Day 8

The Second Passover

from the reading plan

Numbers 8:1-26, Numbers 9:1-14, Exodus 12:1-14, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8

A few years ago, my daughter gave my wife a gift that almost brought tears to my eyes. It’s a framed document with six dates listed on it. The first two dates are my birthday and my wife’s birthday. The third date is our anniversary. The final three dates are the birth dates of our kids. Beneath the dates is a heart and the words, “What a difference a day makes.” As you might expect, we have it displayed prominently in our living room. Truth is, I probably walk past it a couple of dozen times a day. And every time I see it and reflect on those dates, I’m reminded that I am a blessed man.

You’ve probably got days that are special to you too—days that made a difference in your life. Some days are just like that. They change everything. I like to think God smiles on days like that, taking pleasure in blessing His people and giving them special days that are marked on a calendar. I’m convinced that He enjoys seeing us celebrate with fanfare or like me when I walk past those dates, to simply express gratitude for what He’s done.

One reason I feel that way is because I see how God gave His own people seasons to celebrate. In the Old Testament, the Lord set aside several special days, and few days were more sacred than Passover. In Numbers 9, the Israelites took a break from their journey toward Canaan to celebrate their second Passover. This was significant because the first Passover was pretty hectic for them. In Exodus 12, they shared a meal, put blood on the doorframes, and waited for the judgment of the Egyptians. Before the night was over, they were on their way out of the land where they had been slaves for four centuries.

Now, a year later, they could fully reflect on all God had done. They could acknowledge His love, His power, His provision, and His mercy. Instead of racing to pack their bags, they could take a step back and reflect on the Lord’s goodness.

They could remember how one day changed everything.

What was true for the ancient Israelites is also true for us today. It’s good to celebrate the Lord’s work in our lives. It’s important to acknowledge His power and His provision. It’s wise to slow down and remember who He is and what He has done. Living in our hectic world, everything seems to move at the speed of “now.” The mantra for so many is “what have you done for me lately.” Our shiniest trophies gather dust on the shelf, and our newest toys are outdated before we can even hit the power button. In a world like that, it’s good to follow the Israelites’ example. They had Passover to remind them of God’s work. We, too, need to set aside our own seasons and days to celebrate the One who created us and who loves us more than we could ever imagine.

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