Did Yeshua (Jesus) keep Passover?


The Passover is the Lord’s Passover (Exodus 12:1-51) for Israel, for all 12 tribes, Judah included­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ and the strangers who sojourn or walk with Israel and thereby become one with Israel (Exodus 12:48). Once you accept Messiah and His instructions you are Israel (Romans 11).

When was the Passover to be slaughtered and eaten?

Exodus 12:6 says “And ye shall keep it (the Passover lamb) up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it between the evenings.”

Please note:  In the Bible, the going down of the sun indicates the start of the day, i.e. the day begins or “dawns” in the evening.  Therefore, on the 13th evening is the start of the next day, the 14th Nisan. This would indicate that the lamb would be slaughtered about 3 hours before sunset on Nisan 13. Note: evening of Nissan 14 also meets the requirement of “kill between the evenings”.

Who was to slaughter the lamb for the original Passover?

Exodus 12:21 “Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, ‘Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families and kill the Passover.’

It was the elders or heads of the family who were to kill the Passover and place the blood on the door frame.  There were no Levite priests or temple to do that service.

Exodus 12:7-8   And they shall take of the blood and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8)  And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.”

Exodus 12:13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

Please note we do not put blood on the door post. We keep the Passover like we keep Thanksgiving, as a memorial.

Are we to keep Passover as a memorial forever?

Exodus 12:14 “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.”

Numbers 9:1-5 “And the LORD spoke unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2) ‘Let the children of Israel also keep the Passover at his appointed season. 3)  In the fourteenth day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof, shall ye keep it.  And Moses spoke unto the children of Israel, that they should keep the Passover.  And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at even in the wilderness of Sinai: according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel.”

Did Yeshua (Jesus) keep Passover?

Mar 14:12 And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover”

Matthew 26:17-18 “Now the first of the unleavened bread (emphasis added), the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, ‘Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?’ And he said, ‘Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, my time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples.’”

Note:  The Passover is eaten with unleavened bread, therefore, it is the first day of unleavened bread.

Luke   22:15 “And he said unto them, ‘With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.”

What we call the “Last Supper” was in fact a Passover meal with lamb. The lamb is the Passover.

Are those who follow Yeshua (Jesus) to keep Passover as instructed by God?

I would think it would be quite obviously, yes.  And indeed, there are some Christian denominations that do keep Passover as prescribed; however most do not.  Some others would argue that Easter is the same as Passover; but by definition it is not. There is nowhere in the Bible that states, “Do not keep my Passover.”  Quite the opposite.  From the Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8, “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:  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.”

Passover is an awesome gift from God and a blessing for those families who honor it.  The imagery of Passover is all about Yeshua (Jesus) and His family, the whole house of Israel. Passover, like Thanksgiving, has the power to bring far distant families together.

For my family living in South Africa, a sheep on the spit is quite common. Have a lamb for Passover, invite family and friends. If you don’t want to keep passover, then have lamb on a spit for Easter.

We hope you have enjoyed this article and as always, should you have any questions, please reply.