When God laid out the seasons for the Israelite community, they began with their first month of their year. (It falls around March/April for our current calendar year.) In this season they remember that God saved them from their oppressors in Egypt.
"The LORD's Passover begins at sundown on the fourteenth day of the first month. (Leviticus 23:5 NLT)
The Passover is remembered with a meal. The first Passover took place when they were captives in Egypt. The tenth plague was about to strike and they were given specific instructions for their evening. They were to prepare just enough food for their family to eat that night, with no leftovers. The bread was to be baked with no leaven (yeast) because there would be no time to wait for the bread to rise. They were to be packed and ready to leave. Most importantly, they should take the blood from the lamb (their meat that night) and put it on their doorposts. This would tell the angel of death to pass over their homes when striking down the firstborn son of each household. The yearly Passover celebration reminded them of that night when the firstborn sons of their households were saved.
On the next day, the fifteenth day of the month, you must begin celebrating the Festival of Unleavened Bread. This festival to the LORD continues for seven days, and during that time the bread you eat must be made without yeast. On the first day of the festival, all the people must stop their ordinary work and observe an official day for holy assembly. For seven days you must present special gifts to the LORD. On the seventh day the people must again stop all their ordinary work to observe an official day for holy assembly." (Leviticus 23:6-8 NLT)
The Feast of Unleavened bread, then, continued on for a week after Passover. It was a continual reminder for the week of their Exodus from Egypt. God not only saved their firstborn children. God saved them all.
We remember that God saves us all around that same time of year as well. The blood of the lamb for us, however, is on a cross rather than a doorpost. We remember it on a day called Good Friday. Our celebration continues on Easter Sunday when we remember that death has no power over God. When God gives life, nothing can get in the way. We remember that God saves us, too.
How about you? What’s your favorite part of Good Friday and Easter? What do you think about the fact that Israelites celebrate God’s saving power around the same time of year we do?