God established the Passover to destroy the devil and give His children eternal life. Whoever dwells in Zion knows well the importance of the Passover. Now, we need to consider more carefully why disasters pass over us when we celebrate the Passover.
What is the true meaning of the Passover? What is the source of the power of the Passover to liberate us from disasters? Let’s study over these matters through the Bible, with a humble and modest attitude before God.
Passover is God’s appointed feast, which was established over 3500 years ago. When the Israelites lived as slaves in Egypt, God commanded Pharaoh to release Israel from Egypt. However, he refused God’s command, and God brought ten plagues upon Egypt. The tenth plague, the slaying of the firstborn, was about to fall upon Egypt on the night of the fourteenth day of the first month in the sacred calendar: God let the plague of death pass over the houses that had the blood of the Passover lamb on the sides and tops of the doorframes. This was the day of the Passover.
“This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’S Passover. On that same 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.”Ex 12:11-13
That day, all the firstborn of Egypt were killed, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon. In Egypt there was not a house without someone dead (Ex 12:29-30). However, the Israelites, who painted the lamb’s blood on the doorposts and lintels of their houses, were saved from the plague of the firstborn in Egypt.
When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.Ex 12:23
Here, we need to carefully consider why the plague of death passed over the people of Israel. It was not because of the people celebrating the Passover that the plague passed over, but because of the blood of the Passover lamb. Neither a wise man’s house nor a rich man’s house full of worldly treasures nor an influential royal family’s palace could escape the plague. Only the house marked with the blood of the Passover lamb was saved from the plague.
It is because of the blood of the Passover Lamb in us that we can escape disasters, not because we ourselves who celebrate the Passover are powerful. We have to carefully consider this: Because God protects us and wraps us with His invisible love and grace, all disasters are avoided, evil gods are judged, and we are redeemed from this sinful world. So, do not just consider the Passover itself, but feel the hand of God who guards and protects us through the Passover.
Let me tell you a fable. One day a fox met a tiger. The fox told the tiger, “Do you know that animals fear me more than you?” He claimed that he was the most dreadful animal in the forest.
The tiger, who claimed to be king of the animals, was amazed at the audacity of the beast that seemed to fall down if he kicked him once with his hind leg. Then the fox told him, “If you do not believe me, then follow me to the forest. You will see whether or not all the beasts fear me.”
The fox said confidently to the tiger. Being suspicious, the tiger followed on the heels of the fox. As the fox walked along with the tiger, the animals were all terribly frightened and ran away. All the beasts―small ones like rabbits and even bears, huge and strong―fled away.
“Now you can see for yourself. There’s no animal that is not afraid of me.”
The fox said proudly. But actually, the beasts were fleeing the tiger himself and not the fox marching before him.
Sometimes we see a similar thing happen around us. Some adults are weak-kneed and fearful even before children. In this case, their parents are financially well off and influential. Actually, they do not fear the children themselves, but their background.
The devil our enemy can do us no harm and retreats when we preach the truth. It is because of the blood of the Passover Lamb in us. God’s judgment were brought upon all the gods of Egypt on the Passover. From this we can see that what the devil fears most is the blood of the Passover Lamb.
The apostles testified that Christ is the reality of the Passover lamb.
Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast―as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival…1 Co 5:7-8
The Bible tells us that we are to celebrate the Festival, the Passover, for Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us, shedding His precious blood. It is really not because we are great and powerful that the devil fears us, but because the precious blood of Christ is given to us.
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.1 Pe 1:18-19
『In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace』Eph 1:7
It is not with our wisdom and knowledge that we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, but through the blood of Christ. The Bible tells us that salvation does not come from us, but only through the precious blood of Christ.
If we consider that we come to salvation because of the blood of Christ sacrificed for us, we can understand why we should obey God’s will and humble ourselves before God.
Concerning the blood of the Passover Lamb with which we are redeemed from the empty way of life and from sin and death, Jesus taught us as follows:
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. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him… so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.”1 Jn 6:53-57
Not only disasters but even sin and death flee from us by the blood of Christ. To put His precious blood into us, God has given us the Passover, the truth of life.
“‘… 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… While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered 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.”Mt 26:17-19, 26-28
… Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “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 poured out for you.”Lk 22:7-8, 19-20
The Passover is the covenant God has established through His own blood. Without the blood of the Passover Lamb, we can neither escape disasters nor repel the devil. So Christ, the reality of the Passover lamb, has given us the Passover bread and wine as His flesh and blood. He has promised that if we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we remain in Him, and He in us.
Nevertheless, many churches today claim that the Passover doesn’t have to be observed. Are they right? Without the blood of the Passover Lamb, we are apt to be attacked by Satan. For this reason, God has told that if anyone does not celebrate the Passover, he must be cut off from God’s people.
“Tell the Israelites: ‘When any of you or your descendants are unclean because of a dead body or are away on a journey, they may still celebrate the LORD’S Passover… But if a man who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, that person must be cut off from his people because he did not present the LORD’S offering at the appointed time. That man will bear the consequences of his sin.’”Nu 9:10-13
If anyone is cut off from God’s people, he will fail to escape disasters and be saved―he will be destined to hell. In the Old Testament times, God’s people could escape the plagues by putting the blood of the Passover lamb on the doorposts and lintels of their houses. In the New Testament times, we can be saved from disasters by eating the flesh of Jesus―the Passover Lamb―and drinking His blood. So God clearly says that without keeping the Passover nobody can be God’s people―he must be cut off from God’s people.
Why does the precious blood of Christ have the power to make disasters pass over? Because it contains His extreme love and sacrifice. The prophet Isaiah prophesied the appearance of Jesus who would come 700 years later as follows:
… He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.Isa 53:1-12
We ourselves sinned, but Christ Himself bore the penalty for our sins. Bearing our sins, He was pierced and His body was torn with thorns; He willingly laid down His life for us on the cross. In this He demonstrated His own self-sacrificial love for us. He shed His precious blood for proof that He loved us. So, the destroying angel and even the devil our wicked enemy who know such a story very well, dare not touch us.
In the blood of the Passover covenant is included the love of Christ who has given us life by suffering the extreme pain of His flesh being torn and His blood being shed. All things are subjected to the blood of His sublime sacrifice, to His sacred love.
With such sacrificial blood we are sealed. By the power of the blood, all disasters pass over us.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling―even the LORD, who is my refuge―then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;Ps 91:7-11
The blood of the Passover lamb in the Old Testament was put on the doorframes and lintels of their houses. In the New Testament, however, the blood of the Passover Lamb is marked on our foreheads and hearts through the new covenant. So, even if the destroying angel comes near us, when he sees the blood of Christ in us, he passes over us. A thousand may fall at our side, ten thousand at our right hand, no disaster comes near us who are sealed by the precious blood of the Lamb in the truth of the Passover, the new covenant. That’s why we can be saved from disasters through the Passover.
We are here today owing to the extreme suffering of Christ. Considering this, we have nothing to boast about in the presence of God. We are nothing, absolutely nothing. What is really great and dreadful is the sacrificial blood of the Passover Lamb that makes us become the children of the everlasting kingdom of heaven. So we must not become conceited or proud in heart.
For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?1 Co 4:7
It is foolish for us to hold ourselves at the center of our faith. We can not boast of ourselves; everything we have comes from God: our knowledge, wisdom, good understanding of the Bible, and so on. Those who understand this always cherish the love of Christ; they are patient and kind; they do not boast; they are not proud, just as it is written in 1 Corinthians 13. However, those who forget such mighty grace become conceited or arrogant. The Bible says that God will weep in secret because of our pride.
Some ask, “Does it matter whether or not we commit any sin as we celebrate the Passover?” They greatly misunderstand the Bible. The precious blood of the Passover Lamb is the eraser that removes our sin. On the contrary, our sin dishonors the precious blood of Christ. God has forgiven all our sins, committed in heaven, through the precious blood of Christ. How dare we dishonor and insult the precious blood? If we do, His blood is no more effective for us. Though one’s name is written in the book of life, it may be blotted out of it. So the Bible tells us to hold fast what we have, so that no one will take our crown―the crown of life.
We are to cherish the precious blood of Christ, given to us by His sublime grace. We are most proud of having the forgiveness of sins and eternal life through the Passover. However, what good is it if we do not understand the sacrificial love contained in it? Thinking of the grace and love God has given us, we children of Zion shall give thanks in everything and be joyful always.
We should preach the gospel to all people around the world who still do not know the Passover and are fallen away from salvation and the grace of God, so that they may also cherish the precious blood of Christ in them. We are all here today because of the precious blood of our heavenly Father and Mother, given to us through Their sacrifice. With a more humble heart, let us always give glory to our heavenly Father and Mother and receive abundant blessing.