High Reward Versus Punishment Is an Important Reason to Keep the Christian [2nd] Passover
Christ’s three wedding parables have Passover imagery and offer an implied benefit for being ready versus serious loss if not. “Ruler over all that He has” is preferable to beaten with stripes for failure to prepare. Christ’s clues point to a provision in Jewish law for a late Passover, “as in the days of Noah.”
Christians believe Christ fulfilled the Passover by dying as the Lamb of God (John 1:29) so that we don’t need to sacrifice animals. but Passover included other imagery that we overlook.
1. Passover was when God said, “I will execute judgment,” Exodus 12:12. It was a time when believers were to be awake and pray that God would pass over them in any judgment that may come. The model was in Egypt where they put blood on the door post and were awake all night, Exodus 12:10. We don’t kill lambs, but “watch” (derived from gregoreo, meaning to be awake) is for us, Matthew 26:38-41.
2. Passover commemorated the greatest event of Old Testament history—the deliverance of Israel from physical bondage, and it prefigured the greatest event in the New Testament—our deliverance from spiritual bondage and salvation. Keeping Passover was commanded as a statute “forever.” And God says “I change not.” Malachi 3:6. Did He forget Christ was going to die at Passover and the law would be “nailed to the cross”? Or are there additional reasons for us to keep it?
3. The apostle Paul kept the Passover Feast of Unleavened Bread with Greek believers in Philippi, and he said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Acts 20:6; 1Cor 11:1. Was he inconsistent with his other statements or do we misunderstand them?
For example, translators added the word “is” to Colossians 2:17, giving us the idea that those holy days were shadows, but Christ is the substance. Removing the “is,” could allow the text to be read, Don’t let anyone judge you for keeping these holy days which are shadows of things to come [and therefore not all fulfilled] but the body of Christ [local chuch] can decide how to keep them.
Another example is Galatians 4:10. The Galatians were hair-splitting and arguing over fine points in an effort to earn their salvation by keeping the law, something that Christian must not do, Ephesians 2:8,9.
4. Christ also linked Passover to the wedding parables. In Matthew 22 it is said to be a feast. Passover was the only annual Sabbath where food was specified and it is said to be a “feast” in Leviticus 23.
In Matthew 25, the cry at midnight is an echo of Exodus 12:29,30 at Passover. We are to have “loins girded” and if we are awake,(Passover, Exodus 12:10,11), when He “knocks,” He will gird himself and serve us (as He did with his disciples at the Last Supper, Luke 12:35-37.
Summary: The above four reasons to keep Passover are not about sacrificing lambs; they are valid reasons for us to observe it as a memorial to His sacrifice, a time of judgment, hopeful of a wedding opportunity when we may have unleavened bread [teachings, Matthew 16:12] instead of wedding cake.
In the previous parable, if we are “so doing” when He comes, “He will make [us] ruler over all that He has,” but the servant that fails is “beaten with stripes,” Luke 12:44,47. “So doing” implies we open to Him with the feast of unleavened bread, but “beware the leaven of [church leaders], Matthew 16:12.
Christ foresaw that leaders would leaven or lighten the Bread of Life by saying we don’t have to keep the law (reason for lawlessness world-wide). His kingdom is dominion of a king by His wise laws, Deuteronomy 4:8. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul,” Psalm 19:7.
If He “knocks,” we must “open unto Him immediately” to keep the 7-day Feast of Unleavened Bread that begins with Passover on the 15th day of the month. What’s His “knock”? The only other place where Christ knocks is for the Church of Laodicea, a lukewarm church that ended in an earthquake circa 63 AD.
Like the calamity that fell on Egypt causing a midnight cry, we are in for a rude awakening, but those who “watch and pray” for God to pass over them may be spared.
There are seven topics that preachers have leavened so that they are not even on our radar as being important, but the Bible gives them a 7-fold emphasis like the statutes and judgments that Christ implied would be restored by “Elijah” before He comes, Matthew 17:11; Malachi 4:4,5.
Lastly, it would be unfair of Christ to ask us to be watching [awake] every night of the year in order to be ready when He comes. But Passover [imagery of the wedding parables] was the only night in the year when being awake was commanded, both in Old and New Testaments; we should be able to do so.
Christ further clued us that it’s “like a man traveling to a far country,” referring to a provision in their law for Passover a month later, “as in the days of Noah” when the Flood came with Passover timing, but in the 2nd spring month. Both of those clues and two others fit the provision in Numbers 9:10,11—the law that is in effect till heaven and earth pass, Matthew 5:18.
This year, the 15th day of the 2nd spring month, counting from the thin crescent, is the 15th day of
May. Celebrating Passover Wednesday evening with grape juice and unleavened crackers or Triscuits may meet the imagery. We should also spend time meditating on Christ’s last night and what He suffered for us. A biogaphy of His life once most recommended in the Library of Congress may be helpful.
Dr. Ruhling’s websites include http://MayJudgmentDay.com and http://TheBridegroomComes.com and there’s a link to the 7-topics for consideration during the Feast of Unleavened Bread if Christ “knocks” with an earthquake!