Is Passover Observance for Christians?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is Passover Observance for Christians?

By Larry R. Lasiter

2010

Mention that you observe the Passover, but with New Testament symbols to most "Christians" and you will often be asked,- "Are you a Christian Jew?" It is the common conception today that Christianity observes Easter and only Jews observe the Passover. But Why?

Did you know that Jesus, Himself commanded that the Gentile converts to Christianity be taught to observe the NT Passover? He most certainly did, and though it is easy to overlook, it is right there in your Bible.

A Little Background First

The Apostle Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles, Notice,- "Seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised (Gentiles) just as Peter with the gospel to the circumcised (Israelites)." (Galatians 2:7)Paul was not one of the original twelve Apostles, but was chosen by Jesus after the resurrection. In fact, Paul led a persecution against the early Christian converts, having many arrested. But on the road to Damascus the glorified Jesus struck Paul blind and revealed to him that He had indeed been the Messiah and commissioned him as Apostle to the Gentile converts. All but one of Paul's letters to the Churches were to predominately Gentile congregations.

Did Paul Teach Gentiles to Observe the Passover?

In his first letter to the Churches of God in the Gentile city of Corinth Paul wrote,- "For Christ, OUR PASSOVER also has been sacrificed. LET US therefore CELEBRATE THE FEAST, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the UNLEAVENED BREAD of sincerity and truth." (1 Corinthians 5:7-8) Paul was not only teaching Gentile Christians to observe the Passover, but to "Celebrate the Feast" of UNLEAVENED BREAD which follows it. How can we know that Jesus instructed Paul to teach its observance? We will soon see in Chapter 11.

1 Corinthians is a "Letter" not a "Book"

What does that mean? It means that it was composed in a single time frame, and what is mentioned later may be connecting to something previously stated. And the letter was read in the Churches of Corinth from beginning to end in one sitting.

The reference to the Passover and Unleavened Bread in Chapter 5 would likely mean that the letter arrived in the spring about the time of their commanded observances.

There must have been a problem with HOW these new converts were observing the Passover, because later in his letter, Paul corrects them. It appears that some were bringing their own meals to eat before the actual Passover ceremony, and were eating freely in the presence of poorer brethren who had brought no food for themselves.

In Chapter 11, Verse 20, Paul reminds them that they are not coming together to eat the "Lord's Supper",- meaning that unlike the Jewish Passover where a lamb is eaten, that their "Lamb" is Jesus and His "meat" is unleavened bread.

Notice Verses 23-26,- "For I RECEIVED FROM THE LORD that which I ALSO DELIVERED TO YOU, that the Lord Jesus IN THE NIGHT IN WHICH HE WAS BETRAYED took BREAD; and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said,- "THIS IS MY BODY which is for you, DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE of Me." In the same way He took THE CUP also, AFTER SUPPER, saying,- "THIS is the NEW COVENANT in MY BLOOD; DO THIS, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you PROCLAIM the LORD'S DEATH until He comes."

Notice carefully, that concerning the NT Passover observance, Paul said that he "DELIVERED" to the Gentile converts that which he had "RECEIVED" from the Lord.

Paul was not saying, "Do this ANYTIME or OFTEN." But "as often as you do" you proclaim the Lord's death. It is a memorial of the Lord's death. The memorial is 14th Nissan, the Passover, the same day the first Passover lamb was slain in Egypt which foreshadowed the blessed Lamb to come. Remember Paul instructing them to "Celebrate the Feast" of Unleavened Bread earlier in his letter? This shows when they were partaking of the Bread and the Wine,- it was at Passover. Notice also that this is the "New Covenant" ceremony for Christians to observe, in its appointed time.

"The Lord's APPOINTED TIMES which you shall proclaim as HOLY CONVOCATIONS,- MY APPOINTED TIMES ARE THESE. . .In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the Lord's PASSOVER." (Leviticus 23:1,5)

On that first Passover in Egypt, a lamb was slain, its blood smeared on the front of the Israelites homes to protect them from DEATH which would pass through the land THAT EVENING. More than 1000 years later, a Lamb called Jesus gave His life on this very day, the Passover, the Lord's appointed time to spill the precious blood that would save the world. 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

Points of Truth Ministries