What’s Changed?

How has the world changed since the Passover last year?
We have new laws. Same-sex marriage, recreational drugs (Update 572) and the “Fiscal Cliff” are the laws of the land (Update 571).

We have new politicians. Eighteen members of a violent neo-Nazi party were elected to the Greek parliament (Update 540). China’s new leader demanded “…a return to traditional Leninist discipline” (Update 578). Japan’s new “arch-nationalist” Prime Minister supports a shrine where Class A war criminals are “worshipped as venerable divinities” (Update 572).
We have new threats. Iran is closer to having nuclear weapons (Update 554). North Korea threatened a nuclear attack on the United States (Update 581). There is a threat the government will use machines (drones) to attack U.S. citizens on U.S. soil (Update 580).
All this and much, much more since last year’s Passover.
These appear to be warning signs that the end of the age is coming soon (see Biblical Prophecy: From Now Until Forever). But for those in God’s church there is another, even more urgent warning than all of these combined. It is found in 1 Corinthians 11:27:
“…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.”
On Sunday evening, March 24th, baptized members of God’s church will observe the Passover using the symbols described in 1 Corinthians. Will we observe it in a worthy manner? Come Sunday night, there can only be one, very personal answer for each of us–either we honor Christ’s death in a worthy manner, or we become “guilty” of it!
What must we do to truly keep the Passover in a worthy manner? Paul says we must do this:
“Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).
Leaven in this verse symbolizes sin (Update 325). Paul says, purge it, remove it, drive it from of our lives. But notice the exact words Paul uses: “purge out the OLD leaven,” in other words, old sin. Of course, Paul is not excluding “new” sins either, but it is interesting that he emphasizes “old” transgressions–the kind of people that we were before being baptized.
Are there any old sins we need to remove from our lives?
Is there any old selfishness (1 John 3:17), old bitterness (Hebrews 12:15), old prejudice (James 2:9), old worldliness (1 John 2:15), hidden in the corners of our hearts?
Do we need to clean up any old offenses we’ve caused (Matthew 5:23-24) or offenses we have taken (Matthew 5:22)?

We can’t pack these away during the Passover and pull them out afterwards! Paul says, “PURGE THEM!”
What about “little” old sins? Do they really matter? Paul says, they REALLY do matter! Using leaven again to represent sin, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:6, “ …a little leaven leavens the whole lump…”

The point is, we must make a THOROUGH examination of ourselves before we take the Passover:
“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Corinthians 11:28).
Just as surely as we must remove old leaven from our homes, we must remove any old sins that have accumulated in our lives. And we CAN do it, with God’s help! God has given us the instructions (2 Timothy 3:16-17), the power (2 Timothy 1:7), and the opportunity THIS Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread to repent, to change, to live lives full of truth and sincerity (1 Corinthians 5:8).
Many new and unfortunate things may happen in the world between now and the next Passover. But by abandoning our old ways (Ephesians 4:22 , Colossians 3:8) and adopting Christ’s ways (Colossians 3:10), we CAN keep this Passover in a worthy manner, and we CAN live with and rule with Christ forever (Revelation 3:20-21) .
What an incredible future to look forward to!

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