The greatest Passover since apostolic days is just ahead! Last year, some brethren "forgot" this commanded assembly! STUDY this article — and REMEMBER the Passover! "LET me color this one, Mommy!" said little Mary, holding a hard-boiled egg in her tiny little hand. "Mommy" was busily paring EASTER EGGS for her children!
In a short time, all over this Western "Christian" world millions of little children are going to greedily and excitedly search for "Easter eggs" at lawn parties, seeking to find the brightly colored and decorated eggs supposedly laid in little nests of grass by bunnies!
WHY? What does it all mean? What is the SIGNIFICANCE of this greatest among "Christian" holidays?
THAT'S JUST IT! There is no real significance! The original significance of the egg, the rabbit, and other accouterments of the pagan Easter festival have long since become obscured. People today DO NOT UNDERSTAND the symbols that have become identified with Easter sunrise services — SUPPOSEDLY commemoration the resurrection of Christ! They would be SHOCKED if they knew! (If you have not yet studied the booklet on Easter and the resurrection, write for them immediately.)
A World of Confusion You're living in a world of absolute Babylon, a world of total confusion! Satan the Devil, the god of this world (II Cor. 4:4) has darkened and blinded the minds of all nations! (Rev. 12:9).
There is no REAL positive TEACHING behind the silly and seemingly ridiculous trappings of a pagan Easter ceremony! It does not TEACH anything constructive! Rather, it is Satan's method of bedazzling the minds of greedy little children with gifts of candy, and attractive, colorfully painted eggs — keeping them DELUDED and DECEIVED so they cannot see the TRUTH! God is not the AUTHOR of confusion (I Cor. 14:33). He instructs us to COME OUT of this Babylonish chaos around us (Rev. 18:4) which is CONFUSING and BLINDING a gullible society to the PLAN of God.
The First Passover God's annual Holy Days really MAKE SENSE! There is a definite PICTURE — a constructive PATTERN they portray. They are given to TEACH us something!
In calling our forefathers out of the land of Egypt, God said to Moses "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months, it shall be the first month of the year to you.
"Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb month, and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it between the two evenings [dusk]" (Ex. 12:2-6).
The Israelites, WHILE STILL SLAVES in Egypt were told to ROAST the lamb, and to "eat it, with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it IN HASTE ['in fear,' margin]: it is the Eternal's passover" (Ex. 12:11).
Notice it! The first Passover was to have been a very HASTY meal, eaten in trepidation or "fear," looking apprehensively toward the time on the very next evening when they would FLEE OUT from the land of Egypt and the scene of their abject SLAVERY!
God said, "And this day shall be unto you for a MEMORIAL, and you shall keep it a FEAST TO THE ETERNAL throughout your generations, you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance [statute] forever"! (Ex. 12:14).
Then, God immediately instituted the Days of Unleavened Bread! "Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread, even the first day you shall put away leaven out of your houses, for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
"And in the first day there shall be an HOLY CONVOCATION, and the seventh day there shall be an HOLY CONVOCATION to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.
"And you shall observe the feast of UNLEAVENED BREAD, for in this self-same day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt, therefore shall you observe this day in your generations by an ordinance [statute] FOR EVER"! (Ex. 12:15-17).
The first Day of Unleavened Bread was to COMMEMORATE the occasion of the delivery of millions of Israelites from abject captivity — being the servants and slaves of Egypt — a type of SIN!
All Catholics, Protestants, and the majority of ALL people calling themselves "Christian" UNDERSTAND that this Passover service in the land of Egypt was LOOKING FORWARD to the necessity for a Saviour!
What they DO NOT UNDERSTAND is its deep spiritual significance for US TODAY!
Christ did not come to ABOLISH the Passover, the Holy Days of God, nor the Laws of God! Rather, Jesus CHANGED the symbols of the Passover from the killing of the lamb, and the eating of its flesh, to the unleavened bread and the wine symbolizing His broken body and shed blood!
If this deceived world understood the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, BY THEMSELVES — without knowing of ANY of the other Holy Days — they would automatically KNOW their counterfeit "plan of salvation" is in rank error!
Today, the world teaches all you must do is "accept"! Or, "receive" Christ as your Saviour! THEN — there is nothing more YOU must do! Christ has DONE IT ALL for you! After you receive Christ, you STAND STILL!
But notice that the ancient Israelites were to have eaten the Passover in trepidation or apprehension! That is because God said they were to get ready to TRAVEL!
By killing the firstborn in the land of Egypt, God saw to it that the Pharaoh and the Egyptians THRUST OUT (Ex. 12:39) the Israelites from Egypt and said, "It is a night to be much observed unto the Eternal for bringing them out of the land of Egypt, this is THAT NIGHT OF THE ETERNAL to be observed of all of the children of Israel and their generations" (Ex. 12:42).
They didn't STAND STILL.
That's where the Days of Unleavened Bread come in!
After WE observe the PASSOVER, showing our acceptance of the blood and body of Jesus Christ — there is SOMETHING MORE to perform! God intended we should UNDERSTAND that JUST "accepting" Christ IS NOT ENOUGH!
Christ died FOR us — that is something WE CANNOT DO! But Christ DID NOT observe the Days of Unleavened Bread FOR us — He left something WE must DO! We cannot STAND STILL after repentance, and after receiving the sacrifice of Christ — but we, too, MUST COME OUT OF EGYPT! We are told to be NOT conformed to rotten, filthy, foul, evil WORLD, (Romans 12:2).
Now, let's notice some of the deep spiritual significance behind this solemn time of the year.
Christ the Lamb From the beginning of the Bible to the end there are dozens of prophecies about the first coming of Jesus Christ as the Saviour!
Think of it! Many different men, in widely scattered places, not knowing each other, and writing hundreds of years apart, foretold minute, technical DETAILS of the first coming of Jesus Christ!
The exact TIME of His coming was foretold, even to the exact DATE of the beginning of His ministry, and of His crucifixion. It was foretold that He was to have been born of a virgin — at Bethlehem. His childhood was to be spent in Egypt, and He was to have been reared in Nazareth. God foretold that He would be preceded by an Elijah-like predecessor, that He would speak in parables, that He would be a man of sorrows, that He would enter Jerusalem riding on a colt. He was prophesied to be rejected by the leaders of His own nation, to be betrayed by a friend — and for EXACTLY thirty pieces of silver! Then, God prophesied that the thirty pieces of silver were to be spent for a potter's field!
Christ was to have been led like a "lamb" to the slaughter. Even His very DYING WORDS were foretold, the exact manner of His death, that His hands and feet were to be pierced, but not a bone was to be broken! The prophecies foretold that lots would be cast for His garments — that He would be buried with the rich — and be in the tomb EXACTLY three days and three nights!
It was prophesied that He would RISE from the dead, and ascend to the right hand of God!
And these are just a FEW of the remarkable and infallibly proved prophecies of Jesus, who IS the Christ!
Again, even Catholics and Protestants, and all Bible commentaries admit that Jesus Christ IS the "paschal lamb" being pictured by the Old Testament observance of the Passover.
John, being projected forward in spirit into our day wrote: "And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures [margin] and in the midst of the elders, stood a LAMB as it had been slain... (Rev. 5:6).
Later John heard the angels crying aloud in praises to God and "saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the LAMB that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." And John heard all of these millions of spirit beings saying, "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the LAMB for ever and ever"! (Rev. 5:11-13). Just as the lamb was to have been chosen by the Israelites on the tenth day of Nisan, and kept till the fourteenth, Jesus was "singled out" by the murderous Pharisees and priests on the tenth day of the month, or the SABBATH preceding His crucifixion!
Christ Institutes the New Testament Passover Jesus had been KEEPING the Passover ALL HIS LIFE! (Luke 2:41).
Now, in the very LAST Passover, just on the very EVE of His MURDER, Jesus left some definite and specific COMMANDS.
Notice it, in John the 13th chapter:
"And supper being ended [DURING supper, according to the Greek] the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; he riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
"After that he poured water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded" (verses 2-5).
Notice! This ceremony of the washing of the feet of the disciples had NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the Old Testament observance of the Passover! It was occurring on the very eve of the murder of Jesus Christ!
This was something NEW, something DIFFERENT! It was being instituted for the first time by Jesus Christ Himself!
IF Jesus wanted to "nail to His cross" ALL laws, Holy Days, and everything that God ever gave including foot washing, then WHY did He go to such great lengths and pains to show His disciples HOW to observe the Passover from then on?
Surely Jesus would have been busily explaining to them that immediately after His crucifixion there would be NO FURTHER OBLIGATION for them to keep the Passover, had He intended to nail God's Holy Days to the cross!
Instead, He was taking this LAST-MINUTE OPPORTUNITY to INSTITUTE an observance which He COMMANDED His disciples to keep!
Peter argued with Him — saying he wasn't going to have Christ wash His feet! Men today argue the same thing. Jesus explained that unless Peter ENTERED INTO THE FOOTWASHING CEREMONY, he had NO PART with Christ!
Jesus, after washing the disciples' feet "said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord, and you say well, for so I AM! If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; YE ALSO OUGHT TO WASH ONE ANOTHER'S FEET"! (John 13:12-14). Yes, Jesus said anyone who acknowledges Him as "Master and Lord" ought to wash one another's feet!
He went on to say, "For I have GIVEN YOU AN EXAMPLE, that you should DO as I have done to you... if you know these things, HAPPY are ye if you DO them"! (John 13:15-17.)
Now turn to Luke's account and notice that Jesus commanded us to do SOMETHING ELSE. "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come" (Luke 22:17-18)
Jesus took WINE, the fermented "fruit of the vine" and divided it among the disciples and then explained "This cup is the new testament IN MY BLOOD, which is shed for you" (Luke 22:20). Jesus showed that the wine was to SYMBOLIZE His shed blood! Then, "He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you, this DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME!" (Luke 22:19.)
Here again, in instituting the new symbols of the wine and the bread, showing His shed blood and broken body for the forgiveness of our spiritual AND physical sins, Jesus gave a COMMAND. He said, "This DO — in REMEMBRANCE of me!"
The world is not WILLING to DO what Jesus says!
HOW Does God Forgive Sin? The Apostle Paul was inspired to write that "ALL have SINNED, and come short of the glory of God"! (Rom. 3:23.)
And the wages, the reward, the automatic PENALTY for sin is DEATH! (Rom. 6:23).
Further, God tells that sin IS the transgression, or the breaking of God's spiritual Laws! (I John 3:4.)
You and I have both sinned! And, since we have sinned, that means unless or until we have had that penalty removed and expiated, we are under the penalty of death! But it is given to ALL men to die once! (Heb. 9:27). Whether righteous or unrighteous, rich or poor, rebellious or obedient, men must DIE — ONCE! This, then, is NOT the penalty for sin! God was speaking of ETERNAL death!
Only by having this terrible, brain-chilling sentence REMOVED from you can you get from under this terrible load, and be freed from the horrible sentence of being BURNED TO A CRISP! The penalty is remaining DEAD, GONE, FORGOTTEN — FOR ALL ETERNITY!
God reveals in His perfect plan, that only by the SHEDDING OF BLOOD is there remission for sins!
In the "golden text" of the Bible, God said, "for God so loved the world [yes, THIS rotten, sin-sick, crime-ridden world] that he GAVE his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not PERISH, but have everlasting life"! (John 3:16.)
Jesus was led like a DIRTY CRIMINAL made to carry His own stake, until He fell under the weight of it — and then was hauled roughly up and had to feel huge SPIKES being pounded mercilessly through the flesh, pinning His hands and feet to the wood. He had to suffer a merciless BEATING which tore His flesh open, disfiguring Him causing Him to bleed from dozens and even HUNDREDS of open gashes and cuts! He was beaten and whipped with a "scourge," which was a whip of many leather thongs, with bits of lead and metal tied in the ends of them.
Then, after having to feel his own body weight ripping and tearing at the flesh where the nails had been driven through, without any relief in sight, Jesus had to feel a huge, sharp metal spear JAMMING into His side, cutting the tissue and the organs, severing blood vessels and flesh, and perhaps even cutting open His stomach! Christ DIED in a hideous, merciless, depraved, BRUTAL death — such as a normal man would not think of inflicting upon a rabid dog!
And Jesus DID this — VOLUNTARILY!
He did this for US, and for the whole world!
Christ's Life for Ours Jesus is GOD! He is not God the Father, but He is a member of the FAMILY called GOD! (John 1, Heb. 1.)
The One who became Jesus Christ is the LORD, the God of your Old Testament! By Him, and through Him, and by His spoken word were ALL THINGS created, and brought into being!
Jesus is the Executive Member of the God Family, the One who brought life itself into existence, Who created all matter, all energy and force and everything that you can come to see or know by your senses!
Therefore, when this member of the Godhead had VOLUNTARILY been CHANGED INTO a man — had become a physical, air-breathing, water-drinking and food-eating human being, confined to this earth, and had been MADE flesh — there was no second member of the Godhead in Heaven!
Jesus was on this earth — as a HUMAN being, a MAN.
His one life, since He as the very One who had been used to create ALL life, was worth FAR MORE than all the rest of our lives and the billions who have lived and died put together! Had Jesus been ONLY a man, His death could have paid perhaps for ONLY one other man! But Jesus was GOD — IN THE FLESH!
His life is worth FAR MORE than all the rest of human life put together! Thus it is, that by EMPTYING Himself, being made of low estate, and taking upon Himself the sins of the world, Christ became the perfect and complete sacrifice for all sins ever committed!
Only through complete REPENTANCE, the ACCEPTANCE of Christ's sacrifice, and then living in OBEDIENCE to God can you be saved!
The SIGN by which you PROVE TO GOD you are WILLING TO OBEY, and that YOU REALLY DO accept Christ's blood to pay for your spiritual sins, and His broken body to atone for your physical sins — that SIGN IS THE KEEPING OF THE PASSOVER AND THE DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD!
Christ OUR Passover Just as the ancient Israelites' houses were PASSED OVER by the death angel sent to kill the firstborn of Egypt, so will OUR homes be PASSED OVER by the ETERNAL DEATH that is the penalty for SIN!
David wrote, "BLESSED is he whose transgression is FORGIVEN, whose sin is COVERED — BLESSED is the man unto whom the Eternal imputeth not iniquity" (Ps. 34:1-2). Yes, WHAT A BLESSING!
That Christ, through His TREMENDOUS sacrifice has willingly become OUR Passover "Lamb" that the filth of the world, the DISEASES of the world, the SINS of the world, and the ultimate DEATH of the world will PASS OVER us!
It is only when we have PROVED Jesus IS the Christ — when we have humbly, with BROKEN-HEARTED REPENTANCE, accepted HIS SHED BLOOD — that we have the forgiveness we seek!
The Apostle Paul was inspired to write, "PURGE OUT therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even CHRIST OUR PASSOVER is sacrificed for us" (I Cor. 5:7).
GROW in Grace and Knowledge This defiant world wants to CLAIM Christ as its saviour — to "receive" Christ, to appropriate His NAME — but they WILL NOT OBEY Christ!
The whole picture of the Days of Unleavened Bread show our coming OUT of sin, putting the human VANITY and CARNALITY OUT of our lives — GROWING in grace and knowledge.
Just as our forefathers were told to eat their passover with their loins girded, with their staff in their hand — looking apprehensively at the world around them — preparatory to FLEEING from Egypt, so WE are to GO ON AFTER the Passover, to OBSERVE THE DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD!
Because the world wants to believe in a TWISTED concept of "grace" that actually means "permissiveness" to DO EVIL — because they have NOT OBEYED God in observing His Holy Days, they have LOST SIGHT of the great PURPOSE in human existence. They do NOT KNOW there is anything to DO — anything that could be called "works" they REJECT!
Think of this!
If the worldly churches understood ONLY THE PASSOVER AND DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD — if they didn't know anything else of the Holy Days — THINK of all the TRUTH they would have!
First, they would know that Jesus WAS HUMAN! They would know that there is NO immortal soul, since He died by the shedding of His BLOOD! They would know the true manner of His death, and the real PURPOSE for it. They would know WHAT SIN IS — and WHAT REAL REPENTANCE is! They would KNOW Christ is ALIVE, since they would be accepting the ONLY SIGN He left as proof of His Messiahship! They would know we are to COME OUT OF THE WORLD — to be CHANGED from our old ways of life — they would know GOD IS THE RULER! In short, they would know literally DOZENS of great, overall principles of the PLAN of God of which they are in total IGNORANCE today!
THAT IS WHY GOD COMMANDS US TO KEEP it!
We are never to forget the PLAN He is working out here below, and our vital PART in that plan!
Paul exhorted the Gentile Christians, "LET US KEEP THE FEAST" (I Cor. 5:8). He showed HOW we are to keep it, and said, "let a man examine himself, and so LET HIM EAT of that bread, and DRINK of that cup..." (I Cor. 11:28).
These commands mean YOU! God is offering us the PRICELESS, MATCHLESS PRIVILEGE of being BORN of Him — becoming HIS OWN CHILDREN! The PASSOVER and Days of Unleavened Bread show the BEGINNING of the PROCESS of Salvation!
Brethren — let's all be OBEDIENT to our God — LET US KEEP THE FEAST!