The Passover: God’s Will For Our Salvation
When I came to the World Mission Society Church of God and began studying the Bible, I remember many of my early studies being about the Passover Passover of the New Covenant. I was shocked when I realized how important the Passover was for the salvation of mankind. As shocked as I was about that, I was even more shocked at the fact that I never even heard about it before. Not from any one else or even in any other church! NOT EVEN ONCE!
The Passover is a core teaching of the Church of God. Only here did I learn about the Passover; it's origin, it's fulfillment through Jesus Christ and how it is a commandment of God that we must keep to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. THAT’S RIGHT! Not only by faith. Without celebrating the Passover, not you, nor I, can go to heaven.
Origin of the Passover: Jehovah Commanded It
Exodus 12:10-11 - "...Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover."
In the Old Testament, God Jehovah commanded the Israelites to celebrate the Passover while they were slaves in Egypt. His purpose was to protect them from the plague He was going to bring upon Egypt, and ultimately lead them out of slavery.
Exodus 12:12-13 - “On that same night (the Passover night) I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn - both men and animals - and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.”
As we know, God protected His people who celebrated the Passover from disaster. But those who didn’t, namely the Egyptians, they received the plague of the first born. Through the Passover, God accomplished His purpose and emancipated the Israelites our of Egypt.
Nowadays, “Bible-believing Christians” (quotes for sarcasm) say that the Passover is not important. They either say that it’s a Jewish thing, or it’s something that It was only for the Israelites, to free them out of Egypt. To someone who can’t read, their philosophy may appear logical. But to those who can, the following words by God Himself prove these kinds of people wrong:
Exodus 12:14 - This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD - a lasting ordinance (an ordinance for ever, KJV).
God said the Passover is a day which must be commemorated, and that is an ordinance “for ever.” Clearly, it wasn’t just for the Israelites in the time of the Exodus. But even in this age, and till the end of time, the Passover must be celebrated.
Jesus Commanded Us to Celebrate the Passover
As a member of the WMSCOG for several years, I’ve come across a few people, who like me, were shocked to find out that Jesus Christ commanded Christians to keep the Passover:
Matthew 26:17-19 - On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man, and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
Just as God commanded the Passover in the Old Testament, Jesus Christ, who is God, commanded us to keep it also in the New Testament. Why did Jesus command the Passover?
John 6:53-54 - Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
Jesus promised mankind eternal life only if we eat His flesh and blood (“unless” - conditional; don’t eat = no life). Now, we know Jesus wasn’t talking to zombies 2,000 years ago; and we ourselves aren't zombies either. But unless we eat His flesh and blood, we can't have eternal life. And It was only through the Passover that He promised us His flesh and blood.
Luke 22:7-8; 19-20: …”Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover… And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is pour out for you."
Jesus broke bread many times. But only on the Passover night did He say about the bread, "This is my body,” and about the wine, “this is the new covenant in my blood.” It’s because only through the Passover of the New Covenant can we receive Christ’s flesh and blood and His promise of eternal life.
The Passover: Our Passport to the Kingdom of Heaven
Whenever I share the news of the Passover with someone, I ask them, “wouldn’t you want to have eternal life?” Surprisingly enough, some people say that they don’t want eternal life. OF COURSE NOT. By their standards, they equate eternal life to having to live forever paying bills, working, bad weather and dealing with troubles on this earth. Doesn’t seem like a good plan! But eternal life on earth wasn't God's plan for us. Just as God freed the Israelites from slavery to lead them to Canaan, God wanted to free us from death and lead us to a special place He prepared:
Revelation 21:4 - He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
In the end, God’s people go to a place where there is no more death. In other words, only eternal life. The reason Jesus commands us to keep the Passover is to seal us with eternal life, while on earth, so that we can live forever in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Passover is like a passport. If you show up at the airport, ready to fly to another country, there are certain items you need: your ticket, luggage, etc. Let’s say you have everything, but you don’t have your passport. Will you be able to board the plane and fly out of the country? Just as we cannot go to another country without our passport, we cannot go to the Heavenly Country without keeping the Passover.
Matthew 7:21 - "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
From the beginning, it was only God Who commanded us to keep the Passover. He even came to earth in the flesh to give us His body and blood so that we can be saved. Those that teach that we don't need to keep the Passover to go to heaven ultimately deny Jesus' sacrifice for mankind and reject the will of God.
Now ask yourself: Can I go to heaven without keeping the Passover? By now, I’m sure you know this was a rhetorical question.
Thankfully, Christ Ahnsahnghong came to the earth and brought back the Passover of the New Covenant. By doing so, He has opened the way to the Kingdom of Heaven for mankind once again.
Learn more about the Passover, which is only kept only at the World Mission Society Church of God.