Most Christians worldwide anticipate the arrival of Easter, but ignore the arrival of Passover. Many will say Passover is a Jewish holiday. Is this true? Are we commanded to keep Passover? Are we commanded to keep Easter?
We must search the pages of our bibles to discover the answers to these questions.
The Establishment of Passover
In the first five books of the bible, we are given the history and laws of our faith. Often people make the argument that the books of the law is for the Jews only. Because of this belief, we see little pocket bibles that exclude the Old Testament. It is not true that the Old Testament is only for the Jews. We noted in our article It Is Written: The Validity of the Old Testament that the New Testament quotes and paraphrases the Old Testament numerous times. So we must look to the Old Testament first to understand the law then read the New Testament to further understand the spiritual aspects of the law.
We can find the establishment of Passover in Ex. 12, an expansion of the Passover in Num. 9, and the use of new symbols for the Passover in the gospels. Let’s start in Exodus.
In Ex. 12:2-6, God tells Moses how to prepare for Passover. Each household was to separate a spotless lamb from the other lambs on the tenth day of the first month. On the fourteenth day at evening, they were to kill that lamb as sacrifice to God. The fourteenth day of the first month is the day to observe Passover. Also read Lev. 23:5 and Num. 9:3, 5. The following is what they were to do after killing the lamb:
“And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s passover.” (Ex 12:7-11 KJV)
Notice this day is called the Lord’s Passover. This day belongs to God. Can we say the same thing about Easter? Absolutely not. Notice what verse 14 of the same chapter says:
“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.‘ (KJV)
It is a feast we must keep unto the Lord throughout our generation forever. What is the meaning of forever? Grab a dictionary or use an online dictionary to look this up. By definition, forever means without ever ending, eternally. Is it difficult to understand that the Lord’s Passover should be kept eternally?
Expanding the Passover
Now look at this expansion of the keeping of Passover in the book of Numbers:
First God told Moses, “Let the children of Israel also keep the passover at his appointed season.” (Num. 9:2 KJV) The passover must be kept on the fourteenth day of the first month. This is its appointed season; however, God allow two exceptions for not keeping the Passover in its appointed season.
“And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day: and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day:And those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body of a man: wherefore are we kept back, that we may not offer an offering of the Lord in his appointed season among the children of Israel?And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the Lord will command concerning you.And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the Lord.The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.” (Num. 9:6-11 KJV)
The exceptions were being defiled with a dead body (this has to do with touching a dead body for any reason. Read Num. 19:11) and journeying far away. These exceptions did not excuse them from keeping the Passover. The exceptions allowed them to keep the Passover in the second month because anyone who did not keep the Passover was cut off from among God’s people (Num. 9: 13). This is further proof that the Passover is to be kept forever whether in its appointed session or in the following month due to the two exceptions!!!
Take the time to read Deut. 16:1-7. Then search the Old Testament to see how many times children of Israel kept and were commanded to keep the Passover. Notice the Passover was kept on the fourteenth day of the first or second month in accordance with the commandments of God.
New Symbols for Passover
Matt 26, Mark 14, and Luke 22 give parallel accounts of Jesus and the disciples keeping the Passover. John’s book describes the intimate details of Jesus and the disciples keeping the Passover.
“Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.” (Matt. 26:17-19 KJV)
Jesus told them to go and prepare the Passover. What is known as the Last Supper was actually the Passover. This is recounted in Mark 14:12-16 and Luke 22:8-13. This was the last Passover Jesus kept on earth. There are other verses where it is recorded that Jesus kept the Passover before this. Obviously, Jesus would have had to keep the Passover since He kept all the words of God so this should not be a surprise to anyone.
“And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” (Mark 14:22-25 KJV)
Here Jesus institutes the use of new symbols for Passover. Careful comparison between Ex. 12 and the Passover kept in the gospels will show that Jesus instituted the use of wine and unleavened bread. The use of these symbols are confirmed by Paul in the book of Corinthians.
“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 shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” (I Cor. 11:25-29 KJV)
Remember that Paul was not at the Passover with Jesus and His disciples. He could only have learned this from the time he spent with those who were there. He confirms that we should be eating and drinking after the manner Jesus taught His disciples. This should be done to commemorate the sacrifice of Jesus’ life for the remission of sins.
Note that this is not talking about Easter. Research the celebration of Easter. Easter is a pagan holiday made to worship the fertility goddess Ishtar (also known as Ashtoreth and Semiramis) who is connected to the pagan god Tammuz (also know as Baal and Nimrod). The bible actually speaks against worshiping these pagan gods throughout the Old Testament. Take the time to study this.
In addition to instituting the wine and unleavened bread, Jesus instituted the washing of one another’s feet on Passover. This is found in John’s account of the Passover.
“He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded… So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:4-5, 12-15 KJV)
Jesus explains to His disciples that He has provided us with an example that we MUST follow. Remember that Passover is to commemorate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ not His resurrection as Easter claims!!! There is a clear distinction between Passover and Easter. Passover is rich in the history of God’s people. It is called the Lord’s Passover to distinguish it from counterfeit holidays.
Keep the Passover
Passover is to be kept in remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ. On Passover there is to be a feast unto the Lord. We are to drink wine and share unleavened bread in remembrance of Christ. We are to examine ourselves before participating in the Passover observance unworthily. If we are going to call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ then we must follow the example He preserved for us in His word. This includes keeping God’s holy days and abstaining from pagan holidays.
Do not reason within yourself why you should celebrate any holiday that is not of God. Many holidays are connected to God by name only. Their observance and practices are rooted in pagan mysticism and satanism.
“Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4 KJV)
Also we recommend that you read Pagan Holidays-or God’s Holy Days-Which? by the Philadelphia Church of God.