The Forgiveness of Sins and the Passover
Not everyone agrees on the way to receive the forgiveness of sins—some people say through prayer and others say through good deeds. However, the Bible can settle this controversy by letting us understand who we are, why we are here on this earth and God’s promise to grant us eternal life.
We Are More Than What Meets the Eye
When looking in the mirror, we only see a reflection of our body. But when God looks at us—in fact, when God created us—He sees more than just a body.
Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.
Genesis 2:7 (NLT)
According to the Bible, living people consist of “dust,” which represents the physical body, and “breath of life,” which represents the spirit or the soul. The combination of the two gives us physical life. And the Bible describes death as the separation of these two elements.
For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 (NLT)
Upon death, the two elements that make human beings live separate, and we are able to discern our true essence. While our body returns to the earth, our spirit returns to God.
“To return” means to go back to a former place. This means our spirits are part of the world of God, that is, heaven. Before our spirits entered our bodies, they existed in the spiritual world, the kingdom of heaven.
Our True Home Is Heaven
Through testimonies of the Bible, we can confirm our spirit is from heaven.
“The LORD formed me from the beginning, before he created anything else. I was appointed in ages past, at the very first, before the earth began. I was born before the oceans were created, before the springs bubbled forth their waters.”
Proverbs 8:22-24 (NLT)
King Solomon, the writer of the book of Proverbs, explains he was born before the earth began. Since this is physically impossible, it is clear he is referring to his spiritual birth.
Then the LORD answered Job from the storm. He said: “Who is this that makes my purpose unclear by saying things that are not true? Be strong like a man! I will ask you questions, and you must answer me. Where were you when I made the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.”
Job 38:1-4 (NCV)
God asked Job to answer His question about where he existed when God created the earth. Job had no idea how to answer God because, in his mind, he was not born at that time. However, God says differently.
Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!
God said that Job’s spirit was already born when He created the earth.
The Bible contains these accounts to teach us that we, too, have lived so many years. Before our spirit was on this earth in our body, we were together with God. And while on this earth, we long to be with God in heaven again. We need to know why we left heaven in the first place.
From Heaven to this Earth
Through Christ’s coming, we can understand why we are no longer in the kingdom of heaven.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Jesus describes us as “the lost” since we have been lost from heaven to this earth.
“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
Rather than referring to us as the lost again, this time Jesus describes us as “sinners”—sinners who were lost from heaven to this earth. This implies the sin we must be forgiven for did not take place on this earth, but instead took place in heaven.
Think of our judicial system. Prisoners do not end up in prison for crimes committed in prison. Instead, they are sent to prison for crimes committed outside of prison.
In the same way, we are on this earth, a spiritual prison, as a result of our sin against God in heaven. This is why there is more sadness and despair and why happiness is fleeting. Although the wage of our sin is death (Rom 6:23), God, who is love, is willing to forgive this unforgivable sin.
“The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.”
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners.”
Through these verses, God proves He has prepared a way for us to receive His grace, the forgiveness of the sins we committed in the spiritual world.
In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace, which he has given to us so fully and freely.
Ephesians 1:7-9 (NCV)
By receiving the forgiveness of sins through Christ’s blood, we can be set free from the sins that caused us to come down to this earth in the first place. Once we receive this forgiveness, we will be able to return to our home, heaven.
How to Receive Christ’s Blood for Forgiveness
The Bible clearly says that forgiveness of sins is not contained in good deeds or prayer, but only through the blood of Christ. Then the most important thing for us, sinners, is to receive Christ’s blood. But first, we need to know when He gave it.
As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.
Matthew 26:26-28 (NLT)
Christ gave His blood, which is a sign of God’s covenant (or promise) of the forgiveness of sins, through wine. But not just any wine.
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?” “As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there.
Matthew 26:17-19 (NLT)
The night Christ promised His body and blood for the forgiveness of sins was Passover night. Therefore, only by celebrating the Passover (which takes place once a year) can we be forgiven of our sins and return to the kingdom of heaven.
The Christian Passover
To most Christians, Passover is the furthest thought from their mind when it comes to the forgiveness of sins. However, this is the teaching Jesus Christ left for His true disciples.
He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.
Luke 22:19-20 (NLT)
Christ’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins is only for those who are Christ’s disciples. Those who believe in Christ and His teachings will celebrate the Christian Passover, which is called the New Covenant Passover.
Even though the disciples and apostles continued celebrating the New Covenant Passover even after Christ’s ascension (1 Cor 11:23-26), the Passover was abolished in A.D. 325 at the Council of Nicaea.
However, those who believe and love Jesus will not neglect His will.
“If you love me, you will obey my commands.”
John 14:15 (NCV)
For this reason, members of the World Mission Society Church of God celebrate the New Covenant Passover for the forgiveness of sins as well as God’s infinite mercy, grace and blessing contained in this command. Visit us and learn how you, too, can celebrate the New Covenant Passover and receive God’s promised eternal life.