The Passover is fast approaching and it is high-time for all of us to examine ourselves. Maybe, one of the most overlooked significance of the Passover is keeping the unity of the church. When we hear of Passover, we thought of being forgiven of our sins, being reconciled with one another, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. However, not much is said about Passover teaching us to become united as a church.
This is the ninth part of the Bible Study about the lessons we need to learn from the Passover. Today, let us take a look at how Passover is teaching us the importance of unity.
A difficult issue of the Corinthian church
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul urges everyone to avoid partaking of the Passover in an unworthy manner. This can be read in I Corinthians 11:27-29. He adds that we need to seriously examine ourselves because that person who “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”.
He later added in verse 29, “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”
We know that one of the representations of the Lord’s body is the Church (I Corinthians 12:27). The Corinthian church is dealing with a big problem among themselves. If we carefully read the context of what the Apostle Paul is saying, we would learn of this problem in the earlier verses.
I Corinthians 11:17-19: Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are DIVISIONS among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be FACTIONS among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.
This is one of the reasons that Paul is telling the Corinthian church to examine themselves and see if they are becoming an instrument of disunity within the congregation.
When we look at the churches of God today, there is no doubt that we have a poverty of unity. Even within congregations, we see factions or groups who don’t agree with each other. It is a sad state of the church that we need to lament for.
One Bread and One Body
There is no doubt that keeping the unity of the church is a very difficult. We all have our differences and these differences keep us from uniting. Most often than not, it is not just the members who are causing division, but the church leaders and administration themselves. We have seen this in the past and we will surely see this happening again.
The Passover reminds us that we partake of the same bread and we are part of the same body. This is a vital lesson that we need to realize. Paul wrote:
I Corinthians 10:16-17: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are ONE BREAD AND ONE BODY; for we all partake of that one bread.
We claim to be partaking of the same body and yet, our actions speak otherwise. Paul is telling us we ought to be united because we believe in the same God, we have the same doctrine, we have the same faith.
Partaking of the Passover is the acknowledgment that we are all for unity, that all of our actions are for unity, that we endeavor for unity, and that we are willing to exert every effort to achieve and maintain the unity of the church.
When Jesus Christ returns, He will marry one church and not many churches. It is undeniable that we still have a long way to go to achieve true and genuine unity. As humans, we will never achieve this. But with God, all things are possible. It is my sincerest hope, as difficult as it may be, that all of us will work hard to attain unity.