PASSOVER VS EASTER CELEBRATIONS
The Passover Instituted
Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, giving them a message to the whole congregation of Israel on how they would celebrate the Passover, Exodus 12:1-28.
They were told by the LORD, among other things:
5 ‘Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
11 ‘And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover.
12 ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgement: I am the LORD.
13 ‘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.
14 ‘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.’
And so began the tradition of Passover celebrations throughout the generations until its fulfillment by the death and resurrection of Christ.
Jesus Celebrates Passover with His Disciples
Jesus also celebrated the Passover with His disciples immediately prior to His arrest, death and resurrection, Mathew 26:17-35.
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’
27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you.
28 ‘For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’
So Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper as a celebration of His impending death and resurrection thus began the fulfillment of the Passover that was instituted under Moses Law.
Death on the Cross of Calvary
By His death on the Cross of Calvary Jesus became our Passover lamb as Apostle Paul elaborates in 1 Corinthians 5:7, “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”
The fulfillment of the Passover was then completed by His death as sacrificial Passover lamb on the Cross of Calvary for the remission of sins.
Jesus said that He came not to destroy the Law (under Moses) but to fulfill it. Therefore, the Passover which was instituted under Moses Law was fulfilled into the Lord’s Supper by Christ and eventually became Easter Celebration after His death and resurrection, by which death He replaced the Passover Lamb of sheep or goat.
Although there has been pagan and other influences such as bunnies and egg hunting, Easter Celebrations still remains a Christian tradition with its roots in the Passover Celebrations.
We may do well by stripping Easter celebrations of all pagan and other influences, and make the celebrations a true remembrance of the death and resurrection of Christ, our Passover Lamb.
The major part of the commemoration should be the taking of sacrament in addition to worship and prayer.
17 ‘Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
18 ‘For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one title will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.’
1 Corinthians 11:17-26