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Bible verses about Passover as Memorial of Christ's Death
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Exodus 12:12-13  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The blood was a sign to the death angel to "pass over" their homes when it went through Egypt. Because of it, Israel's firstborn were saved, while Egypt's firstborn died.

The yearly ritual of Passover represents the death of Jesus Christ, who was God in the flesh. The innocent lamb had to be without blemish because it represented the only Man who ever lived a perfect, sinless life. Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God who gave His life and shed His blood so that we may be saved from eternal death by paying the penalty for our sins. Through faith in His sacrifice, we receive forgiveness of sin and come into a right relationship with God. Because His life was worth more than all human life combined, His sacrifice paid the price for all sin. He redeemed us from the penalty that the breaking of God's law imposes and freed us to live righteously.

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Holy Days: Passover


 

Exodus 12:12-14  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Why should a Christian keep the Passover? We should keep the Passover because God commands us to. This, of itself, is good enough reason, but there is much more!

God has us keep the Passover because it forces us to consider the deaths of the firstborn Egyptians and how that miraculous and terrible event led to the freeing of Israelites from Pharaoh and from Egypt. It should lead us to think deeply about what these events symbolize.

Yet, is not Passover just an Old Testament, Jewish ritual? No! God's commands are never merely empty rituals. His commands always contain rich and meaningful purposes, including spiritual, New Testament applications that we can learn from today.

Keeping the Passover also forces us to think about the death of God's firstborn Son and how that momentous event will lead to the eventual freeing of all mankind from Satan and from sin:

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes. (I Corinthians 11:23-26)

Notice that this reminder to keep the Passover was recorded by the apostle Paul some years after the close of the Old Testament era. It is most decidedly a Christian observance.

He adds that our preparation for Passover should cause us to take a close look at ourselves in solemn self-examination, to see how far we have grown and how much we still need to overcome: "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup" (verse 28). In the days preceding the Passover each year, we think about the past year and how imperfect we still are, and we ask God to continue to cover our sins and imperfections with the blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Each of God's people makes a practice of looking back at the years that have flown by since his baptism, considering how far we have left our lives of sin behind. Self-examination shows us areas in which we still need to overcome and should motivate us to rededicate ourselves to the covenant we have made with God.

Staff
What Is the Passover Anyway?


 

Exodus 12:26-27  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

What is the Passover? Right from the start, God knew that young people would ask this very same question: "And it shall be, when your children say to you, 'What do you mean by this service?'" (Exodus 12:26). So He prepared an answer for them: "It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households" (verse 27).

Passover is a memorial day—a very important anniversary day. However, it commemorates three events, not just one. As God said, it commemorates the tenth and last plague upon ancient Egypt in which, after giving them ample warning, God passed over the nation of Egypt and killed all the firstborn in the land. Through this decimating plague, God freed the children of Israel from their captivity and servitude in Egypt.

Secondly, and most importantly, it commemorates the death of Jesus Christ, who was and is the firstborn Son of God the Father. Through Jesus' awful death—which, by God's design, took place on Passover day in AD 31—God freed us, regenerated Christians, from our captivity and slavery to the world, to Satan, and to sin.

Finally, it commemorates the baptism of each Christian, when we formally accepted the death of Jesus Christ, when we asked Him to apply His priceless sacrifice to our sins, when we asked that He would cover and blot out our sins with His blood (Psalm 41:1, 9; Acts 3:19; Romans 4:7).

Staff
What Is the Passover Anyway?


 

Matthew 26:2  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Two days before Jesus fulfilled the Passover, He prepares His disciples for His death by telling them that after two days would be the Passover and that the Son of Man would be delivered up and crucified. Thus, He was crucified on the Passover. For further proof of that, John shows that it was preparation day for a high day, the first day of Unleavened Bread (John 19:31). Obviously, preparation day for the first day of Unleavened Bread is the day of Passover, the fourteenth day of Nisan/Abib.

Christ is specifically named as "our Passover" in I Corinthians 5:7. Jesus is called "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). John the Baptist, when he first saw Him after He began His ministry, as He approached the River Jordan for baptism, said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). It is easy to see the strong connection between Jesus and the lamb killed at Passover.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Christ's Death, Resurrection, and Ascension


 

Matthew 26:26-29  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Jesus told His disciples to partake of unleavened bread and wine during the New Testament Passover service. Through this command, He charged His followers to observe it as a memorial of His death for all time. Since Christ's death completely fulfilled the symbolism of killing a lamb, we no longer need to slaughter a lamb in keeping the Passover.

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Holy Days: Passover


 

Luke 22:14-20  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Let's clear away the web of error that covers the truth about keeping the Passover, the memorial of Christ's death.

Let's examine the way Jesus observed this ordinance, because we can't be wrong if we follow His example. In Luke 22:14-20, we read:

And when the hour was come, he [Jesus] sat down. . . . And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Notice, it was "when the hour was come," that Jesus introduced the unleavened bread and the wine. There was a definite time - a definite hour - when He held this ordinance as an example for us.

Notice, too, He commanded them to observe it - "This do"! And why? "In remembrance of me," said Jesus. He instituted this New Testament way of keeping the Passover, on that tragic night, the very eve of His death.

In Matthew's account, the Bible shows that this ordinance was at the very time of the Passover, "as they were eating" (Matthew 26:2, 26). Jesus knew that His time had come. He was our Passover, sacrificed for us (I Corinthians 5:7).

The Passover had always been held on the eve of the 14th of God's first month, according to the Sacred or Jewish Calendar. It was the night of the final and last Passover supper that Jesus introduced these New Testament emblems - the unleavened bread and the wine - in place of the lamb that was always slain annually.

Remember Jesus commanded: "This do in remembrance of me." Why? Because the Passover was commanded "forever."

The Passover was to be observed annually, along with the Days of Unleavened Bread. "Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season year to year" (Exodus 13:10). Jesus set us an example (I Peter 2:21), observing this ordinance at the same time once a year (Luke 2:42). Suppose the Israelites in Egypt had observed this ordinance at some other time than that set by God? They would not have been saved when the death angel passed by that night! God does things on time. He has given us an exact time for this ordinance. Jesus instituted the New Testament symbols "when the hour was come."

Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
The Plain Truth About Easter


 

Acts 12:4  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

It is evident the New Testament church of God continued to keep the Passover yearly. Some translations grossly mistranslate the Greek word pascha as "Easter." It always means "Passover."

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Holy Days: Passover


 

1 Corinthians 5:7-8  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The apostle Paul instructed the Corinthian Christians to observe the Passover as a memorial of the death of Christ, our Passover, who was sacrificed for us.

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Holy Days: Passover


 

1 Corinthians 11:24-25  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Concerning the bread and wine, Christ instructs us, "Do this in remembrance of Me". This command could also be translated, "Do this for the remembering of me," or "Do this in case you forget." God does not want us to let His Son's sacrifice get very far from our minds. He does not want us to get maudlin over it, but to remember that it represents the measure of His love and our worth to Him. Remembering helps us retain a right sense of obligation. He does not wish that our obligation become a burden, but fill us with a wonder, an awe, that He would pay so much for something so utterly defiled.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Passover, Obligation, and Love


 

1 Corinthians 11:29  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

None of us needs to fall short because we misunderstand and thus neglect the importance of what Jesus did in our behalf.

The Contemporary English Version (CEV) renders this verse, "If you fail to understand that you are the body of the Lord, you will condemn yourselves by the way you eat and drink." The Amplified Bible translates it, "For anyone who eats and drinks without discriminating and recognizing with due appreciation that [it is Christ's] body, eats and drinks a sentence (a verdict of judgment) upon himself."

These translations show two possible understandings of what Paul meant. The CEV contemplates our overall response in how we, knowing we are Christ's body, conduct our daily lives, whereas The Amplified Bible focuses on appreciation of Christ's literal sacrifice while actually taking the bread and wine. Both approaches are correct. In either case, Passover must affect our life in a positive way, or it brings judgment against us.

Along with appreciation and respect, God desires an understanding so deep, strong, and consistent that it motivates us to glorify Him by conforming to His will in daily life. This sense of obligation is not a maudlin sentimentality, but is of such sincere and intense gratitude that it gives us insight into the standard of selflessness Christ exemplified. We must strive to put it into practice in our lives if we are to be like Him and be in our Father's Kingdom.

Put another way, our obligation is to love Them as They loved us—not a resigned attitude of "Okay, I'll do it because I have to" that issues in low-level, letter-of-the-law obedience, but a love that expresses itself in fervent, sacrificial affection, as the woman in Luke 7 exemplified. This level of love is reasonable to pursue because it drives us far beyond mere superficial conformity. Notice how Romans 12:1-2 draws our attention to this:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Paul proclaims that this sacrificial love will serve to transform us and provide the proof we need to bolster us in following God's will.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Priceless Gift


 

1 Peter 1:18-21  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Jesus lay dead and buried three days and three nights. His resurrection is the foundation of our faith, and His glorification is God's pledge to us that there is hope for our future. I Peter 1:20 emphasizes that "He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world" to be that sacrifice. That is not merely foresight, that is planning! God's plan included redemption from the very beginning.

Verse 19 stresses the value of His sacrifice by using the word "precious," translated "honor" three times in chapters 2 and 3. The Greek word means "to place a value upon," and this is exactly what we are to do in preparation for Passover! We are to assess the value of His sacrifice to us personally. What would you be willing to pay for His sacrifice?

Verse 18 emphasizes "knowing." The Christian lives his life knowing the redemption Christ accomplished. The price of our redemption is the value we place on the Life given for our forgiveness. Our former lives were "aimless" because of the value we placed on possessions and our own satisfaction. Now our lives have direction because we count Christ's sacrifice as priceless!

John W. Ritenbaugh
Christ, Our Passover


 

 




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