Are Passover and Easter Related?

Based on a quick internet search I did last week, many people ask the question, “Are Passover and Easter Related?” My answer is a resounding, “Yes!” In the sense of referring to Easter as Celebration Sunday or Resurrection Day, Passover and Easter are related.

A quick study of the Old Testament account of the Israelites' first Passover reveals striking similarities between “Easter” and Passover.

Many people picture pretty pink bunnies and eggs, yellow chicks, and chocolate, when they think of Easter. But Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.

We call it “Resurrection Sunday.”

This is because Christians are celebrating that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week (Sunday).

Some people worry that Easter has Pagan origins, and that we shouldn't celebrate this special day.  But what many people don't realize is that the death and resurrection of Jesus and the Passover celebration are related.

How Are Passover and Easter Related?

Amazing fulfilled prophecies by Jesus were foreshadowed by the Passover and fulfilled by his Death and Resurrection.

Passover and Easter Parallels

  1. Passover marked the beginning of months and the beginning of years. It was to be a reminder of how Israel was allowed to start fresh when they left Egypt.
  2. In Exodus 12, The Passover was instituted by God to the Israelites.
    The first Passover occurred before they were set free from slavery to Egypt.
  3. Passover was a time to repent and get right with God.
    • 2 Chronicles 30:15, “They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings to the temple of God.”
  4. In the same way, when a new believer comes to faith in Jesus Christ, he or she experiences a new beginning. The slate is wiped clean. The person becomes a new creation.
    • 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come, the old has gone, the new is here.”
    • Galatians 6:15, “Neither circumcision or uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.”
  5. At the last supper, Jesus instituted the Communion celebration, another similarity to the Passover celebrated by Israel.
    • Matthew 26:28, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for you, for the forgiveness of sins.”
    • Mark 1:4, “And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”
    • Luke 24:47, “and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
    • Acts 2:38, “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'”
  6. The setting free from slavery of the Israelites is a picture of a new believer in Christ being “set free” from slavery to sin.

    • When a person believes in Jesus Christ and trusts Him to save them, he or she obtains new freedom.
      • 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
      • John 8:36, “So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
      • Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

The Process of Passover

God gave the Israelites specific directions regarding the Sacrifice of the lamb and what they were to do prior to the tenth plague of Egypt. Passover occurred just before they were set free by Egypt. Persons who were in the house where the blood was applied were “passed over” by the angel of death.

Requirements of Lamb

  1. Male unblemished (Exodus 12:5)
  2. One (1) year old (Exodus 12:5)
  3. Could come from sheep or goats (Exodus 12:5).
  4. No broken bones (Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12)

Compare to Jesus

  1. Born to a virgin
  2. Conceived by Holy Spirit
  3. Sinless
  4. Crucified on Passover
  5. Just before the Sabbath
  6. No broken bones, John 19:36, “These things happened so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones will be broken.”
  7. Those who put their trust in him are “passed over.”
  8. Our sins are forgiven and they start anew – One of the last things Jesus said before He died was, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

Timing of crucifixion

The Old Testament Sabbath was the day of rest given to the Israelites as part of the Ten Commandments. The Sabbath rest was a shadow of our rest in Christ. Thus, it was no accident or coincidence that Jesus died just as the Sabbath began.

The last thing Jesus said before he died was, “it is finished.” The temple veil was torn in two. (Mark 15:51)

Charles Spurgeon

“We commence, first of all, with the victim—the lamb. How fine a picture of Christ. No other creature could so well have typified him who was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. Being also the emblem of sacrifice, it most sweetly portrayed our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

Jesus the Lamb of God

  1. John 1:29, “The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
  2. John 1:36, “When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look the Lamb of God!”

I hope this little teaching encourages you. If you like this article, please share it with your friends.



Want to learn more about the Biblical Holidays? Click here for, A Family Guide to Biblical Holidays.”


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