EDITOR: This year, the three major religions who traced their origins from the Hebrew scriptures: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, celebrated Passover, Easter and the beginning of the month of Ramadan respectively on the same weekend. This is remarkable since it occurs about once every thirty years.
In the time of Moses and the children of Israel down to the time of our Savior, the celebration of the Passover was one of the biggest events on their calendar, second only to the day of atonement and it is easy to understand why.
The word Passover denotes ‘passing over’ or ‘sparing’.
We learned from the Old Testament scriptures how Moses and the children of Israel were delivered from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. The book of Exodus chapter 12 indicated that they were required to kill a lamb and to place the blood on the door posts of their houses so that the destroyer sent by Yahweh to kill all the firstborn of Egypt, both man and beasts, will pass over or spare them. They followed the instructions faithfully and were spared.
Our Savior became Yahweh’s Passover (Leviticus 23v5). He died on Passover day. He shed his blood for us so that we can be spared and have a hope of eternal life.
Today, however, celebration of the Passover is rejected by the bulk of Christianity. It has been subsumed by Good Friday and Easter with various programmes, Sunrise services, Easter bunnies and eggs even though Easter is known to be of pagan origin and there is no evidence that our Savior or the early Apostolic Assembly engaged in such celebration.
Perhaps the only vestige of Passover that has been retained is captured in the well known song: ‘When I see the blood I will pass over you’, a reference to Exodus chapter 12 v 23.
We are reminded in the book of 1 Samuel chapter 15 v22-23 that our heavenly father has greater delight in obedience than sacrifice and that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.
The scriptures indicated that our Savior, Yahshua the Messiah became the ultimate Passover sacrifice. He died on Passover day and was resurrected during the Feast of Unleavened bread. He instituted the memorial emblems of the cup and the bread on Passover day so that we can remember the purpose of his death (1Corithians11v23-26).
In his admonition to the Corinthian brethren in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, the Apostle Paul acknowledged our Savior as the Passover sacrifice and encouraged them to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Your glorying is not good. 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 Messiah 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.
We are therefore encouraged to strive to follow the example and instructions of our Savior and that of the Apostle Paul and rid ourselves of traditions that are not grounded in the word of our Heavenly Father Yahweh.