Church of God, New World Ministries

The Spring Holy Days - Passover

With the Spring Holy Season almost here, let’s learn about God’s holy days, or feast days as they are also called, which represent His marvelous plan of salvation for mankind. These FEASTS are shadows of spiritual things to come.

Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. These books are called The Law of Moses. In these books, you will find these Feast days listed. Let’s turn in our bibles to Leviticus 23: 1-2 and see what God told Moses about His Feasts. (New Kings James version used throughout.)

Leviticus 23 verse 1-2: And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations (a mandatory calling together of people), these are My feasts.’”

And also verse 4 of the same chapter: “These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.”

And also verse 31: “You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.”

Remember, God made these feasts to be kept FOREVER and only God can change His feasts and no where in the Bible does He do this! So we must keep his Holy Days!

God Institutes the First Passover

As we have learned in previous lessons, the Israelites were slaves in Egypt and God sent a man named Moses to help deliver them out of slavery and to make the Pharaoh let His people go by using a series of ten plagues. (Exodus 7-11)

Now read all of Exodus Chapter 12. It is at this point that God gives instructions on the observance of Passover.

In Exodus 12: 1-2, you will notice the Passover must be kept on the 14th day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar year (month of Abib). It also must be kept at sunset. (Exodus 12: 6) And God told Moses to have each Israelite family kill a lamb, a lamb of the first year, a lamb without blemish( a future reference to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ - 1 Peter 1 : 19 and John 1 : 29) and take the blood and strike it on the two doorposts and the windowsills of their houses. (Exodus 12: 7)

When God sent the tenth plague that night, the death angel passed through Egypt and passed over the houses where the blood had been spread and spared the Israelites firstborn. (Exodus 12:12-13)

Then God commanded that the Passover be kept as a memorial of His passing over the Israelites and sparing their firstborn and it also pictures the time when Jesus Christ would come as the Lamb of God, the ultimate sacrifice, who would shed his blood, to pay for the death penalty of our sins of all mankind. (Romans 3: 23-25)

Jesus Christ and the Passover

While Christ was here on this earth, he also kept the Passover. (John 2: 13, Matthew 26: 18-19, Mark 14: 14)

During the Passover before His crucifixion, Christ changed the way Passover should be observed from then on. Read John 13. By washing His disciple’s feet, he showed that we should have a humble attitude and to serve our fellow man as He has come to serve mankind. So we must wash each other’s feet at Passover services to show we are willing to serve others as Christ did.

Christ Changing the Symbols of Passover

During His last meal before His crucifixion, Christ changed the symbols of the Passover. Read Luke 22: 8 -20, Matthew 26: 26 - 29, Mark 14: 22 -25.

Instead of the shedding of the blood and the eating of the sacrificial lamb, Christ, as you have just read in your bible, taught His disciples to break unleavened bread and eat it as a symbol of His broken body that was tortured and beaten before He was crucified, so that we may be healed by his stripes. (1 Peter 2: 24)

Christ also told His disciples to drink some wine as a symbol of His shed blood. Remember, Christ was the perfect Lamb, without spot or blemish, which means He was perfect, without sin. And only through His shed blood can we be forgiven of our sins. And Christ told His disciples to do this in remembrance of Him, to keep a memorial of all He had sacrificed for us. (Luke 22: 19)

So we, the baptized members of the church, must keep the Passover just as the apostles and the church did after Christ was crucified with the new symbols of bread and the wine, just as Jesus had done, so we may be forgiven by the GRACE of God. In fact it is so important that we observe the Passover that if by extreme extenuating circumstances we are not able to attend the Passover services we are given a second chance to attend them exactly one month later. It is that important! (Numbers 9: 9 - 12)

A special note: Though the Passover is not one the seven annual Holy Days, it is a vital part of God’s plan of salvation.

Our next lesson, Part 2 of The Spring Holy Days will focus on The Days of Unleavened Bread.

 
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