What Is the Second Passover?

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God offers a second Christian Passover service to those who experience an emergency or other situation that keeps them from observing this sacred ceremony at its appointed time.

The Christian Passover commemorates the sacrifice of Jesus Christ which makes forgiveness and the New Covenant possible (John 1:29, 1Corinthians 10:16 - 17, 11:23 - 26). Each year believers meet to participate in acts such as foot washing, as well as imbibing unleavened bread and wine, which have profound Biblical meanings.

God considers this observance so important that he has provided a second Passover date (Iyar 14) for those unable to participate in the first one (Abib 14). This service (Numbers 9:10 - 11) is for those who, due to emergencies or circumstances beyond their control, cannot meet with fellow believers at the originally specified time.

Exceptions to the Rule

Several Israelite men, in the year after the Exodus, were unable to keep the Passover because they were rendered ceremonially unclean due to a dead body (Numbers 9:6 - 7, Leviticus 7:20 - 21). Concerned about their inability to keep the sacred ceremony they went to Moses who, in turn, took their concerns to the Lord (Numbers 9:8). God's response is quite revealing, as it shows his perfect love was willing to adapt his laws to handle new situations.

The Passover
The Passover
Palma Giovane, 1580 - 81

The Lord declared that the defiled men could still fulfill their obedience to him by keeping, one month later (Iyar 14), the same Passover they missed (Numbers 9:11 - 12). The Eternal even added another exception where those on a long journey could also keep this "in case of emergency" later date when they came back home (verse 10).

Holy Day Dates

Future dates for the annual first or appointed Passover service and the second (makeup) service one month later are below. Please note that the service should be observed right after sunset on the days listed below.

Tuesday, April 4
Thursday, May 4
Tuesday, April 20
Thursday, May 20
Sunday, April 21
Tuesday, May 21
Sunday, April 9
Tuesday, May 9
Friday, April 11
Sunday, May 11
Thursday, March 29
Saturday, April 28
Tuesday, March 31
Thursday, April 30
Tuesday, April 16
Thursday, May 16

New Testament Applications

God's perfect will is for his people, under normal circumstances, to keep the Passover at its appointed time (Numbers 9:2 - 3). The second date for keeping the ceremony should be utilized only by those who find themselves in an uncommon and unavoidable situation. As a warning against misusing this exception, however, the Lord does reserve the right to punish those who forego the ceremony out of selfish reasons (verse 13).

Those hospitalized or are otherwise dealing with emergencies are clear candidates for taking the second Passover. Since the foot washing part of this service requires at least two Christians, those traveling by themselves can also avail themselves of the later date.

Judgment Required

Many situations require a judgment based on personal prayer and study to determine whether a person qualifies for the later observance of Passover.

For example, just before spring in 2020, the Coronavirus began to spread rapidly around the world. The disease was known to be easily transmitted from person to person. Given the risk of both short and long term health problems, and with no immunization at the time to combat the disease, some people decided to forego the appointed time for Passover and opted to keep it a month later.

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