Every year, the spring festival called Passover is celebrated for 8 days. Traditionally known as a major Jewish holiday, many Christians have also begun to take part in celebrating Passover. The date of the festival is in accordance with the first full moon in the Hebrew calendar month, Nissan. For this reason, the date changes every year.
The Hebrew word for Passover is Pesach. The holiday is also called the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The roots of this Jewish holiday can be found in the Old Testament of the Bible. The main purpose of the holiday is to commemorate the Biblical story of Exodus. This is when God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
The book of Exodus recounts the historical event. A leader named Pharaoh wanted to control the number of Jews living in Egypt. To do this, he ordered the killing of all male Jewish babies. The mother of Moses put him in a basket on the Nile River. Pharaoh’s daughter found and adopted Moses. When he grew up, Moses fled to the desert where God told him to go back to Egypt and lead the Israelites out of slavery.
When Moses asked Pharaoh to let his people go, Pharaoh told him no. Each time, God sent a plague on Egypt. Finally, Pharaoh commanded the death of every first born. The Lord told Moses, however, that he would pass over any home that had the blood of a lamb on their doorposts. It was after this final plague that Pharaoh finally let the Israelites go. Because they had to leave in a hurry, there wasn’t enough time for their bread dough to rise. This is why Passover is also referred to as the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
HOW TO OBSERVE PASSOVER
The holiday begins with the Passover Seder. This is a ritual feast that includes reading, drinking wine, washing the hands, eating special foods, and signing. A traditional Seder meal consists of four cups of wine, veggies dipped in saltwater, flatbread called matzah, bitter herbs, such as horseradish, and roasted lamb. Each of the foods are arranged on a Seder plate. The food and wine are ingested in a certain order. The procedure is written in a book called the Haggadah.
- Besides hosting a Seder meal with your friends and loved ones, other ways to celebrate Passover include:
- Read Exodus 13:3-6, Leviticus 23:6-8, Deuteronomy 16:1-8.
- Read the book, The Feasts of the Lord by Kevin Howard Marvin Rosenthal.
- Watch the movie, “Exodus: Gods and Kings.”
- Clean all the yeast from your house for the duration of the holiday.
Share how you choose to celebrate this day on social media with #Passover.
The Jewish people have been celebrating Passover for over 3,000 years. The command to commemorate the Feast of Unleavened Bread is found in various passages of the Bible. One of those passages is Deuteronomy 16:3, which says, “You shall not eat leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), so that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt.” Because he was Jewish, Jesus celebrated the Passover, which is why many Christians choose to celebrate this traditional Jewish holiday.