These days, a lot of news about disasters is on TV. Probably because of that, I am often reminded of the Passover that enables us to escape disasters.
The more frequently we hear the news of disasters, the more precious the message of salvation sounds. The Passover is, as the name explains itself, a feast that makes disasters pass over us.
Were there actual cases where people were protected from disasters by keeping the Passover?
Of course! About 3,500 years ago, such a case happened when the Passover was kept for the first time.
“The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight···. 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.”
On the day of the great disaster when all the firstborn of men and of the livestock were destroyed in the land of Egypt, the Israelites who had kept the Passover were protected.
I heard about ten plagues in Egypt, but never knew that the Israelites were saved by keeping the Passover. But isn’t the promise of the Passover only for that time?
The Passover is God’s promise valid in all ages. When Israel was divided into two kingdoms—Judah in the south and Israel in the north, Hezekiah the king of Judah sent couriers to Israel in the north, as well as to the people of Judah, to keep the Passover that had not been kept for a long time. But the northern Israelites scorned and ridiculed the couriers who had brought the important message. Eventually, only Judah kept the Passover. Let me show you what happened as a result.
“… Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it. At the end of three years the Assyrians took it. So Samaria was captured in Hezekiah’s sixth year, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel···. This happened because they had not obeyed the LORD their God, but had violated his covenant (Passover)—all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded. They neither listened to the commands nor carried them out.”
2 King 18:9–12
The kingdom of Israel, which did not keep the Passover, was destroyed in the end.
Then, was the kingdom of Judah, which kept the Passover, protected by God?
Certainly! God Himself sent His angel to destroy the Assyrian soldiers who tried to attack Judah.
“ ‘Once more a remnant of the house of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above···. I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’ That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!”
2 King 19:30–35
In fact, Judah was weaker than Israel in military power. Nevertheless, the people of Judah were able to protect their kingdom because they kept the Passover containing God’s promise.
Wow! I didn’t know the power of the Passover is that great.
God’s promise is sure. How they were protected by celebrating the Passover in the past is God’s teaching for us living in this age; God is asking us to keep the Passover and be protected.
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us …”
By the way, has the way to keep the Passover changed? Why do we not slaughter lambs now?
In this age, we no longer slaughter lambs to keep the Passover. Jesus granted us the Passover of the new covenant which we can keep easily.
“And he said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.’ … 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.’ ”
Luke 22:15, 19–20
The Church of God is known as the only church that keeps the Passover according to the teachings of the Bible. In this Church of God, we can keep the Passover fully according to the will of God.
I, too, will keep the Passover of the new covenant without fail and be protected. At the thought that God always keeps me safe, I feel reassured.
I am glad that I could recommend you to keep the Passover together as Hezekiah did. I thank God for allowing me to deliver this good news.