Should Christians Celebrate Passover?

It is sad to discover how many Bible believers have never celebrated the Biblical feast of Passover.

Should Christians Celebrate Passover?

The title of this post is a question: should Christians celebrate Passover?  I would love to hear how you answer it but I also want to share my answer!

One of the most common and accepted definitions of the word “Christian” is “follower of Christ”.  If we call ourselves Christians, it means that we are following in His example to the best of our abilities.  Right?

Well … did you know that He celebrated 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.” – Matthew 26:18

“The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?” – Mark 14:14

“And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:” – Luke 22:15

I think it is pretty  clear that our Savior observed the feast of Passover!  Let’s look at one other passage before moving on …

“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” – 1 Corinthians 5:7-8

As far as I’m concerned, anyone who is a follower of the Messiah should be following in His footsteps and celebrating this holy day.  That is what our family has been doing for 25 years now.  I was just a baby when my parents attended their first Passover seder and we have continued on ever since!

There is an enormous amount of significance surrounding Passover but I want to focus specifically on two things:

First, Passover is a commemoration of the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt.  You can find the story in the first few chapters of Exodus.  In a nutshell – they were slaves … YHWH told Moses to tell Pharaoh to let them go … Pharaoh refused … YHWH sent plagues … plagues … and more plagues … they slaughtered a lamb and put the blood on the doorpost … the angel of death passed over their houses while he was bringing death to all the Egyptian firstborns … Pharaoh let them go … and they hurried out of Egypt with unleavened bread!

Much of the traditional seder focuses on this miraculous deliverance and exodus from Egypt.  Unleavened bread (matzah) is eaten, along with charoset (a mixture of apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine – to remember the bricks/mortar that the Israelites were forced to build) and bitter herbs/salt water (to remember their suffering and tears).  The young children ask traditional questions, the story is retold and Scripture passages are read.

But for those of us who believe in Yeshua (Jesus), this feast takes on an even larger significance when we realize that He was the Passover Lamb – the one Who died to bring redemption and salvation to His people.  It is no coincidence that He was crucified on Passover!  It was all part of our Heavenly Father’s amazing plan!  And now, as followers of the Messiah, we celebrate this feast both to commemorate the salvation of the Israelites in Egyptian slavery and to celebrate the salvation from sin that has been provided through His ultimate sacrifice.

Passover is considered a one day festival and the following day begins the week (seven days) of Unleavened Bread.  This is a time when all the yeast and leavening is removed from homes and we do not eat anything that is leavened.  In the Scriptures, leaven represents sin.  And just as we remove the leaven from our surroundings, it is symbolic of our efforts to remove sin from our lives as well.  As we saw in the passage above …

“Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” – 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

Most people around the world will be celebrating Passover this Friday, April 22nd.  For many years, our family has actually purchased a one year old lamb and slaughtered it to eat on Passover.  We are quick to clarify that this has nothing to with a sacrifice for sin!  Our preference is to slaughter or hunt our own meat as much as possible, whether that be chickens/turkeys, sheep, goats, deer or cows.  To kill a sheep for meat is the natural order of things.  But it is also a great opportunity to commemorate what the Israelites did and imagine how they must have felt.

Think about it.

They were commanded to kill a lamb and put the blood on their doorposts, and then eat the lamb with their shoes on, ready to leave at any moment.  Can you imagine what they were thinking?

Are we really going to be preserved or will we lose our firstborn sons too?

Will we be able to leave Egypt this time or will Pharaoh stop us again?

Why are we killing an innocent creature so that we can be saved?

The last question leads us to think more deeply about our Savior.  It was one thing to kill an innocent animal for the forgiveness of sins during the days of the sacrificial system, but Yeshua was an innocent man … a human being … who suffered tremendously so that we wouldn’t have to pay the penalty for our sins.

If I could only have one “takeaway” from Passover, it would be that.  The correlations between the first Passover and the one on which the Son of God became the Passover Lamb are fascinating and as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is sad that so few Christians are unaware of them.  If you have never celebrated the feast of Passover, I would strongly encourage you to do so.  Follow the example of our Savior and your eyes will be opened to Biblical truths in a whole new way!

Should Christians Celebrate Passover?

The Passover celebration includes lots of good food!  I will leave you with a couple of recipes that you may want to try out!

Last year, Ruthie shared our family’s matzah recipe.  We have been making this for years and it is very tasty – nothing like the box matzah!

The BEST Matzah Recipe??? (Whole Wheat Flat Bread)

Since I have been cutting most grains (especially wheat) out of my diet, I was excited to discover this recipe.  It calls for six ingredients, the main ones being almond flour and coconut flour, and is very simple to prepare.  I made it for the first time this evening and it was good!  Two suggestions: I would use a little less salt, and you want to make sure and roll it thin!  I also look forward to trying her Elana’s Matzo Ball Soup recipe as well!  My brother Tommy gave me 24 pounds of almond flour as a Purim gift and I love to use it in cooking!  I plan to share some of my favorite recipes here soon!

Grain-Free Matzo | Elana’s Pantry

For years my friends, family, and readers have been asking me to create a grain-free matzo recipe. This year, instead of throwing my paleo matzo together the day of our Seder, I took time during the last few weeks to work on creating a gluten-free matzo recipe.

This recipe for Unleavened Almond Cookies was shared by a friend of mine last year and they are really good!  They only take a few ingredients and are very easy to make!  It would be a nice project for a child.

http://shiningstarsmagazine.com/unleavened-almond-butter-cookies/

Ruthie is planning to share another one of our traditional Passover recipes this week … we’ll try to get it on the blog in a couple days!

22 thoughts on “Should Christians Celebrate Passover?

      1. Actually it was an answer, Hannah. A scriptural one. We want to be careful that we compare scripture to scripture before we decide to tell others they *must* do something. We also want to take into account all of scripture. Yes, Jesus celebrated the Passover. But why? One reason is that it was part of the law in Israel at that time. Our Lord kept the ceremonial law perfectly because He was perfect. He did this for us. But He went even further. He fulfilled the law. The Passover lamb was a type and shadow of which Christ is the fulfillment. Col 2:17 See Hebrews 9 and 10. Where does the New Testament tell Christians they must keep the Passover? Instead we read: “…how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles?… do you wish to be enslaved? You are observing special days, and monthsls and seasons and years! I fear for you that somehow i have wasted my efforts on you.” Gal 4:9b-11
        Also the book of Colossians speaks to this issue especially in chapter 2.
        Question: doesn’t the New Testament have plenty of clear commands for things we are supposed to be doing without adding any more??!!

        ceremonial law of God perfectly

        1. Actually, it was not an answer, Julie 🙂 The question was “should Christians celebrate Passover” and the reply was “we should celebrate Jesus, our Passover Lamb”. This can lead one to believe that these two things are mutually exclusive. The question was not “should we celebrate Jesus, our Passover Lamb”. An answer to the question that was asked would be “yes we should …” or “no we shouldn’t …”. For all practical purposes, the answer was clearly a no, but it was not a reply to the question! Now that we have that straight …

          I think the question you need to be asking is “Where does the New Testament tell Christians *not* to keep Passover”, and understand that the Scriptures you referenced have nothing to do with this. Many people in Christendom today (and for the past 2,000 years) misunderstand the cultural background and context of the New Testament Scriptures, as well as misunderstanding their identity as believers in the Messiah. I don’t have the time or space to explain it all in detail but suffice to say – the theology that you apparently embrace actually results in much self-contradiction throughout Scripture.

          When taken at face value, those verses can be interpreted in the way that you present them. But when you understand the cultural context – the difference between written law and oral law and that Paul is actually speaking about the latter … when you take into account that neither the Messiah or any of His apostles (including Paul) broke the law or ever encouraged anyone else too … and when you realize that believers in the Messiah are actually grafted into the olive tree and are now part of Israel (Romans 11, Ephesians 2) and should therefore be living as Israelites … among SO MANY other things … it puts a whole new perspective on how you understand ALL of the Scriptures. If you would like more information I’m happy to discuss this in detail, but this isn’t something that I shove down people’s throats, nor do I ever tell people they *must* do something, as your statement would indicate. I can’t help but feel sorry for the people who do not understand this but I don’t condemn them or think it is my place to force my beliefs upon them.

          I will leave you with one other thought. I’m not sure if you have a family or not but imagine a household where the parents set up a few family rules that are very serious. If my parents have reiterated these rules multiple times very clearly and have explained that serious punishment will ensue if the rules are broken, can you imagine what would happen if one of my siblings tells me, “We actually don’t need to keep that rule anymore. They changed their minds now.” ??? I wouldn’t come anywhere near breaking that rule unless I heard from my parents that things had changed … and I’d probably need to hear it multiple times too! So when you consider that if God told His people over and over again to keep His commandments (FOREVER, throughout your generations), and that there was actually a death penalty for breaking some of them (indicating how seriously He felt about them), the question inevitably arises: wouldn’t it be His responsibility to make it clear that they are now abolished instead of leaving it to men?

          1. Hannah, though you asked for answers, you don’t seem to want an answer. You have made up your mind. You imply we don’t have to do it, but yet you are making it very clear in your original post and now more so in your reply that there is no other answer but the one you yourself have decided.

            However, the scriptures say in Galatians:

            You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

            Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

            Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

            1. If you thought I had asked that question because I was trying to find an answer for myself, I am very sorry that you were confused. I do know the answer. My reason for asking the question was to hopefully inspire others to consider the matter in a way that they had not previously done. Your quote from Galatians, again, does not pertain to this situation because Paul is not speaking about the commandments that God gave, but rather the oral traditions that man had created. This is what I meant when I talked about understanding the cultural background and context of the Scriptures. There is so much more that could be said but I’m not interested in an argument. We have been walking this way for a long time and have heard all the arguments and studied them out, taking into account *all of the Scriptures*, as you mentioned in your previous comment. Like I said, the theology you are defending is self-destructive and self-contradictory. I would encourage you to seek the Heavenly Father in prayer and ask Him to show you His truth, and be willing to hear it. Sometimes this means leaving behind the doctrinal-tinted glasses and reading the Scriptures without any filters. I hope and pray you are able to do so. Blessings!

              1. The whole purpose of the original Passover and subsequent celebration of it was to show God’s deliverance of the nation of Israel’s from bondage in Egypt.

                Since neither you nor I live in Egypt, we cannot have a Passover. We are not Jews under the Old Covenant are we? The Lord Jesus Christ celebrated the Passover in His time to fulfill the laws demands. At the very last Passover, Jesus Christ instituted a New Covenant which He sealed with His own blood. No longer a lamb’s blood, because the blood of animals cannot take away sin. The sacrifice of animals prefigured Christ’s final and complete sacrifice for sin. This New Covenant means that now He is the “Passover” Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. We are not in Egypt any longer; we no longer need deliverance from its bondage. It was a type and shadow of the reality. What do we need now? We need deliverance from the bondage to sin. This is the reality found nowhere else but in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise God that He has delivered His church, His New Covenant people from the bondage to sin, its penalty, its power, and someday in heaven even from its presence.

                Repent and believe the true gospel of Jesus Christ. With all due respect, you and your family have been led away to another Jesus, another gospel. Repent therefore and turn to the true Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

              2. I am very sorry that you have made a false judgement against us, as we know that by whatever measure we judge, by that we will be judged. I pray that your eyes will be open to the truth.

  1. My family celebrates Passover every year. I love how the Israelites’ freedom from the bondage slavery is a picture of our freedom from the bondage sin.

  2. Our family had never celebrated Passover until we moved and joined our current church. We have a congregation Passover Seder every year. One year, our pastor was in Africa over Passover, so the church skipped the celebration; I planned a celebration for our family at home that year.

    I’m also the director of Children’s ministries at our church. Two different years, I did a year-long study of all the Biblical feasts with the elementary-aged children. We all enjoyed it very much and will probably do it again when this new batch of kids are a little older.

  3. We have celebrated Passover in the formal sense a few times but not much lately. I think that as a Christian there are many benefits to celebrating certain biblical feasts (Passover being one of them). Not out of compulsion of the law but in the freedom Christ died to give us. You talked about Parents setting up rules for their children. As born again Christians we are not under the law, Christ came to perfect the law, so just as a grown Child after leaving the home may not be under compulsion to keep obeying their parents rules/instructions, many will choose to continue to do so because it is good for them and has value. I believe that biblical feasts much to Christians even though we are not bound to by law. In fact now we can celebrate them knowing the mystery that was hidden from the Jews for many years. Therefore I celebrate Passover out of choice, knowing that it is a commandment in scripture but doing it and interpreting the traditions from the view of the cross. Sometimes I will amend some parts of the ceremony to better fit a Christian point view and explain to the children how this applies to us now. I am not worried that I need to follow the ceremony to a T for fear of not keeping the law, after all I am free but still wish to honour what Christ has done for us and the heritage that we have been grafted into, A bit like looking back at your family tree, knowing where you came from and where you are now. It also cannot be escaped that we are commanded to partake in Communion until Christ appears again and Communion was established by Christ partaking Communion with the disciples to reveal how He was going to perfect the practise they had been following for years. Sorry for the long post. I would indeed recommend anyone to partake in a Passover cedar especially if you can join in with a mass messianic version. In my opinion this is much more worthwhile and appropriate for Christians to do than following Easter or Christmas traditions that have their roots in paganism and have nothing to do with scripture.

  4. The sacraments of the Old Testament under the Covanent of Works were circumcision and Passover. The sacraments of the New Testament under the Covanent of Grace are baptism and The Lord’s Supper, respectively. The sacraments of the Old Testament represent Christ as yet to come; whereas those of the New hold Him forth as already come, and as having finished the work of our redemption, as to the purchase of it.

    Is it a sin to celebrate Passover? I won’t go down that trail but will let the Holy Spirit convict you on that point. However, dear sister, it does seem like celebrating a shadow when the Substance is before us. We are called to live under the Kingship of the living Christ, Son of God, who sits at God’s right hand. If Christ has completed His sacrifice, why would we celebrate His foretelling instead of His conquering? Hopefully some food for thought for you. I will be praying for the Holy Spirit to guide you, prayerfully, in this regard.

    1. I am certainly glad you didn’t say that it was a sin to celebrate Passover, since I’m afraid it would blasphemy to accuse the Messiah of committing a sin! I can also appreciate your prayers, especially since the Holy Spirit has definitely given us guidance in this area and made it very clear for us. I think that many Christians fail to understand the context of the Messiah’s words – He was celebrating Passover, he took the bread and the wine (the elements of every Passover seder) and told us to “do this in remembrance of Me”. He never once annulled the celebration of Passover or expressed that His actions were a replacement of it. Instead, He told us to celebrate Passover, just as He was doing … in remembrance of Him. In light of this, and the fact that the Heavenly Father said multiple times that Passover was to be observed forever, throughout the generations, I can’t quite understand how people can believe otherwise. But I know that He leads us into His truth in His way and His timing … not all at once. It is our job to extend mercy and grace to those who do not see things the same way that we do!

  5. Dear Hannah,
    I have read and re-read this post on Passover. It has raised questions that I’ve had to go and search the Scriptures for. That’s never a bad thing 🙂 We as a family have never celebrated Passover. To be honest, I guess we never really thought much about it. I’ve come to the conclusion, however, that there’s not a right or a wrong answer in celebrating Passover. By doing so, it can enrich a Christian’s understanding of how God delivered the children of Israel out of slavery, but it’s definitely not necessary for my salvation. It’s one example, though, of how God has amazingly and miraculously preserved His chosen people all down through the centuries. For me, that’s what is truly beautiful about it. But, if I were to celebrate Passover or anything else for that matter, and put more Scriptural significance on those things rather than on the death, burial and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus, that would be wrong for me to do. His ultimate sacrifice for my sins should always be at the forefront of my thoughts. Jesus gave us The Remembrance Feast and told us that as often as we break the bread and drink the cup, we do show the Lord’s death till He comes. For the body of believers that our family meets with, that happens weekly, and it’s the most precious time of worship and remembrance. So long as that’s happening first and foremost, I don’t have a problem with celebrating Passover, but Passover is secondary to the Lord’s Supper, in my mind.
    This is a total sidenote, but one that I think is really awesome. Because Scripture is given for our learning, there’s amazing nuggets hidden there for our everyday life. Taking the Lord’s Day each week to rest and meditate on the Word, while not necessary for salvation is so beneficial to my well being. It gets me in the right frame of mind for the rest of my week. Another nugget: who knew that good nutrition was hidden in the pages of Ezekiel? All the specific grains that make a complete protein right there to be combined into a tasty loaf of bread! God’s is so good to us!
    Anyway, I hope this has not offended. Prayerfully, it’s received in the spirit that it was intended, not to criticize but to share what I’m gleaning from Scripture at this time…always learning:-)
    In Him,
    Mrs. Reed

    1. Your reply was not offensive at all … I very much appreciate the gracious way in which you shared your thoughts! I absolutely agree that celebrating Passover is not a prerequisite for salvation. Salvation is a free gift, purchased by the blood of the Messiah, and we can do nothing to earn it. Rather for our family, observing Passover (and the other festivals/commandments) is a way of expressing our love and respect for our Creator. (“If you love Me, keep My commandments” – John 14:15) As I may have mentioned in a previous comment, we see it as: the Heavenly Father created this earth – it’s His house. Under His jurisdiction. It’s our responsibility to obey His house rules. When we do, we are blessed. When we don’t, we are cursed. (Deuteronomy 28) You mentioned the day of rest and Ezekiel bread … something else my father has talked about for a long time is germs. It was only a couple hundred years ago (barely) that science discovered germs – but thousands of years ago, the the Creator gave instructions (now referred to as “the law”) on how to avoid contamination and stay healthy. I think often it comes down to a matter of trust. Can we trust the Father enough to believe that He knows what is the very best for us and would only give us commandments/rules/instructions for our good and blessing? So no – keeping the commandments will never earn us salvation. But our family (and so many people with whom we come in contact) has discovered that it definitely draws us closer to the Father and our Messiah, and opens our eyes to the Word in a new and powerful way!

      1. I know I’m heading down yet another rabbit trail, but I recently heard a message on just a small portion of Psalms 119. Well, my attention wandered a bit, but I was completely blown away when I began reading and found that nearly every verse in that Psalm has some reference to God’s Word! Precepts, law, commandments, Thy Word, statutes, etc… An entire psalm devoted to how much we should be loving and following God’s Word! That was pretty amazing to me 🙂

        1. Very good point! When reading that particular Psalm, I can never comprehend how people can think that commandments are a bad thing and something we should stay far away from!

  6. Thank you for sharing with us this week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth! It is interesting to me that many people are upset with the Christian celebration of Passover and call it anti-New-Testament yet every holiday that is celebrated in the mainstream churches have no Biblical history or commands whatsoever and yet most people have no issues celebration them… Just additional food for thought…

    1. Yes! That is an excellent thought! Why is it *wrong* to celebrate a Biblical feast but acceptable to celebrate holidays that have no Biblical origin and on the contrary, were birthed in the worship of pagan gods? I don’t understand that!

  7. All true Christians who deeply love the Lord Jesus Christ will want to resemble pure word of God as maximum as they can in their life. They will scrutinize on every subject in their life and oversee that every area in their life pleases God. In their food, their dress, their language and relationships, their holidays and how they spend their time and energy must all be in accordance with the word of God. When we first turn away from worldly views and repent from worldly ways we must replace them with Gods view and ways. Its the only way to stay on the narrow path, is to keep Gods rules and commandants as our priorities. All true Christians will never speak against celebrating passover because the word of God speaks positive of this holiday. The more we love the Lord the more we seek Him. The more we seek Him the more we find Him. The more we find Him the more we love Him and no one will convince us of the things He helped us realize and believe. If we love Him we must keep His commandments. I believe Christians are free to celebrate passover and stop celebrating every holiday that is not mentioned in the Bible. Thank you for your post. Gods blessings to your family.

  8. Yes, Christians should celebrate Passover. I love how you are handling this conversation Hannah! NOTE: It is asked if we should “CELEBRATE” this Feast of the LORD, not “observe” it. We can’t observe it anymore because Ya’shua fulfilled the feast and we (most of us) aren’t in Israel to observe it anyway… Celebrating Passover reminds us of the WHOLE reason for HIS sacrifice AND teaches the next generation through active participation and example of what the sacrifice is all about. There is NO better way to teach or remember this time. If you research the history of the church, you WILL see that the early church celebrated Passover. The Roman Catholic church renamed and repurposed the pagan festival of Ishtar. No, celebrating the Feasts of the LORD do NOT save you. This is not “works”, it’s remembrance and an act of love and devotion. If you don’t want to, that’s between you and God. Why would you not want to? Is it inconvenient? Would people look down on you? All I can say is if you don’t celebrate the Feasts of the LORD in some way, you are missing out on a delightful, “Spirit Filled” opportunity.

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