Should Jewish Believers Keep the Passover?

The Old Testament Scriptures state that the Passover should remain an “ordinance forever unto Israel”. But did ‘forever’ literally mean forever – to continue even after the New Covenant has already come?

I always knew instinctively that couldn’t be the case, but I couldn’t prove it until one day I decided to run a search on the phrase: “ordinance forever” in the Bible. I found that the Passover wasn’t the only ordinance that was to carry-on “forever” in Israel – here is a partial list of other ordinances that were also to last ‘forever’:

The feast of unleavened bread; the sweet incense offerings and the continual shewbread; the burnt offerings morning and evening; the annual blood-sacrifice on the Day of Atonement in the seventh month; the lighting of candles in the court on the other side of the curtain in the tabernacle; the Levitical priesthood itself – including all of its garments and ceremonial washings in the tabernacle; trumpets were to be sounded by priests every time the Israeli defence force engaged in any military action; and any time a Jewish citizen visited a grave site, he or she was to afterwards perform special ceremonial washings and sacrifices.

If ‘forever’ literally meant forever, then not only the Passover, but also ALL OF THE ABOVE ORDINANCES should still be carried-out by Jewish believers – because EACH OF THOSE THINGS WERE INCLUDED AMONG THE THINGS WHICH THE LAW SAID WERE TO REMAIN “AN ORDINANCE FOREVER UNTO ISRAEL”. But we know that’s not the case, because the Scriptures of the New Testament state that some of the above ordinances are categorically replaced under the terms of the New Covenant. Seeing we know that some of the above ordinances were not meant to last literally forever, we therefore deduce that the term ‘ordinance forever unto Israel’ was never intended to mean literally forever – it just meant: FOR AS LONG AS THE OLD COVENANT STILL STOOD.

Then I realized SCRIPTURALLY what I already knew intuitively – that ever since Jesus ratified the New Covenant in His blood, believers (whether Jew or Gentile) do not need to keep the feast of Passover. This understanding of the term ‘ordinance forever unto Israel’ is a truth that could set millions of people free!

There is a sense however in which the ‘feast’ of Passover is being kept forever: Christ is our passover – and sincere believers are keeping the ‘feast’ through living faithful, holy, Christ-honouring lives.

Nevertheless, the law of love teaches us that we should not criticize believers with weaker consciences who feel they should still observe certain dates in the calendar as special; and they should not criticize those of us who know we don’t need to – for God has called us to unity.

What do YOU think?

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Comments

  1. The Levitical priesthood was superseded by the priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ whose priesthood is after a different order, the order of Melchisedek.

    Clauses such as "an ordinance forever", used in Scripture in connection with the Levitical priesthood, simply meant for as long as their covenant stood – as the above Post proved. And that covenant was replaced by the inauguration of the new covenant. 

    The priesthood of all believers in Jesus – whether Jews or Gentiles – is by virtue of our connectedness with the Lord Jesus Christ and His priesthood, not by any supposed continuation of the Levitical priesthood.

    The Levitical priesthood was only a temporary shadow of what was to come. Nobody continues playing around in the shadows once the real thing has come!

  2. lookinforacity says:

    Hi John

    2Ch 2:1
    And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.

    2Ch 2:4-6
    4) Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.
    5) And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods.
    6) But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?

    As you, I am just trying to figure out what it could, or should mean to us (Christians).
    When we look at these verses, we see the one speaking is Solomon.
    Are we to understand, when Solomon spoke, he always spoke for God?
    When Solomon spoke, Did he foresee the destruction of the Temple he was in the process of building?
    Did he foresee the rebuilding, and the subsequent destruction of the second Temple (Herod’s Temple)?
    Could not the Ordinance he Ordained, have ceased when either of the Temples were destroyed?
    Was the building of the Second Temple, (Herod’s Temple) Ordered by God, the same as the First (Solomon’s Temple ) was?

    God did set ordinances.
    I am unsure as to just how many Ordinances God actually Ordained Himself, as with Aaron.
    God speaking to Aaron about the Levite’s, his sons, and the service of the Temple.

    Num 18:8
    And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Behold, I also have given thee the charge of mine heave offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel; unto thee have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to thy sons, by an ordinance for ever.

    Rom 11:29
    For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

    As I see it there is still a Levitical Priesthood until Christ’s return.

    Rev 1:6
    And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

    Rev 5:10
    And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

    As far as the other ordinances ceasing.
    These Ordinances would fall under the category of Law would they not?
    If so.

    Heb 8:10
    For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

    Heb 10:16
    This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

    So even if they are not physically observed, aren’t they still being fulfilled, having been fulfilled in Christ?

    Last but by no means least.

    1Co 5:7
    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:

    Nothing more than my possible hypothesis.

    Be Blessed
    JIM

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