Thirty days ago we cleansed the homes of our souls of chametz (self-pride), embraced the humility of the Messiah of Israel, and we observed the week-long festival of Passover. And now we celebrate “Pesach Sheni” (פסח שני)—a Second Passover!
Pesach Sheni was instituted by Adonai (our God) through His Servant Moses. We read from the Torah:
וַיְדַבֵּר ה’ אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בְמִדְבַּר־סִינַי בַּשָּׁנָה הַשֵּׁנִית לְצֵאתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשֹׁון לֵאמֹֽר׃ וְיַעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַפָּסַח בְּמֹועֲדֹֽו׃ בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָֽׂר־יֹום בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה בֵּין הָֽעֲרְבַּיִם תַּעֲשׂוּ אֹתֹו בְּמֹועֲדֹו כְּכָל־חֻקֹּתָיו וּכְכָל־מִשְׁפָּטָיו תַּעֲשׂוּ אֹתֹֽו׃ וַיְדַבֵּר מֹשֶׁה אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַעֲשֹׂת הַפָּֽסַח׃ וַיַּעֲשׂוּ אֶת־הַפֶּסַח בָּרִאשֹׁון בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר יֹום לַחֹדֶשׁ בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם בְּמִדְבַּר סִינָי כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה’ אֶת־מֹשֶׁה כֵּן עָשׂוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
Thus Adonai spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, “Now, let the people of Israel observe the Passover at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight (lit. between the two evenings), you shall observe it at its appointed time; you shall observe it according to all its statutes and according to all its ordinances.” So Moses spoke to the people of Israel to observe the Passover. They observed the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight (between the two evenings), in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that Adonai had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did.
וַיְהִי אֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ טְמֵאִים לְנֶפֶשׁ אָדָם וְלֹא־יָכְלוּ לַעֲשֹׂת־הַפֶּסַח בַּיֹּום הַהוּא וַֽיִּקְרְבוּ לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה וְלִפְנֵי אַהֲרֹן בַּיֹּום הַהֽוּא׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים הָהֵמָּה אֵלָיו אֲנַחְנוּ טְמֵאִים לְנֶפֶשׁ אָדָם לָמָּה נִגָּרַע לְבִלְתִּי הַקְרִב אֶת־קָרְבַּן ה’ בְּמֹעֲדֹו בְּתֹוךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם מֹשֶׁה עִמְדוּ וְאֶשְׁמְעָה מַה־יְצַוֶּה ה’ לָכֶֽם׃ פ
But there were some persons who were unclean because of the dead person (lit. soul of a man), so that they could not observe Passover on that day; so they came before Moses and Aaron on that day. Those men said to him, “Though we are unclean because of the dead person (soul of man), why are we restrained from presenting the offering of Adonai at its appointed time among the people of Israel?” Moses therefore said to them, “ Wait (literally Stand), and I will listen to what Adonai will command concerning you.”
וַיְדַבֵּר ה’ אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹֽר׃ דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר אִישׁ אִישׁ כִּי־יִהְיֶֽה־טָמֵא לָנֶפֶשׁ אֹו בְדֶרֶךְ רְחֹקָה לָכֶם אֹו לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם וְעָשָׂה פֶסַח לַ ה’׃ בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר יֹום בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם יַעֲשׂוּ אֹתֹו עַל־מַצֹּות וּמְרֹרִים יֹאכְלֻֽהוּ׃ לֹֽא־יַשְׁאִירוּ מִמֶּנּוּ עַד־בֹּקֶר וְעֶצֶם לֹא יִשְׁבְּרוּ־בֹו כְּכָל־חֻקַּת הַפֶּסַח יַעֲשׂוּ אֹתֹֽו׃
Then Adonai spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, ‘If any one of you or of your generations becomes unclean because of a dead person (lit. soul of a man), or is on a distant journey, he may, however, observe the Passover to Adonai. In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight, they shall observe it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it.
What is the messianic meaning of Peach Sheni, the Torah’s “second Pesach?”
What happens to those Jews who fail to observe the festival of Pesach at its designated time? The Torah’s idea of teshuvah, our turning back to God (repentance) is not just about correcting or undoing a past error or sin. Teshuvah is about our transforming the past. It is about our accepting Adonai (our God’s) ability to work everything to good.
“Father forgive them (the common people of Israel) for they know not what they do!”
Pesach Sheni is about more than God our Father forgiving us (Israel) for our sin of not believing in our Messiah when he first appeared to Israel almost two millennia ago. Pesach Sheni is the good news of a second chance at our receiving the full blessing of Pesach. It is about our (all Israel) having a ‘second chance’ at believing in our Messiah—who shall be returning to Israel soon.
Pesach Sheni is about correcting our errors of the past so that the transgression (our leaven of pride) that caused us to not receive the Korban Pesach of Adonai (our God)—at His original designated time—is now nullified and replaced by our acceptance now of His (God’s) sacrifice for sin. This must be done so that the sin (the chametz of our self-pride) might finally be removed (cleansed) and replaced with the righteousness of Abba Avinu (the humility of His Son and our Messiah). Then shall it be for us (all Israel) as if our sin never existed at all.
Pesach Sheni just after the Resurrection of the Messiah:
After Messiah’s death (14 Nisan) a number of his Jewish followers quickly prepared His body for burial.
Those faithful Jews (men and women) who touched Messiah’s dead (mortal) body were prohibited by law from observing the First Passover (that occurred on 15 Nisan). However, under the Torah provision of Numbers (Chapter 9) these faithful Jewish men and women were able to observe the Second Passover (Pesach Sheni); exactly one month later on Iyyar 14.
On 16 Nisan the Messiah resurrected from the dead; for forty days he appeared to over 500 people; then on Iyyar 25 he ascended into heaven.
Can you imagine the exceeding joyfulness during the Iyyar 14 observance of Pesach Sheni by those faithful Jewish followers who so grievously had to prepare our Messiah’s body for burial on Nisan 14? The great grief of these faithful Jewish followers of Messiah had now turned to an even greater Joy! Think about it. These few chosen ones experienced the first post-resurrection Passover observance; and most likely everyone of them had already met the resurrected Messiah. What a fantastic celebration that must have been!
The Messiah had resurrected from the dead four weeks (28 days) previous to Iyyar 14, on Yom HaBikkurim—-the Day of Firstfruits (Nisan 16).
This means the great irony here is that the Jewish observers of Pesach Sheni that year (Hebrew Year 3790), who had been involved in previously preparing the Messiah’s body for burial, were now on this Second Passover actually most joyfully celebrating the “completion” of their redemption and the Messiah’s resurrection from the dead!
Happy Passover to you! (!פסח שני שמח לך)