Is Passover for the Church ?
In the Gospel accounts of Matthew and Luke, Yeshua (Jesus) made this declaration – ‘ I have desired to eat this with you, but I will not again until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom’ (compiling Matthew 26:26-29 and Luke 22:15-20)
Paul makes this statement to the congregation at Ephesus – ‘ Messiah is our Peace’ – the ‘Shelem’, the reconciliation offering – (Eph 2:14) as well as this admonition to the congregation in Corinth – ‘Messiah is our Passover ( the slaughtered offering) , therefore keep the Feast . . .’ ( 1 Corinthians 5:7-8). To this same group Paul also speaks these words – ‘when you eat this bread and drink this cup you do declare the Lord’s death until He returns . . .’ ( 1 Cor. 11:26)
In Exodus 6:5-8 Father God (YHWH) declares what has come to be known as the ‘I will’s’ . . . “ I will bring you out; I will rid you of bondage; I will redeem you; I will take you to Me as a people; I will bring you into the Land . . .’
And later, in Exodus 12:14 and following, He commands a memorial of this by a Feast ‘throughout the generations’ . . . Some have even compared this ‘meal or feast’ to the ‘marriage supper of the Lamb’. So what is this meal, this feast, this declaration ? It is the Passover. And Passover and easter are not the same.
For hundreds of decades the church system has replaced the Biblically mandated observance of Passover with the man-made observance and tradition of easter, which deals with the death and burial and primarily focuses on the resurrection. Now please understand, we are not saying it is possible to overestimate the importance of the resurrection. Yet the Bible plainly dictates that we ‘declare His death’ and ‘keep the feast’ – referring to Passover – until He returns. So what’s the big deal ? What’s the big difference ? Aren’t we basically saying and keeping the same thing ? The answer to those questions are best answered by the Bible. By the way, we won’t take opportunity here to address the nonsense of bunnies and eggs and all the other manmade trappings that are contrary to God’s nature.
The Apostle Paul tells the congregation at Thessalonica of one who is coming – the ‘lawless one, the son of perdition’ – that will exalt himself above God in his own mind and attempt to do the same in the life and minds of the people. Daniel says this one will ‘intend to make changes in times and in the laws’ ( Dan. 7:25). That would be God’s times and laws, of which the keeping of Passover would be a part. Paul again speaking, tells the Thessalonians the mystery or ‘secret doctrine’ of ‘lawlessness’ is already at work, and that was 1900 years ago.
So, for me today, what is the Passover and how do I observe it according to the Bible ? The ‘blood on the lintel and doorposts’ was a one-time event and the observance of Passover today is to memorialize that event and the event it was to foreshadow – the death of Messiah and the application of His Blood. To memorialize is to ‘cause to remember, to recall or call to mind’, not only what has happened but what is to come. Basically, Passover is an event – a meal, if you will – that marks the beginning of the first day of The Week of Unleavened Bread, and an event which includes the Lamb, the ‘blood’, and the unleavened bread (matza) on a specific appointed time for a particular purpose.
What is this appointed time ? According to Scripture it is to be the evening of the 14th day of the first month of the Hebrew or Biblical calendar. ( Exo. 12:1-6) For us today, that would be the 14th day from the first new moon after the beginning of astronomical spring. For us this year, it actually happens to be Monday evening, the 14th day of April 2014.
The particular purpose ? To remember God’s deliverance for His people ‘with an outstretched arm and with great judgments’, and the expectation of the magnified repeat of that event in the last days. ( Jer. 16:14-15, Jer. 23:7-8)
And the ‘how’ ? That’s fairly simple. To come together as an individual family or corporate family of believers on the appointed time for the particular purpose and partake of the elements utililized and defined by Yeshua. Although He – Yeshua – did not partake of the Passover that He so desired to share with His disciples, He gave us an example to follow until His promised return when He will sit with His own and share in this event in the Kingdom.
There were many in Scripture that died and many were resurrected. But there is only One whose death and shed blood allow me to be a part of the Resurrection, another day of remembrance among the Feasts of the Lord . . . but that is another teaching.
Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
Is Passover for the Church ? “For Messiah is our Passover, therefore keep the Feast . . .” May this aid you in your understanding and keeping . . . Shalom