Our Church of God celebrates the Passover every year. Some people say, “Faith is more important than formalities in the life of faith.” Can you tell me why I should keep the Passover?
We keep the Passover because we believe in God. Let me give you an example. What if a patient does not do what the doctor says though he says he trusts the doctor? If the patient trusts the doctor, he will follow the doctor’s prescription. Likewise, if we who are sinners believe in God the Savior, it is natural for us to obey the law of the forgiveness of sins which God commanded us to keep.
You mean because we believe in God, we must obey the words, right?
Yes. The Passover is a precious commandment we must keep as God’s children, because it’s the feast Jesus Himself, the role model of our faith, commanded us to keep (cf. John 13:15).
“He replied, ‘Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, “The Teacher says: 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 [wine], 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.’ ”
Jesus commanded His disciples to prepare the Passover and kept it together. Jesus is God who came to the earth to save us (Philippians 2:5–8). Whoever believes in God must follow the examples God has set us.
I’m a little curious about why God tells us to keep the Passover.
The Passover has many meanings in it, but in short, God wants to give us eternal life.
“I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life …” 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… .”
Whoever eats and drinks the flesh and blood of Jesus who is immortal can have eternal life. The way to eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood is the Passover. In conclusion, when you keep the Passover, you come to eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood, and thus you receive eternal life.
If we receive eternal life, do we live forever on the earth?
Eternal life God has promised is for our souls to live forever in a new heaven and a new earth. With our mortal body, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, no matter how earnestly we want to, because heaven is the place of no death.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea … ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain …’ ”
In order for us to go to heaven where there is no death, we must have the immortal body. God has put the promise of eternal life in the Passover. Whoever keeps the Passover gets qualified to have the immortal body and enter heaven. That’s why Jesus Himself set the example of keeping the Passover and directed His disciples to keep it.
Now I can understand. So, the Passover is the way to heaven.
All the commandments of God were established to wash away our sins and take us to heaven. When we keep the Passover in obedience to the words of God, we can go to heaven.
I see. Now that I’ve learned why God told us to keep the Passover, I think I will be able to keep the coming Passover more sincerely. I cannot wait to keep the Passover!