Passover: The Way to Eternal Life
Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ taught us the way to receive 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 6:53-54 (NLT)
Christ clearly explained that unless we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we cannot have eternal life within us; eating His flesh and drinking His blood is the only way.
Of course, Christ did not mean this literally. He promised His body and blood through the New Covenant 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.”
This promise of Christ’s body through the bread and Christ’s blood through the wine took place of the evening of the Passover.
Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.”
Luke 22:7-8 (NLT)
Celebrating the Passover was Christ’s last wish before enduring extreme suffering on the cross.
Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.”
Luke 22:15 (NLT)
He felt this way about the New Covenant Passover because it fulfilled His mission on the earth: giving eternal life to His people.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Christ’s earnest heart is reason alone to celebrate the New Covenant Passover with the bread and wine that represent Christ’s body and blood even to this very day.
Power of the Passover in Egypt
God knows the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10). And to let us, living in this age, understand the power and great blessing contained in the Passover, He prepared examples seen throughout history.
“That [Passover] night I will go through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn animals and people in the land of Egypt. I will also punish all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. But the [Passover] blood will be a sign on the houses where you are. When I see the [Passover] blood, I will pass over you. Nothing terrible will hurt you when I punish the land of Egypt.”
Exodus 12:12 (NCV)
To free the Israelites from slavery and guard them from the plague of the death of the firstborn, God commanded them to celebrate the Passover. Though all the firstborn of Egypt died, the Israelites were protected because they celebrated the Passover just as God had commanded them. The Passover became a sign of God’s people to protect them from any and all harm throughout the generations.
Power of the Passover in Israel
In the time when the land of Israel was divided in two—North Israel and South Judah—God again demonstrated the great power of the Passover.
At God’s command, King Hezekiah, ruler of South Judah’s one-and-a-half tribes, invited people of both South Judah and North Israel to celebrate the Passover. However, the ten-and-a-half tribes of North Israel rejected this invitation. One small nation came under the protection of God, while a large nation disregarded God’s protection through the Passover and instead relied on their own strength (2 Chr 30).
Later, North Israel, which refused to celebrate the Passover, was destroyed by foreign invaders.
This happened because they had not obeyed the LORD their God, but had violated his covenant—all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded. They neither listened to the commands nor carried them out.
2 Kings 18:12
After Assyria conquered North Israel with ease, it tried to do the same to South Judah. However, since Judah kept the Passover, God fought on behalf of Judah.
“I [God] will defend and save this city [Jerusalem in Judah] for my sake and for the sake of David, my servant.” That night the angel of the LORD went out and killed one hundred eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up early the next morning, they saw all the dead bodies. So Sennacherib king of Assyria left and went back to Nineveh and stayed there.
2 Kings 19:34-36 (NCV)
Judah came under God’s protection because the people of that nation celebrated the Passover, in obedience to God’s command.
God documented Israel’s history in the Bible and through it, God teaches us the importance of obeying His commands, including the Passover.
Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
Romans 15:4 (NLT)
Through those two examples, God gives us confidence in the Passover. He builds our faith to trust in the power of the Passover, not only for protection but most importantly for Christ’s promise of eternal life. Visit your nearest World Mission Society Church of God to learn more about God’s promises of protection, salvation and eternal life through the New Covenant Passover.