When you come to an understanding of Easter’s ancient pre-Christian origins and Jesus’ practice in His life and what He taught His disciples, you realize that He wouldn’t celebrate Easter. He wouldn’t observe a day that really had nothing to do with His death and resurrection and is actually rooted in the worship of pagan gods and goddesses.
Furthermore, you realize that Jesus most definitely did observe the Passover and Festival of Unleavened Bread, and He taught His disciples to do the same (Luke 22:15-20 Luke 22:15-20 15 And he said to them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:
16 For I say to you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:
18 For I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.
19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
American King James Version×). Jesus, on the night that He was betrayed, sat down and said, “Do this in remembrance of Me,” in reference to the new Passover ceremony that He instituted at that time. And just as they learned from Jesus and the apostles, the early Christians most definitely did observe the Passover. They also most definitely observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread, which symbolized sin being removed from their lives and Christ living in them (1 Corinthians 5:6-8 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 6 Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 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.
American King James Version×).
As they observed these Holy Days, they came to a deeper understanding of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Just like the Christians of apostolic times, Christians today can gain a whole new depth of knowledge and understanding by following Jesus’ example.
The traditional practice of Easter came not from Jesus’ example but from the history of the Roman church’s desire to separate itself from Judaism by replacing Passover. This decision, rooted in anti-Semitism, misses the point that the Passover is not a Jewish observance. It’s a holy occasion that points directly to Jesus Christ! It has deep spiritual meaning, and Jesus magnified the purpose and vision of Passover through His observance of the day.
If you really want to do what Jesus did, you will follow His example in observing these days that honor Him. Jesus is the true Passover Lamb, of which the Old Testament Passover lamb was a symbol, pointing to Him and His sacrifice. Christians take the symbols of wine as His blood and unleavened bread as His body, just as He instituted on the last Passover He spent with His disciples. In doing so Jesus amplified the command and observance of the Passover.
To learn more, download or request our free study guides Jesus Christ: The Real Story and God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind .