The Feast and the Faith

No outsiders are allowed to eat the Passover meal. But any slave who has been purchased may eat it if he has been circumcised. Temporary residents and hired servants may not eat it. If there are foreigners living among you who want to celebrate the Lord’s Passover, let all their males be circumcised. Only then may they celebrate the Passover with you like any native-born Israelite. But no uncircumcised male may ever eat the Passover meal. This instruction applies to everyone, whether a native-born Israelite or a foreigner living among you.—Exodus 12:43-49, NLT

When God gave the Passover Feast to Israel, God made it clear that the feast did not celebrate Israelite nationalism, nor was it a universal feast for every human being. God established Passover for those who had put their faith in the LORD who liberated Israel from its slavery in Egypt—the God who offered love and support to all those who would put their faith in him. To share in the feast, people of any nationality—Israelite or foreign—had to make to make a pact of faith with God and, in the case of men, solemnize that covenant through circumcision. Any man who had not made such a covenant had no right to participate in the feast.

Note well that “any man” included the foreigners in the land of Israel. God has always loved immigrants, and all immigrants can recognize that the Lord has helped them in their lives and that it looks like the history of the Exodus of Israel. The God who lifted Israel out of oppression and established her in a new land loves everyone and offers to do the same for everyone. The Passover Feast can serve as a symbol of God’s deliverance in the life of any person. For that reason, the Passover instructions applied to everyone, whether native-born Israelites or foreigners living among them.

Jesus Christ fulfilled the covenant of circumcision though his sacrifice on the Cross. As a result of his death for our sins, God no longer requires a cut in our flesh, but rather “circumcision of the heart” (Deuteronomy 30:6; Jeremiah 9:25; Romanos 2:29). When you put your faith in Jesus Christ and recognize his death on the Cross as the payment for your sins, God makes his covenant with you in your heart. It has nothing to do with your ethnicity nor your country of origin nor the color of your skin nor the language that you speak. God offers the same relationship with the Savior to all. But those who do not have faith in Christ are missing the Feast. Invite someone you know to enter into the Faith and the Feast!

Copyright©2013 by Joseph L. Castleberry.  All rights reserved.;

Dr. Joseph Castleberry is President of Northwest University in Kirkland Washington.  He is the author of Your Deepest Dream:  Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life and The Kingdom Net:  Learning to Network Like Jesus. Follow him on Twitter at @DrCastleberry and at


Acerca de Joseph Castleberry

A missionary to Latin America for 20 years, I currently serve as president of Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. I am the author of Your Deepest Dream (NavPress, 2012); The Kingdom Net: Learning to Network Like Jesus (Influence Resources, 2013), and The New Pilgrims: How Immigrants are Renewing America's Faith and Values.
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