Passover and Love

Claimed nail from the crucifixion


Here are some excerpts from today’s commentary from the Living Church of God:

By William Williams (guest columnist) | Tuesday, March 13, 2012…

God is love, but what is true love? The Apostle Paul said that love is foundational: “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3). Jesus Christ Himself, quoting the Old Testament book of Leviticus, said: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).

In each of these scriptures, the original Greek word used for love is agape, a five-letter word meaning unconditional, outgoing concern for others, with no expectation in return. Agape is a different concept from romantic, erotic, or even filial love – all of which may have similar shades of meaning, but from the purely physical perspective also include some conditionality as well. We love what makes us feel good, quite naturally. But Jesus Christ even commanded us to show agape love to our enemies (Matthew 5:44), who certainly do not love us or desire to give us anything!

There is a love which surpasses all others: a kind which only God can bestow naturally, but which we can learn by His example, and the example of Jesus Christ. Christ’s sacrifice pictures an act of outgoing love for beings that could in no way repay Him, and for whom He was not required to do anything, being perfect and needing nothing from us (John 3:16; Philippians 2:5-8). Through understanding this agape love, we can learn to avoid the pitfalls of human emotion, self-deception and mistakes, as the Bible clearly warns us about (Jeremiah 17:9). Once we do, all other love becomes possible in ways we cannot imagine on our own.

Passover, the day true Christians commemorate Christ’s act of love and sacrifice, will begin the evening of April 5 this year. If you would like to know more, write or call for our free booklet, The Holy Days: God’s Master Plan, or watch the Tomorrow’s World telecast “The Real Jesus” today.

Notice what Jesus taught:

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. (John 10:15)

12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. ( John 15:12-14)

Keeping Passover and loving were among the commands that Jesus gave to His followers.

Passover showed the love of Christ through His sacrifice.  Passover shows that Jesus gave a great love by laying His life down for us and that the Father demonstrated His love by allowing the Son to do that.

Jesus knew the type of beating and death He was to suffer (John 12:27, 32-33, cf. Psalm 22), but submitted to it anyway (John 12:27-28).

Notice specifically that Jesus wanted His followers to continue to keep the Passover:

14 When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:14-19).

In case some forgot, the Apostle Paul made it clear that Christ was the Passover lamb sacrifice, the related festival was to be kept by Christians, and that Christ’s sacrifice was about love:

7…For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  8 Therefore let us keep the feast (1 Corinthians 5:7b-8a).

8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Jesus demonstrated His love by giving His life on Passover.  Should we not show love towards Him by keeping it as He commanded?

Passover this year is after sunset Thursday 5th.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins?
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?

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