WHY DID PAUL TELL THE CORINTHIANS TO KEEP THE PASSOVER?

In first Corinthians 5:7 when Paul says to keep the feast (Passover) it is a metaphor. The context deals with sin that was in the midst of the Corinthian church, namely fornication.

Under the Old Testament the Israelites were to put away leaven for seven days and to eat unleavened bread only. This was a type of the putting away of sin in exchange for purity.

According to the context of 1 Corinthians 5, Paul says nothing about the feast of Passover which was to be kept on the 14th day of the month of Nisan (the first month on the Jewish calendar). He does not make reference to a day as Passover, as the Old Testament did. (see Ex 12:6,14,18,19; Numbers 9:2; 28:16; Deuteronomy 16:1; Joshua 5:10; Ezekiel 45:21)

Leviticus 23:5 says, In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S Passover.

Paul does not refer to Passover as a time on the calendar,  or a ceremonial festival when speaking to the Corinthians. On the contrary, Paul refers to Christ Jesus himself as our Passover.

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: 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. ~ 1 Corinthians 5:7-8

Paul applies the object lesson which was contained in the shadowy type – the Passover given to Israel – and tells the Corinthians to walk in the reality of it. In other words, Paul says, Put away this sin from your midst and serve God, in Christ, with sincerity and truth, because Christ, who is our Passover, was sacrificed for you.

There is nothing wrong with dedicating the Passover season as a time for the Lord to focus on Christ’s death for us. In fact that is a very good practice. The error comes in when the festival becomes a law for Christians to observe as is becoming more of a common place within some of the modern day Messianic movements, such as the Hebrew Roots Movement.

The New Testament writers are the authoritative interpreters of the Old Testament scriptures and they gave us everything we need to know for godly and righteous living.

That which was foreshadowed in the feasts has become reality in Christ Jesus, and we can walk in the reality every day because the light has come and the shadow had been put away.

Therefore let no one judge you in regard to food and drink or in regard to [the observance of] a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day.  Such things are only a shadow of what is to come and they have only symbolic value; but the substance [the reality of what is foreshadowed] belongs to Christ.~ Colossians 2:16-17  Amplified Bible

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THE BLOOD OF THE PASSOVER LAMB

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/the-blood-of-the-passover-lamb/

THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF PASSOVER IN CONTRAST TO HEBREW ROOTS TEACHINGS

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2018/04/01/the-biblical-doctrine-of-passover-in-contrast-to-hebrew-roots-teachings/

 

 

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9 thoughts on “WHY DID PAUL TELL THE CORINTHIANS TO KEEP THE PASSOVER?

  1. Paul did not teach the Corinthians to observe the feast of Passover according to the prescriptions given to Israel under the law. The observance of Passover under the law required the offering of animal sacrifices, which served as a type of Christ, who is the true lamb of God.

    The feasts given to Israel served as types and shadows under the first covenant until Christ came, and established the New Covenant.

    Paul says to the Corinthians “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” and he instructs the Corinthians to keep the feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 

    Paul  is not referring to keeping the Jewish feast of Passover. He is referring to the purity by which the Corinthians should live now that they are the servants of Christ.

    Under the law, the Israelites were to observe passover by eating unleavened bread (natural, physical bread –  the kind of bread you eat with your mouth). Paul is not referring to this kind of unleavened bread. He is referring to that which the unleavened bread, eaten by the Jews, was symbolic of. It was symbolic of the putting away of sin. That is why he says in view of Christ being our Passover, “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.”

    When Jesus was handed over to Pilate by the Jewish leaders they refused to enter the judgment hall because they did not want to ceremonially defile themselves (John 18:28). Yet they were already defiled by the malice and wickedness in their hearts towards Jesus. The gospels and the book of Acts reveal their antagonistic disposition towards Jesus.  

    They thought they were keeping the Passover by not going into the judgment hall, but the true Passover was being betrayed and condemned by them. 

    Jesus is the Passover that God has provided. He is the fulfilment of all that was foreshadowed under the law in the feasts given to Israel. Under the New Testament, we do not keep the Passover by eating a physical lamb, and natural bread, with no leaven in it. We keep the feast by living a Christ-like life in sincerity and truth. 

    If we will allow the context of 1 Corinthians 5 to speak for itself, there is no doubt that Paul is not referring to natural bread but to spiritual bread. He is not speaking of eating of a physical lamb, but partaking of Christ, who is our Passover.

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  2. Hi this is Jamel…

    Grace and peace in our fellowship with the God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ!

    In in both letters 1 Corinthians and Colossians Paul is writes to the saints:

    “1 Corinthians 1:
    2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, >>>called to be saints<<>>To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ<<>>his saints:<<>>saints:<<>>here are they that keep the commandments of God<<>>and the faith of Jesus<<>>sin is the transgression of the law.<<>>these things write I unto you, that ye sin not<<>>And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

    2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

    4 >>>He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him<<<.

    May God continue to open our heart and understanding to the truth of His Holy Word. Amen!

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  3. Hi this is Jamel… Grace and peace in our fellowship with the God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ! In in both letters 1 Corinthians and Colossians Paul is writes to the saints:

    “1 Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, >>>called to be saints<<>>To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ<<>>his saints:<<>>saints:<<>>here are they that keep the commandments of God<<>>and the faith of Jesus<<>>sin is the transgression of the law.<<>>these things write I unto you, that ye sin not<<>>And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
    2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 >>>He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him<<<.

    May God continue to open our heart and understanding to the truth of His Holy Word. Amen!

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    • The word law has more than one connotation when it is used throughout the Bible. Sometimes it is used to refer to the 600 plus laws which governed ancient Israel as a nation. Sometimes it refers to the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible),and at other times it refers to the entirety of the Old Testament. Sometimes it is a reference to the Ten Commandments, and at other times the Law of God in Christ to which the whole of the law pointed, and was a foreshadowing.

      The book of Hebrews tells us that the offering of animal sacrifices under the Old Testament was a carnal ordinance, imposed on the people until the time of reformation, meaning, until Christ came and fulfilled all that was written of him.

      Jesus is our Passover, and he has fulfilled what was foreshadowed in the Passover under the law. We no long observe the carnal feast that Israel observed BEFORE Christ. We keep the Passover daily by walking in truth and sincerity from the heart.

      Paul told the Colossians to not allow anyone to judge them regarding feast days as these were only a foreshadowing of Christ.

      Yes, sin is transgression of the law, but not the 600 plus laws that governed Israel under the Old Testament. Sin is transgression of God’s love, which is the law which is inscribed on our hearts by the Holy Spirit, through our faith in Christ.

      Much of the context of 1 John which tells us sin is transgression of the law, is dealing with the issue of love. John says, we know we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren.

      The commandments given to Israel were given as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. They were preparatory to bring us into the New Covenant where the law is fulfilled by love.

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  4. Don’t you think that when you have to have such long, convoluted commentary to explain Paul’s simple instruction…that maybe the easiest answer is that Paul meant what he said?

    On a similar note, why did Paul observe a Nazarite vow in Acts? Why did he purchase the sacrificial animals for himself and others? Or, were those perhaps metaphorical animals?

    Or, how do you explain away his very clear seemingly prophetic answer to your position in Romans 3:31? You do, of course, realize that he was fully prepared for this potentially wrong interpretation of his words (as Peter also warned about those who move toward lawlessness) and made this pre-emptive declaration about upholding Torah….or, that dreadful law, as you imply. Torah means instruction…instruction from your Creator. Why do you want to avoid your Creator’s instructions?

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  5. what’s walking in sincerely and truth? truth is the father’s law in spirit and sincerely is the spirit in your heart according to the commandments. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure Who can understand it? jeremiah 17:9 the spirit makes your heart sincere in the truth (father law in spirit) For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. john 6:38 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit (sincerely) and in truth.”(his law)Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. psalm 119:142

    “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my LAW in their minds and write it on their hearts.( heart means will and doer the right way in the spirit) and “your mind” means receive and belief. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jeremiah 31:33.. to the two houses of Israel, and then the gentile. the gentile also meaning the ten tribes that was dispense. who became gentiles. ‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. Ezekiel 36:24. when the messiah comes back and put his people in the land.. he also said “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”( meaning seed of abraham.
    read the old testament to clarified. their is a order to this.. your right on the feast being a shadow but wrong on the day and time and the method on doing it. it’s a gathering of the true Israel.” James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings”. James 1:1

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  6. In response to the last two comments, I write the following:

    First, the feast of Passover was given to Israel under the Law, which was Israel’s covenant with God. 

    Gentiles were not allowed to partake of the Passover, only circumcised Jews, or those who had become part of Israel through circumcision (Exodus 12:43-44, 48). 

    To insist that Gentiles are to keep the Passover which Israel was given under the law, is to insist that physical circumcision is still relevant with regards to being in covenant with God. It is not. 

    Secondly, you cannot keep the Passover which Israel kept without animal sacrifices (Exodus 34:25. Leviticus 23:5-8, Numbers 9, Deuteronomy 16). Now that Jesus has died and been raised again, animal sacrifices are no longer accepted by God because they only served as a foreshadowing of Jesus until Christ came. Offering animal sacrifices now that Christ has died and risen again, would be apostate.

    Thirdly, after Israel entered the Promised land, the Passover was to be observed in the “place” within the boarders of Israel which the Lord chose.

    Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee: But at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt. ~ Deuteronomy 16:5-6 

    That place eventually became Jerusalem. 

    You cannot make up your own rules and think you are keeping the Passover given to Israel, when you are not observing it according to the instructions given Israel under the Law.  

    If you do not follow the instructions given to Israel, you are not keeping the Passover given to them. Instead, you are reinventing the Law, and in doing so, you are violating the law. The Law is fulfilled in Jesus, and he is our Passover. We keep the Passover under the New Covenant by faith in his blood and living a godly life. This is what God desires from his people: pure hearts and godly lives. 

    Under the Law the appointed feasts given to Israel, served as a foreshadowing of Christ. For example: Passover, Unleavened bread, and first-fruits foreshadowed the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

    Passover was on the 14th day (at evening) of first month which was Nisan 14 (or Abib 14). The next day was the 15th day and the beginning of seven days of unleavened bread. This day was also a Sabbath, and the next Sabbath was not until seven days later. On the 16th day of Nisan or Abib was the feast of first-fruits. There was only one day between Passover and first-fruits and that was the Sabbath of unleavened bread.

    Jesus was crucified on Passover, the 14th day.  His body rested in the tomb on the Sabbath of unleavened bread (the 15th day), He was raised from the dead on the 16th day of the first month, fulfilling the first-fruits.

    In the same way that Paul describes Jesus as our Passover in 1 Corinthians 5:7, he describes Jesus as the first-fruits of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. In Colossians 2, Paul tells us that the feast days were only shadows of Christ.

    Jesus is the one to whom the Passover under the Law, pointed. He is our Passover. 

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  7. Also I want to reply to the above comment about Paul and the nazarite vow.

    In Acts 21, Paul did not go to Jerusalem for the purpose of taking a Nazarite vow. Paul went to testify of Jesus.

    After his arrival, James insisted he do this in order to keep the Jews from rioting. Paul went along as his mission was to testify of Jesus in Jerusalem, and to show how Jesus had fulfilled that which was spoken of in the Law of Moses and the prophets.

    In 1 Corinthians, Paul says,

    Therefore, though I am free regarding everyone, yet I have made myself slave unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to those that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain those that are under the law; to those that are without law, as without law (being not without law of God, but under the law of Christ), that I might gain those that are without law. To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak; I am made all things to everyone, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker together of it.

    The narrative in Acts reveals that no commands to follow Jewish customs of worship were given to the Gentiles who believed. James even address this in Acts 21.

    Paul being a Jew, and for the sake of the gospel, went along with James’s advice because Paul wanted to appeal to the Jews so that he could testify of Jesus.

    This is a long narrative, and later own, Paul reveals that he indeed worshiped God according to “the Way” which the religious Jews viewed as a cult. These were the same devote Jews who were zealous for the Law and Jewish customs.

    This is why James urged Paul to do this. Paul wanted to appeal to the Jews using their own Law. As the narrative unfolds, a riot erupted before any sacrifices were ever offered.

    Before Paul went to Jerusalem, he had been warned by multiple friends of the persecution he would face there (Acts 21:1-14) and it played out just as he had been warned, nevertheless Paul went to Jerusalem, by the will of God, to preach the gospel to the Jews.

    With that said, don’t try so hard to be prove your point that you miss the narrative of how Paul went to Jerusalem knowing persecution awaited him because of his faith and the gospel he preached. Paul carefully navigated through his time there facing the hostile Jews who wanted to put him to death.

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