What is the difference between Jewish Pesach (Passover) and Christian Easter?

Last updated on December 4, 2020

What is the difference between Jewish Pesach (Passover) and Christian Easter?

Understanding Passover

Although both religious holidays take place around the same time in the Spring, there are not many true similarities between Passover and Easter. Passover (Pesach), for the Jews, is a time of remembrance and communal celebration of when God delivered the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt. Much of the celebration, including the Passover Seder meal, is highly symbolic of the Exodus event. Before God struck down all the first-born of Egypt, He promised to “pass over” the houses of those who painted the blood of a sacrificial lamb on their doorframes. This historical account can be found in Exodus 12.

A better Lamb

Easter is the celebration of the death of a different and better lamb — Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. Easter Sunday is when Christians formally celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. However, the good news that Jesus is alive is a truth that every Christian celebrates daily. Furthermore, Christians celebrate a different kind of Exodus. Instead of remembering our liberation from the slavery of Egypt, we celebrate the liberation from the bondage of our own sin through the sacrificial death of Christ. Romans 5:9 says “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” Anyone who places their faith in Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice for their sins will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Freedom for all

We should pray for our Jewish friends to come to know the true freedom and hope offered in Christ. Jesus is the greater and better Moses (Hebrews 3:3). Moses helped lead the people out of Egypt, but he was helpless against stopping them from grumbling and rebelling against God (Hebrews 3:16-17). Only Jesus can change a person’s heart; has He changed yours yet? If so, celebrate with joy today, dear brother or sister. If not, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 3:7). He wants to set you free!

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