The 14th day of the month of Nisan (see Bible Months) is one of the most important dates of all Bible History. It was the God-commanded time of the Passover (Exodus 12:6,11-14) from which the Israelites began their Exodus from Egypt, and centuries later, it was the God-chosen time of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the "Lamb of God." The early Christian church continued to observe Passover, as Jesus Christ did all through His life, until the Roman festival of Easter (of which many Christians today are often shocked to learn was named after the Babylonian idol Ishtar, and later, eastre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of light, or spring) was officially enforced upon the Christian-professing world by the Roman Empire (see Ancient Empires - Rome). The Easter of Acts 12:4 in the otherwise excellent King James Version should have been translated as Passover (as most other translations do), since that is the word, and the intended observance, that was originally written in the Scriptures. The New Testament church never observed the Roman/Babylonian "Easter" festival that pre-dated Christ by centuries, during which time it was never associated with the Passover that The Lord commanded to be observed (see Origins of Easter).
The God-Commanded Passover
"And Moses said, "Thus says The Lord [see Rock Of Ages]: About midnight I will go forth in the midst of Egypt; and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh [see Who Was The Exodus Pharaoh?] who sits upon his throne, even to the first-born of the maidservant who is behind the mill; and all the first-born of the cattle. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever shall be again. But against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, not a dog shall growl; that you may know that The Lord makes a distinction between the Egyptians and Israel. And all these your servants shall come down to me, and bow down to me, saying, 'Get you out, and all the people who follow you.' And after that I will go out." And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger."
"Then The Lord said to Moses, "Pharaoh will not listen to you; that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt" [see The Ten Plagues]. Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and The Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land." (Exodus 11:4-10 RSV)
"The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, "This month shall be for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you [see Bible Calendar]. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month they shall take every man a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household; and if the household is too small for a lamb, then a man and his neighbor next to his house shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb."
"Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old; you shall take it from the sheep or from the goats; and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs in the evening. Then they shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat them. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled with water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts."
"And you shall let none of it remain until the morning, anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. In this manner you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste. It is The Lord's Passover."
"For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am The Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall fall upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. "This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to The Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as an ordinance for ever." (Exodus 12:1-14 RSV)
The God-Sent "Lamb Of God" Was Sacrificed At Passover
"The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29 RSV)
"Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where will You have us prepare for You to eat the Passover?" He said, "Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, 'The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.'" And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. When it was evening, He sat at table with the twelve disciples; and as they were eating, He said, "Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me." (Matthew 26:17-21 RSV)
"For Christ, our Paschal lamb, has been sacrificed." (1 Corinthians 5:7 RSV)
Fact Finder: What series of events took place on the night before Jesus Christ was crucified?
See The Fateful Night
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