Do This In Remembrance of Me: Weekly Communion or Passover?
I sometimes hear Christians asking if they have to keep Passover since we are not commanded to do so in the New Testament. Our tradition has taught us that we ought to reenact the elements of the “last supper” weekly (on Sunday) or monthly, or in some churches, quarterly. However, could it be that Yeshua/Jesus wasn’t wanting us to remember the “last supper” but rather, when we would remember Him every time we celebrate the feast of Passover, which He, as, instituted some 1400 years earlier? Unfortunately, the “do I have to” question is completely is missing the whole point.
My family and I love celebrating the feast of Passover and all of YHWH’s feasts. With the exception of the fast on Yom Kippur, the feasts of YHWH always involve lots of food – you would think that in itself would inspire everyone to take part. However, for the more spiritually minded the best reason is because Yeshua told us to keep it.
And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19)
Yeshua said to “do this” that is a command (yes, it is in the imperative in the Greek). That means that Yeshua expects us to keep it, that is, the Passover, and when we do, we are to think of Him. Paul helped us understand that we Gentiles, who were once far off,from the promises of Israel, have now been brought near by the blood of Messiah, so that we are fellow citizens of the commonwealth of Israel (Eph 2:11-13, 19)
So, if we are in Christ, then we are part of the renewed covenant he made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (Jer 31:31) and we now have the privilege of partaking in YHWH’s feasts. (Lev 23:2) We get to relive the exodus from Egypt and understand that the ancient Israelites’ deliverance was in fact our deliverance. We get to dramatically relive the amazing things that God did! How He passed through the land (Exod 12:12) and battled against the all the gods of Egypt (Exod 12:12) As we retell the story, we understand that the blood of an animal has been replaced with the blood of Yeshua himself (Exod 12:13; Luke 22:20) so that death will pass over us! We delight in keeping this feast every year (with Yeshua in mind) just as YHWH commanded us: “So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to YHWH throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.” (Exod 12:14) Then as we eat unleavened bread for a total of seven days, in accordance with what YHWH said and what Yeshua observed. “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses.” (Exod 12:15) We joyfully follow YHWH’s instructions because we have been grafted into his family and we don’t want to be cut off from his covenant. (Exod 12:15)
Lastly, when we keep the feasts we begin to see how the story of redemption is woven throughout them. Yeshua was crucified on Passover; He was in the tomb during the feast of unleavened bread and rose on the feast of First Fruits. Then the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost). Lastly, the fall feasts hold insight as to what will happen in the future. The likely scenario is that Yeshua will return on the feast of Trumpets (the day for which no one knows the day or hour) (1Thess 5; 2Pet 3:10) followed by judgment of the nations on the day of Yom Kippur. The grand culmination of all things will fall on the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) when YHWH will dwell among his people forever (Ezek 43:7)
So, do we have to keep the feasts in order to be saved? I dont’ know. But really that is asking the wrong question: The better question is when is the next feast and what are we eating?