Feel silly asking, but...
Why don't Christians celebrate Passover and God leading the people out of Egypt? I'm reading about it in the Bible now and it is pretty adamant about all the generations in the future celebrating it every year. It is also extremely adamant about not eating yeast at that time... I mean, geez! On and on with the yeast thing! Don't eat it, don't have it in your house, don't have it in your city limits, and let me repeat it for you about 10 times to make sure you don't eat yeast during Passover!

Sorry... the yeast thing really started to get distracting for me :)

Thanks
Tauna, Tuesday, 2-1-05 9:06 AM
re: Feel silly asking, but...
That's a really good question.

I guess the simplest answer would be that we're not Jews. That said, there are groups of Christians who do continue to observe the Jewish holy days - I've had some good friends in this camp. They meet on Saturday (the true "Sabbath") instead of Sunday, and tend to eschew the modern holidays such as Christmas and Easter in favor of the original Jewish holidays (Passover, Fest of Tabernacles, etc.) as set forth in Exodus and Leviticus.

If you read through the epistles of Paul (Romans, Galations, Ephesians, etc.), though, you'll notice that the early church hashed out these issues quite frequently. The original Christians, being Jews themselves, were not too happy about all the Gentiles swelling their ranks, especially as they did not want to be either circumcised or required to follow good portions of the rest of the Jewish law - very possibly including all of the festivals and holidays. (Note that observing these holidays was a very large part of what is termed "The Law" by the Jews. It was one of the most visible ways - aside from the constant animal sacrifice, I guess - that they showed they were intentionally part of God's people.) Paul had little patience for these Jews. He pointed out again and again throughout Romans and elsewhere that as Christians we are not under the law, but under Christ. We are not justified by observing the law, we are justified (saved) through faith in Christ. Therefore, observance of the law - including circumcision, holy days, etc. - could not only be unecessary, but Dangerous, as it could easily allow the Christian to slip back into the mode of believing he was going to be saved because of something he was doing, instead of his faith.
It is not, I don't think, going out on a limb to suggest that reading through Paul's teaching is that we are definitely not *required* to observe Passover.
(I suggest especially the following passages: Galatians 3 and 4, and 5, in which Paul is so passionate about those who insist that the new Gentile Christians be circumcised that he says he wishes they would emasculate themselves, Romans 14 (esp. vs. 5)
and Phillipians 3)

Given all that... I think there could be some real value in - as Christians - celebrating some of the ancient Jewish holidays, especially Passover. Jesus, with his death during the Passover festival, fulfilled in his person what the Israelites fulfilled symbolically with the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. In other words, he *finished* the Passover, and this is what we now celebrate at Easter. But I would love some time to participate in a "Seder" supper with someone who really understands all the symbols both as they were originally seen by the Jews several thousand years ago and now as they are fulfilled in Christ. It could be really meaninful.
Annette, Tuesday, 2-1-05 1:13 PM
re: Feel silly asking, but...
Thanks! That does help a lot. I will look into it more based on the passages you suggested. I agree that it seems like it could be a meaningful experience while still focusing on Christ and faith.
Tauna, Tuesday, 2-1-05 8:51 PM
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