Powerful Passover and Easter Connections

It was exactly three years ago that I decided I would be baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  This decision came as a result of praying to the Lord to know if the Church was true, and subsequently receiving a witness of its truth from the Holy Spirit.  I knew for sure that it was true while I watched a video called Mountain of the Lord, which is about how early members built the Salt Lake Temple.  But this was not the only witness that I received.  My testimony about the power of covenants, and the importance of the baptismal covenant, is rooted in the meaning of both Passover and Easter.

In case you’re unfamiliar, Passover is a yearly celebration of the salvation of the Jewish people from the plague of death right before Moses led everyone out of slavery in Egypt and into the desert.  A number of plagues had come to the Egyptian population beforehand, as a result of Pharaoh hardening his heart and failing to let Moses’ people go.  The final plague was the death of the firstborn son of every household, unless they sacrificed a lamb and smeared its blood on the door of their homes.  If the angel of death saw the blood, then the sacrifice stood in the stead of the firstborn son and the family was “passed over” from the plague. (Exodus 12)

I didn’t realize it before, but this entire thing is closely connected to Jesus Christ.  When I first found the Church, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to read the Old Testament before I started reading the Book of Mormon.  When I first read the passover story, I recognized it and didn’t think much of it.  I heard it many years before from either my dad at bedtime, or my CCD instructor when I was still going to Catholic Sunday School.  Or perhaps it was from Rugrats.  Who knows?  Regardless, I passed it over (heh), and kept reading.  It wasn’t until I neared the Easter season, having finished the Old Testament, that I recognized the deep significance of this story.  I always knew Easter was about Jesus dying on the cross and rising again from the dead, which enables all of us to rise from the dead and receive renewed, eternal bodies.  I knew that His sacrifice was the means by which we are all cleansed of our sins.  But I never recognized, until that particular Easter season, that the Last Supper was Passover, and that Jesus’ words of “this is my body…this is my blood…which will be given up for you…” (Luke 22) would have been particularly meaningful to the Jews with whom he was celebrating Passover Supper.  Jesus became the Passover Lamb.  His blood was the sacrifice, so that we all might be saved.  He was the firstborn Son Who stood in our place, so that we do not suffer eternal death.  Mind…blown.

But wait…there’s more!  My personal realization didn’t stop there.  Thinking about this analogy closely, I realized that both of these events depended upon the covenant that an individual entered into.  If the Jewish family in Egypt did not sacrifice their lamb and smear the blood on the door as they were told in accordance with that particular law, this agreement of being passed over would be null and void.  It requires an individual to enter into the covenant–to do his part.  A covenant is a contract.  It involves at least two parties promising something.  The Lord promises that He will save us from our sins, if we enter a covenant with Him to follow the Commandments to the best of our ability, to mourn with those that mourn, who comfort those that stand in need of comfort…in other words, to be baptized. (Mosiah 18:8-10)  Indeed, Jesus told us explicitly that we must be baptized by water and by fire and the Holy Spirit (confirmation) in order to live with Heavenly Father for eternity (John 3: 3-5).  Otherwise, Jesus’ sacrifice is meaningless.

Framing both events in terms of a covenant helped me to move from the Protestant doctrine of Grace to the LDS doctrine of the Atonement.  In the Protestant Faith, I was taught for several years that the concept of Grace meant that His sacrifice was already complete and that there was nothing I needed to do, other than acknowledge the sacrifice and turn my life over to Him.  Baptism isn’t really necessary, according to many Protestants (not all believe that baptism is unnecessary).  Some believe that as long as you are baptized as a baby in some other faith, re-baptism isn’t necessary.  But the LDS Church says that baptism is a covenant.  A covenant is a contract between two parties–not a one-sided agreement.  Yes, we do very little for the Lord…compared to what He does for us, we do absolutely nothing.  But our agreement is to give our all to the Lord.  It is everything we have.  We cannot think of ourselves as mere recipients.  We must think of ourselves as active participants.  The Atonement is available to any who want to partake, but they must actively participate.  Grace, we believe, is the enabling power of the Atonement–the ability that the Atonement gives us to see things from an eternal perspective, which helps us to repent, love, serve, and forgive.  Knowing the full breadth of spiritual power that comes from thinking of it this way, I could never go back to the Protestant doctrine of Grace.

The Lord loves all of us.  He has touched my life deeply, and led me by the hand to where I am today.  The Patriarch, before my Patriarchal Blessing, received a prompting that I would never leave the LDS Church.  I believe that prompting.  I know that I will face trials, but that the Maker of all things will stand at my side, and enable me through the Atonement to move forward.  I humbly testify to you that if you enter into a covenant with Him, you will receive the Holy Ghost as a constant companion, that can comfort you, guide you, and love you.  If you recognize Him as the Passover Lamb, and decide to covenant with Him, it will be a very good deal for you.  You will find your mind and heart opened to a world of spirituality that you didn’t know existed.   I say these things in the name of the King of Kings, even Jesus Christ, the Lord.  Amen.

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6 thoughts on “Powerful Passover and Easter Connections

    1. What do you think about the fact that Jesus told His disciples during the Passover Supper (Last Supper) that this was His blood, His body? Do you think that’s a connection? Thanks for reading! Have a great Easter!!

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  1. I for one, truly believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and part of the Trinity of Jesus, Holy Spirit and God. I believe he died for me and I believe the Bible to be the WORD of God. However, I do have a question…..Why is there another book called the Book of Mormon? Do Mormons consider the Book of Mormon to be equal, less than or more than the Bible itself (Word of God). I have felt a tugging for about two years to look into the MORMON faith, but these questions keep popping up. Do they believe that they are equal to Jesus Christ? I heard they consider themselves to be the brother of Jesus. Is this correct? I have many other questions, but these will do for now.

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    1. Lee, thank you so much for reading and for your questions. They are many of the same questions that I had when I was looking into the LDS Church. I’ll answer your questions here, but I encourage you to check out mormon.org and chat with missionaries also–and if you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on facebook or Twitter and we can have a more lengthy private chat!

      To begin with, why is there another book called the Book of Mormon? Well, if you read the Old Testament, you’ll notice it stops right after the Babylonian Captivity, about 400 or so years from the time that Christ is born. The New Testament starts right around the time that Christ is born. So there is a 400 year gap in Scripture. We believe that some of the people in Jerusalem at the time right before the Babylonian Captivity escaped, and fled on a boat across the Atlantic, and landed somewhere in Central America. The Book of Mormon is their story, and takes place in and after the 400 year gap. We believe it to be the Word of God, and that it is equal to the Bible, because it is *another* testament of Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean that the Bible is not a testament of Jesus Christ, it just simply means that the Lord speaks to all peoples on the Earth, and this is the story of another population, and their interactions with God.

      We do not believe we are equal to Jesus Christ, however, we do believe that we are his spirit brother. We also believe He is God. This gets rather complicated, but we believe in the Pre-Existence, before we came here to Earth, that Jesus was there with us, and that He volunteered to be our Savior, Master, and King. The Father knew that Jesus His Son was instrumental to the Plan of Happiness. We believe (and the Bible also says) that Jesus Created the Earth, and therefore, He is the Father of all living. We also believe that He will rule and reign over us when He comes again, when this era comes to a close and He returns, just before the Final Judgment.

      I would love to answer any other questions you might have. Please shoot me an email or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter. notsodistantfuture7@gmail.com.

      Look forward to chatting with you!

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