wedding Banquet, the king sends out his couriers throughout Israel and Judah, inviting them to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Second Passover. Like in the parable, not everyone is receptive to the invitation to come:
“The couriers went from town to town in Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun, but the people scorned and ridiculed them. Nevertheless, some men of Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem. Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 30:10-12.
The voluntary nature of the Second Passover is emphasized in this narrative. It is available for those who want to partake in it – very much like salvation. If the Second Passover represents a future rescue from judgment, it will only be available to those who accepted God’s invitation to come.
"The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life." Revelation 22:17.
Communion and Passover
When Jesus initiated the observance of Communion at the Last Supper/Passover meal, He made an interesting statement:
“When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.’ After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’” Luke 22:14-19.
"Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom.'" Matthew 26:27-29.
Jesus Christ will not participate in another observance of Passover until the kingdom of God comes. I do not know if this will occur on the first Passover of His Millennial reign, or sometime prior, but this passage does show us that the prophetic fulfillment of Passover meal was not entirely fulfilled by the crucifixion.
In the meantime, we are directed to remember the symbolism behind the Last Supper through the ordinance of Communion. “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:26.
Every time we participate in Communion, we anticipate the time when Jesus will resume the celebration of Passover with us. Will He also fulfill the Second Passover by returning for us after a long journey? Will the transformation of our dead bodies make us eligible to participate in the Passover meal with Him?
Noah and Second Passover
According to the Jewish religious calendar, Nisan (the month of Passover) is the first month. This was implemented at the time of the original Passover. See Exodus 12:2.
Consequently, there may be a connection between Noah and the Second Passover, because the Flood began on the fourteenth day of the second month. (There is a disagreement as to whether the timing of the Flood is based upon the Jewish religious or secular calendars. The religious calendar was implemented after the Flood. But since Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible – which includes the Noah narrative – it is possible that he based the timing of the Flood on the later religious calendar.)
“And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood …. And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month – on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” Genesis 7: 7-11.
So, we see that Noah and his family were safely aboard the Ark during the future date of the Second Passover. Furthermore, the Ark itself has an interesting link to Passover.
At the time of the original Passover, the Israelites put the blood of the Passover lambs on the sides and tops of the doorframes of their houses. Then the people ate the Passover meal inside of these houses. Sometime during night, the Lord struck down the firstborn of all those without the blood on their doorframes. See Exodus 12.
Please note the image of blood on wood. It points to the blood of the Lamb of God on a wooden cross.
Similarly, Noah was directed to coat the wooden Ark with pitch, with would have included its one doorway. The Hebrew word for “pitch” in Genesis 6:14 is also the word used for "atonement." So we have a picture of Noah painting the doorway of the Ark with pitch and the Israelites painting their doorways with blood.
Coming full circle, Jesus Christ is the Door and His blood is on the doorframes. Our atonement is in the blood of the Lamb. And it is only through faith that we can pass through the Door to safety.
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9.
“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Hebrews 11:7.
"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter …. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.” Hebrews 11:24 and 28.
“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.” Romans 3:22-25.
The timing of the Flood could point to another event of rescue in the future – perhaps around Second Passover. There is a common theme of rescue from judgment with both Noah and the Passover. Everyone inside of the Ark was safe. Everyone inside a house with the blood of a lamb was safe.
"As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left." Matthew 24:37-41.
Possible Fulfillment of Second Passover
I honestly do not know what the future fulfillment of Second Passover will be, but it is a definite wildcard for several prophetic events. It could represent the Rapture; but it just as easily could represent the translation of the 144,000 Jews or the observance of Passover by the Jews who will flee during the mid-point of the Tribulation. In fact, the latter possibility is a strong one because the nation of Israel will make another exodus from a dictator. (And of course, there could be more than one prophetic application for the holy day.)
So, while I don’t want to get any false hopes up for the upcoming Second Passover on April 24, there are a lot of things going on in the heavens that should keep us on alert for the next few weeks: there will be (1) a full moon on April 25; (2) a partial lunar eclipse on April 25; (3) the Lyrids meteor shower on April 21-22; (4) Comet Lemmon will still be observable; (5) the Eta Aquarids meteor shower on May 4-5; (6) and an annular solar eclipse on May 10. If these things count as signs in the heavens, then something prophetically significant may be on the near horizon.
Keep looking up!
– Lisa Taylor