Of Passover and Manna

Joshua 5:10-12
10 While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho. 11 And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. 12 And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

This celebration of The Passover happened exactly 40 years to the day from the first one in Egypt when the angel of the Lord passed over the Hebrew homes, thus saving them from the 10th plague – the death of the firstborn. The second time The Passover was celebrated was one year after that plague. Now it is being celebrated, for the third time, inside The Promised Land and would have been a first for most of the people taking part in it, as they wouldn’t have been born yet when it was celebrated that one time in the wilderness. This is a momentous occasion.

Also significant in these verses is mention of the manna that had fed the people for 40 years, now stops falling. God no longer needs to provide food for the people miraculously. They are able to eat from the land. They have entered the land of milk and honey and it is time to partake of that gift. God is still providing, just in a more natural way.

The celebration of the Passover is important for us as Christians today because it is a precursor to the work of our Messiah. While the blood of a sacrificed lamb was spread over the doorpost of each home to provide protection from the angel of death that passed over Egypt, so the blood of Jesus Christ was shed to make payment for our sins. Just as the ancient Hebrews stood under the blood, so too do we. Jesus was celebrating that very meal with His Disciples the night He was betrayed – also the same night He instituted Holy Communion. As you can see, it’s all just one large picture, drawn by the Hand of God Himself. We do not celebrate The Passover, but we do celebrate The Lord’s Supper with frequency.