An Urgent Message From The Old Watchman
Brothers and sister in Christ, lend me you ear! A very important season is upon us! It is time to shake the dust of time past off and see what lies before us!
What am I talking about? I’m talking about the Lord’s Passover and the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior! Do you comprehend what is at hand?
The Lord’s Passover was abolished from the Church by men who were misguided in their motives. How do I know that? History tells the story.
At the Council of Nicea, the Roman emperor Constantine decreed, “This irregularity (observing Passover) MUST be corrected!” You see, Constantine had no problem with Christians celebrating the resurrection of Christ. He did, however, have a problem with Christians celebrating Passover since he viewed Passover to be a Jewish Practice and the Jews had historically been a thorn in Rome’s side. Instead, he decreed that Easter (a transliteration of the name of the goddess Ishtar which was pronounced “Eastre”) would be celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon of the vernal equinox. Incidentally, that happens to be the date of a pagan festival celebrating the resurrection of Tammuz.
But I’m not going to address Easter. I’m going to address how the Lord’s Passover was abolished from the church by the order of men.
But the battle continued afterwards as many churches resisted Constantine’s edict.
The Council of Antioch (A.D. 345), “If any bishops, presbyters, or deacon will dare, after this decree, to celebrate Passover, the council judges them to be anathema (cursed) from the Church. This council not only deposes them from ministry, but also any others who dare to communicate with them.” That’s the church cursing Christians who would celebrate Passover!
The Council of Laodicea (A.D. 365) “It is not permitted to receive festivals which are by Jews.”
This is a broader stroke outlawing not only Passover but the Feast of Unleavened Bread, The Feast of First Fruits, The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), The Feast of Trumpets, and the Feast of Tabernacles. The Church was feeling its oats and had forgotten that the Church was, initially, a Jewish Church.
Council of Agde, France (A.D. 506) “Christians MUST NOT take part in Jewish festivals.”
Council of Toledo X (7th century) “Easter must be celebrated at the time set by the decree of Nicea.”
In the 6th century, 300 years after Constantine, Emperor Justinian sent Roman legions throughout the Roman Empire to wipe out the “heresy” of Passover. Thousands of men, women, and children were massacred for refusing to stop celebrating Passover. That would incude Jews and gentiles.
If you want to go back further than I have already gone, the Roman ruler Domitian, who ruled from A.D. 81-96, had members of his own family executed for wearing a garment that resembled and was worn in a similar fashion that the Jews would have worn as a prayer shawl.
And people wonder why Passover is no longer acknowledged in the Church? Those who rise and say that the Passover is “for the Jews” are presenting their ignorance and allowing their antisemitic slip to show. The edicts of man abolished the Passover from the Church. God had no part in that.
Let’s look at something else. Let’s look into the Bible itself and see the revival aspects and how re-establishing Passover prospered God’s people.
In Joshua Chapter 5, Joshua had marched Israel into the land God had promised them. They celebrated Passover for the first time since God sent them on a 40 year trek in the wilderness. They had battles to fight and land to take over. However, Joshua re-established the Passover. The Bible tells us that they ate unleavened cakes and roasted grain from the land. The manna ceased and they began to live off the fruits of the land. That’s the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of First Fruits was established. Yes, there was a land to be conquered but the business of God was attended to first and the people flourished.
Consider 2nd Kings Chapters 22 and 23. Read those two Chapters carefully. Josiah became king. The temple was being repaired when a scroll of Torah was found and read to Josiah. Read about the covenant that Josiah made with God and the reforms that Josiah initiated. You will read about how Josiah re-established the Passover in Judah and Jerusalem. It is a beautiful picture of a people returning to God and revival.
Consider as well 2nd Chronicles Chapters 29 and 30 where we see king Hezekiah bringing about reforms and turning the people back to God. Hezekiah sent word to ALL of Israel and Judah to come on celebrate the Lord’s Passover. Again, it is a beautiful picture where re-establishing the Lord’s Passover bringing about an enormous revival in the people of the land.
Now, I’m not saying that celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior is a bad thing. Praises be unto God for the Resurrection. Without the resurrection the sting of death still has its sting. Without the resurrection of Christ, I have no resurrection to look forward to. I’m all about celebrating the resurrection! Easter, however, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The Lord was resurrected when He was resurrected, and it is not always on Sunday! That’s Easter, not the resurrection!
Am I saying that if you celebrate Easter that you are a bad parent of condemned to hell? No, I never said that. What I am saying is that the Passover should not be overlooked or dismissed altogether. The resurrection should be celebrated! YES! I do have problems with “Easter” and the implications associated with the name. As for me and my house, we do not comply with Easter.
What do I know? Am I nuts? Perhaps. I’m an old school Bible driven old man. However, I am The Old Watchman. Those who know me closely sometimes call me Zeke. It is my job, my calling to tell you the truth. The truth is that the Lord’s Passover is NOT merely for the Jews. There will be no blood on my hands. You have been warned!
Wishing you all a blessed Passover and joyful resurrection! Shalom!