The Passover And The Greatest Commandment

There are many teachings of God in the bible and Jesus summarized the teaching into two commands that we should keep to enter into the eternal life. Then what are the two greatest commandments we must keep? And How can we keep those greatest commandments?

Two Commands For Eternal Life

When asked by an expert in the law of the way of eternal life, Jesus answered:

Luke 10: 25  On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

To inherit the eternal life, Jesus teaches us that we must first love God with all our heart, mind, and soul and next we must love our neighbors as ourselves. In addition, he concludes that these two commands are the essence of all the teachings of God in the bible.

Matthew 22:40  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

It means all the laws of God come essentially from these two commandments and if we fulfill these two commandments we can fulfill all the laws of God. So much are important these two commandments. Therefore, what is important to us is to know who to fulfill these two commandments. Some people interpret the commands with their own opinions, but we should not do like that because the standards for our faith should be God. And we must follow God’s teachings to fulfill the laws of God.

How to Fulfill the First Commandment

Then how can we love God with all our heart, mind and soul? Can we fulfill this command by praying to God twenty-four/seven? Or by reading the bible at least one hour a day? Or help the poor and needy people? Or by participating in the volunteer work? Everybody might have different opinions about this and how can we be sure that this is the way through which we can love God with all our hearts and minds?

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King Josiah’s Religious Reform

That is why we must turn to the teachings of God to find out the way how to love God all our hearts and minds. Then what does God say about this command? As usual, God gives us one example so that we can clearly know how to fulfill the first command. In the history of Judah, there was a king who fulfilled this command and by following his example we also can fulfill the first and greatest commandment according to the will of God.

2 Kings 23:25   Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.

The Bible says that King Josiah turned to God with all his heart, soul, and strength and by doing so he was the one who could fulfill all the Law of Moses in accordance with the old covenant. Then what did he do? What is it that made God acknowledge King Josiah as the one who fulfill all the Law of Moses? We can find the answer in the several verses before.

2 Kings 23:21    The king gave this order to all the people: “Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” 22 Neither in the days of the judges who led Israel nor in the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah had any such Passover been observed. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, this Passover was celebrated to the Lord in Jerusalem.

What he did was to keep the Passover according to the regulation of God in the bible. When he kept the Passover, he was recognized by God as the one who fulfilled the first command by loving Him with all his heart, mind, and soul. Through the long history of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, kings and people did not obey the commands of God and did not keep the Passover. But sometimes there were kings who realized the importance of the Passover and kept the Passover. Josiah was one of the kings who kept the Passover and when he did, God recognizes that he did all he could to do what was written in the bible.

Even though what he did was keep the Passover, why was he complimented by God so much? And how could he love God with all his heart, mind and soul just by keeping the Passover? It is because there is a providence of God hidden in the Passover. Then what secret is hidden in the Passover? All the festivals of God have certain intention and providence of God hidden in it. By finding out the meaning of the festival, we can see why God gave the festival to his people. Then what was the meaning of the Passover?

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King Josiah’s Religious Reform: Killing Baal Worshipers

Exodus 12:11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover. 12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord.

Even though there are many hidden meanings in the Passover, one of the most important providence of God hidden in the Passover is that through the Passover, God makes judgment for all the idols and false gods and destroys them on that day. And since all the false gods are destroyed, the only God left behind after the Passover is the true God who created the heavens and earth. And since there is only one God left, God’s people can love the true and only God with all their heart, mind, and soul without any distraction to other gods or idols. And in this way, they would be able to fulfill the first commandment of God: “You shall have no other gods before me” by worshiping the only and true God. This is the reason we must keep the Passover.

Love Your Neighbors as Yourself

The second commandment we must keep to fulfill the law of God is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Then how can we love our neighbor according to the teachings of God? Just like the first command, to fulfill this command we also must get rid of our own thoughts and opinions and follow the commands of God in the bible. Then what does the bible say about loving our neighbors as ourselves?

First, let us think about the meaning of the command. What does it mean love our neighbors as ourselves? We love ourselves. That is why we always prepare good things for us as much as we can. We eat good food, wear good clothes, and prepare good house for us. And when we are sick, we take a rest. No matter how urgent a matter we have cannot be a priority to us when our body is sick. The priority is given to our body and curing the sickness.

In this sense, to fulfill the second law we must think others in this respect by treating them as ourselves and providing them everything they need as we provide things to us when we are in need. Then is it possible to treat and think other people in this regard?  It seems almost impossible because human beings are intrinsically self-preserving and self-centered. And they always put a distinction between self and other and the priority is always given to self. Therefore, it seems to be impossible to love neighbors as yourself.

But then what if this distinction between self and other breaks and they become one. If I become a part of other and the other becomes a part of I, then self-other becomes one and I can love the other as part of self as if the other were myself. Is this state of the union of self and other possible? Yes, it is and God teaches us how all of us become one and love one another as if we love oneself. It is also through the Passover. According to the bible, the Passover is a ceremony through which each of us becomes a part of whole and in this state there is no more distinction of you and I.

Through the Passover, Christ gave us his flesh and blood through the Passover bread and wine which represent his flesh and blood. Then what is the meaning of this ceremony? Paul let us know the providence of God hidden in the Passover like this:

1 Corinthians 10:16   The cup of blessing that we give thanks for is a sharing in the blood sacrifice of Christ, isn’t it? And the bread that we break is a sharing in the body of Christ, isn’t it? 17 There is one loaf of bread, so we who are many are one body, because we all share in that one loaf.

Passover the greatest Commandment
Passover: Becoming one body in Christ

Through the Passover bread and wine we all can participate in the blood and body of Christ and we can become one body in Christ because we all participate in one loaf, that is, Christ.Therefore, even though we are all different from one another, through the Passover we can become the members of the same body whose head is the Christ.

Ephesians 4:25    Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

Through the Passover, we all become the members of one body and since we are all one in one body, we can love one another as if one loves one’s own body. Through the Passover, we can take care of each other as part of one’s own body just as a person takes care of the members of his body without neglecting anything. He gives the same attention to all his body parts so that there would be nothing lacking in his body. In the same way, since all of us become one in Christ through the Passover, we can love one another without neglecting anyone.

1 Corinthians 13:20   As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

About this providence of God hidden in the Passover, Christ Ahnsahnghong teaches like this:

By sharing in the flesh and blood of Jesus, all brothers become one body in Him and come to love one another as themselves. … Since we have now become one body in Jesus, is there anyone who hates his own body? Even though we cannot love because we are evil by nature, if Jesus’ flesh and blood is in us, we come to love our brothers.

From “The Mystery of God and the Spring of the Water of Life” Chapter 31. The Regulations of the New Covenant

Conclusion

Therefore, to completely fulfill the two commandments the most important thing is keeping the Passover. By keeping the Passover, we can love God with all our heart, mind and soul by fulfilling the first and greatest commandment and also we can fulfill the second commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said that we must keep these two commandments to enter eternal life. Now let us keep the Passover according to the teachings of God.

Even though the Passover was once abolished by the work of Satan in AD 325, Christ Ahnsahnghong brought us back the new covenant of the Passover so that we can have eternal life. To obey the teachings of Christ, World Mission Society Church Of God keeps the Passover according to the regulations of the new covenant. Now God is inviting everybody who wishes to have salvation to come to Zion and to keep the Passover.

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