Although this Editorial was written prior to Passover, by the time it is published, Passover will be over. Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread are a time to examine ourselves and to make an effort to put sin out of our lives. In the Bible, leaven is many times compared with sinful, hypocritical and proud conduct. During the Seven Days of Unleavened Bread, we are reminded of the physical and spiritual applications of sin and righteousness. The physical removal and avoidance of leavening, which we must not neglect, points to the spiritual and symbolical meaning, which is even more important not to neglect.
Passover is a time to re-commit ourselves to our calling from God, and to stay engaged in the efforts that fulfill the purpose of our calling–to preach and publish as a witness the gospel of the Kingdom of God to this sick and dying world, prior to the return of Jesus Christ.
Our efforts to put sin out of our lives are important, since this process helps us to draw closer to God. Sin acts as a barrier in our relationship with God, and especially at this time of year, we are reminded that we must be distancing ourselves from sin. Isaiah 59:2 says: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”
Since separation from God is the effect of sin, then the benefit of removing and abstaining from sin is that we can draw closer to God, and that He hears us as a result. Sin is our enemy, and we must recognize this and deal with it. We cannot ignore sin or attempt to sweep it under the rug, as it were; otherwise, sin will overpower us and the results will be devastating.
To remove sin from our lives is of course not just a “once-a-year” exercise, but it must be done on a continual basis, in order to maintain the positive effect of God hearing and answering us. We understand that it is through the Sacrifice of Christ that we obtain forgiveness of our sins. We also need God’s help to overcome and conquer sin. We cannot do it on our own. And so, God gives us His Spirit to overcome sin–but we must use His Spirit to do so.
It is important for us to carry forward into the balance of the year the vital lessons that these Spring Feast Days picture. They remind us of our responsibilities toward God to stay committed to His Work and purpose for us, and to maintain a state of continual removal of sin. When we remain close to God, He will respond to our prayers and requests throughout the whole year, and He will help us to fulfill the purpose of our calling. As we read in 1 Corinthians 15:57-58:
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”