The Sacred Assemblies 2021 of the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Day of Resurrection
The Feasts of the New Covenant, Which Contain Hope and Blessings Like Spring Sunlight, Were Held Online All Around the World
As COVID-19 enters its second year, the sense of alienation and despair each individual feels due to isolation has worsened. However, hope is bound to bloom in the midst of trials just as spring comes after a cold winter. The Passover, which is celebrated every year, contains hope and promise like spring sunlight: the forgiveness of sins, salvation, and eternal life.
The Sacred Assembly of the Passover was held in 175 countries around the world on March 27 (the 14th day of the first month by the sacred calendar) at evening. The members of the Church of God all around the world celebrated the Passover online at home with their family members or individually while strictly adhering to COVID-19 prevention guidelines, wishing God’s blessings to reach out to all mankind suffering from COVID-19 and various other disasters. The Feast of Unleavened Bread on March 28 (the 15th day of the first month by the sacred calendar) and the Day of Resurrection on April 4 (the day after the first Sabbath following the Feast of Unleavened Bread) were also mostly kept online.
The Sacred Assembly of the Passover: the Promise of Eternal Life
The Passover contains God’s promise that He will let disasters pass over us, as we can easily guess the meaning from the literal expression of the word “Passover.” In the Old Testament times, the Israelites were freed from the long years of slavery in Egypt after keeping the Passover in obedience to God’s word and escaping from the plague of killing every firstborn. The Passover was the day of joy when they experienced God’s great power and gained freedom from the slavery. In the New Testament times, Jesus established the New Covenant through the Passover bread and wine, which represent His flesh and blood, and He allowed mankind bound in the chains of sins to receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life (Mt 26:17–28; Lk 22:7–20; Jn 6:53–58).
Through the online video, Mother prayed that blessings would be upon every child of God, who prepared for the holy ceremony of the Passover at home. She prayed wherever God’s children gathered in ones and twos in God’s name, God would bless them with salvation; She also prayed they would put into practice the love of leading many souls to salvation by preaching the gospel of the New Covenant, which contains the promise of God’s salvation.
General Pastor Kim Joo-cheol said, “Jesus, the reality of the Passover lamb sacrificed in the Old Testament times, gave His flesh and blood to His children to save them. Let’s give thanks to God for allowing us to walk toward the blessed future with the help of the holy body and precious blood of Christ, which we inherit through the Passover.” Furthermore, he encouraged the members by explaining the history of the Exodus, saying, “God has given us the privilege to call Them ‘Father’ and ‘Mother,’ so let us live with great hope and confidence, looking forward to the Kingdom of Heaven” (Ex 12:11–14; Jn 1:29; 1 Co 5:7–8; 1 Co 10:16–17; Ro 8:16).
The members conducted the Feet-Washing Ceremony at home with their family members before taking the Passover Holy Supper. They did so to follow the example of Jesus who personally washed the feet of His disciples before having the Holy Supper of the Passover (Jn 13:4–15). After the Feet-Washing Ceremony, they had the bread and wine of the Passover, cherishing the holy will of Christ.
The Sacred Assemblies of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Day of Resurrection: From the Suffering of the Cross to the Dawn of Resurrection
After Jesus kept the Passover with His disciples, He severely suffered and died on the cross the next day. Afterward, Jesus rose from the dead in three days and gave us hope for resurrection and transformation. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a day to commemorate the sacrifice of Christ who atoned for the sins of mankind, and the Day of Resurrection, the power of resurrection of Jesus.
On the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Day of Resurrection, Mother offered the prayers of thanks to Father for granting the heavenly children the promise of eternal life and the hope for resurrection by enduring all sorts of suffering and being sacrificed on the cross. Mother also prayed that Her children would repay God’s grace by practicing Father’s love and sacrifice and planting the heavenly hope in all human beings.
On the Feast of Unleavened Bread, General Pastor Kim Joo-cheol said, “Let us not forget the voice of God who said, ‘I’ve loved you to the end,’ even to the point of His last gasping breath on the cross. Let’s engrave His love on our hearts and follow Him by taking up each of our own cross and delivering love and hope to the whole world” (Lev 23:5–6; Ex 14:1–14; Lk 23:26–46; Mt 26:32–68; Ro 8:16–18; Isa 53:1–12; Mt 16:24–26; 1 Pe 4:12–14; Php 1:27–30). In the worship of the Resurrection Day, he repeatedly asked us to “plant hope in people in crisis since God planted the hope for resurrection and transformation in us who would only end up with death” (Lev 23:9–11; 1 Co 15:20; Mt 28:1–6; 1 Co 15:50–58; 1 Th 4:14–18; Mt 22:30; Php 3:20–21).
According God’s words, “The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast” (Mk 2:20), the members fasted on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, commemorating the suffering of Christ. On the Resurrection Day, the members broke bread at their homes according to the example of Jesus who appeared to His two disciples on the way to Emmaus and opened their spiritual eyes through the bread He blessed (Lk 24:1–31).
After keeping the feasts, the members prayed that all people have a season of hope under God’s promise. Sister Lorna (from the United Kingdom), who works as a nurse at a hospital for COVID-19 patients, said with fervor, “My heart ached, seeing patients suffer from COVID-19 and lose their lives. I will preach the truth of the New Covenant to people so that they can live under God’s protection.” Sister Akhona (from Cape Town, Rep. of South Africa) said, “Washing the feet of my family members, I learned that serving and consideration are the ways to practice love. I’d like to share the love I received from God with people who lost hope due to COVID-19.”