Bible study. New Testament
Jesus Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed for us(1Cor.5:7)
Box of answers – for everyone
Nowadays Passover is celebrated in different ways: Some see in it beautiful Easter cakes, decorated eggs and the resurrection of Jesus Christ; some partake of the unleavened bread and drink of the red wine and remember the death of Christ, while others just look at unleavened bread and red wine and do not partake of these emblems.
Can the commandments regarding the same event- Passover- be so different?
Since Passover is a Biblical command, lets find out from the Bible how and why to commemorate this event, what it gives us, and what are the dangers of a wrong attitude to this event – for those who having the opportunity to learn all about the procedure of the Passover from the Scripture – do not do it.
A detailed history of this 3.5 thousand-year-old event is described in the book of Exodus, chapter 12. A brief history is as follows: Passover is a lamb without blemish, roasted in fire on Aviv 14 (Nissan, De.16:1;Es.3:7 ) which Israel had to eat in haste with unleavened bread and bitter herbs – before escaping from Egypt at night. (Ge.15:13,14, Ex.12:8-14, Mr.14:12).
The blood of the lamb was used to save the lives of the firstborn of Israel who were threatened with death during Jehovah’s judgments on the gods of Egypt. The Israelites were to splash it on their two doorposts and on the upper part of the doorway of their houses. Whoever did not splash– «was visited» by death. The Passover lamb paid with his life for the lives of the firstborn.
The destroying angel, seeing the marks on the doorposts, (God acts through angels, 2Ki. 24:16) passed over the houses of Israelites and did not strike them. Therefore, to commemorate this significant event Jehovah called the day of the sacrificial death of the lamb — the Passover. Literally means «pass over”.
This is how the blood of the lamb saved the firstborn of Israel and “caused death” to pass over their houses in Egypt.
Through these actions, declared to Israel, God, as it were, “purchased” for Himself the firstborn of Israel, paying the blood of the lamb to the destroying angel. Figuratively giving “death» His lamb instead of all the firstborn. (All animals are His creation and property) (Ex.12:12, 21b, 22-24; Nu.3:13).
The rest of the Israelites would not have been affected by the judgment of Jehovah on the gods of Egypt. However, for the sake of the firstborn who were redeemed from death — all the other Israelites also were able to escape from Egyptian slavery, not only the firstborn. God needed the ENVIRONMENT of His people that “delivers” the firstborn to Him.
Later it became clear why Jehovah needed the firstborn. When He replaced them with the loyal tribe of Levi (Ex.32:26), He revealed that the firstborn were necessary for His temple. The Levites were instructed to cleanse the people of God from sin through temple service to Jehovah. This gave Israel the opportunity to get closer to God, Who is far away from the wicked (Nu.8:14-19; Pr.15 29)
It is not difficult to guess that all these events happened for a reason: they were types for the future (Heb.10:1). Jesus Christ was to become the Passover for Jehovah’s people to open the era of the New Testament, to «purchase» spiritual firstborn for the heavenly temple of God, and for the sake of their appearance in the era of the New Testament -to free all potential people of Jehovah from the slavery of sin (1Cor.5:7 ;6:20; Rev.14:4; Joh.8:34,36; Ro.6:22).
Meanwhile, Israel was shown that Passover would become the most important event in their lives. In memory of the Passover, God made the month of Nisan — the first in the year (Ex.12:2; De.16:1). If it was not for the Passover event, all the people of Israel, capable of providing Jehovah with firstborn, could not have entered into the covenant with Jehovah and the Old Testament would not have been instituted. Why not?
In order to enter into a covenant with God, all people of Israel, from whom the firstborn were expected, must have been free: Jehovah would not have entered into a covenant with the slaves of another spiritual master-the Egyptian pharaoh, whom Egypt worshiped as their god (Mt.6:24).
Because of the sacrificial death of the Passover lamb, Israel is free from slavery in Egypt and can enter into a covenant with Jehovah after going through “water baptism”.
Similarly, in order to enter into the New Covenant with His new future people who «delivers spiritual firstborn”, – First, Jehovah, through the Passover-Jesus, freed all His future servants from the slavery of sin (Rom.6:22). And with the free people, who got baptized in water. it was possible to institute the New Covenant (It came into force on the 50th day after the Passover, Ac.2:1-4)
So, the ancient Passover, having freed the descendants of Jacob / Israel from the slavery of Egypt, paved the way for the institution of the Old Testament with Jehovah (on the 50th day after the release from Egypt’s slavery, Ex.16:1,19:1) It gave them the opportunity to acquire their literal promised land, cultivate it and to gather two harvests: early harvest (wheat in early summer), and late harvest (everything else in autumn, Ex.23:16; 34:22).
Similarly, the new Passover, Jesus Christ, paved the way for the new people of Jehovah to enter into the New Testament, to gain “spiritual field» of Jehovah, and, because of the sowing God’s word on Earth, to gather two spiritual harvests for the glory of Jehovah: 144,000 priests for heaven and the great crowd of righteous inhabitants of the earth — for the eternity of Jehovah (Rev. Chapter 7; 20:6, 21:3,4).
The Passover, which opened the «doors» to the Old Testament with Jehovah, was to be celebrated until Christ’s arrival to remember the saving function of the blood of the ancient Passover lamb (Ex.12:26,27) — so that those who would reach the time of Christ, could understand the meaning of the «saving blood” of the Greater Passover Lamb (1Cor.5:7), which opens the «door» to the New Covenant of Jehovah with His new people -Christians.
The importance of the Passover for mankind was also emphasized by Jehovah in this: out of all the Old Testament holidays, in the New Testament, the Passover remained- as a Memorial of Jesus’ death for all dedicated and baptized Christians. (1Cor.11:23-25). All other religious holidays were abolished (Rom.10:4).
How was the Passover celebrated in Israel? Although the Passover redeemed only the firstborn, all people of Jehovah in the past, including the anointed priesthood, the rest of Israel, and the circumcised foreigners — were required to eat the Passover lamb, use its blood and eat unleavened bread. Otherwise, they would be cut off from the people of Jehovah (Ex.12: 47-49, Numbers 9: 9-14).
It was allowed to postpone the Passover for a month for those who by accident became unclean, but it was NOT allowed to NOT celebrate this day (Numbers 9: 10,11). Therefore, Jesus Christ celebrated the Passover, as all Jews — on the night of Nissan 14th with his friends, who were not yet baptized with the holy spirit. They received it later, after the resurrection of Jesus (Joh.15:15, 20:22; Acts 2:1-4).
Hence, even since ancient times the red grape wine which Jesus drank with his disciples at the last supper on Nisan 14, reminded the Israelites of the blood of the Passover lamb. And the blood of the Passover sacrifice, as the blood of any sacrifice to Jehovah, since the time of the Mosaic Law, was used only by priests and strictly for the altar (the sanctification of Israel, Lev. 17: 11).
Now let’s see how Jesus Christ himself commanded us to celebrate the Passover event on Nisan 14. It will help to find out how to properly celebrate the Passover event — regardless of what traditions have developed in our area.
Jesus, on the night of Nisan 14, in which he was betrayed, broke the unleavened bread and said: take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you. He also took the cup of wine and said: Drink from it, all of you. For this is my blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Keep doing this in remembrance of me. (1Cor.11:23-25; Mt.26:26-28)
Therefore, the event of the Passover on Nisan 14 for all followers of Christ — is the Memorial of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. This is the joy of gaining freedom from the slavery of sin, bestowed upon us by the blood of Christ; and the bitterness of remembrance of the suffering through which the unblemished Jesus Christ willingly went — for our liberation.
Before that, Jesus explained what conditions must be met in order for his disciples to be baptized with the holy spirit. The holy spirit could not have been poured out over the disciples of Christ – before Jesus’ death. Jehovah could send it only after his sacrificial death and the resurrection (Jn.7:39; 14:16; 16:7).
Jesus, celebrating the Jewish Passover with his disciples, used red wine and unleavened bread which were on the table. Unlike the Egyptian Passover, the Israelites were no longer obliged to put the blood of a lamb on their doorposts. However, they were obliged to remember the redemptive power of blood in all generations (Ex.12:23-27, Mark 14:12, 22-25).
Jesus Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed for us. (1Cor.5:7). People are free from the slavery of sin, and if they want to serve Jehovah they can enter into the New Covenant with Him.
So, according to the New Testament command (as in the days of the Old Testament) ALL Jehovah’s people, who dedicated their lives to Him (baptized in water, whether anointed or not), must celebrate the New Passover. The Memorial/Supper on Nisan 14, after sunset, is the day to commemorate the memories of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ with partaking of the symbols of his body and blood (unleavened bread and red wine) and pondering the significance of this event for all members of the New Testament with God. (1Corinthians 11:23-26).
Unleavened bread is a symbol of the integrity of Jesus Christ (leaven is a symbol of sin, 1 Pe.2:22, 1 Cor.5:7,8). A red grape wine (also without leaven, dry) is a symbol of the blood (sacrificial death) of Jesus, who died so that those who dedicate their lives to Jehovah could enter into the New Testament with Him, and as a result — be saved from sin and death and gain eternal life in the world of God (Rom. 6:22, Mark.10:29,30).
Now after you have learned how Jesus commanded to commemorate the New Passover, decide for yourself, in the morning or in the evening you should commemorate the Passover; eat a beautiful leavened Easter cake or unleavened bread; remember the resurrection of Christ or his death; look at unleavened bread and red wine or partake of it.
And we will schematically summarize the information about the meaning of the Passover (Memorial of Jesus Christ’s death) for every inhabitant of the Earth who wants to find the heavenly Father and receive eternal life in His new world, — taking into account the knowledge from previous lessons No. 12, 13, 14 on instituting three Covenants of God (Old Covenant, New Covenant and Kingdom Covenant).
One may ask, if Passover-Christ redeemed from death for the heavenly temple of Jehovah only the «firstborn» (144,000), how then will the earthly inhabitants receive everlasting life? The answer to this question will be given after the next video, where we will show the meaning of partaking of the Passover symbols for each servant of Jehovah, regardless of whether he has heavenly hope or earthly one.
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