These are the LORD’s appointed times (festivals), the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. – Leviticus 23:4-5
Last weekend the Jewish world celebrated Passover, remembering their miraculous deliverance from slavery in Egypt. This past weekend most Christians around the world celebrated Easter. This year’s 1 week separation between the Jewish and Christian celebrations reminds that, what we call the ‘Church’ today, has drifted away from her original Biblical roots. The Church of the 1st century did not celebrate Easter, but followed the Biblical feast cycle, of which Passover is the 1st feast of the year. Ever since the 2nd century the Church has been largely cut off from her Biblical roots and Christianity has drifted further and further away from the practices and lifestyle of the early Believers. Which reminds me that I missed praying that you have a blessed New Year 10 days ago, as the 1st of Nisan is the Biblical New Year, rather than the festival that is called Rosh ha Shana (head of the year) in September / October.
Passover is the foundation of the event that Easter remembers. Passover is the story of the Israelites liberation from slavery in Egypt. GOD told Moses to instruct each family to select and sacrificed a spotless lamb and applied its blood to the door posts of their houses. Later that night the Angel of YHVH passed through all of Egypt and slayed the first born son of every family. When the Angel of YHVH saw the blood on the Israelites doors, he passed over the houses of the Jewish families and the first born Jewish boys were spared. Hence the name Passover. Even Pharaoh’s son was killed, prompting Pharaoh to stop testing God and he finally allowed Moses to lead the Israelites to freedom.
At Passover time approximately 2000 years ago, as the Jewish people were preparing to celebrate the festival, the Father in Heaven was also preparing a Passover of His own. As the Jews bought their lambs on the 10th day of the month of Nisan, GOD’s Lamb entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey, thus fulfilling the Messianic prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. Christians celebrate this day as Palm Sunday. In Egypt the Israelites inspected their lambs for 4 days and then slayed them at 3 pm on Nisan 14th. At 3 pm on Nisan 14th that year the Lamb of GOD bled to death on a cross at Calvary in Jerusalem.
It is very easy to see the unmistakable similarities between the Old Covenant original and the New Covenant fulfillment, which both occur at exactly the same time on the same date in the Hebrew calendar. The most important detail of the events of Nisan 14th, is that it was the blood of the family sacrificial lamb that set the Israelites free from slavery in Egypt, and it is the blood of GOD’s Lamb, Yeshua, that sets us free from slavery to sin and from the wages of sin – DEATH.
The other point is that if ‘Passion week’ is to exactly fulfill the Passover typology, then you can not have both Palm Sunday and Good Friday, because there is only 4 days between the 10th and the 14th of Nisan. I believe that Psalm Sunday is correct, but a Friday crucifixion is not as it would make it 6 days that Yeshua was being inspected. I believe that Yeshua was crucified on Wednesday afternoon, and was placed in the tomb just before the Passover Sabbath began (that was not a regular Friday Sabbath). That is the only way Yeshua could have been in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights. And that is the only sign Yeshua gave the people that He was the Son of Man – please read Matthew 12:39 – 40.
If I am correct, then Christianity has been celebrating on the wrong date since the Nicean Council in 325 AD. Also there is the issue of the name Easter. There is some evidence that the word is related to Ishtar, an occultic goddess. Whether that is true or not, the sad fact is that because Easter has become disconnected from Passover, for most people the most sacrificial act ever committed has been reduced to nothing more than a public holiday which focuses on chocolate eggs and rabbits. For so many, the connection to salvation and the promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of God through the death and resurrection of Yeshua, the Son of GOD and the Lamb of GOD has been lost. Wearing my evangelist hat, I believe that telling the Passover story, focusing on and explaining the power of the blood of the Lamb has much greater effect in reaching the lost in your families and friendship circles. Several years ago I led a Passover celebration for 570 people in Hong Kong and at the end 40 people stood to accept Yeshua’s sacrifice.
If 1900 years of this non-Jewish understanding of the Bible caused the Church to celebrate its important event – the New Covenant initiating crucifixion of the Son of GOD on the wrong day, then one must wonder “what else have we been doing wrong”?
* Is the Sabbath Saturday or Sunday?
* Are the Biblical Feasts still important for Christians?
* Do all of the Ten Commandments still apply?
* Did Yeshua come to abolish the Torah or to embody the Torah and demonstrate how to live in the Kingdom according to His Father’s design and instructions?
My messages usually focus on the relevance of the restoration of the Jewish people to their land and to the Messiah. However I have realised for some time now that GOD is also in the process of restoring the Church to her Biblical roots. Each year more and more Christians are beginning to celebrate the Biblical Sabbath, Passover, Shavuot (Pentecost) and the Feast of Tabernacles. YHVH is preparing to re-establish His Kingdom on the Earth with His Son Yeshua, the Passover LAMB returning to Jerusalem as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, to sit on the Throne of David to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (see my booklet – The Restoration of the Church)