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Pesach or Easter?

Many Christians around the world celebrate Easter by honoring and remembering the suffering of Christ, as well as His death and resurrection. About a week before the onset of the Easter celebrations, the Jewish people start celebrating Passover (Pesach), which tells the story of the exodus of the Jewish people out of Egypt and slavery. Messianic Jewish believers, who believe that Jesus is the Messiah and Savior, celebrate a Passover that includes both the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt, as well as the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ. 

But how could one possibly connect these two events, between which spans an abyss of 1300 years? The apostle Paul addresses this question in 1 Corinthians 5:7 – “Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” Here we see Paul referring to Jesus as the Passover Lamb. God commanded the Jewish people in Egypt to sacrifice the Passover lamb and to anoint their doorposts and lintels with its blood. 

This act of obedience would ensure that the life of each household’s firstborn would be saved from the angel of death who would strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, specifically those households who did not anoint their doorposts with the blood of the lamb. In Exodus 12:13 we read that “The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.” 

Therefor Christ, through the shedding of His blood, saves everyone that accepts His sacrifice from the judgment of God. He brought the Jewish people out of Egyptian bondage, and likewise He brought us who believe in Jesus Christ out of the bondage of sin. 

Approximately 1300 years before the advent, death and resurrection of Christ, God showed His mercy upon the Jewish people, and today continues to show it to everyone who accepts the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb, Jesus, who shed His blood for the atonement of sins. So then through Christ’s sacrifice we can be delivered from the righteous judgment of God, like the Jewish people in Egypt.

This year we experienced a special blessing as we celebrated Pesach in the wilderness, just like the Israelites did during the exodus. We gathered as a congregation in a Bedouin tent, and while enjoying the traditional Passover meal we commemorated the great miracles that God showed our people 3300 years ago, and also thanked Him for the mercy He has shown us through the sacrifice of the true Passover lamb, Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of our sins. What does Pesach mean to you?

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