Passover and Forgiveness of Sins
The members of the Church of God or WMSCOG keep the Passover according to the command of Christ. 2000 years ago, Jesus came as the reality of the Passover Lamb and sacrificed himself as lamb so that we can receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
Through this article I would like to show the meaning of the Passover. What is the Passover? And why should we keep the Passover?
Angels who Committed Sins in Heaven
According to the bible, all human beings living on this earth are spiritually sinners who committed sins in heaven and they were cast down from heaven to this earth. For this reason, this earth can be understood as prison in a spiritual sense where sinners from heaven are sent until the time of the punishment for the sins, that is, death.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The bible reveals that all human beings are destined to die due to the sins they committed in heaven. Then what is the sins that we committed in heaven? How grave were the sins that we are given the sentence of death?
Angels who Rebelled Against God
Through the examples of some biblical figures, God teaches us the sins we committed in heaven. Let us take a look at an example through the bible. In the Book of Ezekiel, we can find a man who once was created as an angel in heaven (guardian cherub). God created him perfect and beautiful in every way. However, the bible also let us know the corruption of this angel and his expulsion from heaven.
Sin of a Guardian Cherub
Ezekiel 28:15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. 16 Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. 17 Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. 18 By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries.
This is God’s words about the king of Tyre of the time of Ezekiel. Because of his beauty and perfection, he became proud and he came to commit sins. And because of his sin, he was expelled to earth, which is the spiritual prison.
Sin of the King of Babylon
Then what was the sin the angels committed in heaven? We can find the answer for this question through another king in the bible, that is, the King of Babylon.
Isaiah 14:12 How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” 15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.
Ezekiel tells us about the position of the angels and their beauty in heaven before they were cast down from heaven. Here in the Book of Isaiah, however, we can know the nature of the sins the angels committed. Isaiah explains about the pride of those angels and their rebellion against God in trying to put their thrones above the Throne of God. For this dreadful and hideous crimes, they were thrown to the earth after defeated in heaven.
All Human Beings, Fallen Angels
Through the King of Tyre and Babylon, we can come to understand the sins they committed in heaven when they were angels. However, these are not just their stories, but the stories of all human beings living on this earth. Theirs was illustrated as examples showing the sins of all human being on this earth. Like them, all men were once angels in heaven perfect in beauty and wisdom. Because of their sins, however, they were driven out from heaven to this earth.
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
Psalm 14:1 The fool[a] says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
Passover, The Way for the Forgiveness
Because of the sins, everyone on this earth is suffering in the agony of death, living as slave of sin and death. However, God has been compassionate to mankind and has shown mercy and pity to them by opening the way for the forgiveness for their sins. The bible teaches us that we can be forgiven of our sins through the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us.
Then what is the blood of Christ that gives us the forgiveness of sins? Many says that we can be saved by believing that Jesus shed his blood on the cross to save us. This is partially true. What actually the bible says is that we have to take part in the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins, not just believe.
1 Corinthians 10:16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?
Blood of Christ Sealed in the Wine of the Passover
Then what is “the cup” through which we can participate in the blood of Christ? It is the Passover. Through the Passover we can participate in the blood of Christ and receive the forgiveness of sins. Christ came as the reality of the Passover Lamb and shed his blood for our salvation. (1 Corinthian 5:7)
Now let us find out how to participate in the blood of Christ to receive the promise of Christ the forgiveness of sins.
Matthew 26:17 17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” …….. 26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus gave the words of his promise of the forgiveness of sins through the wine of the Passover which represents the blood of sacrifice he shed in our stead.
Even though we committed unforgivable sins against God in heaven, God has been compassionate to us and opened the way to heaven again through the forgiveness of sins promised in the Passover. Therefore, as people of God now is the time for us to show our faith through our deed, that is, by keeping the Passover.
With the mind of obedience let us keep the Passover and receive the forgiveness of sins. God will wipe away all the sins and make us beautiful and perfect again so that we can be a new creation worthy enough to enter the kingdom of heaven.