Should Christians celebrate Passover?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

Ari Ariel HaNaviy Messianic Jew and Torah Teacher with Messianic Congregation 'The Harvest'
The short answer is “yes,” Christians should celebrate Passover. After all, Paul explicitly tells us to in 1 Cor. 5:8. He says, “Let us therefore celebrate the festival…” and then he goes on to tell us how to celebrate it. But the point I am making is that he actually TELLS us to keep it. Whoever says that the NT doesn't command Gentile believers to keep parts of the Torah (Law) has obviously missed this verse.

Granted, the Passover as Traditional Judaism observes it down through the ages misses the Messiah, and thus does not have to simply become the default model for our own Messianic Passover observances. We can and should borrow traditions from Judaism that honor HaShem (God) and uphold his laws, but we must be careful to always take our final orders from the Master and the Apostolic Scriptures. This means our Torah observance is going to necessarily differ from Traditional Judaic Torah observance because we follow the True Rabbi named Yeshua (Jesus). When in doubt, side with Scripture instead of with tradition. Don't just do something just because it is Jewish.

Besides, I believe the current LORD’s Supper is in fact a “mini Passover.” If my postulation is true, then (albeit in drastically reduced form) most Christians are already celebrating the Passover! They simply don't know they are celebrating the Passover. To be sure, Yeshua’s last supper with his disciples was a “fusion” of the traditional Passover with the institution of the LORD’s Supper, right? Communion didn't replace Passover, or else Paul’s instructions about celebrating the festival would make nonsense. Messianic Jews and Messianic Gentiles are expected to incorporate the LORD’s Supper into the Mosaic Passover in order to highlight what our Savior did for us on the cross.

As Jews and Gentiles, Passover celebrates our freedom from Egypt (remember there was a mixed multitude that came out of Egypt…(Ex. 12:38) …mixed in terms of ethnicities). The death of the lamb secured their escape from the Death Angel and their escape from Egypt. All then came to the foot of Sinai and were declared to be “Isra'el” by God (Ex. 19:1-6). The exodus from Egypt as such forms the antecedent theology to understand that each one of us was set free from our own personal Egypt of sin and shame. Since the LORD’s Supper celebrates the death (not his resurrection) of the Spotless Lamb, read Matt. 26:28 and 1 Cor. 11:26, and since Gentiles are grafted into Remnant Isra'el to take their place alongside believing Jews, it only makes sense to put the Torah Passover and the LORD’s Supper together as Paul no doubt did for his 1st century communities.

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