I attended my first Passover Seder on Monday evening last week. I must say that it was a wonderful time of fellowship and reflection. I had attended demonstrations before, by Chosen People ministries and Jews for Jesus, and while a blessing, it is not the same as being an active participant.
Before supper we ate matzoh with shredded horseradish on it, and then after crying a bit, we had matzoh with a mixture of apples, cinnamon, and nuts.
The horseradish is a bitter herb, which brings tears to the eyes. It is to remind Israel of the bitterness of their slavery in Egypt. For the believer in Christ it should be a reminder of the bitterness of sin, and our slavery to it.
The sweet mixture of apples and nuts reminds Israel of the sweetness of hope in the midst of slavery. It should remind the Christian of the sweetness of God’s promises in Christ.
Wine was consumed, and while I can’t remember all the specifics, it is consumed to remember God’s provision.
Jews spend a lot of time trying to remove all traces of leaven, or yeast, from their homes, in the days just prior to the Passover. Leaven in bread is symbolic of sin. They sweep under their furniture, and turn out the hems on their pants, in order to remove all traces of yeast.
They go to great lengths to ensure that there is no trace of yeast left in their homes, yet we now know that yeast spores are present in the air around us all the time. While we can go to great efforts to remove all the yeast, it is still present!
This should remind us that we cannot get rid of sin from our lives by our own efforts. You may work really hard, and be really proud of the results, but God knows that there is still sin in your life, just as He knew that sweeping and cleaning up cannot get rid of all traces of yeast. In fact, you breathe in yeast spores in every breath!
There is an interesting thing going on in this feast, with regard to the cup. The wine is actually made with yeast. In an anaerobic container, where wine is produced, air is not allowed in, and the yeast extracts energy from sugars by partially breaking it down into alcohol and carbon dioxide. When the level of alcohol in the mixture reaches a concentration somewhere between 10-12% it actually kills the yeast that made it.
This is a perfect picture of God’s judgment against sin. It is our sin, symbolized by the yeast, that produces judgment. When sin reaches its peak it produces death.
Some churches use fresh grape juice in their communion services. The problem with this practice is that there are yeast spores in the atmosphere, and it is not long after a bottle of fresh grape juice is opened that fermentation begins. You cannot see it at first, because it is so small, but it is there.
People, thinking themselves wise, by avoiding alcohol in their communion services are actually drinking live active yeast.
When alcoholic wine is used, however, yeast spores are killed as soon as they come in contact with alcohol in the wine. This is symbolic of the blood of Christ which destroys sin on contact!
So many Christians, thinking themselves wise, are actually destroying the symbols the Lord placed in His Passover Seder, His Communion service!
Our Seder continued with lamb roasted with herbs. We did not kill the lamb ourselves, nor did we put the blood on the door posts. I am content that we now are covered by the blood of Christ, and thus do not have to follow every single letter, but just keep the feast as a memorial for what Christ did for us on the cross.
After supper we had the last two cups (sips) of wine, and we ended with fellowship, and discussion about the passover and how it is still very relevant today.
I do not believe, as some do, that Christians need to follow the entire dietary laws that God gave the Jewish people, but I do believe we should continue to keep the Passover feast. It was originally meant as a prophecy of the coming Messiah, and now that He has come, it is a perpetual memorial of salvation which He purchased for us with His blood.
“7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:7-8
Easter, or Eostre, on the other hand, is a spelling of the name of the pagan goddess Ishtar, which was actually pronounced “Easter”! Among her many names is also Diana, the ancient fertility goddess! The ancient pagan celebration of Easter with its fertility symbols of eggs and rabbits, was actually practised by pagans in the Middle East.
Easter, as found in the King James bible in Acts 12:4, is not a reference to a Christian celebration, but to a pagan celebration practised by Herod, who was not Jewish, but a pagan Arab. (note: it was already the days of unleavened bread, which came AFTER Passover)
The early Christian church celebrated Passover until the formation of the Roman Catholic Church, by Constantine around 325 AD. At that time, in order to make the pagans more comfortable in the new state church, pagan celebrations were included in “Christian” worship.
Do you think that pagan celebrations can be redeemed by the Christian church?
Let me remind you that “a day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day”. What was offensive to God two days ago is not honouring to Him today, only two days later!
No. Easter is not Christian, but a pagan spring fertility celebration. If you are a Christian you should celebrate Passover, and leave Easter to the pagans.