Difference Between Good Friday and Passover

People all over the world commemorate particular days as a part of their culture or religion. One such day is Good Friday for Christians and Passover is an important day for Jews.

Good Friday vs Passover

The main difference between Good Friday and Passover is, Good Friday is commemorated to mourn for the crucifixion of Christ on the cross which will be followed by the Resurrection Sunday whereas Passover is the day to celebrate the liberation of Israelites from the hands of king Pharaoh in Egypt.

Good Friday vs Passover

Good Friday is a sorrowful day, people observe it by fasting and prayers and almsgiving. Lent days are observed for 40 days by the Christians that starts from Ash Wednesday.

Good Friday is the end of the lent days that will be followed by Holy Saturday and Resurrected Sunday.

Food plays a significant part in Passover. Jews observe this ceremony by eating unleavened bread for seven days.

Jesus Christ celebrated his final Passover Seder with his disciples, which is commonly known as Maundy Thursday all over the world.

According to the Jewish calendar, Passover is fixed on the 15th of the month Nissan. 

Comparison Table Between Passover and Good Friday

Parameter of comparisonGood Friday Passover
Observed byGood Friday is observed by ChristiansPassover is observed by Jews   
CelebrationCelebration of the passion of the lord    Passover Seder
SignificanceCommemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ    Passover SederCelebrates the freedom from the slavery of the Israelites from ancient Egypt.
DateThe Friday immediately preceding Easter SundayNissan 15 (according to Hebrew calendar)
TypeReligious and CulturalReligious

What is Good Friday?

Good Friday is observed to mourn and to keep fast. The congregation will remember the sacrifice and sufferings of Jesus Christ on Good Friday.

Since it is the day of grief, decorations in alters would be removed and the priest will wear a black robe and even the church organs will not be played.

Although it is a sorrowful day, it is considered to be holy. That is the reason behind the name Good Friday.

The service will take place from noon to 3 pm. Elucidating the seven words that Jesus Christ said on the cross before his death will be given chief prominence in the Good Friday sermon.

Christians all over the world believe that Jesus was sent by the heavenly father to this world.

He was born as a human to die for the sins of this world and to cleanse humans and redeem them from their transgressions.

On the day of crucifixion, he was betrayed by one of his disciples named Judas Iscariot. He just received thirty pieces of silver to stab Jesus in his back.

Judas used a kiss as a weapon to indicate Jesus to the soldiers in the garden of Gethsemane. He was then captivated by the Romans and went through the excruciating pain and buried.

He was resurrected on the third day of his death which is celebrated gloriously around the world as Easter Sunday.

What is Passover?

Passover is a major holiday to commemorate the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery. This occasion is observed by the Passover Seder.

In Passover Seder family members of multiple generations come to dine together. Though it’s a joyous moment they have restrictions on diet.

Haggadah is also a part of the Passover Seder. The dinner served in Passover will be quite different from other family dinners.

Seder meal consists of unleavened bread which is known as Matza shank bone and bitter herbs. Four cups of wine is will be drunk at a certain interval of time.

At the second cup of the wine, the youngest child will be encouraged to ask questions about the rituals that would be explicated by the other family members.

In the third cup of wine, they express their gratitude to god. In the fourth cup, they acknowledge god’s love.

The final cup of wine is not usually drunk but it is to honour Elija. It is believed that the spirit of Elijah would visit them during the Passover Seder.

Haggadah is the book read during Sedar that tells the story of Passover, explains the ritual, history and it describes the ten plagues.

The story behind the Passover goes like this, Moses was sent to deliver Israelites from the king Pharaoh who enslaved them in Egypt

Moses visits the Pharaoh and asked him to free the Jews, but he denied him every time.

God punished the people of Egypt by sending plagues like boils, water turning to blood, hail, locusts, darkness, lice, cattle disease etc.

But Pharaoh was not merciful enough to librate Israelites, which eventually lead to a grievous plague of killing all the firstborn by the angel of death.

To fend off the firstborn of Israelites from killing by the angel, they marked their doors with lamp’s blood. So the angel of death will Passover them.

The name Passover comes from this which means Pesach in Hebrew.

Main Differences Between Good Friday and Passover

  1. The major themes of Passover are springtime, family, social justice and freedom. Cross is the central theme of worship in Good Friday.
  2. Jews observe Passover for seven days from the 14th day of the month evening till the 21st day of the month at evening that starts from 15 Nissan to 21 Nissan some diasporic communities celebrate Passover till 22 Nissan. Christians commemorate Good Friday for one day that will be followed by Easter on the third day of Good Friday.
  3. Passover is related to Shavuot (festival of weeks ) which follows 49 days from the second night of Passover. Good Friday is related to the feast of the exaltation of the holy cross. This feast focuses on the grace and benefit of the cross.
  4. Passover over is celebrated according to the book of Exodus from the Old Testament. Good Friday is observed to remember the sacrifice of Christ which is mentioned in the New Testament of the bible.
  5. The major difference between Passover and Good Friday is that Passover is a cheerful event but Good Friday is a grieving moment.
Difference Between Good Friday and Passover

Conclusion

Although the tradition, the way of observance and significance in celebration differs, in both the occasions people remember the grace and mercy of God that has been showered upon them.

Jews would look back on the grace of God that liberated them from slavery and brought them to the promised land.

Christians of various denominations would hark back to the struggles like betrayal, the crucifixion that Jesus endured for them.

God would be remembered as the perfect embodiment of compassion and mercy by the Jews on Passover and the Christians on Good Friday.

References

  1. https://www.advocatehealth.com/assets/documents/connections/luth-aprilmay2012.pdf
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07321870903459132
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