“HOW PASSOVER BECAME EASTER,” 04.04.19
Published on Dec 14, 2010 “Christ in the Passover,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBGz3k37kDE&feature=youtu.be
Jewish Roots Understanding Your Jewish Faith, Daniel Juster, Destiny Image, 2013.
How Passover became Easter Part I, by Rabbi Mike Short,
Jesus Christ/Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, Himself, celebrated the Passover (“Now on the first day of matzah the disciples came to Yeshua, saying, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?””Matt.26:17), and then, at Golgotha, the place of the Skull, He became the Passover (see also, video, “Christ in the Passover,” https://youtu.be/gBGz3k37kDE ).
“The Passover in which Israel escaped the angel of death who destroyed Egypt’s firstborn also teaches a great lesson, since it was the blood on the doorposts from a sacrificial lamb which caused the angel of death to pass over Israelite homes. .. . . Nothing speaks quite like the Passover in regard to sacrificial blood being the means of avoiding the penalty of death for sin” (Juster, 2013, p.28). “Your lamb is to be without blemish, a year old male. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You must watch over it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to slaughter it at twilight. They are to take the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the crossbeam of the houses where they will eat it. They are to eat the meat that night, roasted over a fire. With matzot and bitter herbs they are to eat it”(Ex.12:5-8). God’s instructions were very specific, and He commanded, saying: “This day is to be a memorial for you.You are to keep it as a feast to Adonai. Throughout your generations you are to keep it as an eternal ordinance. . . . Also you are to observe this event as an eternal ordinance, for you and your children”(Ex.12:12, and again in 24). “The Exodus foreshadows the greatest act of God’s grace in all of history – Yeshua’s death and resurrection” (Juster, 2013, p.29).
“The early Christians too would have celebrated this meal to commemorate Jesus’ death and subsequent resurrection. The first Christians, Jewish and Gentile, were certainly aware of the Hebrew calendar. Jewish Christians, the first to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, timed the observance in relation to Passover” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter). The early “Christians,” both Jew and Gentile would have kept Passover together as a commemoration of what Christ did on the Cross, having fulfilled the prophecy and become “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is the One about whom I told you, ‘He who comes after me is above me, because He was before me.’ I didn’t know Him, but I came immersing with water so that He might be revealed to Israel”(John 1:29-31). Notice that they followed God’s commandment – i.e., they kept the ordinance. It didn’t end because Christ fulfilled it. The commemoration of that original freedom from slavery to Egypt, fulfilled through Messiah, was all the more to be celebrated, as Yahweh dictated: “You are to observe this day throughout your generations as an eternal ordinance” (Ex.12:17), and “The same Torah applies to the native as well as the outsider (Gentile) who dwells among you” (Ex.12:49). The Passover continued to be an eternal ordinance which, now fulfilled by Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, would warrant that commemoration forever. So how did it evolve into a thing called “Easter” for the Gentile believers?
Various events historically contributed to the division between Jewish and Gentile believers: “it started when Gentile Believers wanted to replace the Feasts of the Lord with Pagan holidays. In 196 C.E. there was a council in Caesaria, the first council without Messianic Jewish Believers in attendance. The Council ruled that “resurrection day” would thereafter be observed on the pagan holiday of “Easter”. . . . . … . Then the Catholic Church father Saint Appathanies wrote that those of Jewish origins, who defile the Church by the observance of the Jewish feasts and festivals, were “heretics” and should not be allowed inside the Church. This and other statements forced the “Jewish question” that being, should anything “Jewish” be observed by those of Jewish origin who had become “Christians”? The answer to this question and others came via the Council of Nicea in the year 325 C.E. and later via the Council at Antioch wherein those of Jewish ancestry were told to cease all things “Jewish” to include circumcision, Jewish religious training, all feasts and festivals. Close on the heels of this order came the uniform change to Sunday as the day of worship, throughout the Roman Empire as Constantine and the Bishop of Rome, later known as the “Pope” reached agreement” (Rabbi Mike Short, Pt.I). “Direct evidence for a more fully formed Christian festival of Pascha (Easter) begins to appear in the mid-2nd century. Perhaps the earliest extant primary source referring to Easter is a mid-2nd-century Paschal homily attributed to Melito of Sardis, which characterizes the celebration as a well-established one. . . . . . . . .the First Council of Nicaea in 325, which endorsed changing to an independent computation by the Christian community in order to celebrate in common. This effectively required the abandonment of the old custom of consulting the Jewish community in those places where it was still used” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter).
“There is no trace of Easter celebration in the New Testament. The Jewish Christians in the early church continued to celebrate the Passover, regarding Christ as the true paschal lamb” (Rabbi Mike Short, Part I). Not unlike the current trend of Globalism/Secular Humanism, (as we move speedily towards the fulfillment of the One World Government/One World Religion), the post-modern brand of liberal Christianity tends toward embracing/joining with the ways of the world. Commandments of holiness and righteousness, being set apart unto God, have largely been tossed aside.
Followers of Yeshua who had participated in all feasts with their Jewish counterparts, following all God’s commandments, gradually abandoned many of the original practices and began following a different path. Passover, for “Christians,” was sadly replaced with “Easter,” set to include chocolate bunnies, coloured eggs, rationalized and justified by taking the pagan practices and somehow explaining and redefining them in a way that made them acceptable. But all excuses, rationalizing, and justifying the replacement of Passover’s sacrificed LAMB with chocolates, bunnies, and painted eggs, all of which have their origins in pagan practices and holidays, do not alter God’s original intentions, (nor do they honour Him) when He said: “This day is to be a memorial for you.You are to keep it as a feast to Adonai. Throughout your generations you are to keep it as an eternal ordinance. . . . Also you are to observe this event as an eternal ordinance, for you and your children”(Ex.12:12).
© 2016, revised 2017, 2018, 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
NOTE: (1) There will be no “STUDY GUIDE” or “PRAYER GUIDE” on today’s study.
(2) Stand by for PART 2, tomorrow, on “HOW PASSOVER BECAME EASTER”