The Passover is important for those who believe in God since it is the key truth leading to salvation. The Bible says that the goal of our faith is the salvation of our souls (1 Pe 1:8–9). The souls who do not be saved will die in hell because of their sins (Ro 6:23; Rev 20:12–15). Salvation of the soul is to escape from death and receive eternal life. God promised eternal life to His people (1 Jn 2:25), and also taught them how to receive eternal life. That is the Passover of the New Covenant.
The Passover Is God’s Command
Another reason the Passover is important is that God established it. In the Old Testament times, God the Father Jehovah commanded His people to commemorate the Passover for the generations to come as a lasting ordinance.
“[I]t is the LORD’s Passover . . . 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. This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance.”Ex 12:11–14
In the New Testament times too, God the Son Jesus commanded His people to keep the Passover.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” . . . So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.Mt 26:17–19
The Passover is an important feast that God commanded to celebrate in all ages. In the Old Testament times, the primary purpose of God commanding to keep the Passover was to emancipate the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, and His ultimate goal was to lead them to Canaan. It is the same in the New Testament times. God commanded His people to keep the Passover in order to emancipate them from slavery to sin and death, and finally lead them to the Kingdom of Heaven, the spiritual Canaan.
Importance of the Passover: Key Truth of Eternal Life
“[U]nless 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 . . .”Jn 6:53‒54
Jesus said that those who eat His flesh and drink His blood will have eternal life. He also taught the way to eat His flesh and drink His blood.
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed . . . When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 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.”Lk 22:7–20
Jesus said that the Passover bread is His flesh and the Passover wine is His blood. Only when we keep the Passover of the New Covenant, we can eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood and receive eternal life. If we do not keep the Passover, we can never have eternal life as He said, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”
God already appointed the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month by the sacred calendar as the Passover (Lev 23:4–5). Jesus waited for this day and kept the Passover of the New Covenant with His disciples in the evening (Mt 26:19–20). Jesus wanted to keep the Passover with them before He suffered (Lk 22:15). The Passover was kept on the night before He was sacrificed on the cross (1 Co 11:23).
Today, most churches equate the Passover with the Day of Resurrection. However, the date of the Passover Jesus kept to set us an example is totally different from the day when He was resurrected. The bread and wine we eat and drink on any other day than the Passover cannot be the flesh and blood of Jesus. As Jesus set us an example, only the bread and wine we eat and drink in the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month by the sacred calendar, become Jesus’ flesh and blood, which contain the promise of eternal life.
Leading to Heaven Through the Passover
In order to give us eternal life through the Passover bread and wine representing His flesh and blood, God Himself had to be sacrificed. Why did God desire to give us eternal life, enduring all suffering and sacrifice? We can get the answer to this when we understand what Heaven is like.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”Rev 21:4
Heaven is a place where there is no more death. Therefore, those who will die someday will never be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is why Jesus eagerly desired to give us eternal life. He commanded to keep the Passover in order to make human beings, who were destined to die, immortal beings and take them to Heaven. We cannot look forward to the Kingdom of Heaven if we do not keep the Passover against God’s commands.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”Mt 7:21
In the Old and New Testaments, God’s will for us was to keep the Passover. Only those who keep the Passover in obedience to God’s will can enter the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. The saints of the early Church, who lived according to the will of God, kept the Passover of the New Covenant.
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 word “Therefore” here means “Because Christ, our Passover lamb, was sacrificed on the Cross.” Apostle Paul did not say that we do not need to keep the Passover because Jesus was sacrificed on the cross. Rather, he meant that because Jesus, who is the reality of the Passover lamb, was sacrificed on the cross, we must keep the Passover.
The New Covenant Passover contains the great love of God who wants to lead us to Heaven. Just as the early Church kept the Passover even after Jesus was sacrificed on the cross, we must keep the Passover of the New Covenant in this age too, if we want to live a true life of faith and achieve salvation of our souls.