The gospels show Jesus observing the Passover at the beginning of the 14th. Should we use the time when He observed it or the time He died as our guide?
Out of the entire world, we have been chosen now to develop friendship, not with the world, but with those placed in the love and friendship of the Body of Christ.
In Deuteronomy 16:1, the word 'Passover' is out of context. It applies to the whole season, including the Night to be Much Observed and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Here are the basic points of the Christian Passover, showing from Scripture what God commands and why.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke each seem to put Passover on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but a closer look reveals the consistency of Scripture.
We are to seriously consider this season, examining ourselves carefully and soberly, measuring ourselves against the sinless life of Jesus Christ.
Jesus and His disciples are shown observing the Passover in a home at the beginning of Abib/Nisan 14. However, a few verses seem to indicate the next day.
Jesus was crucified late on Abib 14, yet the Passover lambs were to be killed at the beginning of the 14th. The time of Christ's death is highly significant.
Many people believe that our sins are the focus of Passover—but they are wrong! Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb, should be our focus. How well do you know Him?
The timing of Christ's crucifixion does not coincide with the Passover, but instead lines up with the covenant God made with Abraham, marking a major fulfillment.
The words in Ezekiel's Millennial vision seem to say that the Passover should be observed for seven days. However, this contradicts other clear scriptures.
Passover may be the most important festival ordained by God. Not only does it memorialize Christ's death, it also symbolizes our redemption and the covenant.
The context of Deuteronomy 16:1-3 indicates the focus of these verses is on the Night to be Observed and the Days of Unleavened Bread rather than the Passover.
Using subterfuge, some proponents of the 15th Passover muddle up otherwise clear, day and night issues by surreptitiously inserting modern English language usage.
At the time of Christ, because of historical deviation, some kept Passover at home at the start of the 14th and others kept it at the Temple at the end of the 14th.
Christ's blood does much more than remit sin; it gives eternal life. The Passover wine represents the blood of the covenant, by which we are made complete.
The sequence of events that took place on Passover, from Jesus' arrest through His death, was orchestrated so we could appreciate what God did for us.
The focus of our self-examination should not be self-centered or comparing ourselves with others, but on the awesome significance of His sacrifice.
The Passover is to be kept on the twilight of the 14th, while the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the 15th. The Word of God supersedes tradition and heritage.
The annual reaffirmation of the covenant through the Passover is at the core of an on-going relationship with the Father and Son, beginning the perfecting process.
Nine steps had to be included with the Passover observance, all within the house until morning. It takes place between sun's setting and complete darkness.
We must thoroughly examine ourselves, exercising and strengthening our faith, actively giving love back to God, to avoid taking Passover in a careless manner.
Christ's redemption obligates us to obey and serve Him. We show our gratitude for this priceless gift by doing good in acts of love and service to others.
The temple Passover commanded by Hezekiah was a very unusual circumstance in which the king centralized worship to keep Baalism from defiling the Passover.
The proponents of a 15th Passover discount clear scriptural details and instead speculate. One cannot build doctrines on implication, distortion, and traditions.
The Catholic Church did not forbid keeping the Passover until AD 325. The controversy over Passover or Easter boils down to following Scripture or Roman tradition.
Major reinterpretations have significantly distorted the meaning of Passover and Unleavened Bread, blurring the distinction between the two events.
Some believe in a late-14th Passover on the basis of II Chronicles 35:10-11, but this overlooks the context. The Passover was originally a home-based observance.
We keep Unleavened Bread because of what God did to bring us out of sin (typified by Egypt). While God compels us to make choices, He is with us all the way.
Like the Old Testament examples, the Corinthians had a careless presumption, allowing themselves to lust, fornicate, tempt God, and murmur.
Among God's many titles is one that proclaims His supremacy over all others: 'Most High God' or 'God Most High.' It provides confidence in God's governance.
The Passover is a beacon of hope in an otherwise hopeless milieu. Jesus provided hope at His last Passover, exuding confidence despite what lay ahead.
Christ's bones had to remain unbroken to fulfill the Passover. Additionally, His self-maledictory oath to Abraham required an unseperated—unbroken—body.
To some, Barabbas is nothing more than an interesting detail in Christ's trial. However, his presence during that event contains significant implications for us.
How often have we heard the phrase 'Christ's broken body'? Is it a valid and accurate concept? What effect does it have on our observance of the Passover?
The biblical proof that God's people should keep the Passover (the Lord's Supper), explaining that it occurs annually on the evening of Nisan 14.
Of all of God's appointed times, the Passover is one that we should not rush into without thought and preparation, lest we miss the awesome depth of its meaning.
Was Jesus Christ's body actually broken? If so, it would have symbolized disqualification and a broken covenant. Only the bread of Passover was broken.
The Israelites were to eat the Passover, not in haste, but with serious reflection. The only thing standing between them and death was the blood on the doorpost.
When we partake of the cup of wine at Passover, we usually think of Christ's blood shed for sins. However, the cup and its contents have another meaning for us.
God has imputed righteousness to us as His Children because we are in Christ. Our state before God is unleavened provided we maintain this relationship.
Jesus perfectly fulfilled the Old Testament types, slain as the Passover Lamb, resurrected with the cutting of the wavesheaf, and ascended to His Father at the time of the waving of the sheaf.
Christ's body was not broken, and the bread of Passover, broken so it can be shared, is a symbol of being joined to His sinless life rather than death.
We are to remember that Jesus Christ saw value in us, in our brethren, and even in the people that we do not yet like, to pay the price for all of our sins.
The Bible frequently uses the hyssop plant as a symbol of cleansing and purification. In relation to Christ's sacrifice, this herb has a connection to the Passover.
The word 'selfsame' refers to a specific commemorative date. The selfsame day is a signal that God is faithfully in control of time over multiple centuries.
God equates belittling His signs with rejecting Him. The signs of the weekly and annual Sabbaths are emphasized by God, but commonly cast aside by men.
Since the church no longer keeps the Passover with the slaughter of a lamb, we miss important and poignant details that could enhance our observance.
Prior to the Days of Unleavened Bread, we are told to examine ourselves. How can we do that? Here are a few pointers on doing a thorough, honest once over.
If we are merely seeking a crown of glory, hoping to skirt by Christ's suffering, we must ask ourselves whether we really accept the Passover cup.
We assess costs and values all the time in our daily lives. We should employ the same process to God's love for us in giving His Son as the sacrifice for sin.
Does it matter when we keep the Passover as long as we keep it? The logistics of Israel leaving Egypt prove that Passover should be kept on the 14th, not the 15th.
Here are the foundational principles to keep in mind in observing the Feasts of God throughout the year.
It is our responsibility to glorify God. As obedient children, we bring Him honor; as disobedient children, we bring shame on Him and blaspheme His name.
When God calls us and redeems us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we suddenly come under obligation—a debt we cannot pay but overshadows all we do.
Crucifixion is man's most cruel form of punishment. Why did Jesus need to die this way? What does it teach us? And was Jesus stabbed before or after He died?
Human tradition and Bible truth regarding the timing of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection do not square. Here is the overwhelming chronological evidence.
Christians prepare for Passover by engaging in a thorough, spiritual self-examination. An analysis of II Corinthians 13:5 shows us what we need to look for.
The wavesheaf offering is reckoned from the weekly Sabbath within the Days of Unleavened Bread. It had specific requirements that were not met in Joshua 5.
We need to be sobered at the awesomeness of the cost to set us free from sin—what the Creator endured. We have been purchased, and are obliged to our Purchaser.
Passover takes place at twilight as the 14th of Abib begins. Unleavened Bread begins 24 hours later on the 15th of Abib. The Passover is a preparation day.
A scriptural explanation of the time of Christ's death, burial and resurrection, showing that He died on a Wednesday and rose from the dead on the Sabbath.
The Night Much to be Observed is a memorial of the covenant with Abraham, and God's watchfulness in delivering ancient Israel as well as spiritual Israel.
Easter is not a Christian name, but belongs to the idolatrous 'queen of heaven.' Here are the origins of Easter eggs and sunrise services, which pre-date Christ.
Many consider the footwashing at Passover merely as a ritual to remind us of the need to serve one another. But it teaches another godly attribute: forgiveness.
Footwashing is the initial part of the Passover ceremony. Why did Christ institute it? What is its purpose?
Ted Bowling focuses on the foot-washing aspect of the Passover service, which is an annual renewal and re-dedication of our baptismal cleansing. Foot-washing was a common practice in antiquity, where the lowest servant was assigned to wash the soiled feet of a weary traveler. A disciple was similarly expected to be willing to perform the same tasks for his rabbi as a servant was for his master—except for untying his sandals, which was considered to be the very lowest of degradations. Jesus Christ, reversing the cultural expectation, took the role of a Gentile slave, and to the shock of his disciples stooped below what a disciple could be expected to do and washed their feet. He modeled the practice of foot-washing to dramatize the need to be submissive to one another, to serve one another—including those who betray—and to be one's brother's keeper, safeguarding our relationships with our brethren.
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon the uniqueness of the Day of Atonement, suggests that this day shows our frailness and total dependency on God. This day commemorates our High Priest making intercession for us, making us at one with God, and continuously working on our behalf. The atoning sacrifice covers all sin. Before Christ's sacrifice, only the High Priest could perform this task. This annual act typified the work Christ performed once for all mankind. This day pictures what Christ does continually because we keep on sinning. On this particular day, this Sabbath of Sabbaths, we are prohibited from a wider range of work than the other holy days. Consequently, refraining from work on Atonement symbolizes our inability to atone for our sins. We, humble and poor in spirit, depend upon God for everything.
John 6 has always been a difficult chapter to explain. However, within his series on the physical/spiritual parallels in the Bible on eating, John Ritenbaugh shows how clear Jesus' teaching is and what it means to us.
Galatians 4:9-10 is a favorite crutch of those who claim Christians no longer need to observe God's holy days. However, Paul's meaning is quite different.
If we do not keep God's holy days, we will deprive ourselves of the knowledge of God's purpose. Jesus and the first century church observed and upheld these days.
Purity before God is far more than just being clean. John Ritenbaugh explains that to Jesus being pure in heart touches on the very holiness of God!
Egypt is not directly a symbol of sin, but instead the world. The Days of Unleavened Bread symbolize what God did for us, not what we did by our own power.
The keeping of the law is a practical response to God, providing us with principles for our lives, establishing our character and implanting God's values.
I Corinthians gives ready instruction in the order and decorum that is fitting for church organization, as well as the Passover and weekly service.
Martin Collins, reflecting on self-examination prior to Passover, warns that worthiness to take the Passover is not a function of an appearance of goodness, but an altered condition of the heart, involving repentance coupled with God's Holy Spirit'having goodness as an inherent quality. Goodness describes the intrinsic quality of the Father and Jesus Christ, made available to us only as we yield to His direction. Good is defined by what God is. God's every attribute is good and ultimately produces good fruit, including those that seem harsh or painful. Because even Satan can transform himself into an angel of light, we need to be careful not to assess goodness by surface appearances. A truly good person (as exemplified by Jesus Christ) observes not only the letter of the law, but its spirit as well, bringing about concrete acts of kindness and generosity. Man is good only as he conforms to God's goodness in accordance to right standards, motives, and aims.
Martin Collins acknowledges that it may sometimes appear that people outside the church seem to have fewer problems and anxieties, having been spared Satan's onslaught of temptation and deception. The Scriptures have the capacity to forewarn and forearm us against Satan's wiles—if we have the sense to use them. Some individuals futilely regret that God had not called them sooner, preventing them from attaining years of productive overcoming. They are now obsessed with the thought "if only." To become miserable in the present for a mistake in the past is foolishness. It is a waste of energy to be concerned about things that cannot be changed by us. To dwell on the mistakes of the past causes failure in the present. The apostle Paul came into "the Way" very late, born out of due time, but he made up for lost time instead of wallowing in hopeless regret. The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard indicates that quality of service is more important than length of service. God is not unfair in His remuneration for service. The vineyard requires laborers, not loiterers. It is not the time of your entry into the church that matters—what matters is that you are in the Church. God has chosen us at our optimum time. Let us pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ, following His example, becoming a master of our subject, with our words matching our actions, understanding and knowing human nature, mastering our emotions, and dedicating ourselves to doing God's work. In the evening of our life, we dare not lag in diligence or service to the body of Christ.
Christian freedom has nothing to do with location or circumstance but how we think. By imbibing on God's Word, we will incrementally displace our carnality.
The peace (or thank) offering was the most commonly given in ancient Israel. It pictures God, the priest, and the offerer in satisfying fellowship.
Despite the Council of Laodicea's condemnation of the Sabbath, a group of believers termed Paulicians kept God's laws and resisted the heresy from Rome.
David Grabbe, marveling that John, in the Book of Revelation, refers to Christ as the Lamb of God more than any other designation, examines the characteristics of the lamb. The significance of the Lamb goes back to the Passover instructions where God lays claim to all the firstborn. All firstborn of unclean animals, as well as human beings, must be redeemed by a lamb. God gave this instruction before He gave the holiness code and the instructions about the Sabbath. The redemption of the firstborn was no small matter to God. God required the firstborn of Egypt as a redemption for Israel's release. The original Passover was the redemption of Israel as God's firstborn. At this time, the price for the firstborn of Israel was a sacrificial lamb, not to atone for her sins, but to redeem her from slavery. God claims the firstborn males as His own. Jesus Christ's blood covers our sins and redeems us from the death penalty. Christ must redeem us from this body of flesh to completely reflect the nature of our Creator. We are in the process of being redeemed, but redemption will not fully occur until our resurrection. It is when we are completely redeemed that we will bear the image of the heavenly. The Lamb, described in Revelation 5:6-13 as having seven horns and seven eyes, is symbolic of our Redeemer, opening the title deed of His property—those whom He has called, saved, justified, and sanctified. All things are within His legal claim (including Israel and the Israel of God) as He exercises His fearful mighty power.
David Grabbe, reminding us that the trek through the Red Sea occurred on the seventh day of Unleavened Bread, points out that other historical events also occurred on that day, including the toppling of the walls of Jericho and the healing of the lame man near the Pool of Bethsaida, after his having endured his infirmity 38 years. The ancient Israelites moved in the desert but had made no progress in getting Egypt out of their hearts. When God restored Israel through Joshua, He gave them credit for the time that had walked, indicating that in all cases, He was doing virtually all the heavy lifting, but was demanding that the Israelites exercise faith, doing something concrete to indicate their willingness to participate in the covenant. The walls of Jericho were, in effect, already history when Joshua's men began their march around the city. When we make our covenant with God, we must move forward exercising faith, doing our part in the overcoming/ sanctification process, realizing God is in charge of the entire process.
It is an unusual fact that the subjects of God's spring holy days and firstborns appear in the same contexts. Here is what this means to us.
Leviticus 23 not only reveals God's holy days—it also provides, in symbol form, a detailed schematic of God's plan!
From this often misunderstood and misinterpreted poetical work comes some hopeful prophecies along with some vivid descriptions of intimate spiritual love.
The Law (including the judgments, ordinances, and statutes), far from being done away, shows us our faults and outlines the way of mercy and love—how to live.