Posted by: celticanglican | June 18, 2007

Why Don’t Christians Celebrate the Passover?

Why Don’t Christians Celebrate the Passover?

The best way to answer this question is to look at what the Passover symbolizes, Christ’s sacrifice, and who the Passover prefigures, but isn’t actually observed under, the New Covenant.

Please read Exodus 12:1-28. God gives the Israelites directions on observing the Passover. At the first Passover, the firstborn of the Israelites were spared from death by following God’s commandments. However, it is quite clear that this is directed to the Jews: Exodus 12:3 “Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house” (KJV) In fact, it is later stated that non-Jews (except for slaves owned by the Israelites) are not allowed to eat the Passover meal. (Exodus 12:43-45)

The prophet Jeremiah speaks of a new covenant: Jeremiah 31:31 “Behold, the days come saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD” (KJV)

Jesus’ death on the cross did away with animal sacrifices and their related rituals once and for all: Hebrews 10:9 “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering, oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered up one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (KJV)

Most Christians do regularly commemorate Jesus’ sacrifice by observing the Eucharist (also known as communion, the Lord’s Supper, or the Mass. For more on this, please see Matthew 17:20-29; Mark 14:17-25; Luke 22:15-20; Acts 2:42-46; and I Corinthians 11:23-34)

One of the things I believe sums this up the best is this canticle (hymn), taken from I Corinthians 5:7-8; Romans 6:9-11; and I Corinthians 15:20-22: Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast. Not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia. Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia. Christ is risen from the dead, and became the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia.

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