The Day Death was Defeated
The day Jesus rose from the Grave was a momentous occasion, that we still celebrate nearly two millennium later, but this special day had a long history of marking important Biblical events. This third day after Passover, Nisan 17, signified the day death was defeated, and was the beginning of a new chapter.
The first Nisan 17th, after God had established His Calendar, was the day that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. The exhausted Israelites began a three day journey immediately after their Passover Feast on Nisan 14, and had just reached the banks of the Red Sea. The Pharaoh of Egypt and his cavalry had been pursuing them, and now the Israelites were pinned against the water’s edge. Exodus 14 describes the miraculous moment when Moses outstretched his arm over the waters and they receded, allowing the Israelites to cross on dry land. Before the sun rose, Moses outstretched his hand again and the pursuing Egyptian military was consumed by the Red Sea. Slavery and Death by the Egyptian armies was replaced with Freedom and Hope on that day.
Forty years later, after the generation that had crossed the Red Sea had died wandering in the wilderness, Joshua lead the new generation across the Jordan River and camped in the plains of Jericho. They celebrated the Passover Feast (Nisan 14) and ate some of the produce from the previous harvest, as unleavened bread and roasted grain, the next day (Nisan 15). The following day (Nisan 16), was the last day that manna fell from Heaven, because they would begin to eat the fruits of the land from Nisan 17 onward (Joshua 5:2-12). The previous hard hearted generation and the old grain were replaced by a newly circumcised population and First Fruits of the Promised Land.
After Israel had become an established nation, and built the First Temple, it had been ruled by many evil and idolatrous kings who had defiled the Temple and turned the nation of Israel’s heart from God. God raised up righteous King Hezekiah to begin the cleansing of the Temple on the First Day of the First Month of Hezekiah’s first year of ruling. The work was completed on the sixteenth day and very early on the seventeenth day of the first month (Nisan 17) King Hezekiah gathered the rulers of Jerusalem and had a massive celebration commemorating the Cleansing of the Temple (2 Chronicles 29:1-28). King Hezekiah replaced the human and child sacrifices of the pagan worship the Israelites had fallen into, with Devotion to the Living God.
During the Babylonian Exile, a plot was instigated by Haman, one of the high officials of King Xerxes, who planned to exterminate the Jews in the empire. The edict enacting this systematic genocide was signed and decreed on the thirteenth day of the first month (Nisan 13). Instructed by her honorable uncle Mordecai, Queen Esther, a Jewess, requests that the Jews fast for three days. At the end of the third day’s (Nisan 16) fast, Esther hosted a private banquet for the King and the scheming official, Haman, inviting them to another banquet the following evening. During this feast, Haman’s plans for extermination of the Jews are uncovered, and Haman was killed in the manner he had planned for his rival Mordecai. This reversal, on Nisan 17, not only had Haman killed instead of Mordecai, but Haman’s wealth, authority, and title were given to Mordecai as well. Annihilation was replaced by Power and Glory.
When the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, they left 430 years of slavery and certain slaughter by the Egyptian chariots, and began the journey to form a nation after God’s own Heart. After Joshua traversed the Jordan River, to enter the Promised Land, there was no going back to Egypt, and no option to continue wandering in the Wilderness, amongst the previous generation’s bones, as the Manna had stopped falling from Heaven, and they would have to conquer the new land before them. After Israel had fallen into idolatry and human sacrifice, they had the opportunity to abandon the death cults that had been introduced into their lands and turn their love back to the God who established them. Even after they had been exiled, God’s redemption was seen when Haman’s conspiracy to massacre the Jews, led to his own death, and his rival Mordecai replacing him. Christ’s Crucifixion on Passover was the price of redemption, but it was His Resurrection three days later on Nisan 17 that marked the dividing line between what had been and the new chapter that had just begun.
God’s Timing is always perfect and the date of Christ’s Resurrection is a deliberate reference to the many previous prophetic instances of God giving His People the opportunity to leave behind their Demise and Destruction in exchange for Life and Prosperity God sought to redeem His People from their Slavery, their Hardheartedness, their Idolatry, and their Political and Economic Rivals, but all those challenges paled in comparison to Christ’s ultimate victory, for all of mankind, over Death.
Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator
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