Passover versus Easter: A Brief and Comprehensive Comparison

There is no doubt that Easter is more popular than Passover. Even if you ask most Christians today, they might not even have any clue what Passover is. So one should ask, “What are the similarities or differences of the two?” This is a very important topic that we should address because God has specific instructions laid out for all His followers. This vital subject deserves a deeper look for those who truly seek to follow God.

Passover vs EasterA quick comparison of Passover and Easter

To make our study easier and clearer, I have prepared a table. This table will readily show us the difference between Passover and Easter.

Question Passover Easter
Who instituted it?
  • God (Leviticus 23:5) and Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 11:23-26).
  • Human beings (Rooted in European traditions).
What are the symbolisms?
  • Foot washing (John 13:5-17). This typifies the kind of humility each Christian should have.
  • Bread (I Corinthians 11:24). Symbolizes the body of Christ. Jesus is the Bread of Life. Partaking of the bread shows our belief that He will give us eternal life.
  • Wine (I Corinthians 11:25). Symbolizes the blood of Christ. Our sins are forgiven through the shedding of Christ’s blood (Hebrews 9:22).
  • Easter bunnies, (linked to pagan traditions). Symbolizes fertility and new life.
  • Easter eggs (linked to pagan traditions). Symbolizes new life based on the fertility lore of the Indo-European races.
What is in the name?
  • Passover is derived from the event when the Lord passed over the houses of the Israelites and spared them from the death of their firstborn (Exodus 12:13).
  • Easter came from the name of a pagan goddess of spring and fertility, Astarte.
Where can you find it in the Bible?
  • Passover can be found both in the Old and New Testament (Exodus 23:15-18; Leviticus 23:4-8; Numbers 9:2-5; Deuteronomy 16:1-8; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7; Acts 12:3; I Corinthians 5:8).
  • Never mentioned in the Bible. The only time it appeared is in the King James Version, Acts 12:4, where it is an obvious mistranslation brought about the attempt of translators to bring Easter to the Bible. Modern translations use “Passover” instead of Easter.
Did Jesus celebrate it?
  • Yes, Jesus celebrated Passover (Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7).
  • Jesus never celebrated and will never celebrate Easter.
Did the Apostles and early Christians celebrate it?
  • Yes (I Corinthians 5:8).
  • No. The Apostles and early Christians only celebrate Biblical holy days (Leviticus 23).
What is its meaning?
  • Jesus Christ is our Passover (I Corinthians 5:7). Like a lamb without blemish, Jesus was offered as a sin sacrifice. He died for our sins as the ultimate act of love for humanity.
  • According to popular Christian tradition, Easter is supposed to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus on a Sunday. However, this is not accurate. Jesus said that He will be in the heart of the earth 3 days and 3 nights (Matthew 12:40). That’s a total of 72 hours. If human tradition is correct that Jesus died on a Friday late afternoon and resurrected before the sunrise of Sunday, then that’s not even close to 72 hours! (Learn more about this topic.)
Who or what is its focus?
  • Passover directs our focus to the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It reminds us how God so loved the world that He gave His begotten Son (John 3:16).
  • Easter is a commercialized holiday. During Easter, candies and chocolates spike in sales.
  • Easter’s traditions are geared towards pagan symbolisms. Children’s focus are more on what they get from their Easter basket and seek for the colored eggs.
  • Easter directs our focus on the Easter bunny and eggs. One should ask, “What do bunnies and eggs have to do with the resurrection of Jesus?”


Which one should Christians keep?

There are hundreds of millions who will be celebrating Easter while only a few obscure groups of people will be observing the Passover. As this might be the case, the majority is not always right.

From the table, I made that easily compares Passover and Easter, the answer should be obvious in our minds by now. Jesus Christ observed Passover and the Bible teaches us to observe it as well (I Corinthians 11:23-26). God instituted Passover and humans instituted Easter. Nowhere in the Bible will you find any command for us to keep Easter. So who will you follow? God or man? Biblical teachings or human traditions?

Jesus Christ has this to say about human traditions. Matthew 15:6-9 tells us:

“Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your TRADITION. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in VAIN they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”

Is your worship in vain? Many sincere Christians celebrate Easter but sad to say, they are sincerely wrong. Their worship is in vain. Though the truth may hurt but the truth should be said to wake us from our spiritual slumber.

Easter, an abomination to God

There is no doubt that Easter has its pagan origin. You can easily find the facts by reading any history books. Easter is a pagan celebration and what does God say about pagan worship?

Deuteronomy 12:29-32: When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land,

Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’

YOU SHALL NOT WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD IN THAT WAY; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.

Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.

God called pagan worship, including Easter, as an ABOMINATION. So why do we still stubbornly keep Easter and use all the excuses in the book to rationalize this celebration? Why do we worship God with something that He calls an abomination? Why do we keep Easter while God plainly and clearly commands us to keep Passover?

Does it really matter?

The answer is YES, it does matter to God and it should matter to you too. Jesus Christ said that if we are going to worship God, let’s make sure that we worship Him in TRUTH and spirit (John 4:24). It is time to turn our back from human traditions and genuinely worship God according to His own terms. As much as we want to “Christianize” Easter, it will never come close to the awesome and wonderful meaning of Passover.

With all these being said, will you follow God or men?

Here is a book that you might want to check out: Ultimate Sticker Book: Passover (Ultimate Sticker Books)

Ultimate Sticker Book Passover (Ultimate Sticker Books)Amazon Product Description:

Covering all aspects of the Jewish festival of Passover, from the story of the exodus from Egypt to Passover preparations in the modern home, the Ultimate Passover Sticker Book is the perfect way to celebrate the history and traditions of Passover. (Grab your copy here.)

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10 thoughts on “Passover versus Easter: A Brief and Comprehensive Comparison

  1. Hi, Josh, thanks for sharing this beautiful and relevant article….very timely this Passover and Easter celebrations for us God’s people and the World.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Passover was celebrated because the Jews were escaping Egypt. It wasn’t originally about Jesus. Yes, Jesus celebrated it, but he wasn’t celebrating it because of himself. Jesus was a Jew so of course he celebrated it. Foot washing wasn’t part of Passover. He did wash the apostles’ feet then to show that no one is better than other. You are talking about the last supper not Passover. Passover was only unleven bread.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jessica. Passover is not just for the Jews. The Apostle Paul understood this when he said, “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 (I Corinthians 5:8).” Remember, he was writing to the Corinthian church, which is a GENTILE church, not Jewish. Jesus repeated said to observe the Passover “in remembrance of me” (I Corinthians 11:24-25).

      The foot washing ceremony was included as Christ instructed:

      Joh 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
      Joh 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
      Joh 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

      Remember as well that God identified the Feasts listed in Leviticus 23 as His feasts not the feast of the Jews. Read:

      Lev 23:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
      Lev 23:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are MY feasts.


    • Jessica, If you read the whole Bible, both Old and New Testament, you’ll see how Passover is about the foreshadow of Christ’s redemption. The Passover lamb without blemish and which was killed so that it’s blood stained on the two sides of the door posts and on the lintel of the door like the cross, represents Christ, the sinless innocent Son of God who was killed and stretched out on the cross.
      Just as the Jews were spared from death by being under the cover of the blood of the lamb, we are also spared from eternal death by the blood of the lamb stained on the cross.
      The Jews were delivered from the slavery of Egypt, and we are delivered from the slavery of sin.
      God commanded the Israelites not to break any bones of the lamb that was slain, Jesus’ bones weren’t broken on the cross.
      Everything about the Passover is the foreshadow of the coming of Christ to redeem us. God wanted to make it familiar to His people before hand, so that by that practice they would recognize the purpose of Christ’s life and death, to redeem the human race. Even in the Old Testament days, they still need to have faith in God to be saved, they weren’t simply saved by their works and religious rituals. (Gen 15:6, Romans 4:3; Gal 3:6). And Jesus celebrated the Passover. And the last supper was also, during the Passover. He was the Passover lamb.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Actually, as a theologian with an interest in history, I think there is every reason to doubt that Easter is pagan in origin, although in the last couple of centuries, pagan overlays have been put on, and commercialization has marred it. The church has celebrated ‘Easter’ in the sense of a Paschaltide celebration since at least the second century, if not the first. It was later partially disconnected from Passover because the church wanted to celebrate on Sunday, the day of the resurrection, but that is not the same as saying it was a pagan celebration from the first. Claims about ‘easily finding the facts by reading history books’ is false, if the writer thinks that history books back up the kind of claims made here.


  4. Actually, it is equivalent to three days and nights, because that was a Jewish idiom and could be used of a period that covered a piece of one day and night, a whole day and night and a piece of one day and night, just like the traditional Good Friday-Sunday scenario – and I have read many arguments along the lines of the article you have linked to, but there are some seriously flawed assumptions. Passover was never called Easter, true, but the name Easter almost certainly was inaugurated by an fanatically anti-pagan Christian king who used it for the month of April, and it then got applied to the Pascal festival that was most usually celebrated in that month of Easter. I am not surprised by CLAIMS that Easter was celebrated by pagans centuries before the Christian era, usually from pagan sources, or naive Christians who rely on pagan sources. That does not then mean those claims are true


    • Hi Nathaniel. The three days and three nights statement is not an idiom. Remember that Jesus called into mind how Jonah remained in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. That’s exactly what Jesus meant! Jesus even said that there are 12 hours in a day (John 11:9). Why are we saying that Jesus is just using a Jewish idiom? Is Jesus that unreliable? Of course not! When Jesus said that He will be in the grave 3 days and 3 nights, then we have to believe that unless we want to defend a belief that is not rooted in the Bible but in paganism.

      You don’t have to go too far. Look into secular books, encyclopedia, and resources. It is established that easter has a pagan root.

      Let us stop rationalizing things. It is time to worship God in truth and in spirit.


  5. Pingback: 5 little-known lessons we learn from the Parable of the Growing Seed (Mark 4:26-29) | Becoming Christians

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