A Christian’s Guide to Celebrating Passover According to the Bible

April 11, 2024

celebrating passover as a christian

Passover is a special celebration for many reasons. If you are interested in learning how to celebrate it according to what the Bible says, you’re in the right place!

Traditionally, Passover is a Jewish holiday. But as many of us know, it all started in the Bible, specifically the Old Testament. 

This means that anyone who loves the Lord and His Word can learn about this amazing holiday and how to celebrate it! 

In today’s article, we’ll learn:

  • What the Bible says about celebrating Passover
  • Ideas for celebrating it with family and friends
  • Ways to prepare for Passover

Plus, we’ll go over some frequently asked questions.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

Does The Bible Say To Celebrate Passover

does the bible say to celebrate passover

Have you ever wondered if the Bible actually says to celebrate Passover? 

The answer is…it does! In the Old Testament, God commanded the Israelites to celebrate the Passover feast every year. 

The specific commandment is found both in the Mosaic law and in other places in the Old Testament. 

Here are a few places where the Bible says to celebrate Passover:

  • Exodus 23:15Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread; for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt. No one is to appear before me empty-handed.

  • Deuteronomy 16:1Observe the month of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of the LORD your God, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night.

  • Exodus 12:17Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.”

Why May Christians Not Want To Celebrate Passover

why may christians not want to celebrate passover

Christians often have mixed views of Passover and when we look at early church history, it’s easy to see why. The beginning of Christianity is 100% Jewish. Jesus was Jewish. Our Bible is based on Jewish teachings. Then through different leaders and political situations, the Gentile Christians began to distance themselves from their Jewish roots. With this sterilization of the Jewish roots in their faith came the acceptance of paganism and the switch to celebrations such as Easter. 

Passover is certainly a Biblical feast. When Christians miss this point, they miss the best opportunity to teach their family the simple retelling of God's miraculous delivery of his chosen people.

As lovers of the Bible, Passover deserves to be studied, appreciated and celebrated. Especially because of what it represents for us as Christians. 

In fact, the more we dive into the history of this holy feast, the more we see the scarlet thread it plays in the tapestry of God’s story

If you are not sure what Passover is or what it means for Christians today, you can read the backstory and spiritual significance of the feast here

God wants His children to understand why He created this Biblical Feasts and what it signifies. By doing this, we can gain a greater knowledge of Christ' redeeming love

How else will we understand why Jesus was so often referred to as the Lamb of God? Or why the Lord's Supper happened on Passover? 

By learning more about Passover, we can actually understand more about Christ and His sacrifice for us!

How To Celebrate Passover According To The Bible

how to celebrate passover according to the bible

Passover celebrations may not look the same today as they did in ancient Bible times, but in order to understand where these traditions came from, it’s important to start with Scripture.

The Bible has explicit instructions on how to celebrate Passover, and we can read about them in several books of the early Old Testament. These instructions were given to the Israelites at the time of their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. Later, these instructions were made law. 

Let’s see what the Bible passages themselves say:

Leviticus 23:5-8

The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD’s Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. For seven days present a food offering to the LORD. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work

Deuteronomy 16:1-8

Observe the month of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of the LORD your God, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night. 

Sacrifice as the Passover to the LORD your God an animal from your flock or herd at the place the LORD will choose as a dwelling for his Name.

Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste—so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt.

Let no yeast be found in your possession in all your land for seven days. Do not let any of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain until morning.

You must not sacrifice the Passover in any town the LORD your God gives you except in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. There you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary of your departure from Egypt.

Roast it and eat it at the place the LORD your God will choose. Then in the morning return to your tents.

For six days eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day hold an assembly to the LORD your God and do no work.

Biblical Passover Celebration Examples

biblical passover celebration examples

Based on the above passages, we see how the celebration was observed every year. The entire nation took part, from old men to young children. It was a time of feasting, rejoicing, offering, singing, and more

A great example of an Old Testament Passover is found in the book of 2 Chronicles, chapter 35. Every detail of the celebration is shared, from the sacrifice of the Passover lambs to all the preparations that were needed. 

In the New Testament, we see Passover being celebrated throughout the Gospels. Every year, the Jews would leave their hometowns and travel to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast. Scripture mentions Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and the disciples all traveling to the holy city to observe the feast of Passover.

So, Jesus celebrated Passover?

Remember the biblical account of Jesus getting left behind in Jerusalem when He was twelve years old? He and His parents were there for the feast of the Passover. 

Later, of course, we see Jesus traveling to Jerusalem with His disciples to observe the feast. The LORD's Supper was a Passover meal. 

Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” — Mark 14:12

Is it a Biblical Requirement for Christians to Celebrate Passover?

is it a biblical requirement

Now that we know the Biblical context for celebrating Passover, you may wonder what that means for you. If you are a gentile Christian (not of Jewish origin), then it’s good to ask should gentiles or Christians today celebrate Passover? 

We know based on the writings of the New Testament that Jesus came to fulfill the law, but not do away with it. He is our Lamb of God, our redeemer. 

Passover is the once a year reminder of all God has done for us through His son, Jesus Christ, Yeshua Messiah. The Passover is a perfect time to remind every family member that our heart needs to be pure before the Lord.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought nearby the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13
This means there is no condemnation for those who come to Jesus and receive Him as Messiah, Lord, and Savior. (See Romans 8:1) We shall not come into condemnation, for we have passed from death to life (see John 5:24).
Passover brings peace. Peace to our heart and peace to our homes. Be embracing Jesus as our Passover lamb, God has entered our house - our life. He is now our provider and protector.
This is what the Feast of Passover symbolizes. It is the picture of the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus.

Dr. Richard Booker, Celebrating Jesus in the Biblical Feasts

Keep reading and you’ll find out!

Ideas To Celebrate With Families And Friends

ideas to celebrate

How Christians celebrate Passover may differ from how Jewish people approach Passover Seder. Jewish tradition calls for specific foods, traditions, and steps that must be observed in a certain order, at certain times, and in a certain way. I applaud this Haggadah service as it is a yearly reminder of all God came to do. And repetition is the best teacher.

For us, celebrating Passover can be as simple as a delicious feast, a Bible devotion, and plenty of fellowship with other believers. Plus, fun activities for kids! 

Here are some ideas for celebrating:

  • Read the Passover biblical account as a family. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about how God delivered His people from bondage. Discuss how the sacrifice of the spotless lamb is a picture of Jesus and how He saved us from our sins.
    Remind everyone that Jesus still comes to save us.
  • Invite family and friends over to celebrate. Play worship music, read in Exodus, have the kids dress up as Bible characters, and feast together.
  • Attend a seder (or host one). A seder is the more traditional Jewish approach to Passover and it can very illuminating to learn about the various steps and rituals and what they mean according to Torah. 
  • Eat traditional dishes. Enjoy classic Passover foods such as matzo ball soup and charoset. Include foods that reference the original story such as bitter herbs, roasted lamb, and more. For a traditional Passover meal plan, check out these meal ideas.
  • Make unleavened bread. Here is an easy, delicious unleavened bread recipe to try!
  • Act out the Exodus story. This may be most enjoyable for kids, but adults can certainly take part. In fact, this is one way your kids can prepare for Passover! Kids can recite memorized portions of the story, eat bitter herbs in remembrance, and dip sticks into water to brush over the front door.

Want free recipe and devotional videos as well as festivity guides to help you celebrate Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, and more biblical festivals? Click here to get a free course on how to celebrate Jesus in the Biblical Feasts.

Preparing For Passover

preparing for passover

In the days leading up to Passover, set aside some time to plan and prepare. This is practical but also spiritual. How can you prepare your home but also your heart for Passover?


In the week before Passover, here are some devotional ideas that you can use:

Study Exodus 12. This is where the story of Passover begins. 

Reflect on how the story of Passover points to Christ. Do a Bible word study on ‘lamb of God’ and see what you discover. How does the story of the Passover lamb preach the gospel? 

Pray and journal. Spend time in worship thanking God for sending His precious Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. Invite the Lord into this time of celebration and lift the holiday to Him, asking for Him to direct your fellowship and feasting.

Cleanse your home:

Whether you plan on inviting people over or having a simple celebration just for your family, it is good for the heart and soul (as well as your guests!) to have a clean house to enjoy.

Focus on cleaning all the main living areas of your home. The living room, bathrooms, kitchen, and dining room are a great place to start. 

Don't forget to do a spiritual cleansing as well.

Gather supplies:

Get together all the items needed for your Passover celebration. Write the recipes you plan on preparing and see what you’ll need to buy. Plan to visit the grocery store, your local farmer, or wherever else you get goods from! 

Items you may need:

  1. Ingredients for cooking

  2. Party supplies (decor, tablecloth, disposable cutlery, party favors, kids’ activities, etc.)

  3. Printed copies of the Passover story (passing these around while reading together is a huge blessing)

You may need to prepare a few recipes ahead of time, so set aside time on your calendar to do this as well!

Create A Festive Atmosphere

festive atmosphere

While this will vary from home to home, creating a festive atmosphere is a significant part of the fun of Passover!

Think of ways you can spruce up your house. Then get your kids involved! Hang streamers, blow up balloons, get some gold lettering and spell out Happy Passover. Create a Christian playlist of beautiful, uplifting songs and set up a side table with appetizers, drinks, and ice. 

Remember, this is a celebration, so get everyone involved and make it an enjoyable, memorable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

frequently asked questions

Finally, we come to our frequently asked questions about Passover celebrations. Let’s check them out!

Do Catholics celebrate Passover?

Catholics focus mostly on holidays such as Easter rather than the Jewish Passover Seder. For families that come from both backgrounds, Passover observance might be more common.

What is the Passover celebrating?

Passover celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from their Egyptian slavers, as well as the deliverance God performed in passing over them at the last of the ten plagues. It symbolizes God’s plan for salvation, which is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus, the Lamb of God.

How do you properly celebrate Passover?

For Jews, Passover goes hand-in-hand with the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a seven-day celebration that begins on the 15th day of Nissan, the first month of the Hebrew monthly calendar year. During this time, no bread with yeast is consumed. 

After sundown the night before the first official day of Passover, Jewish people have a Seder, a unique ceremony during which they retell the story of their ancestors’ liberation. During the Seder, family members read from the Haggadah, a storybook of Passover, and sing holiday songs. In the center of the table is the Seder plate. It contains five elements, including bitter herbs and unleavened bread, and each symbolizes a distinct part of the Exodus story. 

After this, a Passover Seder meal is consumed. This can include brisket, chicken, or salmon; also charoset, matzo balls, and matzah, a traditional cracker-like bread that has no yeast.

How did Jesus celebrate Passover? 

Being a Jew, Jesus would have celebrated the Passover as His people did. The Bible tells us He went up to Jerusalem to keep it; we also know that the last supper He shared with His disciples was a Passover meal. 

And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” — Mark 14:12

Many also wonder how many times Jesus celebrated Passover. Because Jesus was raised by Mary and Joseph, who, the Bible tells us, went up to Jerusalem every year for Passover, we can assume that Jesus always attended with them. (We know for sure He did as a twelve-year-old!) 

Then, the Bible says Jesus continued to observe Passover, traveling to Jerusalem for various feasts throughout his ministry. It is safe to assume that Jesus celebrated all the feasts, including Passover, and that He did it every year of His time on earth.

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