What is Christian Passover? Even after being a dedicated Christian for over 45 years, I didn’t understand Passover; and, like most Christians, I believed that Easter replaced Passover. But in the last few years I’ve discovered Passover’s spiritual importance and how Christians should celebrate it.
Most Christians know God fulfilled Passover about 2000 years ago when the Lamb of God voluntarily sacrificed Himself for our sins. That’s true, but the ongoing, Christian meaning of Passover is that disciples are to follow the Savior’s example, themselves becoming lambs of God, “living sacrifices.” How?
In this article you’ll learn:
- Past: How Jesus physically fulfilled Passover. This includes how He fulfilled the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits, both of which directly result from His sacrifice as our Passover Lamb.
- Present: How God calls His disciples to celebrate Christian Passover in their own lives, with purity, obedience, and sacrifice.
- Future: Since God fulfilled the Spring feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits) exactly as prophesied, what can we expect concerning the Autumn feasts in our future?
“Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”1 Corinthians 5:7
1. Past: How Jesus Fulfilled Passover
Terminology: Jewish Passover vs Christian Passover
Since the exodus from Egypt, God commanded Israel to annually celebrate Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
So, for more than 3000 years, descendants of Israel remember Passover every springtime in a Passover Seder (pronounced say-der), which is a traditional Passover event.
During the Last Supper on the evening before His crucifixion, Jesus fulfilled the symbolism of the Jewish Passover and instituted a New Covenant version–a Christian Passover.
Christian Passover doesn’t replace the Jewish Passover. Rather, it builds on the original Passover’s foundation and adds expanded meanings to it.
Here’s a Christian Passover Seder ‘Haggadah’ incorporating some of the traditional Seder, but updated in light of the cross and resurrection of our Savior. A Haggadah is a Passover celebration script. Feel free to download and use it to celebrate your Christian Seder. If you’d like a Microsoft Word version that you can edit, email Tom@Standinfaith.org to request it.
When to Celebrate Christian Passover?
Disclaimer: Since 164BC, Jewish leaders use a lunisolar calendar, which is primarily controlled by the moon’s phases. (If you’re interested in learning about Israel’s calendar before 164BC, read my post entitled God’s Calendar.)
The Jews determine Passover season dates according to the monthly cycle of the moon. (Leviticus 23:5-8)
- Nisan 1 begins each Jewish year with a new moon.
- Passover preparation (lambs are killed) occurs on Nisan 14
- The feast of unleavened bread runs 7 days, from Nisan 15-21
- Nisan 15 and 21 are Sabbath days
The Hebrew Calendar
Nisan? For centuries many doctrinal misunderstandings and errors occurred because our Gregorian calendar is different from the Hebrew calendar, so (trust me) it’s important for you to briefly understand the Hebrew calendar before proceeding.
From Sunset to Sunset
Ever since the first day of creation in Genesis chapter one, days in the Bible go from sunset to sunset—not from midnight to midnight as we’re accustomed.
God’s Appointed Times
Explanatory Note About God’s Names
First (because it’s a stumbling block to some people) this section is a quick side-note to explain why I use the names YHWH and Jesus in this article.
In Exodus 3:14 we learn that “YHWH” is Almighty God’s personal name. There are many opinions about how to pronounce YHWH, with Yahweh or Yehovah being the most popular.
In this article, rather than referring to Him using the generic word ‘God,’ which allows people to imagine whatever their concept of God is, I’ll often use the specific name of YHWH. YHWH is the God who covenanted with Israel. He is the Father of Yeshua the Messiah.
There are almost as many opinions about how to correctly say our Savior’s name. He is called Yeshua, Yahushua, Issa, Iesue, and Jesus. In this article I’ll refer to the Lord by the name Jesus, not because it’s more correct, but because this article’s target audience are Christians who know Him by this name.
The Seven Moedim (Appointed Times)
In the Bible (Leviticus 23) YHWH ordained seven ‘moedim’ for His people. YHWH’s appointed times, or ‘Moedim’ (pronounced mo-a-deem) are sacred assemblies for His people (Leviticus 23:2).
The 4 Spring moedim teach us about God’s plan for redeeming mankind from sin and death through the Messiah. Christian Passover is a spring moedim; we celebrate it to remember (and personally identify with) Jesus’ sacrifice as the Lamb of God. The other 3 Spring moedim are:
The 3 Autumn moedim promise how YHWH will resurrect His saints and establish the Messiah’s kingdom on the earth.
Here are the 4 Spring and 3 Autumn moedim:
God fulfilled the Spring moedim in the past; He will fulfill the Fall (Autumn) moedim in our future.
Lunar Month of Nisan
Passover is in the lunar month of Nisan, which is the first month in the Hebrew calendar. Nisan always coincides with March/April.
The first day of each Hebrew month starts at sunset when Israel sights the first sliver of the new moon. (Or, a minority believe the new moon is ‘at conjunction,’ when the moon is completely dark–the Bible doesn’t define which is correct.) Then, two weeks later, the full moon is on the 15th of each month. Here’s a depiction of one lunar cycle; one Biblical month.
Passover on Nisan 14
From the following verses we learn Passover occurs ‘between the sunsets’ on Nisan 14. The Feast of Unleavened Bread follows immediately afterward, for the next 7 days, from Nisan 15-21:
These are the LORD’s appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you shall proclaim at their appointed times. The Passover to the LORD begins between the sunsets on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of the same month begins the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD. For seven days you must eat unleavened bread.Leviticus 23:4-6
Every year, the Jewish Passover Day (Nisan 14) is when the lambs are killed. But, it is not itself a Sabbath Day.
Rather, Nisan 14 is a preparation day, to prepare the lamb (and vegetables, etc.) for the Passover ‘Feast of Unleavened Bread.’ This feast begins after sunset, as the ‘high Sabbath’ begins on Nisan 15.
The Passover feast is the ‘Feast of Unleavened Bread,’ and Nisan 15 is a ‘high Sabbath’ day.
Events on Christian Passover Day – Nisan 14, from Sunset to Sunset
This is a brief, chronological summary of events that happened on Nisan 14, Christian Passover Day, in the year Jesus died on the cross:
- Jesus and His disciples met for the Last Supper at the beginning of Nisan 14, just after sunset. This was a Tuesday evening.
- After dinner, Jesus and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Judas led a a mob there to arrest Jesus.
- Pontius Pilate convicted and condemned Jesus to be crucified early on Wednesday morning.
- By 9am Jesus was crucified. At about 3pm (still on Nisan 14) He died on the cross.
- His disciples hastily laid His body in a nearby tomb before Nisan 14 ended at sunset. This was before the Feast of Unleavened Bread began at sunset, the beginning of Nisan 15. (John 19:31, 42)
The Last Supper
Jesus and the 12 disciples met in an upper room for (what Jesus knew was) His last meal. During this meal He emphasized to them (and demonstrated) the Christian Passover concepts of purity, obedience, and sacrifice.
Purity: Mikveh and Foot-Washing
Before entering the sacred temple area for Passover, Jews ritually purified themselves by immersion in a mikveh, a ritual bath. Archaeologists discovered hundreds of mikvehs around Jerusalem for this purpose.
Whoever has already bathed needs only to wash his feet, and he will be completely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.John 13:10
From this verse (John 13:10) we know Jesus and His disciples bathed to cleanse their bodies before walking to the upper room for the Last Supper.
Jesus didn’t want to die on the cross. Even so, knowing He was going to be crucified as the Lamb of God within just a few hours, Jesus said,
I do exactly what the Father has commanded Me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.John 14:31
Sacrifice: Bread and Wine
At the Last Supper, Jesus used leavened bread (artos, Strong’s #740) and wine to symbolize His body and blood.
The Melchizedek Priesthood
The symbol of bread and wine wasn’t new in Hebrew history. In the book of Genesis, Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He ‘brought out bread and wine’ when he blessed Abraham in Genesis 14:19.
According to Hebrews 5:10, 6:20, and 7:1-28, Jesus is our High Priest ‘according to the Order of Melchizedek.’
So, what did it mean when Jesus ‘brought out bread and wine,’ and how does it relate to Christian Passover? Months before, in Galilee, Jesus told His followers:
I AM the Living Bread of Life
Truly, truly, I tell you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And this bread, which I will give for the life of the world, is My flesh.”
“Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood you have no life in you…”
Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is real food, and My blood is real drink.
Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your fathers, who ate the manna and died, the one who eats this bread will live forever.”
Aware that His disciples were grumbling about this teaching, Jesus asked them, “Does this offend you? Then what will happen if you see the Son of Man ascend to where He was before? The Spirit gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. However, there are some of you who do not believe.John 6:53-63
So, what did it mean when Jesus ‘brought out bread and wine,’ and how does it relate to Christian Passover? The bread and wine in the Last Supper were elements of an ancient blood covenant ritual. It is a ‘New Covenant in His blood.’
The New Covenant
Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant they broke, though I was a husband to them, declares the LORD.
But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD. I will put My law in their minds and inscribe it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they will be My people.
No longer will each man teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD.
For I will forgive their iniquities and will remember their sins no more.Jeremiah 31:31-34
Who Are the Parties Making the New Covenant?
Who did YHWH covenant with in the New Covenant? Contrary to popular opinion, the Church didn’t replace Israel as God’s chosen people when Jesus instituted the New Covenant.
According to Jeremiah 31:31 above, the New Covenant is between YHWH and the houses of Israel and Judah.
New Covenant disciples are citizens of spiritual Israel.
Jesus is God’s High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek. He mediated the New Covenant between YHWH and the houses of Israel (10 tribes) and Judah (2 tribes). The apostle Paul revealed that Gentile believers are reconciled to God because they’re grafted-in to the ‘lost 10 tribes’ of Israel.
At the Last Supper Jesus revealed that His body and blood would be sacrificed to renew the covenant that God made with Israel at Mount Sinai—the covenant Israel had broken.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, spoke a blessing and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is My body.”
Then He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:26-28)
This is the Christian Passover ceremony.
The New Covenant Is A Blood Covenant
Bread and wine are ‘blood covenant‘ symbols. In ancient times, whenever two men made a formal covenant, they sacrificed an animal. They spilled its blood (its life) and then roasted and ate its body in a covenant meal. Eating this meal constitutes an unspoken agreement that whoever breaks the covenant will be cursed to die, just as the sacrificed animal died.
In like manner, when we eat the Christian Passover bread and drink the Christian Passover wine (in the Feast of Unleavened Bread) we’re symbolically eating the body and drinking the blood of the Christian Passover sacrifice, the Lamb of God.
When you eat the bread and drink the wine in the Christian Passover ceremony you are literally entering into a covenant with YHWH.
That’s why the apostle Paul warned:
Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Each one must examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.1 Corinthians 11:27-30
Our Responsibility In the New Covenant:
- Believe in the Messiah as our Christian Passover sacrifice
- Have God’s law written in our mind and on our heart (and walk accordingly)
- Know YHWH.
YHWH’s Responsibility In the New Covenant:
- Reconcile believers to Himself—both Jew and Gentile. Reconciliation is available to anyone who believes. Belief in YHWH’s Christian Passover sacrifice is the only method of reconciliation with YHWH. (John 14:6)
- Replace believers’ heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Make it possible for them to live according to God’s instructions.
- YHWH now inhabits a spiritual house made from ‘living stones,’ making all stone temples obsolete.
As you come to Him, the living stone, rejected by men but chosen and precious in God’s sight, you also, like living stones, are built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.1 Peter 2:5
Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial
The themes of purity, obedience and sacrifice continue:
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot.1 Peter 1:19
“Not My will, but Thine be done.”Luke 22:42
In His anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.Luke 22:44
He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross.Philippians 2:8
Regardless of the cost and pain, Jesus completely obeyed the Father and submitted Himself to the Father’s will.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.Isaiah 53:7
Feast of Unleavened Bread, from Nisan 15-21
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is the actual Passover meal, when we eat the roasted, sacrificial lamb.
Historical Christian Passover Week Details
The Feast of Unleavened Bread occurs every year after sunset, at the beginning of Nisan 15. This is about 4 hours after the lamb’s blood (its life) is taken.
Jesus died on the cross on Wednesday at about 3pm. This was exactly the same time as the Levitical priests in the temple were killing the Passover lambs to cover the nation’s sins. Just after sunset on that Wednesday, all families in Israel would be eating roasted lamb in Passover Seder meals. A ‘Seder’ (pronounced say-der) is the ritual feast commemorating the exodus from Egypt under Moses.
A bright, white full moon at the beginning of this feast on Nisan 15 represents the Messiah’s resurrected glory.
Whereas Jesus and His disciples ate leavened bread at the Last Supper, this is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Why unleavened? There are two reasons:
- In the exodus from Egypt they didn’t have time to leaven their bread. So this is a remembrance of their leaving in haste.
- Leaven represents sin. While Jesus was in His mortal body, it was corruptible, like ours. In fact, in this sinful world Jesus suffered temptation in every way we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) But after His body died, it was no longer possible to tempt Him to sin. He is forever incorruptible. His body has (symbolically) changed from leavened to unleavened.
In the New Covenant YHWH gives us a heart of flesh and writes His law in our mind and on our heart. So, unleavened bread also represents our changed nature, from sinner to saint. We can now walk in sincerity and truth…
Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with the old bread, leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and of truth.1 Corinthians 5:7
Why is the Feast of Unleavened Bread 7 Days?
The Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles have many similarities:
- Both feasts last 7 days (Tabernacles lasts 7 days, but adds an 8th day)
- Both begin and end with “a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work”
Ever since the 7 days of creation in Genesis, the number 7 represents the fullness, completeness, and perfection of YHWH’s creation. For example, every 7th day speaks of complete rest; there are 7 colors in God’s rainbow, and 7 notes in the musical scale.
Why these feasts last 7 days is a mystery, but here’s my belief; the 7-day duration of these two holy feasts tells me that they have eternal significance.
- Throughout all eternity we’re grateful to YHWH because He provided us the bread and wine of the New Covenant in the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We owe everything to YHWH’s love and grace, and to our Passover Lamb, Jesus.
- For all eternity we’re the ‘tabernacle’ of YHWH; that is, He will dwell in us and we will be His temple, built of living stones.
Should Christians Celebrate Moedim?
In a word, yes. For Christians who don’t believe the moedim apply to them, Zechariah 14:16 tells us all nations will celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles annually in the millennial age to come–after the Battle of Armageddon.
Then all the survivors from the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of Hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.Zechariah 14:16
Think about it objectively…
- God required Israel to celebrate His moedim in the past, and He will require require all nations to celebrate Tabernacles in the future Millennium.
- It’s therefore highly unlikely that God thinks it’s okay for His people today to disregard His moedim, and to replace them with non-Biblical ‘Christian’ holidays.
Firstfruits, Nisan 18
Firstfruits celebrates the first portion of the harvest of mankind in the kingdom of God.
The Sign of Jonah
The Jewish leaders asked Jesus for a sign to confirm God sent Him. In response, Jesus told them,
A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.”Matthew 12:39, 16:4, Luke 11:29
Now the LORD had appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of the fish.Jonah 1:17
The sign of Jonah is that Jesus would be in the grave three days and three nights.
His disciples placed Jesus’ body in the tomb on Wednesday afternoon, Nisan 14, before sunset. Three days and 3 nights later, Jesus arose from the dead on Saturday afternoon, Nisan 17, before sunset.
While fulfilling the sign of Jonah, Jesus also fulfilled the timing requirements for the Firstfruits moedim.
And the LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say, ‘When you enter the land I am giving you and reap its harvest, you are to bring to the priest the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest. And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD so that it may be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath.”Leviticus 23:9-11
After the Nisan 17 sunset, ending the Sabbath, Jesus ascended into heaven and waved the sheaf of firstfruits before YHWH on Nisan 18.
Firstfruits Offering in Heaven
As the spotless Lamb of God Jesus fulfilled Passover and Unleavened Bread. When YHWH resurrected Jesus’ body, transforming it into an incorruptible, heavenly body, Jesus ‘entered the land’ in the spiritual realm. As the resurrected High Priest according to the Order of Melchizedek, Jesus brought many resurrected saints with Him as the Firstfruits offering in the heavenly sanctuary…
At that moment the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split. The tombs broke open, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After Jesus’ resurrection, when they had come out of the tombs, they entered the holy city and appeared to many peopleMatthew 27:51-53
Some believe these resurrected saints are the 24 elders John saw in Revelation 4:4.
2. Present: Christian Passover
How should Christians apply the spiritual truths of Passover?
Christian Passover – Purity
Just as Jesus and His disciples ritually purified themselves before Passover, we must purify ourselves before we can…
offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.Romans 12:1
How to Purify Yourself
The Passover sacrifice of Jesus makes it possible for us to overcome all shame and an evil conscience. This enables us to ‘have confidence’ to enter YHWH’s presence without guilt or shame…
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way opened for us through the curtain of His body. And since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.Hebrews 10:19-22
God told Moses to build the tabernacle “according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” (Exodus 25:40) God showed Moses the divine pattern that everyone must follow to enter YHWH’s presence.
Later, Israel’s temples followed this same pattern…
Christian Passover – Spiritual Application
- First, enter through the Door. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. (John 10:7)
- Sacrifice on the brazen altar. Jesus was offered once for all time as a permanent sacrifice for sins. (Hebrews 10:12)
- Sanctification (mikveh) in the brazen laver (large tub) of water. We have been sanctified through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all time. (Hebrews 10:10)
- After sacrifice and sanctification you can enter the Holy Place to praise YHWH, receive revelation (the Word), and enjoy the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
In the same way, before we can enter YHWH’s presence we must partake of the Passover sacrifice by faith. Then, we can mikveh (cleanse) our mind and conscience through introspection, repentance, and prayer.
Other New Testament scriptures concerning our purification: Ephesians 5:27, Colossians 1:22, Hebrews 9:14
The ‘bottom line’ is that nothing impure or unholy may enter YHWH’s presence.
Christian Passover – Obedience
Jesus frequently said, “If you love Me keep My commandments.” He also warned,
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. But only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.Matthew 7:21
Similar verses include: 1 John 2:17, John 9:31, Mark 3:35, Matthew 7:24, 12:50, and Revelation 2:26.
Cheap Grace vs Costly Grace
Dietrich Bonhoeffer became a martyr for Christ after he opposed Hitler during WWII. He wrote “The Cost of Discipleship,” contrasting cheap grace with costly grace.
Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything they say, and so everything can remain as it was before…Well, then, let the Christian live like the rest of the world, let him model himself on the world’s standards in every sphere of life, and not presumptuously aspire to live a different life under grace from his old life under sin…. “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. It is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.“The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Sadly, most of today’s visible Church wants ‘cheap grace.’ Its leaders merchandise the gospel for their own benefit, while ‘tickling the ears’ of large crowds on the broad way that leads to destruction. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Costly grace is… costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: “ye were bought at a price,” and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life but delivered him up for us.“The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God’s grace was costly. We respect the price He paid by becoming morally pure according to His Spirit in us…
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD. I will put My law in their minds and inscribe it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they will be My people.Jeremiah 31:33
Don’t Tolerate Sin In Your Life!
If we deliberately go on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins remains, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume all adversaries. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think one deserves to be punished who has trampled on the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.Hebrews 10:26-31
Obedience to God isn’t always easy or pleasant…God’s will led Jesus to die on the cross. In like manner, God’s will may lead us to sacrifice our money, our property, and our lives. But following God’s will is the only path to success and glory in God’s eternal kingdom.
Christian Passover – Sacrifice
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.Romans 12:1-2
How to Become a Living Sacrifice
- Purity: partake of the bread and wine of the Passover sacrifice by faith. Then mikveh (wash, cleanse) your mind and conscience through introspection, prayer, and faith in the Messiah’s sacrifice for your sins. Do this until you can stand before God without any shame or guilt.
- Obedience: having purified your conscience, don’t be defiled by allowing leaven (sin) in your life. Be holy, as YHWH is holy (1 Peter 1:16). Be sure to mix holiness with genuine humility; remember, pride is a sin.
- Sacrifice: having cleansed your conscience by faith in the Christian Passover Lamb, put away all leaven in your life. Then you can offer yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. God will mightily use you to advance His kingdom on the earth.
Job Openings in God’s Kingdom
All of these saints will be ‘living sacrifices’ unto YHWH during the years ahead:
3. Future: The Autumn Feasts in Our Future
At the exact moment the Levitical priests were killing the Passover lamb in the temple, our Christian Passover Lamb was dying on the cross. He arose from the grave after fulfilling the sign of Jonah, just in time to wave the sheaf of Firstfruits in heaven on the Sabbath following Passover.
God fulfilled the Spring feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits) exactly as prophesied. Since YHWH fulfilled the Spring feasts so exactly, what can we expect concerning the Autumn feasts which haven’t been fulfilled yet?
Obviously, (just like the Spring feasts) we can expect the Autumn feasts to be fulfilled on the exact dates when the Jews are celebrating them. The Autumn feasts all take place in the Hebrew month of Tishri, the 7th month, which occurs in September/October on the Gregorian calendar.
Trumpets, Tishri 1, Leviticus 23:24-25
Many reputable teachers believe this will be the day when “the Last Trump” will sound and all dead and living saints will be resurrected or ‘snatched-up’ to heaven and changed in the twinkling of an eye. (1 Corinthians 15)
Day of Atonement, Tishri 10, Leviticus 23:26-32
Whereas Passover deals with personal redemption, the Day of Atonement is the national-level ‘covering’ of sin, with offerings for the priesthood, the nation, and the sanctuary.
I believe the Battle of Armageddon, when Messiah returns with the armies of heaven to defeat the armies of the Antichrist, will occur on a Day of Atonement.
Following the resurrection of Jesus’ disciples on Tishri 1, I believe this is the day when ‘all Israel’ will be saved, in fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10.
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you will not be conceited: A hardening in part has come to Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come from Zion. He will remove godlessness from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.Romans 11:25-27
The Year of Jubilee, when all debts are cancelled and properties are restored, will begin on a Day of Atonement. (Leviticus 25:8-12)
Tabernacles, Tishri 15-22, Leviticus 23:33-43
- Saints commanded to dwell in booths (tents or temporary shelters) for 7 days to remember how Israel dwelt in booths when they came out of Egypt
- Joining ‘the camp of the brethren’ for a week every year is practical training for the ‘Greater Exodus,’ when believers will flee from the Antichrist (Revelation 12:13-17, Jeremiah 23:7-8)
- Also known as the Feast of Ingathering (of the final harvest) in Exodus 23:16
- Many reputable teachers believe the Wedding Supper of the Lamb occurs during this feast
- God will require all nations to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem every year during the millennial reign of Messiah (Zechariah 14:16-19)
- The 8th day symbolizes the saints dwelling in YHWH’s presence for eternity
Christian Passover – Conclusion
Most Christians know Passover was fulfilled about 2000 years ago when the Lamb of God voluntarily sacrificed Himself for our sins. That’s true, but the ongoing, New Covenant meaning of Christian Passover is that disciples should not only partake of the bread and wine, but they should themselves follow the Savior’s example, becoming lambs of God, “living sacrifices.”
They can do this by:
- Purity: partake of the bread and wine of the Christian Passover sacrifice by faith, and then mikveh (wash, cleanse) your mind and conscience through introspection and prayer. Do this until you can stand before God without any shame or guilt.
- Obedience: don’t let any leaven (sin) defile you. Be holy, as YHWH is holy (1 Peter 1:16). Be sure to mix holiness with genuine humility; remember, pride is a sin.
- Sacrifice: having cleansed your conscience by faith in the Christian Passover Lamb, and having put away all leaven in your life, offer yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. God will mightily use you to advance His kingdom on the earth.
What Do You Think?
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- Did this article satisfy you?
- Or, did it leave you wanting more?
Related Questions and Answers
Q: Should Christians celebrate Old Testament festivals?
A: Yes. The New Covenant is between YHWH and Israel–sealed by the blood of Jesus. Jesus fulfilled the Spring festivals exactly according to their dates and prophetic patterns and He will likewise fulfill the autumn festivals in our future. God gave the annual festivals in Leviticus 23 to His people so that we’d understand God’s plan of redemption, and He commanded His people to keep these festivals. Christians are grafted into Israel (Romans 11:17-24), so let’s keep the Biblical festivals, not blindly and mechanically according to their letter, but intelligently, according to God’s spiritual intent, as I’ve illustrated in this article about how to spiritually observe Passover and the Spring feasts.
Q: This article doesn’t jive with the church’s Good Friday and Easter holidays. Why not?
A: Good Friday, Easter, Ash Wednesday, Lent, and all other ‘church’ holidays are both absent from and contrary to scripture. For any objective person, it’s easy to trace their evolution from Babylonian roots. Though many of these holidays seem harmless, and even reverent, they illegitimately substitute themselves for the truths that YHWH’s moedim provide. Thus, they deprive you of the moedims’ revelation and truth, and they deprive YHWH of the form of worship He commanded us to present to Him.
YHWH designed His moedim to teach you His plan of redemption, including how and when events will unfold in our future. Just as Jesus fulfilled the Spring feasts, so will He fulfill the Autumn feasts.
Therefore, instead of following the world in celebrating pagan holidays, Christians should follow YHWH’s appointed times (holidays) found in Leviticus chapter 23.