Which should we celebrate…Easter or Passover?

by Wes Bridel on April 4, 2009

in Random Musings

I was so excited to read an article in this morning’s Austin American Statesman that I decided to write this post.  I am in the middle of writing the mission trip write-up of my 2007 Israel mission trip.  I’ve written about 10 pages of it and soon it will be chopped into bite size blog chunks and go up here.  Yesterday, one of the things I wrote was about the 3 Jewish feasts and what they mean to us today in our Christian faith.  So I was suprised to see in the paper Susana Fletcher writing about the same thing.  So I decided to link her great article here, and post a short excpert that I had written about this one of the 3 Holy days.  I have not done any editing yet, so please forgive the roughness, but this final portion will go up too long from now, so here it is…

There are three main Jewish holidays or Feasts.  There are more holidays, but these are the 3 main ones that God says to celebrate Him in the Bible… Feat of Unleavened Bread which is tied to and the day after Passover/”Pesach”), the Feast of Weeks “Shavuot”, and the Feast of Tabernacle “Sukkot”.  (noticeably absent is Christmas-although that’s a fun time to celebrate too! But God never directed us to.)  Let’s look at these three.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a celebration of the Passover when although God killed the first born son of every family in Egypt, He spared the sons of Abraham.  He did it in a very specific way.  He told each family to kill a “perfect” lamb and to spread its blood on their doors.  By the blood of this lamb, they were saved.  (see Exodus 12:1-20)  A millennia later, Jesus was sacrificed on this same Holy day.  And by the blood of this lamb, we are saved!  Thus the first feast, or Rehearsal as it is also called, which God ordained and is practiced yearly by the Jews in the physical world, was fulfilled in the spiritual world by God.  Passover was also celebrated by all Christians (just as the Last Supper celebrated Passover) until Emperor Constantine took over the Church and paganized the holiday by naming it after a pagan fertility goddess and giving us the name “Easter”.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this… What does this mean to you?

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05.15.09 at 1:58 pm

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Jack Wirtz 04.06.09 at 5:50 am

Wes,

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, (Titus 1:1)

Godliness must first be learned before it can be lived. Godliness is living with the proper respect for God and His word. When we disrespect God’s word we disrespect God and respect for God’s word is taught throughout the scriptures. Three passages have been referred to as the fence posts of scripture: Deut. 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18. These scriptures warn that the consequences are severe for those who either add to or take away from God’s word.

Neither the Passover nor Easter are Christian for they are not to be found in the New Covenant documents. Christ enjoins His disciples to observe two ordinances. First, is Immersion (Greek “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is immersed will be saved…” Second is the Lord’s Supper, “Do this in remembrance of me.” (Lk 22, 1 Cor.11).

In Scripture, memorial is not synonymous with remembrance and the Lord’s Supper is Not a Memorial!
1. The Lord’s Supper is not a commemorative for a “dead hero” or a past event, but a fellowship with the Living Savior through whom is our salvation and all who will come to Him.
2. Neither did the Lord when He initiated the Supper name it a memorial (Matt.26: 26-29; Luke 22:17-20; Mark 14:22-25) nor did He so instruct Paul (1st Cor.11: 23-26)
3. Words have meaning and meaning has consequences and none can have more consequences than those spoken by our Lord, Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, (Heb.1: 1)
4. The Lord’s words were not chosen without purpose and initiating the Lord’s Supper He used the Greek anamnesis, translated remembrance, or literally, a remembrance; not “in memory of” but in an affectionate calling of the Person Himself to mind; (Vines). The Lord had used mnemosunon, memory (Matt.26: 13; Mark 14:9) when that served His purpose.

As Paul’s time on earth was coming to an end he confirmed to Timothy, his beloved son in the faith, “You, however, have followed my teaching (and not a word about Christmas or Easter), my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love… Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

If the Bible teaches anything, it teaches that all human beings are under obligation to submit to the authority of God and Christ. Paul articulated this extremely important principle in his letter to the Colossians: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (3:17).

Luke corroborated Paul’s statement by providing the answer. Shortly after the establishment Christ’s church (Acts 2), the Jewish authorities were extremely upset that the apostles were spreading Christian concepts throughout Jerusalem. So, they hauled Peter and John into their assembly and demanded to know, “By what power or by what name have you done this?” (Acts 4:7). The word “power” (dunamei) bears a close correlation to and relationship with the concept of authority, and is closely aligned with exousia—the usual word for authority. W.E. Vine lists both terms under “power The Jewish leaders were demanding to know by what authority the apostles were acting. Who gave them the right to teach what they were teaching? What authoritative source approved or sanctioned their actions? Peter’s answered “by the name of Jesus Christ” (vs. 10). In other words, the apostles had not been advocating their own ideas. They were simply presenting what Jesus had previously authorized and commissioned them to present (cf. Matthew 16:19; 18:18; 28:18-20). Peter placed closure on the incident by concluding: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (vs. 12).

Wes Bridel 04.06.09 at 8:58 am

Thanks for the great comment Jack. I want to add to your point and then argue with you a little. As I said when I threw that post up, it was an un-edited portion of a longer piece that I am working on that was a response to something I read in the paper that day.

In order to make clear that I was not trying to establish the Law as a way that people could get right with God, I wanted to add in the scripture admonishes his readers about relying on specials days. But I couldn’t remember the address and had not looked for it yet when I put that post up. Interestingly, I had a dream last night about Galatians 4. So before I read your comment, I was reading that chapter and thought, “Ha, there it is!” (Still searching to see if there’s some other reason I dreamt that chapter.) So let me add this point to what you’re saying…

“But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.” (Gal 4:9-11)

So if I seem to have said that I believe you can earn salvation or merit through observing the Feasts, than I apologize for giving that impression. That is not accurate of our faith.

On the other hand, it was not an accident that Jesus shared a Passover meal with His disciples during which He explained the elements of the tradition as they pertained to Him, and then died and was resurrected on this Jewish Holy Day that God had established. We can also see in scripture that Paul was hastily making his way back to Jerusalem in order to celebrate God’s appointed Feast Day. So this man who told the Galatians not to rely on such things, still felt that the day God had appointed was significant.

As will be more clear in a week or two when I post this full post, we see that the days God set up as His appointed times long ago, each have significance in the new covenant. I’m not sure from your comment if you are aware of this. And since they have significance to God, I feel that for me personally it would be foolish to ignore them. Hopefully my upcoming post will make that a little more clear.

HIstorically, it is very telling to notice that for the first 300 years after Jesus’ life and death, the Church (who still closely associated with it’s Jewish roots) flourished even under persecution to the point of just over half of the Roman world claiming the grace of Messiah even though it meant persecution. Once Constantine took over the Church and cut off connection with it’s Jewish roots and aligned it more with pagan traditions, the Church as a whole Body has become fractured and weaker, with only pockets functioning as He intended.

Finally, on a personal note, I believe this weekend was Passover and we did not do anything special for the ocassion. We spent a nice day at the park praying and studying and other things we might normally do on any weekend. Had I had a great alternative to celebrate the ocassion, I might have jumped at the chance, but if I had and then felt pride for doing such, this would have been silly.

Thanks again for your great comment. wes

On a personal note, I believe this past weekend was Passover

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