Originally scheduled for April 5
In Numbers, chapter 9 we find a most curious
incident. Some men have come to Aaron and to Moses with a problem.
Passover is just about to happen, and they are ceremonially unclean
in that they have been handling a dead body. The Passover in
question is very important; it is the one the Israelites are to eat
before they go into the land to conquer it. Moses inquires of God
and comes up with an interesting solution. For those who meet the
proper criteria, a second Passover can be celebrated on the same day
of the month, but in the second month instead of the first month.
The second Passover serves the same purpose as the first one, and
therefore has to have no difference in ceremony. Indeed, it is
reiterated that this law applies both to Jew and the Gentile who
wishes to take Passover. There is one law the Jew and the Gentile
This might be the first really clear symbolic
exposition of the idea that God wants to provide you with a second
chance. Preachers are fond of reminding us that we only get one
life. Beer companies are fond of reminding us that we only go around
once. But in that trip we are to forgive 70×7. If that is our
requirement, how much more will our heavenly Father forgive us? You
can see that the rules and methods are the same. But it is not too
late to come to Christ. Your author knows of a man who became a
Christian at the age of 83.
I submit that the reason that there is no
difference in the rules and regulations for these two Passover
celebrations is to give us the clear thought that there is no sense
in waiting for God to change his mind and make it easier to enter
the kingdom of heaven. Frequently in our history we have seen those
who have proclaimed baptism without repentance, but the Scripture is
clear. The steps of repentance are the same now as they were then,
and they apply to one and all, without exception.
Communion, in a way, reminds us of that.
Communion is a reminder that we are
all sinners; those of us who are Christians are those who have
repented and sought His mercy.
Communion is a reminder that the
opportunity of repentance is still open to any of us. It will be
open until he comes again — but no man knows when that day might be.
Communion is a reminder of the
sacrifice which was needed to make our repentance lead to his
Communion is a reminder that God has
the same rules for everyone — he is no respecter of persons. The
same communion, on the same terms, is offered to one and all.
The reminder is there. The question is, what
are we going to do about it?