The Passover which is the way to eternal life in this age is like a key that allows us to enter heaven. The bible lets us know the way to eternal life which we can only have in the kingdom of heaven is a path that few people find, though many will spend their entire lives searching for it (Matthew 7:14). If we have the desire to enter heaven we should be sure we are on the correct path, and confirm what will grant us the right to enter heaven after living our lives on this earth.
Matthew 16:19 “Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church . . . I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven;”
Peter was granted the keys to the kingdom of heaven when he properly recognized Jesus as Christ, our God and Savior. The bible records that Christ built the church on Peter, and the rest of the apostles who were taught directly by Jesus, for their exemplary faith (Ephesians 2:19-20, 1 Corinthians 11:1). To confirm we are on the path that leads to heaven we need to find out what teaching Jesus gave the apostles as keys to the kingdom of heaven, and follow it as an example that has been revealed to us by God.
The example that Jesus gave the apostles as the keys to heaven was the Gospel of the New Covenant (Colossians 1:23, 2 Corinthians 3:6,) Let us find out what the New Covenant is.
Luke 22:20 “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
Jesus established the New Covenant on the night of the Passover. This means that the example of participating in the Passover ceremony is the key to the kingdom of heaven, and the example of faith that Christ gave as the foundation of His church.
Even so, most Christians only understand this scene as the last supper Jesus kept with his disciples, and do not regard the Passover as something they should personally keep. In fact, The Church of God is the only church in the entire world that keeps the New Covenant according to the example given by Christ, regarding Passover as the key to heaven. How can we know who is on the right path to heaven between the Church of God and the rest of the Christians in the world?
As the owner of heaven, the keys to heaven are something that can only be given to us by God Himself. To confirm whether or not the Passover is something we should participate in, we need to know who commanded the Passover to be kept through the words of the Bible.
Who Commands the Passover?
In 1498 B.C. Moses endeavored to set the Israelites free from 400 years of slavery in the land of Egypt. His ask from Pharaoh was to allow the Israelites to go into the desert for a short journey to offer sacrifices to the Lord. However, Pharaoh would not allow them to leave, even after 9 severe plagues came over the land of Egypt. It was finally through a 10th plague, the death of every firstborn person and animal in Egypt, that Pharaoh was willing to let the Israelites go. Since this plague was going to come over the entire territory of Egypt, the Israelites who were living there would have been struck by the plague as well. For this reason, the Passover was provided as a way for the Israelites to be protected.
Exodus 12:11 – 14 “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. 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. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance.”
Who commanded the Israelites to keep the Passover? It was the Lord Jehovah, who is God. God gave careful instructions to participate in the Passover by putting the blood of a year-old lamb on the door frame of the houses where they stayed. All of the people who obeyed the words given by God were protected from the plague, while all of the people who did not participate in the Passover had at least one dead person in their home.
However, this Passover was not simply made to free the Israelites from slavery 3,500 years ago. God commanded the Passover to be a lasting ordinance, meaning it was intended to be kept forever. Even so, the churches of the world do not keep the Passover under the pretense that it is a custom of the Law of Moses, the old covenant, that we do not need to keep today. To confirm if this is true, we should see if God commands His people to keep the Passover during the time that the new covenant is to be kept.
Matthew 26:17 – 19 “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?’ He replied, ‘Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’’ So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.”
Who commanded the Disciples to keep the Passover? It was Jesus Christ, who is God. When Jesus came 2,000 years ago He let us know that he did not come to abolish the law Moses established, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17 -19). The Passover is a command of God that was given as a lasting ordinance. So whether it is 3,500 years ago during the time of the Exodus, 2,000 years ago during the time of the Disciples, or in modern times, the Passover should be kept by God’s people.
God’s Will in Commanding the Passover
There is no command of God given without a specific purpose and will, nor does God want us to blindly follow Him without knowing why His commands are given (John 15:14-15). If we desire to be God’s true people who can enter eternal life in the kingdom of heaven, we should find out why He gives such a command as the Passover in the time of the New Covenant.
The Bible lets us know that everything written about the past was given as teaching for us living in the present time (Romans 15:4). This means there is an important lesson God wants us to learn through the history of the Passover that is directly connected to our salvation. At the time of Moses, Passover was used as a key to liberating the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, with the ultimate goal of leading them back to Canaan, the land of their ancestors. This history was given to show us how God would liberate our souls from slavery to sin and death.
The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). All mankind is a slave to death as a result of sins we committed knowingly and unknowingly. For this reason, God used the Passover to forgive our sins and grant us eternal life. God could only do this through the Passover of the new covenant because it contains His holy flesh and blood that has the power to wash away our sins (John 6:53-54, Luke 22:8, 19-20, Romans 8:6). We should understand that the Passover has been granted to us as the key to heaven through the holy sacrifice of God. Passover allows us to achieve our ultimate goal of entering our eternal home in the kingdom of heaven–the spiritual Canaan.
God’s Will is to Give us the Passover as the Key to Heaven
It is a clear and fundamental teaching of the Christian faith that the primary goal of humanity should be to enter heaven at the end of our lives on this earth. God adamantly commands us to participate in the deeds that will lead us to eternal life so that we can enter heaven. Then, what is in Heaven that God has worked tirelessly to make sure we enter it? We can understand by learning what kind of place heaven is.
Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Mortal beings cannot enter heaven where there is no death. Since God wanted to bring us to heaven with Him he created the new Covenant Passover so that we can exchange our mortality for Eternal life. This means that Passover is the fundamental teaching that all Christians should keep achieving the goal of our faith (1 Peter 1:9).
Since God’s will is to give eternal life which can be obtained by keeping the Passover, we can understand it is God’s will for all people to keep Passover. Then, what will happen to those who refuse to keep the Passover which is God’s invitation to heaven, insisting that they can enter heaven by their current faith and beliefs?
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
We should not live our life in blind confidence that we will enter the kingdom of heaven, only to learn we’ve lived our lives in vain when we meet God on the last day. Though we call on the name of God and make efforts to live the life of a model Christian, our efforts alone cannot save us (Matthew 7:22-23). Christ who came to the earth to save our souls gave us the Passover as our key to enter heaven. Passover is the will of God that grants us eternal life, the salvation of our souls. If we desire to enter heaven and believe that God’s words are the truth and source of salvation, we should keep the Passover without hesitation until we enter the kingdom of heaven.