Have you ever heard about the Passover? Some might think of the Jewish Passover but there is the Passover established by Jesus Christ himself. It is often remembered as the last supper which is depicted in the Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “Last Supper.” Surprisingly, not many Christians know the important of this holy day. A day before He died, Jesus emphasized the Passover as follows:
Luke 22:15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
Why did Jesus eagerly desire to eat this Passover? Considering the fact that His only purpose was our salvation (Luke 19:10), this Passover should be closely related to salvation. Then, let’s learn top 10 reasons why this Passover is so crucial for us.
1. The Passover has the promise of eternal life
John 6:53-54 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, 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 them up at the last day.
Luke 22:13, 19-20 …So they prepared 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 poured out for you.
The first reason is that Jesus promised the blessing of eternal life through the Passover. Some people might say believing in Christ is enough but Christ did not say “Whoever believes has eternal life” but said “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.” Since he said that is the truth, we should not try to interpret it in any different way. The very day that Christ promised his flesh and blood is the Passover. Therefore, whoever keeps the Passover can receive eternal life.
2. The Passover has the promise of the forgiveness of sins
Matt 26:27-28 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.
The second reason is that the Passover has the promise of forgiveness of sins. The Bible describes us as sinners who have to die to pay for our sins (Rom 6:23). This means that we are not capable of getting rid of our sins on our own because that requires our own life. However, Christ took away our sins and died for us (John 1:29) and promised the forgiveness of sins on the Passover. Therefore, whoever wants to receive this grace must celebrate the Passover.
3. The Passover has the promise of the kingdom of heaven
Rev 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.”
The Bible says that the new heaven and new earth that we are going have no death or mourning or crying. This place is the kingdom of heaven. The biggest characteristic of heaven is no death. Therefore, with a mortal body we cannot go to the kingdom of heaven. Only after receiving eternal life through the Passover, can we enter heaven. After Israelites came out of Egypt, they wandered in desert for 40 years. Yet, after they kept the Passover, they could enter the land of Canaan. In the book of Hebrews, Apostle Paul interpreted the event of entering Canaan as that of entering the kingdom of heaven (Heb 4). Therefore, keeping the Passover is very essential for going to the kingdom of heaven.
4. The Passover has the promise of salvation
1 Pet 1:9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
According to the Bible, salvation is something we must achieve at the end of our life of faith. If we fail to achieve it, it is not too much to say our life of faith has no meaning. Then we should take this matter seriously and make efforts to find out how to receive salvation. First of all, why do we need salvation? The Bible says that the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). Is there any human being who doesn’t die? Everyone does. That means no one is free from sin and death. Therefore, salvation for us is the free from sin and death. Through the Passover, we could receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life, the life without death. Whoever wants to receive salvation should keep the Passover.
5. The Passover makes us become one body with Christ
1 Cor 10:16-17 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.
The Bible says that by participating in the bread and wine, we can become one body with Christ. We, human beings, cannot go to the kingdom of heaven by ourselves but by becoming one body with Christ who is the owner of the kingdom of heaven. We can participate in the same body and blood through the Passover so therefore we must celebrate the Passover to become one body with Christ.
6. The Passover is the way to keep the first commandment
What is the first commandment in the Bible?
Matt 22:37-38 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
The first commandment is to love God with all our heart and soul and mind. Then, how can we keep this command? We can find the answer in the book of 2 Kings.
2 Kings 23:21-25 The king gave this order to all the people: “Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” Neither in the days of the judges who led Israel nor in the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah had any such Passover been observed… Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.
King Josiah received the credit from God for keeping the first commandment. The only thing he did differently was to celebrate the Passover, that had not been kept for a long time. The Passover makes us love true God only by destroying all others gods (Exo 12:10-12). Therefore, we must celebrate the Passover to keep the most important commandment in the Bible.
7. The Passover contains the love and sacrifice of God
The Passover is often called the last supper because it was the last meal he had with disciples before he died. However, the Passover is not just the last meal but has much more significance for our salvation. It is the day when He promised His flesh and blood through which we can receive eternal life. In order to fulfill this promise, He actually tore His flesh and shed His blood by going through flogging, torture and crucifixion. Some of you might have watched the movie “Passion of Christ” that vividly describes the pain and suffering He experienced until crucifixion. His great suffering was the love for us who deserve to die due to our sins. Whoever believes in God should not reject this great love contained in the Passover.
8. Passover can protect us from disasters
Now we can easily see many types of disasters occurring all over the world. There are natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, drought and man-made disasters such as war and terrorist attacks not to mention the last disaster prophesied in the Bible. Scientists and doctors are making every effort to make this world a safer place but it is impossible to prevent all these disasters. Rather, there have been more serious disasters in recent times. The Passover has the promise of protection from disasters.
Exo 12:11-13 …it is the Lord’s 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.
The blood means the Passover lamb’s blood which was painted on the doorframe. God promised that disasters would not come near those who kept the Passover. In the New Testament, we need to keep the new covenant Passover in order to receive the same blessing of protection.
9. True disciples of Christ must celebrate the Passover
Matt 26:18-19 … 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.
Jesus directed his disciples to keep the Passover, which means the Passover is something disciples must celebrate. When He ascended to heaven, He commanded his disciples to make new disciples by teaching them everything He commanded.
Matt 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…
The Passover is clearly a teaching that Christ commanded while He was with disciples. Therefore, true disciples of Christ must celebrate the Passover and teach the Passover.
10. The Passover is the way to return to God
2 Chr 30:1-10 Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, inviting them to come to the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel…People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left…
In the time of King Hezekiah, as the king urged North Israelites who had been committing idolatry to come and keep the Passover together, he said, “Return to God.” However, North Israelites refused to keep the Passover and as a result were destroyed by Assyrian army. This means that the only way to return to God is to celebrate the Passover. If you want to repent of our past sins and come closer to God, why don’t you keep the Passover?
There are more reasons to keep the Passover but for the sake of time and the title of this post, let me just keep them 10. I hope readers understand the importance of the Passover better through this post.