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Passover versus Easter: A Brief and Comprehensive Comparison

Article by: Joshua Infantado


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?