Fred CoulterApril 12, 2006

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What is the meaning of the Night to be Much Observed, and why should we keep it?  Now we have already been covering on some other tapes, why the Night to be Much Observed is not the Passover night, so we're going to concentrate on the meaning of the Night to be Much Observed, which then begins the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Let's come to Exodus 12 and let's see where this is mentioned; let's see where it's commanded, and then we are going to see a very astounding statement which tells us something very important concerning that night and why we should observe it. 

Now let's come to Exodus 12:37.  All the details concerning the Passover and leading up to this we have already covered on other tapes, so I want to cover specifically, the meaning of the Night to be Much Observed.  Now let's pick it up here in verse 40: "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years." Now that is a key statement to look at, because this gives a reference to something else, as we will see.  Verse 41: "And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day…" Or you could say on that very same day… "…It came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt."  Now this reference cannot refer to the Passover, because the Passover, the first time they took it was when – the night before.  So it can't be referring to the Passover – the selfsame day – does not refer to the Passover, but it refers to something else that had occurred four hundred and thirty years earlier.  Verse 42:  "It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations." So here is the command – special command.  (Exodus 12:40-42.)

Now we can understand that this is not the Passover from this point of view: that on the Passover, they were to keep the Passover and when they ate it, it was to be eaten in trepidation.  That's what the Hebrew means.  Now this one here, notice, the night to be much observed: one, there are no sacrifices they are to give at this point here on the first one.  Later they would be giving sacrifices at the temple, but here they are leaving Egypt.  So this is the first start.  And so let's come over here to verse 51: "And it came to pass the selfsame day, that the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies."  That's talking about the day they left.  Now that's where the chapter break should be.  Verse 51 should actually be verse 1, Chapter 13, because verse 50 comes to a full stop, boom, and this is a whole new subject.  (Exodus 12:51.)

Now we're going to see something about this a little bit later on, but we'll take a clue here.  Verse 1 of Chapter 13: "And the LORD spoke unto Moses" the selfsame day that they were coming out of Egypt "…saying, Sanctify to me all the firstborn…" Now we'll cover that as we come to the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  "…Whatsoever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine. And the LORD said to the people "…Remember this day, in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall be no leavened bread eaten." (Exodus 13:1-3.)  So we're going to see that this day has to do with the firstborn – has to do with the sanctifying of the firstborn, and as we will see, not in this sermon about the Night to be Much Observed, maybe, I don't know – we'll see when we get to it, but we will find out when we get to Deuteronomy 16, either in this tape or another tape, that the sacrifices that they gave in Deuteronomy 16 had to do with the Night to be Much Observed. 

Now let's look at something else concerning leaving Egypt.  Come to Numbers 33.  Let's clarify this because there is a lot of confusion concerning it, and really the main portion of the confusion concerning this stems from two sources: one, the lack of a clear translation concerning sunset and between the two evenings in the King James version of the Bible and also other translations.  That's one.  Number two, the tradition of the Jews of keeping a fifteenth Passover instead of a fourteenth.  Now why do they keep a fifteenth Passover?  Well as we saw in Numbers 9, it clearly says that in order to take the Passover, they have to be in the land – within the geographical area of the land of Israel.  So if they were on a journey, they could not take a fourteenth Passover.  So what happened was this: When the Jews were in exile, which they still are today, they could not, and they will tell you they cannot, keep a fourteenth Passover.  So they keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread but call it – the whole thing – Passover.  So when they have their meal beginning the night of the fifteenth, they are actually eating a abbreviated form of the Feast of the Night to be Much Observed, and we'll see that a little bit later. 

Now here, Numbers 33.  Now let's look at this because this also causes confusion, and the third reason that causes confusion is this: pre-conceived notions…you come to the Scriptures with something in mind, and you're looking to prove what you have in mind.  So when you read it, you think you're proving what you have in mind because you have read it and you think that that's what it's saying.  Now here, Numbers 33 is part of it, verse 1: "These are the journeys of the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron.  And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD: and these are their journeys according to their goings out.  …They departed from Rameses…" Now as we saw, the Passover was kept on the night of the fourteenth.  On the day portion of the fourteenth they finished spoiling the Egyptians and assembled at Rameses, and they had to come from the land of Goshen to Rameses so they could begin their march and their journey out.  So, "…they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month;" and we know that Leviticus 23 says "on the fourteenth day is the LORD's Passover and on the fifteenth is the first day of the feast of unleavened bread."  So this, the fifteenth, that's when they left.  "…On the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.  For…" or this should read "while the Egyptians were still burying their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods the LORD also executed judgments." (Numbers 33:1-4.) 

Now what is the preconceived notion that people read into this?  They read into it: This must be the morning of the fifteenth.  No, it doesn't say that.  It doesn't say that.  They left on the fifteenth… that's when they departed.  That doesn't mean the whole body of them was out, but they were departing at that point.  When you have a million, eight hundred thousand people that are going to be marching out, even in a wide column, you're going to get it started.  The ones who are at the end are going to come along later.  And as I mentioned in the Passover book: if you observe the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, when the parade starts, two hours later, the last crew is starting while the first crew or marching band or whatever it is or float, is finishing.  So when it says departed, that doesn't mean the whole mass of them had completely gone.

Now, let's come to Deuteronomy 16, we'll just look at one verse here which is important.  We will come back to Deuteronomy 16 because this will be important.  Okay, verse 1: "Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD…" that's one day isn't it? Yes.  "…For in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you forth out of Egypt by night."  That's why it is the night to be much observed, because they came out the next night, and as I mentioned previously, show me anywhere in the Bible where God ever combined two days together.  Show me one instance… where God said, "Oops! Let's combine the two days."  No, men are the ones who have combined them.  So they went out by night, so you put it all together.  They left with a high hand.  When did they start?  When does the fourteenth end – sunset on the fourteenth.  Is it still light when the sun is going down?  Yes.  Were they leaving when the sun was going down?  Yes.  Did they go on into the night with their exodus?  Yes, but what were the Egyptians doing when they started?  Numbers 33; they were still burying their firstborn. 

Now when you consider the number that were dead, if they had a population of twenty-four million – or you can pick any number you want – twenty percent are firstborn, whether it's male of female.  So if you have, let's just say they only had ten million, they had 2 million dead human beings.  So we'll give it the low figure, we'll low-ball it.  And how about all the animals, how long do you think it's going to take to bury them?  How long do you think it's going to take them to bury two million people plus all the animals? Because you know, Egypt is a hot place, and if you don't bury them right away, what happens?  These gigantic flies about as big around as a half-dollar piece, come in and the buzzards and the vultures, and if you don't get them buried they get in the hot, hot sun and the bodies explode. (Comment: the question was asked: do you think they might have burned some of them?)  Who knows?  It doesn't say they burned them, it says they buried them.  But anyway…that's a big task, which means that you only had, counting all women and children, you only had eight million to bury two million.  So if you say the adult males that were left who had to do the work and maybe some of the adult females, then you're probably down to a couple of million.  (Comment:  the comment was made:   [Numbers 33] verse 4 in the King James says: "…The Egyptians buried all their firstborn…") And that took more than just on the day portion of the Passover to accomplish that. 

See they went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians who were, what, burying their dead.  Now obviously when it got dark they would quit. But obviously, if you watch anything like…Dolores watched a historical presentation of Trablinka where they started killing Jews as early as 1941, I believe, and they killed 900,000 in one place.  So Trablinka was in Poland, the Nazis were killing the Polish Jews, and they would gas them and put them in this big pit, and then they would even put some lime to try and get rid of the bodies, but they couldn't do it.  And they had so many dead in this big pit, and the stench was getting so bad that they had to dig them up and burn them.  So when it says here "for the Egyptians buried all their firstborn…" that doesn't mean they did it on that one day.

Now they went out at night, the Night to be Much Observed, and they went out with a high hand.  Now this is far different than the Passover night, which was, what, a night of fear, a night of terror, a night of trepidation. 

So now, you have two operations going here: The Passover you are redeemed, and the Night to be Much Observed you are delivered.  So now you're coming out.

Now let's come back here to Exodus 12 and let's read this again, and let's focus in on the time period, because the phrase "four hundred and thirty years…on the selfsame day" and we'll ask the question: What does that refer to?  And what was the selfsame day?  Now we know that according to the Hebrew Calendar, the selfsame day was the fifteenth.  We just read it Numbers 33, right? Yes. 

Now what we are going to do, we're going to find out that this actually goes back to Abraham, and God's covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15.  So let's go to Genesis 15. What we're going to see in Genesis 15, is quite a tremendous thing, and then we will also go to Genesis 22.  Genesis 15 and what we are going to see is this: we are going to see a two-day sequence, which involves two nights.  And the second night of which we will see is referred to in Exodus 12 as the "…selfsame day…" four hundred and thirty years later.    So in fact, we are going to see that the source and the origin of the Passover and the Night to be Much Observed began actually in Genesis 15.  Now let's come to verse 1: "After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward.  And Abram said, Lord GOD, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me you have given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir."  So he could adopt him and designate him as his heir. Verse 4: "And behold, the word of the LORD came unto him saying, This shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir."  So this is the promise of Isaac, and also then, the promise which comes down to Jacob and to the twelve tribes of Israel. 

Now notice, verse 5 is a key verse: "And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if you be able to number them:" Now when do you see the stars – at night – so we are dealing with the night.  You can't see them at noon, you can't see them at sunrise, maybe you can see a few faint stars, you can't see them at sunset, except maybe a few faint stars and maybe what we call Venus and Mars today.  So there must have been a lot of stars out there because He said, "…And tell…" or that is count "…the stars if you are able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall your seed be."  (Genesis 15:1-5.) So we have two promises here don't we, of seed: one, of Isaac the physical seed and, two, the stars of heaven which then are the spiritual seed.  Because what did Jesus say?  Just hold your place here and come to Matthew 13:43 and let's look at this and then Daniel 12 and we will see what the stars of heaven represent in the promise of the spiritual seed.  Matthew 13:43, now this is at the return of Christ.  This is talking about the resurrection.  Now a little later we're going to see that we are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.  So the promise was given in Genesis 15: number one of the physical seed Isaac, number two, of the spiritual seed…that would be those in the first resurrection. And notice what Jesus says of those in the first resurrection at His return, verse 43: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." Then He has this little cryptic statement here. "…Who has ears to hear let him hear."  Now the only way you're going to understand it is if God gives you the understanding through His Word. 

Now let's come back to Daniel 12 and let's look at what it says here concerning the righteous because, you see, when you understand that the sun is what; what is the sun? It's a star, right? Yes.  Now let's pick it up here in verse 1 of Daniel 12: "And at that time…" that's the time of the end, the time of the resurrection, "…shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." Now that's the Book of Life and this has to be the first resurrection.

Verse 2: "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth…" shows they were buried, "…shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Now that's for those who commit the unpardonable sin and face the second death at the end of the millennium and one hundred-year period. 

Now notice verse 3: "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." (Daniel 12:1-3.)  So the promise given to Abraham back here, has some big-time promises doesn't it?  So that's why He said to him, as He took him out at night.  Now remember [there was] no smog, no pollution, no city lights, you could see all the stars, and I'm sure that was greater… because Texas in America claims that you can see the stars clearer in Texas than any place.  But I just imagine that this was a whole lot better.  Now notice verse 6 [Genesis 15]… because you see what God asked him to do was an impossible task… So, "he believed in the LORD…" so you have to believe what God says.  Now if you are dealing with God who is a God of truth, which He is, and His Word is true, which it is, and God cannot lie, which He cannot… let's come back here to Genesis 15 and let's pick it up here in verse 6.  So he believed in the LORD for, what, the two promises: physical seed and the resurrected spiritual seed – very important.  "…He believed in the LORD; and it was accounted to him for righteousness (or imputed to him for righteousness)" But as we know, that has nothing to do with whether he kept the Commandments of God, or not.  This was a greater righteousness – this righteousness is [being] put in right standing with God because you believe Him. 

Verse 7: "And then he said unto him, I am the LORD; who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it. And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?" Now as we're going to see we are on the day-portion of that day.  Yes he was talking about the Promised Land, he was in the land of Canaan, but he dwelt in it never having received an inheritance in it yet.  And when He says to inherit it, that includes all of his progeny as we will see.  So, "… he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon."  Now all of these were also later used for sacrifices at the temple.  But it is interesting, three years old, so you're talking about good-sized animals, right?  And we are going to see that this a special sacrifice.  There is no altar that is there to burn them on, there is no splashing the blood upon any altar at all, and here is what he did. Verse 10: "And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the middle…" cut them in half from head to toe. 

Now when you do that, if you have watched any of the wild life documentaries on how lions get buffalo and tear them apart and eat them, so just think of this as about the size of a buffalo, African buffalo.  Slit the throat and then you cut it down the middle.  Now how are you going to cut it down the middle?  Well, you have to virtually take a battle-ax and this is a very bloody affair, and you've got all the guts, you've got everything there and, "…he laid one piece against the other…" In other words, he put them back to back, and what he did in putting them back to back, he also created a path that went down between those sacrificial animals.  Now this is a special sacrifice. 

Now you can read of this in The Christian Passover Book.  You can also read of it in the Harmony of the Gospels.  In the Harmony of the Gospels I've got a chart which shows the sequence of events and how this also fits in with the death of Jesus, as we'll see a little bit later.  "…But the birds he divided not." Now verse 11: "And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away."

Now notice verse 12.  Verse 12 is a key verse because this gives us a time-flow of the day and what we're going to see [is that] this is actually the time-flow of the Passover day and reflects directly to the crucifixion of Christ and the time of His death more than the Passover of the children of Israel in the land of Egypt.  "And when the sun was going down…" it's still up, there is still a little…there is still some time…it was going down.  So what happened to Abraham?  "…A deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him." Now what was he experiencing in this, how shall we say, great vision that God brought upon him?  He was experiencing death without dying – what it would be like to die.  "The horror of great darkness fell upon him.  And he said to Abram, Know of a surety that your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward they shall come out with great substance."  (Genesis 15:6-14.)  That's a prophecy of delivering the children of Israel out from captivity and taking them out of the land of Egypt.  Now as it turned out it was a little more than the four hundred years, it was four hundred and thirty years.  "But in the fourth generation…" so that gives us latitude here to understand it, "…the fourth generation, they shall come out from there again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full."

Now notice, verse 17 is another key.  "And it came to pass that when the sun went down, and it was dark…" Now we're in to the next day.  Let's see what happened.  "…Behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp…" Now what was the smoking furnace doing?  The burning lamp passed between those parts.  What was Abraham actually seeing in this vision?  Here is a burning lamp that's walking down between those parts and probably the smoking furnace came right behind it and devoured everything, just completely devoured it.  So what this is, God is showing and prophesying His own death, prophesying His death and burial, which happened, when, on the Passover day and the beginning of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, He was, what, in the tomb.

So this is a special covenant oath, it's also known as a maledictory oath, meaning that in order to fulfill this, you pronounce upon yourself, you own death.  And notice the promise, verse 18: "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto your seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:" And then He lists all the land of the Canaanites that they would receive.   So what God is doing with this, He is guaranteeing that on this second night and we will see this became the night of the fifteenth, so that means the first night was the night of the fourteenth.  So we have the Passover and the Night to be Much Observed right here at the, what you might say, the "proto," the first fulfillment of it. He made a covenant.  He is going to give the land to them, and He was also going to deliver them.  (Genesis 15:16-21.) 

Now when we come back to Exodus 12, what we're going to see [is] that this selfsame day had to refer back to one, the delivering of the children of Israel through the Passover day, and two, the selfsame day (because the Passover day comes first then the next day is called the selfsame day) refers to this day that God made the covenant with Abraham that He would do it. 

Now let's come back to Exodus 12 here for just a minute.  Let's come back to verse 40 again and this will help us interpret this verse.  "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt…" which was prophesied, right? Yes.  "…Was four hundred and thirty years.  And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.  It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations." (Exodus 12:40-42.)  Why? Because He fulfilled His promise to deliver them.  And He fulfilled His promise concerning the Passover day on the fourteenth, and His promise to deliver them that they would go out with great substance on the Night to be Much Observed and leave on the fifteenth.  In both cases, what do we have?  Two different days, two different meanings though connected.  So this helps us understand the significance of the Night to be Much Observed. 

Now then, let's come to Deuteronomy 16.  As I have already previously explained with Deuteronomy 16 so we'll just review it here, but let's understand what is happening, and how that relates to the firstborn.  Because the firstborn especially went out with a high hand, all the children of Israel did, but especially the firstborn because they were spared from death.  So this was a significant thing.  And all the firstborn belong to God…all the males.  All the females, Deuteronomy 14 as we have seen, were brought to the Feast of Unleavened Bread and also to the Feast of Tabernacles and they were used as part of the offerings that they would give in peace offerings to God. 

Now let's pick it up here in Deuteronomy 16:2, and we'll get a clue.  And I remember the first time I understood this, because Deuteronomy 16 is difficult to understand because it seems to contradict some of the things in Exodus 12, and it seems to combine some the things in Exodus 12 and make it look like it comes on the same day, but it doesn't. 

Now first of all, verse 1: "…Keep the passover…" When were they to keep the Passover? [They were to keep it on] the night of the fourteenth, right? That's one day, is it not? Yes.  "…Unto the LORD your God: for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night…" which was what…the beginning of the night of the fifteenth.  So then we have, getting in to the second day don't we?  "You shall therefore sacrifice the passover unto the LORD your God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there."  Now I have a full explanation of that in the Passover book.  You can go back and read that.  It's very important to understand. 

But here is the key that unlocks this so we have understanding.  This is not the sacrifice of the Passover lamb for the Passover, but this is in preparation for the Night to be Much Observed.  Now how do we know that?  Notice the phrase "…of the flock and the herd…" As I have mentioned before: have you ever heard of a Passover calf? No.  What does it say there in Exodus 12?  You are to take of the flock of the sheep and of the goats, but here it says herd.  And the Hebrew here is bovine.  So this has to do with the peace offerings, now here called Passover offerings; not that they were for the Passover day, but for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. 

Now they probably started preparing these so they could be offered right at sunset beginning the Night to be Observed.  These had to be offered at the altar, not the Passover lamb.  Continuing in verse 2: "…In the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there.  You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shall you eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for you came forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that you may remember the day when you came forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.  And there shall be no leavened bread seen with you in all your coast for seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which you sacrificed the first day at even, remain all night until the morning."  Now then, that sounds an awful lot like the Passover doesn't it?  But let's understand something, peace offerings could not be left until morning. 

Okay, let's go on, "You may not sacrifice the passover within any of your gates…" and that sounds like it contradicts the commands for the Passover which they were to do at their homes, right?  See, so this has to be the sacrifices for the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Now let's continue on and I will show you.  Verse 6: "But at the place which the LORD your God shall choose to place his name in, there you shall sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that you came out of Egypt."  Now here is a gross mistranslation which is this, verse 7: "You shall roast and eat…" that doesn't have to do with roasting at all!  The Hebrew here is bashal which is, "…you shall boil…" So we have two things that tells us the clue that these are really peace offerings which were prepared on the day portion of the Passover to be eaten after the Passover on the Night to be Much Observed.  Those two key things are [number one], verse 7: "You shall boil…" Now we are going to see the Passover lamb was never to be boiled, (I go into great detail in that in The Christian Passover book) and number 2, the bovine.  There is no such thing as a Passover calf.  Can you imagine for a family of ten trying to eat a calf? And can you imagine trying to burn the bones and the hide and everything of the calf? No.  (Deuteronomy 16:1-7.)

Okay, let's look at the commands in Exodus 12 and then we will look at the command for a peace offering.  Exodus 12, let's see what the command was.  After they kill it, put the blood on the side posts and the lintels, verse 8: "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast in fire…" Now here it means roasted with fire.  Now it didn't say with fire in Deuteronomy 16, did it, because that should not be roasted, that should be boiled.  "…Roast with fire and unleavened bread and with bitter herbs shall they eat it.  Eat not of it raw, nor (boiled) sodden (bashal) at all with water, but roast with fire…" (Exodus 12:8-9.) 

Now they even had this: the Jews' tradition was that if they had it on a spit and they were roasting it in the fire, and some of the juice from the roasting got on the staff that was through the middle of the animal, they were turning it kind of like a rotisserie and roasting it, and the juice cooked part of the meat, they had to cut that meat off and not use it because that was considered boiled in the juice.  Now it says, "…not sodden with water at all, but roast with fire…" and so when you go back to Deuteronomy 16 and it says roast, it doesn't say roast with fire and that's because that's a gross mistranslation and should be boiled.

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Now let's continue on and we will see the fulfillment of the Night to be Much Observed in the New Testament.  Now, let me just say this: it follows along very logically according to the Word of God, not just human logic, that God commands to keep the Night to be Much Observed, doesn't He?  It begins the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread doesn't it?  So if you keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, you should keep the Night to be Much Observed, shouldn't you?  Yes, because you can't have one without the other. 

Now the Passover book I'm going to mention again, because it's very important because it's over five hundred pages and there is not one page of wasted information in there, it is all vital and it covers every one of these questions concerning the Passover, the fourteenth, the fifteenth, unleavened bread, leavened bread, what time of day, covers foot washing, covers the Lord's supper, it covers all of that.

Now in the Passover book from pages 278 to 314, Chapters 22, 23, and 24, it covers the full meaning of the Night to be Much Observed beginning with the Passover and coming through the Passover night and Passover day and in to the Night Much to be Observed and showing the selfsame day. 

Now one other thing that's important to understand is this: on page 307 of the Passover book there is a chart which shows the timing of Genesis 15 in the left-hand column and the death of Jesus Christ in the right-hand column, and how it parallels.  Now there is one other thing that we need to understand concerning the fulfillment of this prophecy.  Let's come to Joshua 5, and let's read it.  Then we will get to the New Testament.  Joshua 5, they entered the land and officially had ended the Exodus when they got to the land.  Now remember the promises given back in Genesis 15 carried forward to the night that they were delivered out of Egypt four hundred and thirty years later, and also carried the promised of going into the land. And Joshua 5 and verse 10 says: "And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho. And they did eat of the old corn (and also the new corn) of the land on the morrow after the passover, (which is the fifteenth) unleavened cakes and parched corn in the selfsame day." (Joshua 5:10-11.)  That meant when they started eating the bread made from the grain of the land, the Exodus was officially over and they began the inheritance of the land on what day – the fifteenth day of the first month, the selfsame day.  Amazing isn't it – how it follows all the way through. 

Now let's come and see the parallels concerning the death and burial of Jesus Christ and what happened there…what occurred.  Now we find we have the Passover ceremony, we have that in the Passover ceremony book, we're not going to review that, but that covers John, Chapters 13 through 17.  Now we are not going to turn there, I'm just reading off of the chart.  Now we have something that's important here when we come to Jesus being arrested.  Let's come to the Book of John.  Now to cover the Passover, go through the Passover ceremony booklet that we have for the Passover.  Now let's come to John 18 first of all.  After Jesus prayed, after His prayer, we come to the time of betrayal, John 18.  Judas came about midnight.  When did God spare the firstborn in Egypt? [He spared them] at midnight on the fourteenth.  Jesus Christ was the firstborn of the Virgin Mary, right? Yes.  He was also firstborn from among the dead…very important.  But here in John 18 we have the betrayal of Christ which took place at midnight, and there are quite a few things that took place.  And so what we really have on the Passover night is that God passed over the children of Israel, the firstborn, at midnight in Egypt, when Jesus came who was the firstborn of God; He did not pass over Him because He was the Passover sacrifice. 

Now what we are going to see is this: that the timing of the killing of those animals in Genesis 15 parallels, as you see in the chart here…parallels the timing the things that Jesus went through.  And the bloody sacrifice of those animals parallels the beatings, the scourgings, and the crucifixion of Christ, and that when Christ died, that parallels the time when Abraham had a deep sleep fall upon him and the horrors of great darkness.  And then when Christ was put into the tomb and it was sealed… it was sealed because you will see…when was it sealed?  When was He put in there?  He was put in there just right at sunset. 

So let's just do a little survey of John.  Now if you have the Harmony of Gospels, go through and go back to about page 284 and go forward from there.  So I am going to read here from John 18 and let's pick it up here in verse 1.  I always ask the question: I wonder what those who arrested Jesus thought.  And in the movie The Passion by Mel Gibson, it didn't show it really with all the meaning, there was too much Catholic tradition involved. 

Now [reading from the Harmony of the Gospels, page 286] John 18, verse 1: "After saying these things Jesus went out with His disciples to a place beyond the winter stream of Kidron, and there was a garden and He entered in to pray." And you find in the parallel accounts where He prayed, He actually prayed for three hours and then about midnight He quit praying, and verse 2: " And Judas, who was betraying Him, also knew of the place, because Jesus had often gathered there with His disciples."  Verse 3: "Then Judas, after receiving a band and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with torches and lamps and weapons.  Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forward and said to them, Whom are you seeking?" Now when it says "knowing all things that were coming upon Him" what did He understand?  He gave all the prophecies of His death didn't He?  Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Psalm 69, all of those things.  Verse 5: "And they answered Him, Jesus the Nazarene.  Jesus said to them, I AM. And Judas, who was betraying Him, was also standing with them. But when He said to them, I AM they went backward and fell on the ground."

Now I don't know about you, but I have often wondered what those soldiers thought, and I wonder if Judas also went back.  It doesn't tell us that he didn't, but they all you know, when He said I AM they went back, so that must include Judas, and fell on the ground."  Makes you wonder why they didn't think, "Man! Do I really want to arrest this guy or not?"  (laughter.)  Verse 8: Then "Jesus answered, I told you that I AM.  Therefore, if you are seeking Me, allow these to go their way; So that the saying might be fulfilled which He had said, Of those whom You have given Me, not one of them have I lost." Which we know "…not one of them have I lost…except the son of perdition."  Verse 10: "Then Simon Peter who had a sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear." Now I am sure he wasn't aiming just for the ear, and I'm sure he was aiming to lop off his head!  And remember Peter was the one, Matthew 16 you go back read it, when Jesus revealed what was going to happen to Him, what did Peter say?  He even took Him aside and said, "Lord, this isn't going to happen to you, I'm here, I will deliver you" And Jesus said, "Get behind me Satan, you savor the thoughts of men not the thoughts of God." [Paraphrased.]   So anyway… "And cut off his right ear.  And the servant's name was Malchus. But Jesus said to Peter, "Put up your sword into the sheath: shall I not drink of the cup that the Father has given to me?" And it shows in the parallel account that, what did Jesus do, He reached over and healed his ear.  (John 18:1-11.) 
Now what happens when you have a cut off something? You have blood and you kind of feeling it, right?  What happens when you have a wound that is healed? Well, you feel it and see how it's going, and I imagine all the way back in, after his ear was healed, Malchus was feeling his ear.  Did it really happen? So Malchus comes back in and I'm sure someone said, "Where'd you get all that blood?"  "This guy over here cut my ear off."  "Well, how'd it get back on?"  "Now this guy over here that we arrested, touched it and it healed." A witness – do we really want to kill Him?  So there are many, many things.  Now remember this is the Passover night, and this is in preparation of His sacrifice on the Passover day, which parallels the animals that Abraham cut in two and God walked between. 

So they took Him bound, to Annas and Caiaphas and so forth, you can read of it there in the Harmony of the Gospels.  They beat Him, they punched Him, they had a trial, which was totally illegal, and I've got all the timeframe that is there, everything that happened.  The chief priest condemns Him, Peter denies Christ three times, and then the Sanhedrin sends Him to Pilate; Pilate finds Him innocent.  Now we're getting into the day portion. 

But then the priests stirred up the people and they demanded Barabbas.  Now it's very interesting…what does the name Barabbas mean?  [It means] son…bar, and then abbas which is from abba, which means son of the father. So there is a total counterfeit. 

So they released Barabbas and they took Jesus and they scourged Him…beat Him and scourged Him.  And then after He barely was able to survive, they took the cross…now it wasn't like it was in the movie The Passion of the Christ; it was not a cross with two pieces.  It was the crossbar that they would hang them on and what it was, they would take a tree trunk and they would put it in the ground and up at the top of it they would have a place where you could put into holders, the crossbar.  So they could crucify a person on there, and then when they are dead, they'd just get them off there by lifting up the crossbar, but the tree trunk would remain in the ground.  So that's what Jesus was carrying.  It wasn't quite as high as what they showed in the movie there.  Remember The Passion of the Christ is a Catholic version of the crucifixion of Christ which is made to conform to Catholic doctrine.  And the reason why it says that Jesus was crucified on a tree is because the tree trunk was there…staros, but also for the sake of a cross, so when He carried out His cross, He was not carrying the whole thing, but He was carrying the crossbar. 

Then at the very time of the sacrifices that were going on by Abraham back in Genesis 15, Christ was going through His scourging, He was being led away; at the third-hour in the morning He was crucified, and then you have the seven sayings of Jesus.  Then you have darkness from the sixth hour to the ninth hour and Jesus dies at about 3:00 p.m., or the ninth hour. 

Now let's come over here to John 19, and let's see something, and then this will also tell us a very important thing concerning the Night Much to be Observed by us today.  Now the first night to be observed, right after the Passover and death of Jesus Christ, was not a night of rejoicing.  Remember what Jesus said, He told them on the Passover night, He said, "You're going to be grieved, but afterwards you will have joy."  So this one Night to be Much Observed was not a night of joy for the disciples at that time, but it was later. Because what it was, was this: Jesus performed the oath that He swore to Abraham, and He died…exactly as He said, and He was put in the grave. 

Now let's follow along here and let's pick it up in verse 30. [Page 304 in the Harmony] After Jesus received the vinegar to fulfill the prophecy, John 19:30: "And so, when Jesus had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished.  And bowing His head, He yielded up His spirit." Now the account in Mark shows that it was at the ninth hour that He died, about 3:00 p.m. Verse [page 305 in the Harmony] 31: "And the Jews therefore, so that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, because it was a preparation day (for that Sabbath was a high day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread) requested of Pilate that their legs might be broken and the bodies be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first one, and the legs of the other who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs…" Why? It was prophesied He would never have a bone broken.  (John 19:30-33.)

Now these soldiers aren't going along and saying, "Well, I read in the Bible that He was not going to have a bone broken.  I'm not going to break the legs so I can fulfill the prophecy." You know… or the soldiers who were there casting lots on His vesture and on His garment, say, "Oh, let's fulfill prophecy guys."  God made them do it and they had no inkling of why they were doing what they were doing. 

"But one of the soldiers…" verse 34, "…had pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water had come out. And he who saw this has testified and his testimony is true…" that's John, "…and he knows that what he says is true, so that you may believe.  For these things took place so that the scripture might be fulfilled, Not a bone of Him shall be broken.  And again another scripture says, They shall look upon Him Whom they pierced." [Verse 38, page 307 of the Harmony.]  "Now after these things, Joseph of Arimathea…" and you can read the parallel account…how he got permission from Pilate to take the body away, and then came Nicodemus, and he was bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds, verse 39.  "They took the body of Jesus and wound it in linen cloths with the aromatics…" No shroud – the Shroud of Turin is a hoax, a lie, and not true.  But a church built on lies, that believes in idolatry, you know… the same rationale is used for worshiping the Shroud of Turin that is used for the false documents that they have concocted concerning President George Bush's National Guard service.  They [the documents] were total forgeries, they were not true, but Dan Rather stands by it to this day, that the story is true though they are forged documents. 

So the Catholic Church does the same thing with the Shroud of Turin…  "Well, this may not be exactly the body of Jesus, but we have tried many, many experts, and some of them say that it is. So therefore, it's good for the faithful to worship, you know, that it's true."  And the Bible that they have locked away in their little compartment on their altar says that they were wound…much like a mummy. 

Now verse 41: "Now there was a garden in the place where He was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid.  Because of the preparation of the Jews, they laid Jesus there; for the tomb was near."  (John 19:34-42.)

Now here is the point of the Night to be Much Observed for Christians today: one, God fulfilled His promise that He would die for the sins of the world as pictured by the Passover day; two, He began His three days and three nights in the tomb, beginning with the Night to be Much Observed.  And think about this: the death of the one Who was God, Who became a human being…He died, and for the joy that was before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame…so He would be able with that sacrifice to save us!

So we have joy not in the death, but in the promise of what He did and fulfilled, and yes, in the death from this point of view: that God applies the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to us upon repentance, for the forgiveness of our sins that we do not have the death penalty brought upon us.  So that's quite a night of rejoicing.  So that if we are faithful, the Night to be Much Observed pictures this: we are redeemed by the Passover, we are delivered by the death of Jesus Christ, and now on the Night to be Much Observed, we start our walk out of spiritual Egypt – because you have to be redeemed and you have to be brought out of the world. 

Now just like the children of Israel…where were they going? They ended up at Mt. Sinai didn't they? And what was that…that was temporarily the throne of God was it not, where God gave the Ten Commandments?  So likewise, our walk and our journey… (let's come to Hebrews 12 and we'll finish here) because you see, what begins with the Passover on one night, and then the Night to be Much Observed on the next night, beginning our walk then is pictured in the seven weeks of them walking to Mt. Sinai and hearing the voice of God, seeing the glory of God which then with the assembly of the people of Israel there, is a type of the resurrection and the assembly of all of the saints resurrected from the dead. 

So you see, this Night to be Observed is fantastic from this point of view: that it begins our journey out of sin and from physical life to the resurrection to be resurrected and meet Christ on the Sea of Glass on Pentecost.

Now let's see what we have here.  Let's come to Hebrews 12 and let's pick it up here in verse 18.   We'll see the parallel; because you see, all of these are connected, Passover, Unleavened Bread and Pentecost, and those three feasts in the spring apply to the Church.  Now we are going to notice something here, which I will expound more in a different sermon, concerning the firstborn.  Verse 18, Hebrews 12: "For you have not come to the mount that could be touched…" That is the physical Mt. Sinai.  They could even climb up and down on it now; God is no longer there.  It's no longer a holy place.  Wherever God is, it's Holy.  "…That burned with fire, nor unto the gloominess and fearful darkness, and whirlwind, but to the sound of the trumpet, the voice of the words; which those that heard begged that word not be spoken directly to them, for they could not endure what was being commanded, And if even an animal touches the mount it shall be stoned or shot through with an arrow.  And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, I am greatly afraid and trembling." So that was an awesome thing! 

Now we'll talk a little more about this when we come to Pentecost, but here's the parallel.  In order to attain to the Kingdom of God, you: number one, have to have your sins forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Number two; you have to come out of this world and walk in the ways of God, under His direction with His Spirit, with His guidance.   And what did they do all the way to Mt. Sinai every Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath.  Is that not correct? Yes.   Verse 22: "But you have come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, To the joyous festival gathering of the church of the firstborn…" So the death of Jesus Christ, God manifested in the flesh, the Son of The Father, was the firstborn Who was the sacrificial offering of God for the forgiveness of our sins.  And the timing has nothing to do with the timing of anything at the temple, but between the timing of things in Genesis 15 with Abraham and the death of Jesus Christ.  (Hebrews 12:22.)

Now then, the church of the firstborn, that's us, and so in another sermon I will bring out to you the meaning of the firstborn and why the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread beginning with the Night to be Much Observed is so important for us, because we are the firstborn, coming out of this world who, with Christ leading the way we are coming out with a high hand and looking forward to the resurrection, you see.  "The church of the firstborn registered in the Book of Life in Heaven to God the Judge of all, and spirits of just men who have been perfected.  To Jesus the mediator of the new covenant…" which was His sacrifice "and the sprinkling of the blood of ratification proclaiming superior things than that of Abel." (Hebrews 12: 23-24.) 

So here now we have an inkling that everything even goes back to Abel, and then that goes back to the promise that God gave there in Genesis 3:15 of His own death.  So this is something, how the Bible puts it all together.  So this is the meaning of the Night to be Much Observed and why we in the Church of God should keep that night beginning on the night of the fifteenth of Nisan.

Transcribed 5/18/06


The Night to be Much Observed

Scriptural References

Exodus 12:40-42, 51

Exodus 13:1-3

Numbers 33:1-4

Deuteronomy 16:1

Genesis 15:1-5

Matthew 13:43

Daniel 12:1-3

Genesis 15: 6-14, 16-21

Exodus 12:40-42

Deuteronomy 16:1-7

Exodus 12:8-9

Joshua 5:10-11

John 18: 1-11

John 19:30-42

Hebrews 12:18-24