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Thread: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

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    A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    As we move into the Easter weekend, we take time to contemplate the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. The Apostle Paul puts it simply and beautifully in his letter to the Romans:

    " But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. " -Romans 5:8

    The Easter holiday coincides with the Jewish celebration of Passover, which includes the Feast of Unleavened Bread and First Fruits. Though most Christians don't celebrate the Passover, these feast days offer a wealth of rich symbolism, symbolism that Jesus and his disciples clearly recognized in the Gospels. The Apostle Paul, a Pharisee and Rabbi himself, also understood Jesus' death and resurrection inside the Jewish context. Paul taught that regardless of what holidays we celebrate, we should give thanks to the Lord for what he's done for us.

    "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ."- Colossians 2:16-17

    So I prepared this piece on the Christian significance of the Passover celebration. Whether we celebrate Easter or Passover is irrelevant, so long as we do it unto the Lord. I hope this piece helps you come to a deeper understanding of both holidays, and I pray blessings over your household as you celebrate them.

    PASSOVER (Feast of Unleavened Bread)

    "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt." -Exodus 12:12-13

    "The Lord's Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the Lord's Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. For seven days present a food offering to the Lord. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work."-Leviticus 23:5-8

    During the first Passover, the obedient Israelites who smeared the lambs blood over their doorframes were spared from death. Throughout the Old Testament, blood was required for the atonement of sin. Leaven, or yeast, represented sin. Preparing and eating bread without yeast was symbolic of searching out, and eliminating, sin in one's life. Every year, as the Feast of Unleavened Bread began the Passover week, it was customary for each Jewish family to sacrifice one unblemished lamb for Passover. This sacrifice was to commemorate God's protection of his people as the death angel claimed the first born of the Egyptians, and lambs blood was offered as atonement for sin. As Christians, we understand that Jesus, the unblemished lamb, was sent to die on the cross as the sacrifice for us, his shed blood was the atonement for our sins. Paul put Jesus' sacrifice in the context of Passover and Unleavened Bread like this:

    "Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
    -1 Corinthians 5:6-8

    So with this knowledge, we come to a perfect understanding of Jesus' message to his disciples as they gathered, during Passover, in the upper room for the last supper. The tools of Jesus' object lesson would have carried so much significance; the cup of wine, signifying the blood, and the unleavened bread, signifying his sinless body.

    "When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God." After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."-Luke 22:14-20

    Less than forty years after Jesus' death and resurrection, Roman troops sacked and destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, just as Jesus foretold (Matthew 24:2). The destruction of the Temple forever ended the Jewish sacrificial system. With no Temple for sacrifices, the Pharisees met at Yavneh, and came up with modern day Rabbinic Judaism. Christians realized that the last, and ultimate sacrifice had already been by Jesus on the cross. In 325 AD, the Council at Nicea decided that Christians would no longer celebrate the Jewish feast days. Jesus' resurrection would be celebrated on Easter Sunday, which had been a pagan feast day to the fertility goddess Ishtar. Bunnies and eggs are symbols of fertility. As Judaism and Christianity drifted apart, Christians abandoned the Jewish holidays and adopted new ones, along with the Julian, then the Gregorian Calendar.

    PASSOVER (First Fruits)

    "The Lord said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before the Lord so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath."-Leviticus 23:9-11

    First Fruits is traditionally celebrated on the first day of the week after the Passover Sabbath. A sheaf of the first mature grains of Spring, usually barley, is offered in thanksgiving to God for what will be a plentiful harvest in early Fall. This feast day is also rich with symbolism for Christianity. Again Paul, the Rabbi, explains the significance:

    "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him." -1 Corinthians 15:20-23

    Just like the Israelite farmers offered their first sheaves in thanksgiving, assured of the harvest to come; so we also give thanks for the resurrection of our Lord, assured that we too will someday be resurrected. From the Passover lamb, slain for the sins of the world; to the first fruits of late Spring, who conquered death to guarantee us new life in him. From life to death, death to life again; Jesus was truly Messiah, Savior of the world!
    The Jewish feast days of Passover are a beautiful celebration of what God did not only for the people of Israel, but for the whole world through the sacrifice of Yeshua, Jesus Christ, on the cross of Calvary. The feast days show us that from the Torah to the Gospels, from Old Testament to New, all of history points to one final and perfect sacrifice for the salvation of the world. Jesus was that sacrifice.
    So happy Easter....or Passover. Whichever way you celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, do it with awe and thanksgiving. We should all be humbled by the sacrifice made on our behalf; for "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

  2. #2

    Re: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    I usually celebrate Easter with Communion. The taking of the bread and wine, in rememberance of our Lord and Saviour and what he did for us on the cross and his reesurection.

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    Re: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post
    I usually celebrate Easter with Communion. The taking of the bread and wine, in rememberance of our Lord and Saviour and what he did for us on the cross and his reesurection.
    And as long as that is your focus, it makes no difference which holiday you celebrate. Happy Easter to you, Chad.

  4. #4

    Re: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    Thank You. Have a Happy Easter. God Bless.


    Quote Originally Posted by HoboTone View Post
    And as long as that is your focus, it makes no difference which holiday you celebrate. Happy Easter to you, Chad.

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    Re: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    We celebrated Passover Friday night and yesterday, and are celebrating today as the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread; an anointed time indeed. We choose not to do anything for Easter due to its less than pure origins and initial motives. I appreciate and respect people who still choose to honor our Lord's death and resurrection, but I would still love to see the Body of Messiah return to a more scriptural understanding and application of that honor and worship.

    Blessings,
    AT

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    Re: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    Quote Originally Posted by AlephTav View Post
    We celebrated Passover Friday night and yesterday, and are celebrating today as the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread; an anointed time indeed. We choose not to do anything for Easter due to its less than pure origins and initial motives. I appreciate and respect people who still choose to honor our Lord's death and resurrection, but I would still love to see the Body of Messiah return to a more scriptural understanding and application of that honor and worship.

    Blessings,
    AT
    I share your opinion, my family also Celebrates Passover instead of Easter. I cut this post out of a Bible study I wrote for a few Baptist and AG friends of mine who wanted to better understand the Feast Days. I have found that many Christians want to understand the Jewish context of Jesus' ministry, but they feel offended when we attack them for celebrating different days on the Calendar than we do. Paul understood this in his letter to the Colossians (2:16-17) I have seen quite a few articles here on Passover, and almost all of them have devolved into arguments that make me feel like we're all back in the book of Acts. I have no doubt that you and I will one day feast together at a table with believers who celebrated Easter their whole lives, because Yeshua was their Passover lamb as well. I would bet that if you grabbed ten people off the street and asked them the meaning of the Easter holiday, nine of them would say something about Jesus. So the way I look at it; if Ishtar's feast day has evolved into a celebration of our Messiah's resurrection, I'll praise God for that. It seems to me that through the Easter holiday, many Gentile believers have come to contemplate the Jewish Passover, and many of them now do understand the Jewish context of Jesus ministry.
    Blessings to you and your Family on this Firstfruits, AT -Tony

  7. #7

    Re: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    Quote Originally Posted by HoboTone View Post
    I share your opinion, my family also Celebrates Passover instead of Easter. I cut this post out of a Bible study I wrote for a few Baptist and AG friends of mine who wanted to better understand the Feast Days. I have found that many Christians want to understand the Jewish context of Jesus' ministry, but they feel offended when we attack them for celebrating different days on the Calendar than we do. Paul understood this in his letter to the Colossians (2:16-17) I have seen quite a few articles here on Passover, and almost all of them have devolved into arguments that make me feel like we're all back in the book of Acts. I have no doubt that you and I will one day feast together at a table with believers who celebrated Easter their whole lives, because Yeshua was their Passover lamb as well. I would bet that if you grabbed ten people off the street and asked them the meaning of the Easter holiday, nine of them would say something about Jesus. So the way I look at it; if Ishtar's feast day has evolved into a celebration of our Messiah's resurrection, I'll praise God for that. It seems to me that through the Easter holiday, many Gentile believers have come to contemplate the Jewish Passover, and many of them now do understand the Jewish context of Jesus ministry.
    Blessings to you and your Family on this Firstfruits, AT -Tony
    Just a note about the Passover and the other Feast days. They are NOT Jewish...

    Lev 23:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

    Most today read this as "These are the Feasts of the Jews", but God says they are His Feasts.

    Lev 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover.
    Lev 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
    Last edited by John 8:32; Apr 9th 2012 at 06:44 PM. Reason: spelling, sorry Mrs. Schmidle

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    Re: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    Quote Originally Posted by John 8:32 View Post
    Just a note about the Passover and the other Feast days. They are NOT Jewish...

    Lev 23:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

    Most today read this as "These are the Feasts of the Jews", but God says they are His Feasts.

    Lev 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover.
    Lev 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
    I absolutely agree.
    I think it's worth noting, though, that it was not the Judeo-Christians or Messianic Jews who claimed the feast days for themselves; but rather the early Gentile churches that rejected them, and replaced them with holidays of their own. As far as obligatory observance of the Biblical Feasts, that should fall squarely on the Jews only. As Christians, you and I realize that Jesus was the fulfillment of Jewish Law, which gives us freedom from that Law in Christ. We should understand the significance of the feast days, and there is a richness and beauty in their observance; but only the Jews are actually required to observe the feast days, that was settled in the book of Acts, and reflected in Paul's letters.

  9. #9

    Re: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    Quote Originally Posted by HoboTone View Post
    As Christians, you and I realize that Jesus was the fulfillment of Jewish Law, which gives us freedom from that Law in Christ.
    Which ones am I free from? The sixth commandment? The seventh? The first? or just the fourth?

  10. #10

    Re: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    Awww, sorry, this is not a debate forum and I got carried away. If we need to speak more of this, we will do it in another forum.

  11. #11

    Re: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    Celebration of Easter day is a part of our traditions as Christian. [mod edit, link not allowed, no advertising] But of course we should also put in mind that love is the most important thing that must prevail every Easter time for its the day to remember how much God loves us, that He sacrifice the life of his begotten son to save us from sin.
    Last edited by quiet dove; Apr 11th 2012 at 06:47 AM. Reason: to out "pay day" advertisement link

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    Re: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    Quote Originally Posted by John 8:32 View Post
    Which ones am I free from? The sixth commandment? The seventh? The first? or just the fourth?
    That's okay John, healthy debate is okay. I thought this thread needed a lift anyway. I never thought as a messianic, I would be trying to convince other Christians of their freedom from Jewish law. I find my freedom from the law through the Bible, which I believe is inerrant. Here's a letter from the Jerusalem Council to Gentile churches. Since most churches in the world are Gentile churches, and I believe God's Word is unchanging; I'll assume this letter still Applies.

    24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”[f] —to whom we gave no such commandment— 25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.[g] If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.
    Farewell.- ACTS 15:24-29

    So there is your freedom from the Law, signed; James, Peter, Paul, Barnabus, Silas, and the first church in Jerusalem.
    Paul will take this letter, and it's instruction to heart

    14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

    15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in[d] Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

    Why anyone would feel obligated to put themselves under Jewish law is a mystery to me. I know, from my time in synagogue, there is over six hundred of them. I wonder, do you follow all of them?

    8
    When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof.

    9 Do not plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard; if you do, not only the crops you plant but also the fruit of the vineyard will be defiled.[a]
    10 Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.
    11 Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.
    12 Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear. (Well...I do follow this one, but you get the point)

    Freedom from the Law by no means is a free pass to live in sin, but part of the New Covenant is the indwelling of the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit), who convicts us of sin in our lives. Here's the Old Testament reference;

    “The days are coming,” declares the LORD,
    “when I will make a new covenant
    with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
    32 It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
    when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
    because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to[d] them,[e]
    declares the LORD.
    33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
    after that time,” declares the LORD.
    “I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
    I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
    34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’
    because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
    declares the LORD.
    “For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”-Jeremiah 31:31-34

    The words of God through the prophet Jeremiah made it very clear that the nature of the law was going to change (vs 32) This new covenant would be not be a written code, but would instead be planted inside of us(vs 33)
    The whole New Testament is our guide to understanding the New Covenant. Conviction of sin through the Holy Spirit, not Jewish law; and atonement for sin through Jesus' shed blood, not animal sacrifice.
    I would hope this clarifies my position on "freedom from the Law". To deny that as Christians, we are free from Jewish Law, would be to stand at odds with the teachings of the Apostle Paul, Peter, and the first Church (Jerusalem, ACTS 14 & 15)

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    Re: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    There seems to be some thought provoking and interesting debate in the forum on feast days and the law. Perhaps this would be a cool debate in " The Arena" anyone interested?

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    Re: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    Quote Originally Posted by HoboTone View Post
    There seems to be some thought provoking and interesting debate in the forum on feast days and the law. Perhaps this would be a cool debate in " The Arena" anyone interested?
    I'll participate, as long as it stays cordial.

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    Re: A Messianic thought on Easter and the Passover Feast

    What position would you fall on, AT? I'd like to see if I can get two on each side of the debate

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