CELEBRATING PASSOVER AS A CHRISTIAN
Passover is a religious festival in the Jewish calendar. Passover memorialize the Biblical story of how God liberated the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Passover is the first feast God commanded His children to celebrate. Some Christians are still in doubt whether it is in their place to celebrate Passover or not. But before we talked about whether celebrating Passover is right for you as a Christian or not, let’s go into the brief history of Passover.
Pharaoh feared that there will be too many Jews in Egypt, so he commanded that every male Jewish baby be killed and he put the remaining people into slavery. Moses as a baby then was saved by his mother who floats him on a basket down the river Nile, and he was found by pharaoh’s daughter. Pharaoh daughter liked Moses and she adopted him. When he grew up, Moses killed a slave master and he fled into the desert where God appeared to him and told him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. God sent him to tell Pharaoh to let his people go, but pharaoh refused to let them go. So God sent down plagues to the land of Egypt one after the other until the ninth one, yet Pharaoh still refused to let them go. So God decided to send down the most drastic plague which was the killing of the first born by an avenging angel, angel of death. As you know, our God is merciful; He will never forsake His own. So to preserve the first born of the Israelites, He told Moses to instruct the Israelites to take an unblemished, male lamb, slaughter it and marked their door frames with the blood from the lamb so that when the death angel is passing and sees the blood mark on their door frames, it will pass them over. After putting the lamb’s blood on the door frame, each family was to roast the lamb and eat it with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. That night the angel of death passed through Egypt, all the first born were killed, of humans and of animals. This created fear in pharaoh and he summoned Moses and ordered him to take the children of Israelites out of Egypt immediately, so they were freed from slavery, (Exodus 1-12).
As you can see, the origin of the Jewish celebration of Passover is essentially biblical. The bible tells us of how the Jewish emancipation from the Egyptian oppression was settled that night; so it can be rightly said that the salvific plans of God for us His children started here. We are the new Israel, and the Passover is equally a symbol of Christianity, it is still meaningful and appropriate till today. Even God instructed us in Exodus 12:14 to keep the day as a memorial day and as a feast to Him. It was through that event that God revealed his glory to his people. So it is good to remember the faithfulness of God to the Israelites thousands of years ago. That same mighty, powerful God that liberated them and fought for them then is still our God, He changed not. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Although the Passover celebrations has become a cultural and historical celebration for the modern day Jewish, its Christian origin is not in doubt and should be the principal consideration when one remembers the Passover. So in a sense, it is a memorial of the Christian salvation which is more unique when it is considered that Passover foreshadowed the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the son of God and the true Lamb.