Christianity’s Jewish roots

Published 10:10 am Friday, March 18, 2011

As the Christian church moved into the second century, its Jewish leadership was coming to an end.

By the end of the second century, the leadership was totally made up of Greek and Roman men and women and the Jews and Christians had went their separate ways. The fourth century would be a major turning point in the development of many Christian doctrines that were developed without considering the Jewishness of Jesus and the Hebrew language from which the Bible was first written.

After the Roman Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity, he did away with all things pertaining to Jewish tradition and history, such as Passover, and he amplified a hatred for the Jewish people that had already existed for 150 years in the Church.

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Augustine Hippo followed and continued to separate the Church from its Jewish origin by robbing the Christians of their rich Jewish heritage. Consequently these men as well as others have more influence on the modern church than Jesus and Paul.

But in these last days, God is doing a new thing in the Church. He is breaking down the walls of hatred and misunderstandings that have divided Jews and Christians. God is calling the Jewish people back to their homeland, Israel, and preparing them for the coming of Messiah.

At the same time, God is stirring in the hearts of Christians a holy love for the Jewish people and awakening them to the biblical Hebraic-Jewish roots of their Christian faith. Many Christians are realizing that the origin of our faith is centered around Jerusalem, not Athens Rome, Geneva, Wittenberg, Aldersgate, etc… and as a result, Christians around the world are now reaching out to the Jewish people and celebrating their Jewish roots.

Christians are now celebrating the Sabbath and the Holy Feasts Days, such as Passover. It is clearly God’s appointed time to reconcile Jews and Christians by making them “one new man in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus),” Ephesians 2:14-18. He is preparing a people for his return.

The first argument that Christians bring up is the Feasts Days being Jewish Feasts. However, the Bible clearly tells us that God spoke to Moses saying the feasts were the Feast of the Lord and that they were holy. Leviticus 23:2-4 points this out as God says, “These are My (God’s) feasts”. These feasts were not designed solely for the Jews, but rather for both Jews and Christians to celebrate as they are Feasts of the Lord.

By celebrating the feasts, a Christian can expect to better understand the Bible, rediscover the Jewish roots of Christianity and have a fuller understanding of God’s plan for redemption.

The Feast of Passover begins in the Hebrew month of Nisan, which is in our March-April, and it ends 50 days later with the celebration of Pentecost.

The Passover was to be a memorial to the Hebrews’ deliverance from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. This is a beautiful shadow of how you and I have been delivered from the bondages of sin by the Passover Lamb himself, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.

The historical Passover in Egypt with the sprinkling of blood on the doorposts was a shadow of God’s plan for redemption and Yeshua as our Passover Lamb by the shedding of his blood at Calvary. His shed blood has spiritually been applied to our hearts and minds, freeing us from the penalty of sin. Once your conscience is cleansed from sin, you are free to worship the Father.

Between the Feast of Passover and Pentecost there are two other feasts; the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Feast of First Fruits. In Jewish homes, the week leading to Passover is spent cleaning the house and ridding it of any leavened bread crumbs. Leaven, or yeast, is symbolic of sin. After Passover they were commanded to eat only unleavened bread for 7 days.

The unleavened bread points to the sanctified life of Yeshua as he was without sin and is a reminder to us that we are to live without sin in service to God. The First Fruits offering was the first of the barley harvest given to God and this ensured the rest of the harvest would be plentiful. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Church at Corinth said “as in Adam, all men die, so in Messiah all will be made to live”, because Messiah offered himself as a First Fruits offering. He is our first fruits offering and his resurrection guarantees our own resurrection some day. This alone should be a great source of peace, rest and hope to any Christian.

With the Jewish days beginning at sundown, Jesus would have been resurrected at sundown on the third day. This is when the people of God were bringing their First Fruits offering, at sundown on the third day, the same time Yeshua (Jesus) was being resurrected. The Passover does not end here on the third day, but ends on the Feast of Pentecost.

Pentecost in Greek means “50”. God’s instruction was to celebrate Pentecost 50 days after the First Fruit offering of barley. The main activity of Pentecost was the wave offering being waved before the Lord. The wave offering was two loaves of bread made with sifted, crushed flour. The wave offering expressed to the Hebrew mind their dependence was on God for their daily bread. It was a thanksgiving offering.

The 50 days are interesting because it was 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection that he sits down at the right hand of the Father and pours out his spirit, fulfilling the promise of God that in a future day, he would write his laws on their hearts and they would become his people and he would be their God. The day of Pentecost did not originate with Christianity. It is the feast day upon which God chose to send the Holy Spirit as proof that Jesus had been exalted as Lord. This was the day when the Jews would have been in Jerusalem celebrating the feast. The Passover season is a beautiful picture of what God wants for our lives. He redeems in order that he might reveal himself to us so that by the power of his Holy Spirit and the wisdom of his Word, he might rule and reign in our hearts and bring our entire life to a place of restoration and wholeness.

If you are interested in how you or your church can celebrate the Passover, you can contact Pastor Deer at