“As in the days of Noah,” God asked him to become the laughing stock of the world. But on Father’s Day, we might recall Noah was a better Dad than most other great men–he saved his whole family!
Abraham is another person who was willing to do strange things for God. He left home and all that he knew because he heard a voice? Later he accepted circumcision as a token of his faith, that even if amputated, he would still have children. His name meant “father of many.” And he insisted his servants be circumcised too–before the days of anesthesia! Embarrassing, but he was willing to be a fool for God.
Moses also heard voices, and life became harder for the Israelites—they had to make bricks without straw. Maybe they hated Moses with the frogs and lice, and then he asked them to kill a lamb and put its blood on their doorposts. Bizarre?
All of the above must have seemed weird. Looking back, we understand the reasons, but could God want us to do something strange?
Israel celebrated the Passover, the greatest event of Old Testament history, by eating the lamb and staying awake all night. We no longer need to kill lambs, but Christ asked His disciples to “watch and pray.” Those words are repeated throughout the New Testament and if we did them on the eve of Passover, it would commemorate the greatest events in Scripture.
Maybe Ellen White had that in mind when she wrote, “As [Christ] ate the Passover with His disciples, He instituted in its place the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice.”1
We know it as “the Lord’s Supper” and we celebrate it as communion, but we haven’t done so “in its place.” on Passover. And because we don’t, we could be missing an important part that’s still enjoined, ”Watch and pray.” We spiritualize the word watch and think it means to be aware.
The Greek word for watch is gregorio, and it means to be awake. Paul wrote, “let us not sleep…let us watch.”2 and the context has several clues suggesting Passover.
- Verses 1,2 imply a time we [should] “know perfectly.” Perhaps we’ve misunderstood something. Paul referred to the holidays like Passover as “shadows of things to come.”3
- Writing of those times that we “know perfectly, the day of the Lord” comes as a thief. “The day of the Lord” is the Old Testament apocalyptic term and it’s linked to Passover as “the day of the Lord’s sacrifice” in Zephaniah 1:7,8 where God will punish “the king’s children clothed in strange apparel.” No wedding garment? Each wedding parable has Passover imagery, like the midnight cry in Matthew 25:6 and also in Exodus 12:29-30.
- That cry was also the cry of childbirth. At Passover, God brought forth “my son…my firstborn.”4 “The day of the Lord comes” as travail on a woman with child and we are to know “perfectly.”
Paul kept Passover with Greek believers in Philippi and Corinth and he said, Follow me as I follow Christ. 5
Ellen White cited Christ’s death at Passover and said, “In like manner [at Passover?] the types which relate to the second advent must be fulfilled at the time pointed out in the symbolic service.”6
Perhaps we should see Passover also as when God said, “I will execute judgment.”7 Seventh-day Adventists believe in a pre-Advent judgment, but it may have three components:
1. “the time of the dead that they should be judged”8
2. “the nations were angry” (the rider on the red horse takes peace from the earth—a time of judgment for the living when they face life and death situations as in Daniel 1-6. “Daniel” means “God is my Judge.” But the book of Judges shows judges as deliverers, and God may deliver us as the three Hebrews who also said, “But if not…we will not worship…the image”9
3. “thy wrath is come” on those who worship the beast or his image.10
The point is, just as Adventists believe #1, the judgment of the dead, began on the Day of Atonement, perhaps we should consider that when judgment is executed, it could begin on Passover, as in the type.
If God isn’t going to do anything without revealing it,11 shouldn’t we consider it revealed and try to understand when?
Christ’s disciples were probably thinking of Passover as a time of judgment for those events in Matthew 24,25 when He said, You don’t know the day or hour.
We overlook the meaning of the Greek word, oida—be aware, consider, understand. Christ was saying, You don’t understand, and each time He said it, He gave an example that fit a provision in their law for Passover a month later, “as in the days of Noah.” But how much “as”? Could it include timing?
The Flood came with Passover timing. Noah entered the ark on the 10th day, the same day that the sacrifice was selected in Exodus 12:3, but it was the 2nd spring month because Noah had to bury Methuselah who died as a sign of the Flood. His name meant, at his death, the sending forth of waters.12 That delay of one month is specified in Numbers 9:10,11 as a reason to observe Passover later.
Again, after five women missed the wedding, Christ said, Watch (a word linked to being awake at Passover), for the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country.”13 Israelites didn’t travel in winter, but if they took a long journey in spring and couldn’t get back for Passover, they were to keep it in the 2nd month as specified in Numbers 9.
Could it be significant that Christ punctuated His two parables in Matthew 25 with instruction to watch and a qualification of when to watch, if we understood their law better. And didn’t Christ say, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law”?14
Could we be the “goodman” who doesn’t know when to watch [be awake] so that our house is broken by the thief? The King James has only one reference to goodman in the Old Testament. A harlot says, “The goodman…is gone a long journey…and will come home at the yom kece [full moon]. Passover comes on a full moon, but “long journey” means 2nd Passover.
Christ said, “If you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief.” But there’s Good News as well…
“Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He comes shall find watching [another link to Passover] Verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself and make them sit down to meat and come forth and serve them.” Girding Himself and serving us is also Passover imagery—the Last Supper.
If we are “so doing” when He comes and “knocks…He will make [us] ruler over all that He has.” So much to gain and so little to lose!
Why we should do so this year is beyond the scope of this article, but this year, 2nd Passover (“as in the days of Noah,” falls on Wednesday evening, May 14. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our churches were filled with members seeking communion on the authentic time for Christ’s return from “a long journey”?
Our favorite author said those seeking the Lord’s return should be found in prayer meeting. Why not on May 14? We have many reasons for all night prayer vigils. “It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones…If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross.” Why not share this article with your pastor and ask if we could do something crazy?
1 The Desire of Ages, p 652
2 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
3 Colossians 2:16,17
4 Exodus 4:22
5 Acts 20:6; 1 Corinthians 5:8; 11:1
6 The Great Controversy, p 399.9
7 Exodus 12:12
8 Revelation 11:18
9 Daniel 3:18
10 Revelation 14:9,10
11 Amos 3:7
12 Genesis 5:21, King James, margin
13 Matthew 25:13,14
14 Matthew 5:18
 Proverbs 7:19,20
 Revelation 3:3
 Luke 12:36,37
 Luke 12:43-48
 The Desire of Ages, p 83