“Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” So says Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:7. This significantly important statement provides us with yet another study into millennial periods of time.
When did this happen? “When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive sonship.” (Gal.4:4-5)
In God’s prophetic purpose, when was this necessity first stated? “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”(Rev.13:8) Why the “foundation of the world”? Why was creation the event to trigger the necessity of redemption? Strictly speaking, it wasn’t. The Greek words used here are, we believe, incorrectly translated. The word for “foundation” is KATABOLEE, and means “throwing down.” See how Paul uses the verb KATABALLO in 2 Cor.4:9, “We are CAST DOWN, but not destroyed.” And again, in Rev.12:10, “The accuser of our brethren is CAST DOWN.” So what does the expression mean in Rev.13:8? It should be translated, “The Lamb slain from the casting down of the world.” When did that happen? It was at the fall. Now the verse makes sense. Adam and Eve’s failure was the event that caused the necessity of redemption, and we are told that in God’s purposes, the Lamb, His own Son, was considered as “slain” from the time of the fall.
It is significant that connected with the fall, God made “coats of skin” for Adam and Eve. Hence there had to be the slaughter of at least one animal for this to happen. The slaying of a lamb at that time prefigured the crucifixion 4,000 years later.
But in the purposes of God, He knew that the fall was going to happen, and this is why Peter wrote, “We are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot, who was indeed foreordained BEFORE the throwing down of the world, but was manifested in these last times for you.” (I Peter 1:18-20)
Our Lord made mention of this in Luke 11:49-51. “I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute, that the blood of all the prophets that was shed from the throwing down of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah who perished between the altar and the Temple.”
Why did Paul say that Jesus died “when the fullness of time had come.”? Because the event exactly bisected the span of 8,000 years depicted by the Feast of Tabernacles.
Now let’s have a look at the requirements God gave Israel concerning the Passover. “In the tenth day of the month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house . . . and you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month, and the whole assembly shall kill it in the evening.” (Exodus 12:3 & 6)
There are FOUR DAYS between the 10th and the 14th days of Nisan. This gives us the clue to the time when the Passover type was going to be fulfilled in the Person of God’s Son. It is one of the clearest indicators in the Bible concerning millennial days.
If we were to push the symbolism a little further, and ask about the 10th day of the month, we should have to admit that is based on the fall of mankind. Could this be why on 10th of Tishri, the Day of Atonement was instituted? Was this why God commanded all His people to “afflict their souls, do no work, and fast.” See Lev.16:29, 23:27. and Numbers 29:7) It was the day when atonement was made for the whole congregation, for all the sins that had not been dealt with throughout the previous year. It was therefore a wholesale cleansing of the hosts of the Lord, and symbolised Adam and Eve as the generative head of humanity, in whom we are all born, and all partake of the fallen nature. That is why God commanded His people to remember that day with affliction, to remind them year by year that they were sinners, and to bring to their remembrance what happened in the Garden of Eden.
Next we turn to the story of Lazarus in John chapter 11. Twice in the chapter we are told that Lazarus had been dead for four days. “When Jesus came, He found that he had lain in the grave four days already.” (Verse 17) “Martha, sister of Lazarus, said to Him, ‘Lord, by this time he stinks, for he has been dead four days.’” (Verse 39) Now we have no knowledge of how many people Jesus had raised from the dead, but of those recorded, namely Jairus’s daughter and the widow of Nain’s son, both had died very recently. But with Lazarus, it was quite a different story, and the Jews realised that Jesus had a most amazing ability. This is why “from that day forward they took counsel together to put Him to death.” (Verse 53) Jesus was too great an embarrassment for the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem.
Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life.” (Verse 25) The raising of Lazarus was a symbol of Jesus’ own death and resurrection. There was the tomb, the great circular stone over the entrance, the grave clothes, and the coming forth at the command of God. Furthermore it occurred on the FOURTH DAY. That is presumably why Jesus waited two days before going on this mission.
Finally in this chapter we turn to the story of Cornelius, the Gentile, the Roman Centurion, who was a just man who feared God. After Peter’s vision of the sheet let down, and the cleansed beasts, he went to the home of Cornelius, and heard him say, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house and behold a man stood before me in shining raiment, who said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer is heard and your alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa . . .” (Acts 10:30-32)
Peter then realised that in God’s sight the Gentiles had been cleansed, and could become partakers of the promised holy spiritual power as equal partners of the Jews. Hence these FOUR DAYS of waiting by Cornelius represented the 4,000 years from Adam to Christ, before all men could find a place before the Lord for redemption and salvation.