We appreciate the biblical importance of blessing Israel. Even of knowing and understanding God’s Word. However, do we realize the benefits of understanding and observing Passover? Do we understand how Jesus kept Passover AND increased its meaning?
Join us as we explore…
- The history of Passover
- The connection between Jesus and Passover
- How Passover was forbidden not by God, but man
- How Jew AND Gentile benefit from observing Passover today
What is the History of Passover?
The history of Passover goes like this: God put Passover in place during the series of plagues He brought to Egypt to free His people from enslavement.
Speaking to Aaron and Moses, God informed them as to why they were to observe Passover, how, when, the number of days, the benefits and blessings associated, and for how many generations it was to be enacted. In all this, God was clear on what our role was to be and what He in turn would do… and while only the first observance would be required to spare the firstborn of God’s people, God still desired its continued observance for our sakes; for all the remembrance, teaching, and blessings it brings according to Exodus 12 and 23, and the new revelation added within the New Testament.
“Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
“So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.”—Exodus 12:13-14
From the very beginning, God spoke that Passover was to be a memorial to us, yet, further still, He said that we were to keep it throughout our generations. That Passover was to be an EVERLASTING ordinance…
“…I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.”—Malachi 3:6
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”—Hebrews 13:8
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”—Numbers 23:19
God is not a man that He should lie, He does not change—being the same yesterday, today, and forever—so, we are still to observe Passover, right?
Yes. Passover is not only for the Jewish people. After all, even in the early days of Passover observance, there were non-Jews; an ample number of Egyptians choosing to leave Egypt with the Jews and therefore being expected to adhere to God’s ordinances and ways…
This ‘grafting’ together of Jew and Gentile is not new, but it has only amplified since then. For we have a Jewish Messiah, Jesus, who created one new man from the two—Jew and Gentile—thus making peace! Yes, we have circumcision of the heart instead of the body. Yes, we have the blood of Jesus to atone for our inability to fully keep God’s Law. However, God did not void His words. He said Passover was to be an everlasting ordinance, and He meant it.
All of us are God’s children, and He, like the Good Father that He is, wants us to sit at His table as He blesses us!
Jesus and Passover—Why Was Passover Forbidden If Jesus Ordained It?
Jesus and His disciples celebrated Passover. We know this by looking at the history of Passover. And for hundreds of years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, Passover was celebrated by believing Jews and Gentiles. They would sit at the Passover table as Jesus and His disciples did, only now Jew and Gentile did so as one. A person’s ancestors being insignificant compared to a common faith in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit…
Jews could have the redemption of Jesus’ blood; Gentiles, the covenant blessings once only known to the Jews. They were in one accord.
“Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh… aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation… so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.”—Ephesians 2:11-15
This was a relationship which fully demonstrated the love and mercy of God.
That is, until religious leaders who allowed ungodly spiritual influences to speak into and through them became envious of the Jews’ heritage, trying to hoard faith. Even Roman rulers who wanted obedience, quickly worked to alter the views of the Gentile half of the Body, embracing the baseless ideals of religious leaders…
Many of whom wrote that it was the Jews who killed Jesus; that God was tired of Jews and brought in Gentiles to replace them; and even that Jews had no right to the Word because of their shortcomings!
These leaders ignored the fact that God does not change, and that many of His covenants have no method of breaching by either party—no way to remove one’s rights to the covenant—thus, God would not cast aside His promises to the Jews!
They even forgot that Jesus was a Jew, a Rabbi, and that He observed “Old Testament” and “Jewish” holidays!
They wanted someone to blame for the death of Jesus while also creating for themselves a self-importance they could grow…
So, new rules and regulations were made banning many things considered “too Jewish,” and alternatives were created to allow easier transitions for Gentile Believers.
Even Constantine—a Roman emperor who embraced a “type” of Christianity—helped religious and politically motivated leaders move Gentile Believers even further away from their Jewish roots…
- Slowly, the Sabbath moved from Friday/Saturday to Sunday.
- Sunday observance not only intended to separate Jews from Gentiles, but to ease Gentile Believers into acceptance while hopefully converting other Roman citizens to the emperor’s newly favored religion. Sunday was already the day used to observe a Roman sun god, therefore, making the transition simple.
- Jewish and Gentile Believers were disallowed to eat or fellowship with one another.
- Disobedience having punishment that could range from moderate to a full-on death sentence; ignoring God’s Word in regard to fellowship.
Well, Passover was forbidden as well. Yet, in an effort to make the transition easier, Gentile Believers were “given” a new holiday to observe. Easter.
Now, Easter, like Sunday, was previously meant for another god—or in this case, most likely a goddess. Recycling the days being far easier for both Believers and non-believers to adjust to…
Yet replacing Passover with Easter, in particular, was playing with fire. The day had originally been a spring festival, focused on rebirth or fertility, likely in the form of a celebration to a pagan goddess…
And since Easter fell close to, or during, Passover, the timing was excellent as a “replacement,” but unfortunately, they could have hardly chosen a more unholy day…
Further still, not only was Passover disregarded in favor of Easter, but the religious councils removed and added anything they desired. For instance, the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection was added while the Jewish heritage (a big part of the history of Passover) was “taken away”—the significance of Yeshua as the Passover Lamb, the nine blessings of Passover found in Exodus 23, and much more.
How Passover Impacts YOU
While celebrating the resurrection of Jesus in and of itself is a good thing, as pagan mixture was added to Easter by the very choice of the day, what was stolen from Believers were the lessons, truths, and blessings of Passover…
- The nine blessings that come with Passover to bring us into alignment for the year.
- The fullness of communion that we learn from Passover—the communion cup being one of the four Passover cups.
- The revelation of Jesus as our Passover Lamb.
- The richness of heritage and the increase of inheritance.
The fourth century religious leaders and councils not only took these and other things away from the early Believers, but also from us; and we are only now getting them back, around 1,700 years later and nearly 2,000 since Jesus ascended into Heaven!
Yet, we ARE getting these things back. Slowly but surely, Believers around the world are learning about what was stolen by exploring the history of Passover! They are remembering that they are grafted into the Jewish people—God bringing Jew and Gentile together as one new man.
We are meant to find peace that way; to be strengthened by the blessings and knowledge of BOTH parts! Living our lives for HIM; our Messiah and King!
God’s Word is as powerful today as it ever was; every word, from the smallest letter to the slightest stroke of the pen. When we accept and walk in that truth, AMAZING things happen! Passover is just one of those!
“…some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.”—Romans 11:17-18