LCG Asks: Passover or Easter?

Site of Calvary?


In his commentary today, LCG’s Rod Reynolds asks and answers the following question:

Passover or Easter?

Most Churches that claim to be Christian keep as holy days, festivals that Jesus never kept. At the same time, they don’t keep the Holy Days He did keep. One of those festivals kept by Jesus that long ago ceased to be observed within popular Christianity is the Passover.

So why keep Passover and not Easter?

The most common term used in the New Testament for a follower of Jesus is disciple. (Greek: mathetes, a learner). “A ‘disciple’ was not only a pupil, but an adherent; hence they are spoken of as imitators of their teacher…” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, p. 171). Christ’s disciples were to not just hear, but to follow His example and abide in His word (Luke 14:26-27; John 8:31).

Jesus ate the Passover, and said Christians are to do it in remembrance of Him (Luke 22:7-19). Paul gave the predominantly Gentile church in Corinth instructions on how to eat the “Lord’s supper,” the Passover, not as a riotous banquet but as a solemn remembrance of His suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:23-28).

The lambs slain for the old covenant Passover were emblematic of Jesus Christ, who is referred to as the Lamb numerous times in the New Testament, hearkening to the significance of the Passover sacrifice of Jesus Christ for Christians (1 Corinthians 5:7).

So, following the example of the Savior Jesus Christ and in obedience to His command, Christians keep the New Testament Passover as a memorial of the willing sacrifice of His life to save our lives.

A second reason Christians keep the Passover is because in doing so they are following the example of the original and true Church of God. The Church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:19-20).

The historical record is clear on this point. The New Testament apostles followed the teachings and example of Jesus Christ in keeping the Passover annually at its appointed time – not Easter. “The earliest Christians celebrated the Lord’s Passover at the same time as the Jews. … By the middle of the 2nd century most churches had transferred this celebration to the Sunday after the Jewish feast” (Encyclopedia Britannica, “Christianity,” Multimedia Edition, 1998). “In the 2nd century, the Christian [Passover] celebration was transferred to the Sunday following the 14-15 Nisan, if that day fell on a weekday” (The New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, “Easter,” 1993).  Read more

Most people do not seem to realize that ALL early Christians kept Passover.  And that because of various compromises “Easter” later came to be observed by most who claim Christ.

During Passover services in LCG, most of Jesus’ words in John 13-18 tend to be read and/or commented upon as part of the service.  Most people do not seem to realize that this is what Jesus taught on the night He was betrayed.  Also, most do not realize that much of the Gospel According to John had to do with two holy day seasons: the final Passover season (Chapters 13-21) and one particular Feast of Tabernacles ‘ season (Chapters 7-9).  And although Martin Luther preferred John’s Gospel, he ignored those days himself.

But early Christians did not ignore them.  Pretty much all scholars realize that all early Christians kept Passover.  What about you?

Those who wish to learn more should also study the following articles:

Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins?
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well.
What Happened in the Crucifixion Week? How long are three days and three nights? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the Living Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

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