The Sacred Assemblies of the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Resurrection Day in 2019
Blessings of Forgiveness of Sins, Eternal Life, and Hope of Resurrection
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations . . . and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mt 28:18–20
The seven feasts in three times in 2019 have begun with the sacred assembly of the Passover on the evening of April 18 (the fourteenth day of the first month by the sacred calendar.) On the following day on April 19 (the fifteenth day of the first month by the sacred calendar,) the Feast of Unleavened Bread was held, and the Resurrection day was held on April 21 (the very next day from the first Sabbath after the Feast of Unleavened Bread.) The Church of God members in 175 countries all together kept the feasts of the new covenant, following the example of Christ.
The Passover: receiving the right to become children of God
The Passover is of two rituals that are feet-washing ceremony and Holy Supper ceremony. Feet-washing ceremony is a ritual where we follow the example of Christ who washed the feet of His disciples before taking the bread and wine of the Passover. The members conducted the feet-washing ceremony with a humble mind for the brothers and sisters in obedience to Jesus’ word, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet” (Jn 13:14–15), before they took the bread and wine of the Passover.
During the worship service of the Passover at the New Jerusalem Pangyo Temple, Mother deeply thanked Father for giving His flesh and blood to grant the blessing of forgiveness of sins to God’s children, who were on the way to eternal death due to their sins committed in heaven. She prayed that Her children might realize God’s holy love contained in the Passover bread and wine, and learn to share love by saving souls through the word of life.
General Pastor Kim Joo-cheol reminded the members of the meaning and the value of the Passover, saying, “Jesus taught us that those who inherit God’s flesh and blood can become God’s children to receive eternal life. Such a blessing of eternal life is contained in the bread and wine of the Passover.” He emphasized the value of the Passover, saying, “Peter, John, Paul, and the members of the early church preached the truth of salvation even in Europe, having realized its full value. Let’s keep the Passover with gratitude, realizing the will of Jesus who established the new covenant for our salvation” (Lk 22:7–15, 19–20; 1 Co 11:22–26; Jn 6:53–56; 2 Co 6:17–18; 1 Co 15:45–58). The members cherished God’s holy will in their mind while eating and drinking the bread and wine of the Passover.
After the worship service was over, Mother requested all the members to preach the good news of salvation with God’s love and a sense of responsibility to all mankind, saying, “The greatest love is to lead mortal beings to eternal life.”
Feast of Unleavened Bread: participating in Christ’s sacrifice and engrave it on our hearts
Christ had to be sacrificed to give the forgiveness of sins and salvation to mankind through the Passover. He was sacrificed on the cross to redeem us from our sins; He even gave His own life on the day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Mother prayed to thank Father for opening the way to salvation by enduring insult and pain in the thorny clothe of the flesh to save heavenly children from eternal death and lead them to the kingdom of eternal life. And She eagerly prayed that Her children might realize why God had to endure all the pains. She wanted them to make resolutions not to commit sins, and repay God for His grace.
General Pastor Kim Joo-cheol said, “Jesus had to suffer for our sins and iniquities. Let’s never forget that Christ endured all insult and pain in order to save us; let’s never give up on our hope for the kingdom of heaven so that we may make Christ’s love and sacrifice meaningful. And let’s faithfully follow the commands of Christ by leading spiritual sinners to repentance like Apostle Paul did. Apostle Paul cherished the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and devoted himself to preaching the gospel” (Lk 23:26–46; Isa 53:1–12; 1 Jn 4:7–21; Mt 27:27–50; Gal 6:17).
The members gave thanks for the sacrifice of Christ who did not hesitate to take the suffering on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins and salvation of all men. They went on a fast to participate in Christ’s suffering. Fasting on the Feast of Unleavened Bread comes from the verse, “But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast” (Mk 2:20).
Resurrection Day: having hope for resurrection and transformation into heavenly beings
Resurrection day is a holy and majestic day when Jesus destroyed the power of death by rising from the dead on the third day from his death. On April 21, the members of the Church of God celebrated the sacred assembly of the Resurrection Day and thought of the glory of Christ who was resurrected on the day 2,000 years ago, Mother thanked Father for giving hope for resurrection to all people by rising from the dead; She prayed for all Her children to have their spiritual eyes opened, realize the value of the truth and the glory of resurrection, so that they may live the remaining life of faith with hope.
General Pastor Kim Joo-cheol said firmly, “Jesus’ resurrection was a historic event to give conviction of resurrection and eternal life to all people: not only those who were in great sorrow by witnessing Jesus’ suffering, but also all people who were in despair at the thought that their life on this earth was the end of their life.” And he took an example of the transformation of cicadas and dragon flies from their larvae into adults to explain the concept of resurrection and transformation. He said, “From the perspective of men, it is difficult to believe in the power of resurrection and transformation, but God proved such power through the work of Jesus. So let’s believe in the prophecy that we will be transformed into angelic bodies to enjoy eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. Let’s deliver this good news to all people so that we may receive much blessing together” (Mt 28:1–10; 1 Co 15:17–24, 44–53; Lk 24:13–34; Jn 11:24–27; 1 Th 4:13–18; Job 25:4–6; Jn 20:1–19).
After the worship service was over, Mother explained in detail about the principle of the feasts whereby we can participate in the glory of resurrection and transformation (1 Co 15:44–52) if we receive the promise of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life through the Passover. She cheered up the members, saying, “Let’s diligently share the blessing of salvation with our global villagers now that we have received it under God’s boundless love and sacrifice.”
That day, the members broke bread, following the example of Christ who blessed and shared bread to open the spiritual eyes of His two disciples on the way to Emmaus after His resurrection. The members, having kept the feasts of the new covenant, were much motivated to lead the seven billion people to eternal life, being grateful for salvation and hope for the kingdom of heaven.