Every year, at the appointed time, the World Mission Society Church of God celebrates the feast of the Passover, just as Jesus Christ celebrated it with His disciples 2,000 years ago. The Passover is an extremely important feast for all people of the world because it contains many promises of God—the promise of forgiveness of sins, the promise of eternal life, and the promise of protection from harm.
The Passover is also part of many prophecies in the Bible. Although the feast was abolished in A.D. 325, the Bible prophesied that God would restore it and give it to His people as a sign by which He can acknowledge us as His chosen people.
The Seal of God
Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation, which is filled with prophecies about our current time. In this book, John foresaw God restoring the Passover and using it as a sign to distinguish us as His people and protect us from harm.
Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”
As the Bible describes, an angel brings the seal of the living God from the east to be placed on the foreheads of God’s people. And the Bible itself explains what exactly is the seal of God.
“Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
John 6:27 (NKJV)
The Son of Man is Jesus Christ, and God the Father placed His seal on Him. So, Jesus Himself is the seal of the living God. This is why the Bible states that we must become one body with Christ so that we, too, can have the seal of God.
So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.
John 6:53-56 (NLT)
Jesus further explains how we can become one body with Him—by eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Through Christ’s body, we can have the prophesied seal of God. Not only does it set us apart to be recognized as the chosen people of God, but it protects us from disasters.
The Passover, the Seal of God
Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ gave His disciples all the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. And one of these important teachings includes how to eat His flesh and drink His blood. Although this was a difficult teaching for many people to understand and receive, Jesus’ disciples understood that it was not a physical message but a spiritual one. Of course, we are not to eat Christ’s physical flesh and blood, so He gave us the way to do this spiritually. It is through the feast of the Passover.
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.
The night before He was arrested to be crucified, Jesus Christ celebrated the Passover with His disciples. And through this Passover, He gave them a very important promise.
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. Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
During the Passover ceremony, Jesus said the bread became His body, and the cup of wine became His blood. In essence, by observing the Passover ceremony and eating the bread and drinking the wine, we can become one body with Jesus. And like this, we can receive the seal of God, which protects us from harm.
The Power of the Passover
Throughout the history of the Bible, God shows us the power of the Passover. Through the Passover, God also differentiates two kinds of people—those who belong to God and those who are not God’s chosen people.
King Hezekiah now sent word to all Israel and Judah, and he wrote letters of invitation to the people of Ephraim and Manasseh. He asked everyone to come to the Temple of the LORD at Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover of the LORD, the God of Israel.
2 Chronicles 30:1 (NLT)
King Hezekiah was a king of Israel, specifically South Judah, who lived 800 years after the Exodus. At the time, the people of God were divided between North Israel and South Judah. Those in the north had abandoned God’s teachings and decrees. However, the people of the south remained faithful to God and kept the Passover.
King Hezekiah sent invitations to all the people living in Israel—both the north and the south—to celebrate the Passover. Nevertheless, the people throughout North Israel treated the Passover with contempt and completely rejected it (2 Ch 30:10). Then God showed the power of the Passover to those who kept it and those who did not.
In King Hezekiah’s fourth year, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it. At the end of three years the Assyrians took it. So Samaria was captured in Hezekiah’s sixth year, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel.
2 Kings 18:9-10
Samaria was the capital of North Israel, and Ephraim, Manasseh, and Zebulun were also located in the north. These regions disregarded the importance of celebrating Passover, which God commanded His people. As a result, Assyria attacked Samaria and captured it. After three years, Assyria completely conquered North Israel. According to the Bible, this happened as a result of their actions.
For they refused to listen to the LORD their God and obey him. Instead, they violated his covenant—all the laws that Moses the lord’s servant had commanded them to obey.
2 Kings 18:12 (NLT)
On the other hand, although Assyria also tried to conquer South Judah, they were unable to. In fact, God protected the people of South Judah and the Assyrians returned to their own land.
“Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria: ‘He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it. By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city, declares the LORD. I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’” That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew.
2 Kings 19:32-24
The people of South Judah kept the Passover. Therefore, God marked them with the Passover seal of God and did not allow the Assyrians to invade them. Through this history, God gives us insight into the power of the Passover as it contains God’s promise.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
This history of the Passover teaches a fundamental principle about how God works. When we celebrate the Passover as God asked us to, God acknowledges us as His people and protects us from harm. The history of the Passover is vast. And the blessings accompanied with observing the Passover are infinite. The World Mission Society Church of God celebrates the New Covenant Passover just as Jesus established it. Visit your local church of God and learn more about the Passover so you too can receive the seal of God.