Many people may hear “Passover” and immediately think of a Jewish feast celebrated in the spring. However, the Passover is not just a feast significant to only the Jewish religion, but it is an important feast for Christians as well. In fact, it is an important feast for all those who want to enter the kingdom of heaven. God gave the Passover as a command to all of His people, whether Jews or Gentiles. And it contains endless blessings and promises of God.
The First Passover
God established the Passover for the first time during the time of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. The Israelites, who were God’s chosen people, were slaves in Egypt for 430 years. They asked God relentlessly for freedom and God granted it to them through the Passover.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt . . . Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household . . . Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.
God gave special instructions to the people of Israel to slaughter a lamb on the fourteenth day of the first month. This was to show God’s miraculous power throughout the land of Egypt.
God Protects Us Through the Passover
“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people 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.”
That very night, God struck Egypt with the plague of the firstborn. Every firstborn throughout the land died—from the firstborn of every animal to the firstborn of Pharaoh. But those who celebrated the Passover did not die; God protected those who followed His command. And not only did God protect them, but He freed the Israelites from slavery the same night.
This protection through the Passover applies not only to the Israelites of that time, but even to us today. When we celebrate the Passover, God protects us from disasters. That is why God commanded His people to continue celebrating this important feasts for the generations to come on the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight.
“This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time.”
Exodus 12:14 (NLT)
The Passover contains God’s endless love for His people, so He made it an everlasting command for our protection.
The New Covenant Passover
When Jesus Christ came to the earth 2,000 years ago, He had one purpose.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
Luke 19:10 (NLT)
those who know they are sinners.”
Matthew 9:13 (NLT)
The Bible says that humans were originally born in the kingdom of heaven. But because of our sins, we were sent to this earth to eventually face death. However, Christ came to the earth in human likeness to save us, sinners. While living on this earth, not only did He preach repentance but He established the way for us to receive the forgiveness of sins—the Passover.
So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
In the Old Testament, God commanded His people to celebrate the Passover by slaughtering a lamb. Meanwhile, in the New Testament, Christ commanded His disciples to celebrate the Passover with bread and wine. And this bread and wine are His body and blood. So no longer was the sacrifice of animal required because Christ Himself became the Passover sacrifice for His people (1 Cor 5:7). In this way, He gave us the forgiveness of sins, ultimately granting us eternal life.
So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day.
John 6:53 (NLT)
By establishing the New Covenant Passover, Christ fulfilled what He came to the earth to do. He gave us, sinners, forgiveness of sins and eternal life so that we could go back to the kingdom of heaven.
The Passover in Our Time
Throughout history, God has shown great miracles through the Passover. In the time of the exodus, God protected the Israelites from death and freed them from slavery through the Passover. In the time of Jesus Christ, God gave us the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life through the New Covenant Passover. In our age, too, God shows His endless love for us through the Passover.
Although Christ established the Passover nearly 2,000 years ago, Roman Emperor Constantine abolished the feast in A.D. 325 through the Council of Nicaea. And for 1,600 years, the people of God could not celebrate the Passover. In fact, the teaching was lost and no one knew the way to enter heaven.
However, God promised that He would come a second time to this earth to establish the way of salvation.
On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever.
The Bible prophesied that God Himself would establish the New Covenant Passover on this earth once again to give His people life, though it was abolished for 1,600 years. And today, the World Mission Society Church of God celebrates the New Covenant Passover that God established. The Passover contains God’s promises of protection from disaster, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life. Visit your local Church of God to study more in depth about the New Covenant Passover and how you, too, can celebrate it.