The origins of the Passover ordinance are found in the book of Exodus. This first Passover was on the night of the tenth and final plague that God released upon Egypt as part of His plan to free His people from slavery.
The Passover ordinance was intended to be everlasting. It was to be remembered and observed from generation to generation.
“Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.”—Exodus 12:13-14
Was the Passover Ordinance Observed in the First Century Church?
For the first few centuries after Jesus’ death, Jewish and Gentile Believers fellowshipped together. All those who believed in Jesus, Jew and Gentile, observed Shabbat from Friday at sunset to Saturday’s sunset.
They observed God’s holidays—holy days or Feasts of the Lord—such as the Passover ordinance, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. They observed these days, not legalistically, but because they knew that their God does not change. They understood that when the Word mentioned “everlasting ordinance,” that’s what God meant.
Furthermore, there are specific blessings that come with observing the days set in place by God; from remembering His goodness to reminding us of the need to repent. They were designed to celebrate the joy of being in His covenant.
Yet, religious spirits mixed with Hellenistic and pagan cultures over time. The minds and hearts of those who had earthly power began to separate God’s people, resisting the Scriptures Paul referenced in Ephesians 2 as Jew and Gentile being One New Man in Christ.
What Happens When We Honor the Passover Ordinance?
Covenant promises are set in place.
God told Aaron and Moses why and how to observe Passover. He also informed them of the benefits and blessings that came with the observance.
Passover is referred to as a Feast of the Lord. This means that God invites His people to place their feet beneath His table in obedience and, because of His generous nature, He releases blessings.
To receive the covenant blessings, His people must show up. God said Passover was a memorial, a remembrance throughout the generations. The Passover ordinance is a decree made by God that is everlasting.
The Passover Ordinance is a Decree
We know that God’s Word creates something from nothing. His Word must come to pass (see Isaiah 55:11). And we know that God is not a man that He should lie. He is unchanging. (See Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6; and Hebrews 13:8.)
A decree is an official order issued by a legal authority. Therefore, when God’s Word decrees the Passover ordinance to be everlasting, what then can we conclude? That it must be remembered from generation to generation.
God did not merely create Passover to protect His people from the death of their firstborn; he created it as a process, a tool, and even a series of blessings for them—and us, as His grafted-in people.
Jesus is our Messiah, God incarnate. He observed the times and seasons set by the Father. Through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven, Jesus brought Jew and Gentile together, creating One New Man (Ephesians 2:15).
As Gentiles, our hearts have been circumcised by the blood of Jesus, cleansing us from all unrighteousness. We are credited as righteous by our faith in Jesus (see Romans 4:1-8).
However, due to the fact that God does not lie, He did not invalidate His words, which include laws and ordinances. So then, why has the Passover ordinance been ignored by many in the Church?
Why Has the Passover Ordinance Been Ignored?
Sadly, leaders rose up in the Church during the fourth century and established rules and regulations to separate the Church from her roots. They wanted to erase the connection between the Jewish Jesus and Christianity. The result was a separation from blessings and an emergence of replacement theology.
This portrayed God’s love as inconsistent and no longer for the Jews, thus making Him a liar.
Hellenistic and pagan cultures started to infiltrate the Church, replacing her foundational roots with cheap imitations and alternatives.
This separation directly contradicts Paul’s point in Romans 11 and Ephesians 2.
“…if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. …remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.”—Romans 11:17-18
“Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh… that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”“Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh… that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”—Ephesians 2:11-13
Why Did the Leaders Want to Cut Off the Passover Ordinance from the Church?
They wanted the Gentile Church to be set apart from its Jewish roots. However, their decisions simply cut them off from God’s blessings.
The new rules and regulations were set in place, despite not coming from God. They banned anything “Jewish,” including the Passover ordinance. The Roman emperor, Constantine, embraced these new rules for the Church, motivating leaders to create more separation between Jew and Gentile.
What Other Observances Changed?
The Sabbath day shifted, Easter replaced Passover, and Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot were forgotten. Over time, Jews were segregated, even those who believed in Jesus. Gentile Believers were made to conform their faith to the pagan religions and views of Rome.
The Sabbath shifted from Friday/Saturday to Sunday, which was the day to honor the pagan sun-god. This eased and transitioned Gentile Believers to accept Constantine’s newly preferred religion.
The Passover Ordinance
In pagan culture, Easter was the day meant to worship the goddess of fertility, Ishtar. It was a spring festival celebrating rebirth and fertility. It fell close to Passover, so the timing worked into the replacement theology that cut off the Church from her blessings and segregated Jewish Believers.
What is Lost When the Passover Ordinance is Ignored?
- The nine blessings of Passover, which create alignment for our year.
- The fullness of communion, which comes with Passover—Passover having four cups instead of one.
- Our heritage in the Jewish roots of our faith—the heritage of Jesus.
- The portion of our inheritance that is found through being grafted-in.
Sadly, the Church not only stole these things from themselves but also from us—the future generation. It is only 1,500 years later that we are learning about it.
We are reclaiming our heritage. We are remembering the benefits of Passover. Gentile Believers around the world are discovering what was stolen and remembering their Jewish roots—while also realizing that they are not meant to become Jews.
The discovery that ALL of God’s Word is living and active—without error or end—is empowering!
Are you ready to receive what God has for you? Join us for Passover on April 5th, 2023 at 7:00 PM CT here. Let’s celebrate in unity and reclaim what has been lost!
Prepare for the Passover Ordinance in Your Home
Here is what you will need…
- Matzah – Unleavened bread
- Maror – Horseradish (One teaspoon per person is ample.)
- Charoset – A mixture of apple, nuts, wine, and cinnamon; or chunky applesauce will do. (We make enough for a heaping tablespoon per person.)
- Karpas – Parsley (Just enough for everyone to have a sprig.)
- Salt Water (Enough for people to dip their parsley into.)
- Grape Juice or Wine (Enough for each person to have 4 sips—you will also need 4 small cups or glasses per person.)
It is also traditional/symbolic to have a roasted lamb shank bone and a boiled egg on the table.
Click here to discover how to prepare your home.