“Pascha” means “Passover”—it is the Aramaic form of Hebrew’s Pesach, the feast commemorating Israel’s release from bondage in Egypt. Calling Easter “Pascha” brings home the reality of Christ as the Paschal Lamb.
At Passover, God commanded the Israelites to sacrifice a pure lamb and mark their doorposts with its blood. Seeing the lamb’s blood, the angel of death would skip their homes as he went throughout Egypt, slaying every firstborn male among man and beast.
At Easter, Christ allowed Himself to be crucified and His Blood poured out. His Blood redeems us from eternal death, setting us apart from those who reject Him. It’s no coincidence that this event occurred during the Passover feast.
The connection between the Jewish Passover and the Christian feast of Easter is real and ideal. Real, since Christ died on the first Jewish Easter Day; ideal…because Christ’s death and Resurrection had its figures and types in the Old Law, particularly in the paschal lamb, which was eaten towards evening of the 14th of Nisan.
—The Catholic Encyclopedia
Easter, prefigured by the Passover, becomes a reality. Passover is fulfilled. Christ is the Paschal Lamb. We are the Israelites. His triumph over death releases us from the slavery of sin. We are freed to set out for the Promised Land—for heaven.
Easter is steeped in many symbolic connections. Christ’s Resurrection and Last Supper as well as His death sprang firmly from Jewish roots. In the fascinating pages of Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, Dr. Brant Pitre explains the Last Supper in light of the Jewish Passover meal. You’ll find fascinating answers to all the questions you have about the institution of the Eucharist and the Last Supper. Get your copy right here at The Catholic Company!