By: W W Know
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.
- "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy
nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of
him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
- Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which
had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."
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.
- "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive
that God is no respecter of persons:
- But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is
accepted with him."
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.
- "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on
- There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor
free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
- And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to
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.
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
- "And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came
out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand
the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened
bread be eaten."
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.
- "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye
are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for
- Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the
leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity
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.
- "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he
also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might
destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
- And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject
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
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.
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?
- Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an
holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days:
- Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is
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.
- "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without
shedding of blood is no remission.
- It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens
should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with
better sacrifices than these.
- For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which
are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to
appear in the presence of God for us:
- Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth
into the holy place every year with blood of others;"
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
- "And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this
Passover with you before I suffer:"
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.
- "For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be
fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
- And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it
- For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the
kingdom of God shall come.
- And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them,
saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance
- Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the New
Testament in my blood, which is shed for you."
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
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.
- "Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death
hath no more dominion over him.
- For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he
liveth unto God.
- Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive
unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
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.
- "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto
you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
- And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my
body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
- After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying,
This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft
as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
- For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the
Lord's death till he come."
- "Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and
offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which
are offered by the law;
- Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the
first, that he may establish the second.
- By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body
of Jesus Christ once for all."
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.
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.
- "And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes
the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
- But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat
down on the right hand of God;
- From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
- For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are
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
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.