We have been studying about the second Passover Israel will celebrate as explained in Numbers Chapter Nine.
The first Passover was celebrated in Egypt on that dreadful night when the avenging angel of the Lord killed all of the firstborn.
And now in Numbers Nine, the Lord is giving the people of Israel instructions on how to celebrate Passover as a remembrance of what happened in Egypt.
Every Passover from here on out will be observed as a remembrance.
All who dwell in Israel or with Israel are obligated to observe Passover at the appointed time on Nisan 14.
We’ve also studied how the Lord established only two exceptions for getting out of observing Passover on the appointed time of Nisan 14.
The first exception is if one is in an UNCLEAN state for whatever reason (the situation presented in Numbers 9 was of some Israelites who became UNCLEAN due to touching a corpse).
The second exception is if one is on a “long journey” which is generally defined as residing so far away from the Temple that it is impossible to travel there on time to observe the Passover.
For these two exceptions, the Lord permits the Passover to be celebrated exactly one month later.
What I’d like to do is take a look at the first exception of not being able to observe Passover due to being in an UNCLEAN state and contrast and compare it with the following verses from the New Testament.
“Whoever eats my flesh
and drinks my blood lives in me,
and I live in him.
Just as the living Father sent me,
and I live through the Father,
so also whoever eats me
will live through me.
So this is the bread
that has come down from heaven
— it is not like the bread the fathers ate;
but whoever eats
this bread will live forever!”
Now compare the above NT verses with the following from 1 Corinthians:
“Therefore, whoever eats the Lord’s bread
or drinks the Lord’s cup in an unworthy manner
will be guilty of desecrating
the body and blood of the Lord!
So let a person examine himself first,
and then he may eat of the bread and drink from the cup;
for a person who eats and drinks
without recognizing the body
eats and drinks judgment upon himself.
This is why many among you are weak and sick,
and some have died!”
-1 Corinthians 11:27-32
The point I want to make is to bring your attention to a potential connection between what is said here in Numbers 9 about being UNCLEAN and not being able to participate in the Passover Feast and the warning we have here in 1 Corinthians about taking the Lord’s bread and the Lord’s cup in an unworthy manner.
Gentile churches with practically zero foundation in proper Torah teaching go hog wild in their interpretations of just what “eating the Lord’s bread and drinking the Lord’s cup in an unworthy manner” really means.
Again, there is ONLY ONE CORRECT WAY from which to interpret ANY part of the Bible including the Apostolic Scriptures.
And that ONLY ONE CORRECT WAY is to interpret Scripture within the context of Torah and Israel.
There is no other way.
Now we know that Passover is a God-ordained TORAH observance, it is NOT a manmade tradition.
And we’ve just studied in Torah that partaking of the Passover in an UNCLEAN state will result in one being KARET or “cut-off” from the Lord’s people.
Now I’m aware that there may be some disagreement, but is not the Apostle Paul (and let’s not forget that Paul was a Rabbi) drawing a parallel between the Torah command here in Numbers 9 that one cannot participate in the Passover if one is UNCLEAN and partaking of the Lord’s bread and drink in an “unworthy manner”?
The point I’m making here is if we’re going to interpret these NT verses using the Torah as our true and unshakeable foundation, then I would say to partake of the Lord’s bread and drink in an “unworthy manner” means to do so when one is in an UNCLEAN state, period!
The context in 1 Corinthians is also similar.
It says that those who partake in an unworthy manner will become sick, weak and “fall asleep” which is referring to death.
This is obviously divine retribution.
I don’t know about you but I see a connection between what is explained in Numbers 9 and Paul’s admonition to be careful to not partake of the Lord’s communion in an unworthy manner.