Handling Passover Criticism

biblical holidays passover

I encountered skepticism and hostility while discussing the significance of Christians observing Passover in an online group. I've realized the depth of misconceptions surrounding this ancient tradition. I aimed to shed light on Jesus' profound connection to Passover and other biblical holidays, fueling my passion and excitement.

Bible Journaling from the Gospel Era Bible Journal Class

Unraveling Passover Misconceptions

Every year, I navigate through a sea of critiques, mainly based on misunderstandings. The perspective that Passover observance equates to legalism or adopting Jewish customs overlooks the celebration's core value—its testament to God's grace overshadowed by misconceptions of salvation through works.

The Contradiction of Legalism Fears

Interestingly, while there's a strong warning against "legalism" when observing Passover, the same scrutiny isn't applied to non-biblical holiday traditions. Easter is celebrated widely every year, yet many are unaware of its origins in pagan celebrations of renewal and rebirth.

Easter Did Not Replace Passover

Check any Bible tool or encyclopedia to verify these facts:

  • Easter history is one of pagan fertility gods and goddesses worshipped. 
  • Easter is not in Scripture (with one mistranslation exception*)
  • God never instituted Easter.
  • Jesus Christ never sanctioned Easter.
  • Christ’s apostles never taught Easter.
  • The early New Testament Church never observed Easter.
  • What do eggs and rabbits do with Christ’s death and resurrection?

Passover's Connection to Jesus

During the Passover meal with His apostles, Jesus expressed His deep desire to share this significant meal with them before His suffering began, indicating that He wouldn't partake in it again until its whole meaning was realized in the Kingdom of God (Luke 22:15-16). Jesus embodies the ultimate Passover Lamb, offering spiritual liberation from sin's bondage, much like the original lamb played a crucial role in the physical freedom of Hebrew slaves from Egyptian enslavement.

This celebration honors Jesus for His immense sacrifice and suffering for humanity. The meal's elements—unleavened bread and wine—symbolize Jesus' body and blood, marking the New Covenant, with Jesus Himself taking the place of the traditional sacrificial lamb.

The Early Church and Passover

The Apostle Paul underscores the significance of commemorating Jesus’ sacrifice through the bread and wine (1 Corinthians 11:23-34), emphasizing remembrance of His death as a profound act of faith and identification with His sacrifice. This practice reflects a continuation of the biblical holidays by Jesus and His apostles, a tradition upheld by the early Christian community, Jews and Gentiles, who celebrated the Resurrection within the Passover framework.

The Passover Seder: A Divine Communion

The Passover Seder Jesus observed before His crucifixion symbolizes the ultimate feast of fellowship, as depicted in Luke 13:28-30 and Revelation 19:6-9, showcasing the intimate communion between God the Father, Jesus, and humanity. This gathering at the table represents the pinnacle of divine friendship and reconciliation, illustrating the ancient Middle Eastern belief that sharing a meal could turn even the fiercest foes into the closest allies, highlighting the transformative power of this sacred tradition.

Celebrating Passover's Significance

Observing Passover and other biblical holidays is fundamentally about acknowledging God's grace and fostering love within the community. Despite facing misunderstandings or criticism, these traditions offer a unique chance to strengthen our relationship with God and each other, promoting a spirit of unity and affection in our faith journey.

Embracing Criticism with Compassion

Addressing doubts or criticism is an opportunity to underscore the feasts as not just traditions but as profound learning experiences about God's unmerited favor. The biblical holidays, especially Passover, narrate stories of grace, redemption, and hope, reminding us that our obedience responds to God's grace.

Strategies for Managing Criticism

  • Facing critique about celebrating biblical holidays requires:
  • Clarifying the aim is to deepen understanding of God's grace rather than earn salvation.
  • Emphasizing the grace-filled stories of redemption and promise these holidays encapsulate.
  • Advocating for scriptural guidance over opinion debates.
  • Seeking wisdom, knowledge, and understanding through prayer.
  • Promoting unity and mutual encouragement, anchored in love and support.

Jesus in the Biblical Holidays

Now Available

Discover the profound connections between Jesus and the biblical holidays in the timely release of "Jesus in the Biblical Holidays," just before Passover 2024. As Passover approaches on April 22 and concludes on April 30, in a year marked by the rarity of a Jewish leap year, this book is an invaluable companion for those seeking to deepen their understanding of these ancient celebrations and their significance in the Christian faith. Explore the rich tapestry of grace, redemption, and prophecy woven through the Passover and other biblical feasts. Unveil the shadows of Christ in these holy days and embrace a fuller appreciation of God's plan for humanity. Perfect for individuals, study groups, and families, "Jesus in the Biblical Holidays" offers insights that will enrich your spiritual journey and bring the stories of the Bible to life in new and meaningful ways. Embrace this opportunity to draw closer to God and witness the unfolding of His grace as you prepare your heart for Passover 2024.

Printable Passover Hagaddah

This little booklet will walk you through your Seder step-by-step, focusing on Christ. Haggadah is a Hebrew word that means the telling. The Haggadah is the Order of Service for the Passover Seder Dinner. Each participant uses a copy, which is essential for understanding and participation. This Haggadah is inexpensive and functional for a Christian Seder. This 24-page booklet tells us each step of the seder, illustrating the first Passover and the symbolism of Christ our Passover.


*The term "Passover" is consistently translated across most English Bible translations from the Hebrew word "Pesach," which refers to the Jewish festival commemorating the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. This festival is named after the event where God "passed over" the houses of the Israelites during the final plague, sparing their firstborn sons from death, as described in the Book of Exodus.

However, there is an exception in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, where the term "Easter" appears once in Acts 12:4. In this context, the original Greek word is "pascha," which directly translates to "Passover." The use of "Easter" in the KJV is considered by many scholars to be a mistranslation or an anachronistic term, reflecting the time when the KJV was translated in 1611.

This translation choice is unique to the KJV, and most modern translations have corrected this to "Passover" to more accurately reflect the original Greek and the intended reference to the Jewish festival, rather than the Christian holiday of Easter, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus and has different origins and significance.