This post is specifically addressed to Bible Believing Christians who are feeling the call to return to the Father’s ways
This past week, I’ve seen many Christians call for people to tie red ribbons on their mailboxes and hang them on their door to symbolize the blood that the Israelites put on their doorposts in obedience to God when the plague of death was passing through Egypt. Of course, this was the first Passover.
While I love the idea behind that, I’d like to humbly suggest that we go a step further with this.
Why don’t we obey God and keep His Passover this year?
“What? But that’s Jewish! We’re Christians, we don’t do the Jewish holidays.” Actually, even though most of us have been told that Passover is a Jewish feast, that is not what God says. When seeking truth, we’ve got to train ourselves to go to the source of truth. So let’s read what the inventor of Passover says about it:
4 “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. 5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the Lord’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. 8 But you shall present a food offering to the Lord for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.” Leviticus 23:4-7
14 “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord forever. 15 For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat; that is all you may do.
17 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. 18 In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19 For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And anyone, whether foreigner or native-born, who eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel. 20 Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread.” Exodus 12:14-20
Did you see that in both passages? God does not call it a Jewish feast. He calls it His feast. It is important to Him. Further, it was important to our Messiah and many scholars believe that Paul was referring to Passover when He said “I must by all means keep this Feast.” (Acts 18:21) By all means. With Rome and even his own people bearing down on him, his life in danger at every turn, the primary urgency he felt was to keep this Feast that was so important to the Father. God, Messiah, Paul: do we not set them all up as examples for us to follow? Yet we have discarded this feast, replaced it with our own, and for the most part read Scripture with an intentional blind eye to the Father’s instructions.
If this feast is important to the Father, if it is important to Messiah, if it was important to Paul, if we are commanded to keep it, where is the reasoning not to? Let us do this thing for Him.
To paraphrase Mordecai, when speaking to Esther (Esther 4:14), perhaps so many of us are in our homes for a time such as this. An appointed time where He calls us to to celebrate His passover and turn our hearts to wholeheartedly back to Him?
This year, at this point in our history, at this moment of trial and tribulation, let our words that claim He is our God match up with our actions of being obedient to Him.
How do we do it? As the perfect teacher that He is, God set up His feasts as learning tools. When we keep His feasts, we learn more of His character, the history of Believers, and how He has delivered His people time and again. We grow closer to Him in word and deed. It is a process and each year finds us keeping them to the best of our ability – but each year that ability grows as we continue to learn.
With that in mind, I am going to give you a heartfelt, quick start guide to keeping Passover this year. This is by no means meant as an exhaustive list of do’s and don’ts. The Bible provides all the guidance we need but we must read it, in context, in order, and give it authority over our lives in order to glean the needed wisdom. Passover is next week for us and I know many people are just now feeling that pull to keep it.
In King Hezekiah’s time, the Israelites did not know how to truly keep Passover according to God’s Word. Time and traditions they were raised in had pulled them away from doing things God’s way and drawn them into the habit of doing things the way their family and communities had taught them. However, at this point, their hearts were stirred to begin wholly seeking the Father and, in their efforts and wholeheartedness, He showed them grace. If we find ourselves in that position this year, let us be found as wholeheartedly seeking after Him as they were. (2 Chronicles 30)
This list will get you through this year and from there, the goal is to learn more year after year. Do the best you can and once you know better, you do better.
Below are some simple steps to keeping it.
1. Mark the date. There are different calendars being used so know that Passover falls on different days for different people, depending on the calendar. To make it simple, choose one and go by that this year. You can research calendars later but for now that time is best spent reading Scripture. To find the date we use, simply Google Passover and the current year. Passover is a meal, which we have at sunset on that date. As the sun sets, the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins. This lasts for seven days.
2. Remove the leavening from your house. During Passover, leaven symbolizes sin in our lives. Search throughout your home and any products that contain it need to be removed. In our house, this means anything with yeast, baking powder, or baking soda are placed in a storage bin and put in the garage or a storage building. Some people give it away, some throw it away. Everyone I know tries to use up as much as they can ahead of time so there is not much to deal with either way. You will learn a lot about the sin in your life this week as you think you have removed everything but throughout the week you will probably discovered forgotten leaven and have to remove that, too. Do the exercise, as assigned, and see what all the master Teacher reveals to you through obedience.
6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Cor 5:6-8
3. On the first evening, have a special meal. This is the Passover meal. Tell the story of the Exodus. We like to read Exodus 12. Some people read what is known as a Haggadah to help ensure they tell the whole story. It is sort of a script to read that covers the main points. This is a beautiful tradition but not required. If you decide to go this route, Christians will want to look for a Messianic Haggadah and you can find them for free online. Some people decide to have a traditional meal similar to how our Jewish brethren have been faithful to do. Our first Passover we had a special meal, and earnestly sought to honor the Father in our reading of scripture. Many people do something similar to what we have come to know as “The Lord’s Supper” during this meal.
Addendum: Israel was in their homes the evening of the Passover meal and the next morning they left, beginning the Feast of Unleavened bread. (The lamb constituted the Passover meal and the blood of that lamb was the means by which the houses were passed over. Messiah is our lamb- because of Him we are passed over.) So Passover is a meal, rather than a full day, and Unleavened Bread begins during the meal (as the sun sets). I hope this makes sense. I am still learning as well! Wholehearted all the way, He will lead us!
4. Unleavened bread begins that evening. Do not eat anything with leavening all week and in addition to that, eat unleavened bread each day. It is simple to make, I will put two recipes at the bottom fo this.
5. The first day of unleavened bread is a Sabbath – rest from our regular work if possible. (This means you get two Sabbaths back to back this year!) The seventh day is the same. Rest. We find it difficult to rest in our time. The thought of taking a day to simply be still, rest in Him, and disconnect from the world brings about a feeling of panic in most people. This demonstrates how connected we are to the world and how we have actively disconnected ourselves from Him. He will teach us to rest if we ask Him. It is a process, this untangling of those ropes we’ve twisted ourselves up into in order to so carefully bind ourselves to the world, but the Father is a bondage breaker and if we take our bindings to Him, and trust Him with the outcome, He will release us.
And that, dear friends, is a simple prescription for a first Passover. Is it perfect? No, but His grace is. The key is not just putting a bandaid on it, not just deciding to throw a red sash on a mailbox. The key is in humbling ourselves, turning to Him, and saying “Father, I have obeyed the world, and now I want to obey you. Teach me how.”
-Can we keep Passover perfectly? No. We are not in the promised land. We do not have a temple. We are a people scattered to the winds.
-Should we use that as an excuse not to keep it to the best of our ability? Many do. That is for you to decide.
-We will find a way or we will find an excuse. I’m done with excuses. I will follow my Father, walk in the example of my Messiah, and if I stumble while moving forward, let me stumble, but my intent will remain steadfast.
Below is King Hezekiah’s plea to the people in his kingdom for them to keep Passover. This plea is just as relevant to us today:
7 Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were faithless to the Lord God of their fathers, so that he made them a desolation, as you see. 8 Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you. 9 For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your children will find compassion with their captors and return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.” 2 Chronicles 30:7-9
And from Malachi 3
6 “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. 7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ 8 Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. 11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. 12 Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.
13 “Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’ 14 You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? 15 And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’”
16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. 17 “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. 18 Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him. Malachi 3:6-18
Bring the full tithe = don’t halfway do it.
Passover symbolizes and teaches many things. It calls us to remember miracles and rescues, mercies and grace, and the very real hand of our Father swooping down to save His people. Passover teaches us of His steadfast love. And keeping it demonstrates our trust in His wisdom over our own and our desire to take ourselves off that throne and put Him in his rightful place as God over our lives.
If you are feeling a call to return to the Father this year, to seek Him and honor Him and to put your life under His authority – by all means, keep the Passover.
For I, YHWH do not change. Therefore you Have not been consumed. Return to me, and I will return o you. Malachi 3:6-7
Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. -Jeremiah 6:16
Return to me and I will return to you.
We must, by all means, keep this Passover.Print This Post
- The Biblical Feasts: When The Father Throws A Party And Invites Us, I Want To Go
- Soft, Unleavened Bread Recipe
- 3 Ingredient Unleavened Bread
Special thanks to Torah Sisters for allowing me to use their photos as the feature for this post. You can get instructions on how to make this decoration here. Read their article on a Gospel Centered Passover here.
Vital Note: Anytime someone gives you a verse, always take a chapter, better yet the book, better yet the whole book. Never take someone else’s word for what the Bible says. I urge you to go back and read – at the very least – the entire chapter of each verse I referenced in this article.