Should Christians Celebrate Passover?
By: W W Know


Onew of the more disturbing trends in the Church today is the proliferation of people who no longer seem to understand the enlightenment of returning to observances of Old ceremonial laws. It is a testimony to this knowledge that many have asked, "should Christians celebrate Passover?" They are seeking honest answers as to why there are so many in the Church today willing to partake in this obviously Old biblical practice?

The answer is that people have become acclimated to such ideas. Chiefly due to influences in the media, a growing number of professing Christians believe that the Bible teaches that the "nation" of Israel remains God's chosen people. Thus they surmise that if they can just align themselves with Israel's culture, land, language, history and traditions, that will bring them favor with God. Sort of like taking out extra insurance. But in truth, they are actually placing themselves back into the Old Covenant signs, which prefigured things that have already come. Anyone looking to the nation of Israel to curry favor with God, is doomed to failure from the start. Because God's people today are a spiritual nation made up of chosen people from all lands, including Israel.  We must not get confused. 

    1st Peter 2:9-10

Today God looks upon every soul that is chosen unto salvation, as His sons and daughters in Christ "by blood." There are none who are children of Israel who obtain mercy by flesh (Romans 9:6-8), because ultimately we are all of one flesh (Adam). God is no respecter of persons. We are all children of God by relationship to Christ, and each soul chosen of God is fully accepted of Him, receiving a full inheritance, regardless of lineage.

    Acts 10:34-35

Peter is declaring that he very plainly understands that the partition wall between Jews and Gentiles has been broken down (Ephesians 2:13-14). All the nationalistic peculiarities, sanctification, special rights, covenants, and unity of body, are now found in the New Covenant body of Christ. This is the only place where the Jew and the Gentile alike will find their excellence. It will not be found in their bloodline, for God is no respecter of persons. What that means is that God does not favor or reject anyone based on his or her outward respects, and no external qualifications will engender favor and acceptance with God. Contrary to popular opinion in our day, there is no Jewish Christian, or Italian Christian, or African Christian in God's sight. We are all now "one body" in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:27-29

There are countless people who read those scriptures, but still have not truly understood exactly what they say. In other words, they are still attempting to separate into a Jewish Christian and a Greek Christian, and affording the Jew a higher position. In doing so, they are making God "indeed" a respecter of persons. And this is the core reason why many professed Christians have looked to the Jewish celebration of Hebrew feasts, and have concluded that they should take part in the Old Covenant Jewish Passover. 

Strangely enough, anyone who affords Jewish people "EQUAL" status with non Jews, are more often than not labeled anti-Semitic. How equal equates to anti-Semitic no one can "rationally" explain, but that doesn't stop the charges. This, despite the fact that God is no respecter of persons, has broken down the wall and made us all one body and declares there is neither Jew nor Greek as far as salvation in Christ goes. There are still those who want to place Israel on a pedestal and look at their Old Testament ordinances as eternally binding.  Justifiably so in some ways as it is very biblical.  But with new symbols and meanings.

Nevertheless, the question remains, should Christians celebrate the Old Covenant Biblical observance of Passover?   I believe that the only Biblical answer to these questions is an unequivocal yes. Of course I fully understand that by giving such an "absolute" answer in an age of irrational caution, political correctness, Church compromise and appeasement will be disdained and leave many aghast.  But I believe that such observances "unquestionably" would be quite biblical.  For and as all of the Old Covenant ceremonial laws were, the Passover feast was also instituted as a "sign" or token foreshadowing Christ's dying on the cross.  It is one of the oldest festivals in the bible, commemorating God's deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt. And it pointed towards Christ fulfilling a greater more perfect deliverance.

    Exodus 13:3

This was a token for Israel signifying that as it was not by man, but only by the sovereign hand of God that Israel was saved, Salvation is by Grace though faith alone. The festival of unleavened bread signifies our trials, and that we truly they would be made sinless only by eating of the broken body of Christ. He would be their sacrifice Passover Lamb and their unleavened bread of righteousness. The Old Covenant/Testament Passover in Exodus was merely instituted as a "pattern," or as a "model" that pointed to the characteristics of Christ, who was the better sacrifice that would truly purge sin from God's people. The prophecy signified by the token, would be fulfilled (magnified) in Christ.  He tells us to keep the feast... (see below)

    1st Corinthians 5:7-8

The feast we keep is  with their New Covenant realities. Here in this verse as plain as day is God's instruction concerning who is the new bread, the Christian Passover. It is Christ that we eat of.  Christians who are Jews and Gentiles alike should understand from the Old Covenant "types" that the true exodus was from spiritual Egypt, and the true deliverance was from spiritual bondage to Satan, and that Christ is our true Passover. His sinless body is our unleavened bread, and His shed blood is our wine. It was for this reason that Christ became flesh and came to earth, that the "sign" of the New Covenant with Israel.  Partaking of the bread is part of our continuing relationship with God.

    Hebrews 2:14-15

Clearly it was by the death of Christ that God's people are delivered from the taskmaster Satan, and brought forth out of the spiritual bondage in Egypt. Like the token or sign Israel, we were delivered by sovereign God and established as the free (John 8:33-36), chosen people of God. 

The first Passover celebration was actually a prophecy of the coming Christ and true deliverance from bondage. 

It commemorated their deliverance from being bondservants in Egypt. Christ's death on the cross represented the "true" act of deliverance that the Passover looked towards. All the Old Covenant festivals were given to teach God's people, through ceremonies, the true nature of His plan of salvation. 

The knowledgeable Christian asks the question;  What can we do in our physical lives to bring us closer to our Savior?  The new breed of Christian says we can't keep or observe any of the ceremonies or rites.  The knowledgeable Christian understands that these holy days were shadows of things to come.  The average church goer that claims to be a Christian don't even know these ceremonies exist or even why they were instituted, and they just blow this understanding away by saying they passed away with the coming of the New Testament congregation.

    Colossians 2:16-17

The reason why Christians should not judge with respect to meats, times, or holy days is because those ceremonies were  [skias] of things to come. The were patterns showing the outline of the "truth"   So should Christians celebrate Passover which was the pattern? 

    Hebrews 9:22-25

The festivals and sacrifices in the Old Covenant holy Temple were meant to continue.  Likewise, we  keep the feast  observance not of the shadow in killing a literal Lamb, but in the New Covenant observance of Christ's Passover Ceremony. We observe it in having put off the sin of the flesh in our Passover sacrifice, Christ. Christ has already come as our Passover lamb, and His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness.  He has already come as our unleavened bread through which we are purged from the leaven of sin. 

    Luke 22:16-20

When Christ gathered the Apostles in the small room in Jerusalem, he led them in the annual Passover or Passover dinner. And there in instituting the Lord's table, He effectively did away with the Old Passover observance. His words, "this do" in remembrance of me is declaring that the Passover festival is replaced by His broken Body and shed blood, and this is the New Covenant ceremony for Israel. This is our New Covenant feast observance instituted by Christ.

    Luke 22:16-20

In instituting this new bread observance, Christ (a Jew) was making the disciples (who were Jews) to understand that the "whole purpose" of the Passover feast was to prefigure His broken body. 

And any New Covenant requires a new seal and symbol.  God himself has thus substituted a new Covenant/Testament feast ceremony in place of the Jewish Passover. Because the original ceremony "represents" the Old Testament/Covenant observance, it is of  current significance to Christians today. 

    Romans 6:9-11

As Christians who study to rightly divide the word of truth, we should recognize that our Christian Passover was in the body of Christ. That was our Passover feast. We were given the elements and symbols of the New Covenant with Israel in what is known as The Lord's supper or to some the Communion. By Christ first doing this at Passover, He is transitioning from the "shadow" to the "true," illustrating that His broken body is the transformation. It's not that the true meaning has changed, but the position and observance has changed. Thus the symbol had to change for the New Covenant Israel (Hebrews chapters 8-10) congregation representation. We would no more desire to go back to the old as we would want to go back to Gentiles being unclean, or to sacrificing Lambs blood, or to the laws of separating threads in our clothing.

    1st Corinthians 11:23-26

Jesus' death on the cross did away with the animal sacrifices and rituals. He instituted the New Covenant/Testament Symbols in the shedding of His blood.

    Hebrews 10:8-10

Yet, there are other reasons given for these ideas. 

I have heard some say that the reason they celebrate a Christian Passover is because it is historically beneficial, is part of our Christian heritage, leads to a greater understanding of the Bible, and gives us a first-hand experience of the Christian Passover. Probably quite true in conceptualization.

    Hebrews 10:11-14

We can continue to observe Old Covenant feasts, and eat unleavened bread of Passover, which figures in Christ. We can learn from the symbols and know that they point to Christ and understand how it transitioned from the physical to the spiritual.  The spiritual is the foreshadow of things to come.   That is a time when the New Covenant will be fulfilled with the return of our savior Jesus the Christ.  The Lord's Supper "is" the New Testament Passover observance of eating Christ. Why do you think Christ instituted it on His Passover? And did we just read that Christ was our Passover?  We take on Christ in our lives.

In conclusion, the question, "Should Christians celebrate Passover" or "Should we have a Christian Passover," is not a matter of Christian liberty or of the conscience of each individual Christian.  Rather it is a matter of discernment, understanding, of biblical principles, and of spiritual wisdom.  

When I hear the question, "Why do Christians celebrate Passover?" My answer is if we celebrate it, it teaches us about Christ and his marvelous sacrifice for us, the forgiveness of sin and the love that He had for us.  We take a moment in our busy schedules on that anniversary day, just like we observe other anniversaries, and acknowledge what Christ's death meant for us.

    May the Lord who is gracious and merciful, guide us all into a better understanding of His will and His word, and instruct us in the way wherein we should go.

Amen!