A few days ago Helen was in a grocery store and entered into a conversation with a Spanish speaking woman who spoke broken English. In the course of their conversation Helen asked her how she said Easter in Spanish. The woman’s reply was ‘feliz dia del conejo’ which translates as happy day of the rabbit.
A Spanish translator would likely have replied with Pascua de Resurrección. When translating languages you cannot always use a literal translation of words. Pascua de Resurrección is the proper phrase meaning Easter but the literal translation would be more like Easter/Passover related to the Resurrection. The Spanish word Pascua, is derived from the Greek word Pascha and Pascha is derived from the Jewish (Hebrew) word Pesha. One of the old Hebrew translations for Pesha is ‘offering for transgression’.
All of this language twisting brings us to the question of what does Easter have to do with Passover? The simple answer is everything. On the night that Jesus was betrayed he had celebrated the Passover meal, The Last Supper, with his disciples. The Passover meal, the Seder, is a tradition of the Jewish people to emphasize both history and hope. It is to remind them that God led them out of slavery in Egypt and restored them as a nation of his people. The Passover is to remind them that there was an exodus from dark times and that God remembered them and provided for them.
The Passover is largely about the exodus from Egypt and Easter is largely about the Passover. As the blood of lambs had been placed on the doors of the Jewish people on the night that God’s angel passed through Egypt (Passover), it was the sacrificed blood of Jesus, the paschal lamb, that saved those who believe in Him from the penalty of sin. Our celebration at the communion table is a symbolic reenacting of the last supper.
We celebrated the resurrection of Christ yesterday. As we continue in our faith journey it is well for us to remember that Easter is our Christian Passover because Christ’s blood has saved us from our sins. Jesus was the utmost offering for our transgressions.