Beyond Today

Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow | Learn more...

You are here

Why Should Christians Keep the Passover?

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×

Only 3 ½ years after He began His ministry, Jesus of Nazareth was apprehended by the religious authorities at the time of the Passover feast (Matthew 26:2 Matthew 26:2You know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
American King James Version×
; Mark 14:1 Mark 14:1After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.
American King James Version×
). After a brief trial-while mocking Him, spitting on Him and beating Him-they took Him before the Roman authorities and accused Him of “perverting the nation, … saying that He Himself is Christ, a King” (Luke 23:2 Luke 23:2And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.
American King James Version×
; Matthew 26:59-68 Matthew 26:59-68 59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; 60 But found none: yes, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. 62 And the high priest arose, and said to him, Answer you nothing? what is it which these witness against you? 63 But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said to him, I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you be the Christ, the Son of God. 64 Jesus said to him, You have said: nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter shall you see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He has spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now you have heard his blasphemy. 66 What think you? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. 67 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, 68 Saying, Prophesy to us, you Christ, Who is he that smote you?
American King James Version×
).

Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor in Jerusalem, after analyzing the charges, declared to the chief priests and the others present: “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man …; no, neither did Herod … I will therefore chastise Him and release Him” (Luke 23:14-16 Luke 23:14-16 14 Said to them, You have brought this man to me, as one that perverts the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof you accuse him: 15 No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, see, nothing worthy of death is done to him. 16 I will therefore chastise him, and release him.
American King James Version×
).

But the people would have none of it. They cried out, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas [a murderer]” (Luke 23:18 Luke 23:18And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas:
American King James Version×
).

Pilate found himself in a difficult position. Wanting to release a man he knew to be innocent, he urged Jesus' captors to reconsider. He was answered with angry shouts of “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” (Luke 23:21 Luke 23:21But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.
American King James Version×
).

Pilate tried to reason with the crowd. “Why, what evil has He done?” he asked. But the mob was insistent, demanding that Jesus be put to death. The priests and the crowd prevailed. The Roman governor freed a murderer and sentenced an innocent man to death (verses 19-25).

Jesus was mercilessly beaten and scourged by the Roman soldiers and subjected to a horrible death.

But why? Why did Jesus Christ have to die?

Meaning of the Passover

Many Christians have been taught that the Passover is an outdated “Jewish” observance done away with at Jesus' death and replaced by Easter, the commemoration of His resurrection.

But why did Jesus Christ keep the Passover? Is there a connection between the Passover and Christ's death? What does the Bible teach us about this most important observance kept by Jesus and the apostles?

In ancient Israel the first Passover was a time of deliverance, the rescuing of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The blood of the Passover lamb was smeared on the doorposts of the residences of those Israelites who put their trust in God, and He promised to deliver them from harm (Exodus 12:13 Exodus 12:13And the blood shall be to you for a token on the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
American King James Version×
, Exodus 12:23 Exodus 12:23For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood on the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you.
American King James Version×
). The Israelites were spared while the firstborn of the Egyptians were slain.

God ordained the Passover as a commanded feast: “So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance” (Exodus 12:14 Exodus 12:14And this day shall be to you for a memorial; and you shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
American King James Version×
).

Much later, during the time of Christ, the observance of the New Testament Passover was revealed as the first step toward salvation. It reminds Christians not only of how God delivered ancient Israel out of Egypt, but, more important, of our deliverance out of sin today. “We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin” (Romans 6:6 Romans 6:6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin.
American King James Version×
, New Revised Standard Version, emphasis added throughout).

The Passover is the first of the annual festivals commanded by God (Leviticus 23:5 Leviticus 23:5In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s passover.
American King James Version×
). Jesus knew this and kept the Passover with His disciples (Luke 22), showing that this is not a command to be taken lightly.

During His final Passover with His disciples, Jesus Christ introduced new symbols, which commemorate Him as “our Passover, [who] was sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7 1 Corinthians 5:7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
American King James Version×
). Jesus said, after He had broken the unleavened bread and given it to His disciples, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19 Luke 22:19And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
American King James Version×
).

The Passover is an annual reminder that, through Christ's sacrifice, we have been set free from slavery to sin so we can serve God in righteousness (Romans 6:1-22 Romans 6:1-22 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death has no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died to sin once: but in that he lives, he lives to God. 11 Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as you have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity to iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness to holiness. 20 For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life.
American King James Version×
).

Sacrifice for sin

But why was Jesus sacrificed for us?

All human beings are in slavery to corruption and death caused by sin (Romans 6:16 Romans 6:16Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?
American King James Version×
; Romans 8:21 Romans 8:21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
American King James Version×
; Hebrews 2:14-15 Hebrews 2:14-15 14 For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
American King James Version×
), “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 Romans 3:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
American King James Version×
). And the Bible says, “the soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4 Ezekiel 18:4Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die.
American King James Version×
, Ezekiel 18:20 Ezekiel 18:20The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him.
American King James Version×
).

What frees us from this bondage to sin? The sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God! God the Father willingly gave up His firstborn Son, and Jesus willingly poured out His life's blood.

Why? Why couldn't God just forgive our sins without a sacri- fice? Why did Jesus Christ have to suffer and die for our sins (Philippians 2:8 Philippians 2:8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.
American King James Version×
)?

The truth is that there is no other way to save humanity from the consequences of sin!

God will not compromise with His perfect law (Matthew 5:17-20 Matthew 5:17-20 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass, one stroke or one pronunciation mark shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
American King James Version×
; Matthew 19:17 Matthew 19:17And he said to him, Why call you me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.
American King James Version×
; Psalms 19:7 Psalms 19:7The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
American King James Version×
). All of God's commands are summed up in the law of love: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36-40 Matthew 22:36-40 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
American King James Version×
).

As the apostle Paul wrote, “Love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10 Romans 13:10Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
American King James Version×
). God's law would, if observed, produce and maintain a peaceful, abundant and joyful society (Deuteronomy 4:5-8 Deuteronomy 4:5-8 5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do so in the land where you go to possess it. 6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. 7 For what nation is there so great, who has God so near to them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call on him for? 8 And what nation is there so great, that has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
American King James Version×
; Deuteronomy 6:1-2 Deuteronomy 6:1-2 1 Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you go to possess it: 2 That you might fear the LORD your God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, you, and your son, and your son’s son, all the days of your life; and that your days may be prolonged.
American King James Version×
; Deuteronomy 28:1-14 Deuteronomy 28:1-14 1 And it shall come to pass, if you shall listen diligently to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command you this day, that the LORD your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on you, and overtake you, if you shall listen to the voice of the LORD your God. 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your cows, and the flocks of your sheep. 5 Blessed shall be your basket and your store. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. 7 The LORD shall cause your enemies that rise up against you to be smitten before your face: they shall come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways. 8 The LORD shall command the blessing on you in your storehouses, and in all that you set your hand to; and he shall bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you. 9 The LORD shall establish you an holy people to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and walk in his ways. 10 And all people of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And the LORD shall make you plenteous in goods, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your ground, in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The LORD shall open to you his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain to your land in his season, and to bless all the work of your hand: and you shall lend to many nations, and you shall not borrow. 13 And the LORD shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath; if that you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day, to observe and to do them: 14 And you shall not go aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
American King James Version×
; Galatians 3:21 Galatians 3:21Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness should have been by the law.
American King James Version×
). Tragically, no human (other than Jesus Christ) has kept God's law perfectly. All have broken it by sinning (1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
American King James Version×
).

The Bible likens sin to leaven: If sin is not removed, it grows and spreads (1 Corinthians 5:6 1 Corinthians 5:6Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
American King James Version×
). The whole world suffers the curse of sin. Wars, famine, disease, oppression, crime, poverty, family problems, emotional disturbances and every type of evil result from sin, the breaking of God's law (Leviticus 26:14-39 Leviticus 26:14-39 14 But if you will not listen to me, and will not do all these commandments; 15 And if you shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that you will not do all my commandments, but that you break my covenant: 16 I also will do this to you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 And I will set my face against you, and you shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and you shall flee when none pursues you. 18 And if you will not yet for all this listen to me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: 20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. 21 And if you walk contrary to me, and will not listen to me; I will bring seven times more plagues on you according to your sins. 22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate. 23 And if you will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary to me; 24 Then will I also walk contrary to you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. 25 And I will bring a sword on you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when you are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. 26 And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and you shall eat, and not be satisfied. 27 And if you will not for all this listen to me, but walk contrary to me; 28 Then I will walk contrary to you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. 29 And you shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall you eat. 30 And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. 31 And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the smell of your sweet odors. 32 And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. 33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. 34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lies desolate, and you be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. 35 As long as it lies desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when you dwelled on it. 36 And on them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursues. 37 And they shall fall one on another, as it were before a sword, when none pursues: and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies. 38 And you shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. 39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.
American King James Version×
; Deuteronomy 28:15-68 Deuteronomy 28:15-68 15 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you this day; that all these curses shall come on you, and overtake you: 16 Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. 17 Cursed shall be your basket and your store. 18 Cursed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your land, the increase of your cows, and the flocks of your sheep. 19 Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. 20 The LORD shall send on you cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that you set your hand to for to do, until you be destroyed, and until you perish quickly; because of the wickedness of your doings, whereby you have forsaken me. 21 The LORD shall make the pestilence stick to you, until he have consumed you from off the land, where you go to possess it. 22 The LORD shall smite you with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue you until you perish. 23 And your heaven that is over your head shall be brass, and the earth that is under you shall be iron. 24 The LORD shall make the rain of your land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down on you, until you be destroyed. 25 The LORD shall cause you to be smitten before your enemies: you shall go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shall be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 And your carcass shall be meat to all fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away. 27 The LORD will smite you with the botch of Egypt, and with the tumors, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof you can not be healed. 28 The LORD shall smite you with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: 29 And you shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways: and you shall be only oppressed and spoiled ever more, and no man shall save you. 30 You shall betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: you shall build an house, and you shall not dwell therein: you shall plant a vineyard, and shall not gather the grapes thereof. 31 Your ox shall be slain before your eyes, and you shall not eat thereof: your ass shall be violently taken away from before your face, and shall not be restored to you: your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have none to rescue them. 32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long; and there shall be no might in your hand. 33 The fruit of your land, and all your labors, shall a nation which you know not eat up; and you shall be only oppressed and crushed always: 34 So that you shall be mad for the sight of your eyes which you shall see. 35 The LORD shall smite you in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the top of your head. 36 The LORD shall bring you, and your king which you shall set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known; and there shall you serve other gods, wood and stone. 37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations where the LORD shall lead you. 38 You shall carry much seed out into the field, and shall gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it. 39 You shall plant vineyards, and dress them, but shall neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. 40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your coasts, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil; for your olive shall cast his fruit. 41 You shall beget sons and daughters, but you shall not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity. 42 All your trees and fruit of your land shall the locust consume. 43 The stranger that is within you shall get up above you very high; and you shall come down very low. 44 He shall lend to you, and you shall not lend to him: he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail. 45 Moreover all these curses shall come on you, and shall pursue you, and overtake you, till you be destroyed; because you listened not to the voice of the LORD your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded you: 46 And they shall be on you for a sign and for a wonder, and on your seed for ever. 47 Because you served not the LORD your God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; 48 Therefore shall you serve your enemies which the LORD shall send against you, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron on your neck, until he have destroyed you. 49 The LORD shall bring a nation against you from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies; a nation whose tongue you shall not understand; 50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favor to the young: 51 And he shall eat the fruit of your cattle, and the fruit of your land, until you be destroyed: which also shall not leave you either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of your cows, or flocks of your sheep, until he have destroyed you. 52 And he shall besiege you in all your gates, until your high and fenced walls come down, wherein you trusted, throughout all your land: and he shall besiege you in all your gates throughout all your land, which the LORD your God has given you. 53 And you shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, which the LORD your God has given you, in the siege, and in the narrow place, with which your enemies shall distress you: 54 So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave: 55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he has nothing left him in the siege, and in the narrow place, with which your enemies shall distress you in all your gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, 57 And toward her young one that comes out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and narrow place, with which your enemy shall distress you in your gates. 58 If you will not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; 59 Then the LORD will make your plagues wonderful, and the plagues of your seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. 60 Moreover he will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt, which you were afraid of; and they shall stick to you. 61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring on you, until you be destroyed. 62 And you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God. 63 And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land where you go to possess it. 64 And the LORD shall scatter you among all people, from the one end of the earth even to the other; and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known, even wood and stone. 65 And among these nations shall you find no ease, neither shall the sole of your foot have rest: but the LORD shall give you there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: 66 And your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you shall fear day and night, and shall have none assurance of your life: 67 In the morning you shall say, Would God it were even! and at even you shall say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of your heart with which you shall fear, and for the sight of your eyes which you shall see. 68 And the LORD shall bring you into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spoke to you, You shall see it no more again: and there you shall be sold to your enemies for slaves and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.
American King James Version×
).

The ultimate result of sin is death. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
American King James Version×
), just as God in His love warned the first man, Adam (Genesis 2:17 Genesis 2:17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.
American King James Version×
).

Why Christ's sacrifice was necessary

God's way of redeeming humanity-all of us-from the death penalty without compromising His perfect law is for the penalty to be paid in our place by the Son of God.

Why? Because “truly, no ransom avails for one's life, there is no price one can give to God for it. For the ransom of life is costly, and can never suffice that one should live on forever and never see the grave” (Psalms 49:7-9 Psalms 49:7-9 7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: 8 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceases for ever:) 9 That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.
American King James Version×
, NRSV). And that applies to us all, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10 Romans 3:10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
American King James Version×
, Romans 3:12 Romans 3:12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.
American King James Version×
, Romans 3:23 Romans 3:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
American King James Version×
).

Our partaking of-participating in-Christ's sacrifice makes possible our reconciliation to God, setting us on the road to eternal life. “… God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us … When we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, … through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Romans 5:8 Romans 5:8But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
American King James Version×
, Romans 5:10-11 Romans 5:10-11 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
American King James Version×
).

Our sins separated us from God, because through sin we lived hostile to God and His ways (Isaiah 59:1-2 Isaiah 59:1-2 1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
American King James Version×
; Romans 3:10-12 Romans 3:10-12 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.
American King James Version×
; Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
American King James Version×
). As sinners we had the death penalty hanging over us. We fell under that penalty for breaking God's law (Romans 3:9 Romans 3:9What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
American King James Version×
, Romans 3:19-20 Romans 3:19-20 19 Now we know that what things soever the law said, it said to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
American King James Version×
).

But, because Jesus Christ's sacrifice paid the death penalty for our sins, God “passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate … His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:24-26 Romans 3:24-26 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus.
American King James Version×
).

Except for Jesus Christ, no man or woman has ever lived without sinning. But notice these encouraging words in the Bible: “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 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
American King James Version×
).

We read that the wages of sin is death, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
American King James Version×
, King James Version).

What must we do?

Does Jesus Christ's death, then, save us? Let's see what the Word of God-the Bible-says.

If Jesus paid the penalty for our sin by His crucifixion, what must we do to receive God's gift of eternal life? Notice Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×
: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission [forgiveness] of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Though “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 Romans 5:8But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
American King James Version×
), His sacrifice does not redeem us from the death penalty until we have repented of breaking God's law, turned from sin and accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Master. Then what happens?

Notice Romans 8:1 Romans 8:1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
American King James Version×
: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the [lusts of the] flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

We no longer seek to go our own way, but are led by the Spirit of God (Romans2:2-16; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 10 But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
American King James Version×
), building our relationship with God and Christ through prayer and study of God's Word (Ephesians 6:18 Ephesians 6:18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
American King James Version×
; 2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 2:15Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
American King James Version×
).

When we embark on this new way of life, following Christ's example as shown in the Bible, we are then saved by His life in us (Romans 5:10 Romans 5:10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
American King James Version×
; Galatians 2:20 Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
American King James Version×
). Gradually God begins to write His law of love (Romans 13:8-10 Romans 13:8-10 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 10 Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
American King James Version×
) in our hearts and minds (Hebrews 10:16 Hebrews 10:16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, said the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
American King James Version×
). We become transformed by taking on the thoughts of God (Romans 12:2 Romans 12:2And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
American King James Version×
; Philippians 2:5 Philippians 2:5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
American King James Version×
).

With the help of God's Spirit we can obey God's law, submit to Him and overcome sin. Sin is no longer in control over us. We become servants of God rather than the servants of sin (Romans 6:12-16 Romans 6:12-16 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?
American King James Version×
). Keeping the Passover brings these great truths into sharp focus.

Will we follow Jesus' example?

Jesus Christ observed the Passover. The Bible makes this clear in many passages (Matthew 26:2 Matthew 26:2You know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
American King James Version×
, Matthew 26:17-19 Matthew 26:17-19 17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to him, Where will you that we prepare for you to eat the passover? 18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say to him, The Master said, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at your house with my disciples. 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.
American King James Version×
; Luke 2:41-42 Luke 2:41-42 41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
American King James Version×
; Luke 22:1 Luke 22:1Now the feast of unleavened bread drew near, which is called the Passover.
American King James Version×
, Luke 22:7-20 Luke 22:7-20 7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. 8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. 9 And they said to him, Where will you that we prepare? 10 And he said to them, Behold, when you are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he enters in. 11 And you shall say to the manager of the house, The Master said to you, Where is the guest room, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 12 And he shall show you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. 13 And they went, and found as he had said to them: and they made ready the passover. 14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 For I say to you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17 And 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 shall come. 19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
American King James Version×
; John 2:13 John 2:13And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
American King James Version×
, John 2:23 John 2:23Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
American King James Version×
; John 13:1-30 John 13:1-30 1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; 3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He rises from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he pours water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded. 6 Then comes he to Simon Peter: and Peter said to him, Lord, do you wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered and said to him, What I do you know not now; but you shall know hereafter. 8 Peter said to him, You shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash you not, you have no part with me. 9 Simon Peter said to him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10 Jesus said to him, He that is washed needs not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and you are clean, but not all. 11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, You are not all clean. 12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said to them, Know you what I have done to you? 13 You call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If you know these things, happy are you if you do them. 18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me. 19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, He that receives whomsoever I send receives me; and he that receives me receives him that sent me. 21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you shall betray me. 22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spoke. 23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spoke. 25 He then lying on Jesus’ breast said to him, Lord, who is it? 26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus to him, That you do, do quickly. 28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spoke this to him. 29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said to him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
American King James Version×
; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29 1 Corinthians 11:23-29 23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do you, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come. 27 Why whoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
American King James Version×
). His words and actions at His last Passover provide us profound lessons about our relationships with Him and our fellow human beings.

“Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed” (Luke 22:7 Luke 22:7Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.
American King James Version×
). According to God's instructions, a new day begins with the evening (Genesis 1:5 Genesis 1:5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
American King James Version×
), not at midnight.

Jesus Christ and His disciples assembled that evening in a large upper room. “And supper being ended … [Jesus] rose from supper and laid aside His garments, and took a towel … and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel …” (John 13:2 John 13:2And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;
American King James Version×
, John 13:4-5 John 13:4-5 4 He rises from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he pours water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded.
American King James Version×
).

Assuming the role of a servant, Jesus washed His disciples' feet and said to them: “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you … If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:14-15 John 13:14-15 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
American King James Version×
, 17).

Jesus carried out this humble act of service to show His disciples that His true followers must be led by a giving, serving attitude. He tells us all by implication to follow His example (see “A Lesson for All Time “).

On that same evening Jesus “took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is [or 'means,' James Moffatt Translation; i.e., 'represents'] My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me'” (Luke 22:19 Luke 22:19And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
American King James Version×
).

He also “took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. For this is [represents] My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins'” (Matthew 26:27-28 Matthew 26:27-28 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink you all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
American King James Version×
).

A lasting memorial

The Bible makes it clear that all who will follow Christ should observe this New Testament Passover in remembrance of His love and sacrifice for our sins and as a reminder of our commitment to Him for what God has done in our lives (1 Corinthians 5:7-8 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
American King James Version×
; Luke 22:19 Luke 22:19And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
American King James Version×
; Luke 14:21-24 Luke 14:21-24 21 So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as you have commanded, and yet there is room. 23 And the lord said to the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say to you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
American King James Version×
).

We are to avoid observing the Passover in an “unworthy” manner, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:26-27 1 Corinthians 11:26-27 26 For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come. 27 Why whoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
American King James Version×
).

Many readers of this scripture have not comprehended the significance of Paul's warning. Some, incorrectly feeling they were not worthy of Christ's sacrifice, have elected not to take the Passover. Others have taken the Passover in attitudes ranging from casual to ritualistic to superstitious. Nothing is magical about the unleavened bread and the wine Jesus used; they were simply symbols to remind us of His sacrifice for our sin.

Self-examination necessary

We are to take the Passover in a worthy manner, but what exactly does that mean?

Paul warned, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Corinthians 11:28 1 Corinthians 11:28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
American King James Version×
).

In a later letter, Paul wrote: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5 2 Corinthians 13:5Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates?
American King James Version×
, KJV).

We are to examine our own hearts before we take the Passover symbols of bread and wine. We are to ask ourselves some searching questions about our intentions toward God and our fellow human beings. Do we show humility and service to others? Do we honor God in our everyday lives?

Just what should your attitude be toward the world, toward God and His laws and toward others? “Do not love the world or the things of the world,” the apostle John wrote. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17 1 John 2:15-17 15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God stays for ever.
American King James Version×
).

As long as we live in “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4 Galatians 1:4Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
American King James Version×
, KJV), which is under Satan's influence (Ephesians 2:1-3 Ephesians 2:1-3 1 And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
American King James Version×
), we will be tempted to break God's law. We are tempted through our own desires (James 1:14 James 1:14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
American King James Version×
) to cheat, lie, boast, swear, gossip, hate, commit adultery and put other things before God (Matthew 5:27-28 Matthew 5:27-28 27 You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: 28 But I say to you, That whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.
American King James Version×
; Galatians 5:19-21 Galatians 5:19-21 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, jealousies, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Contentions, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
American King James Version×
).

Each of us, even though called, repentant and forgiven, will fall down and sin. But, as long as we are genuinely repentant, striving to overcome sin, “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1 1 John 2:1My little children, these things write I to you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
American King James Version×
).

And, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
American King James Version×
). God forgives and accepts us, applying Jesus' sacrifice, as long as we allow God to lead us (Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 2:8For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
American King James Version×
).

No one is worthy of Christ's sacrifice on his own merit. But that is not what Paul is discussing. Not taking the Passover is choosing to disregard Christ's instructions and example. Taking the Passover in an unworthy manner is choosing to take it with little or no respect for Christ's sacrifice, showing indifference to the importance of His death as payment for our sins.

“For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:29-32 1 Corinthians 11:29-32 29 For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
American King James Version×
).

If we take the Passover while reverently respecting and appreciating the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we not only won't be condemned, but we will be on our way to salvation.

Observing the Passover in its New Testament context, and obeying God's Word in respect to His Holy Days, gives understanding of God's great plan for humanity. We are to strive to obey God in all things (Matthew 4:4 Matthew 4:4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
American King James Version×
), a truth that is summed up in the two great commandments-love toward God and love toward our neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40 Matthew 22:36-40 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
American King James Version×
).

You might also be interested in...

Jesus Christ and the apostles kept the Passover. What does Passover mean for...
Millions of people celebrate Easter in commemoration of the resurrection of...