Easter a Pagan Celebration?

What does the Bible say about “Easter”?

Acts 12:4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered [him] to four quaternion of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

This is the only verse in the King James Version where “Easter” is mentioned, but as any Greek authority will tell you, this is a mistranslation. The original Greek word is “pascha” which means “Passover”. All other places in the New Testament where “pascha” is used the correct translation “Passover” is given (eg Matthew 26:2, 1719; Mark 14:12 and I Corinthians 5:7). Most other translations of the Bible correctly renders the word in Acts 12:4 as “Passover”

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica….

There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the apostolic Fathers…. The first Christians continued to observe the Jewish festivals [that is, God’s festivals Leviticus 23:12], though in a new spirit, as commemoration of events which those festivals had foreshadowed” (“Easter”, 11th edition) …..

Another reason why “Easter Sunday” could not have been celebrated by the early Christians is that Jesus Christ was not resurrected on a Sunday morning!!

HOW LONG WAS JESUS IN THE GRAVE?

Now let’s see as Bereans what Jesus said about the length of time He would spend in the grave….

Matthew 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

He certainly fulfilled this sign “as He said”….

Matt: 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

The only sign Jesus gave that He was the true Messiah was the length of time He would spend in the grave a period of three days AND three nights 72 hours!!

The Easter tradition Jesus crucified on Friday afternoon and rose from the dead Sunday morning gives only about a day and a half, that is, 36 hours!

Since Jesus Christ did fulfill His sign, the Easter tradition is just that a tradition that is not factual!! The Bible proves that Jesus Christ was crucified then buried on a Wednesday afternoon and He rose from the dead 72 hours later late Saturday afternoon. Furthermore, many of the customs and traditions surrounding Easter originated long before the time of Christ some over 2000 years BEFORE the beginning of the Christian era.

The word “Easter” is actually derived from the name of the ancient Assyrian goddess “Ishtar” pronounced by the Assyrians the same as “Easter”. The traditions of Easter such as colored eggs, the Easter bunny and sunrise services originated BEFORE Christianity and are in fact pagan!

EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE

The Old Testament refers to a similar service more than 500 years before the birth of Christ….

Ezekiel 8:16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.

(God certainly did not approve of this practice….)

Ezekiel 8:15 Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, [and] thou shalt see greater abominations than these.

Ezekiel 8:17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose……

It was an ancient heathen practice to gather before dawn and worship the rising sun. These services were being observed by the nation of Judah in Ezekiel’s day. They had borrowed some of the heathen customs in spite of God’s commandments not to follow pagan practices in worshiping Him.

Many Christians acknowledge that Christmas and Easter did originate in paganism but they claim that they now observe these days to “honor Christ” or “glorify God”.

USING PAGANISM TO WORSHIP GOD

God had something to say about using pagan practices to worship Him….

Deuteronomy 12:29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;

Deuteronomy 12:30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

Deuteronomy 12:31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

Jerimiah 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them

God clearly commands us not to adopt the practices of pagan nations. God does not accept such forms of worship even though they are intended to honor Him. God is not honored through disobedience.

WORSHIPING JESUS IN VAIN

Jesus Christ said it was possible to worship Him in vain….

Matthew: 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Jesus spoke to the Pharisees about using human traditions on how to worship God….

Mark: 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Mark: 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

Mark: 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

God does not want people to honor Christ by following the traditions and customs of men.

The following is a quote from the Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 11; page 390:

“During the later periods of Roman history, sun worship gained in importance and ultimately led to what has been called a ‘solar monotheism.’ Nearly all the gods of the period were possessed of Solar qualities, and both Christ and Mithra acquired the traits of solar deities. The feast of Sol Invictus (unconquered Sun) on December 25th was celebrated with great joy, and eventually this date was taken over by the Christians as Christmas, the birthday of Christ.”

Easter, Halloween and Valentines Day also had their birth and origin in utter paganism. How can Christians justify telling their innocent little children these satanic lies? The Ten Commandments teach us it is wrong to lie. The Scriptures tell us that………

“no liars shall inherit the Kingdom of God ” (Rev. 22:15).


Yet, millions of professing Christians will fill their children with falsehoods about Santa Claus, flying reindeer, and an Easter bunny that lays eggs. IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE????? Nowhere does the Bible instruct us to observe these days, nor to lie to our children.

However, it does teach us to repent of such practices, and to remove ourselves from anything that has its roots in the worship of the devil. God will forgive one who turns to Him. Most professing Christians find it difficult to accept these truths because the observance of the holidays gives them a warm and fuzzy feeling. They simply can not understand that the worship of God is not based upon feelings, but on truth. It is always important to remember that we are to worship God in “spirit and truth” not lies (John 4:24). We must also remember that Satan’s ministers are also transformed into ministers of light, as shown in 2 Corinthians 11:1415…..

Jesus Christ came to “destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). He did not come to incorporate them into the worship of His Holy Father. The lies of the devil brought division within the Kingdom of God and caused one third of the angels to rebel. It was his lies that deceived Adam and Eve and caused the death of all mankind and Jesus Christ, our Savior. Our Heavenly Father hates the works of Satan, and so should we. God Almighty is a jealous God:

“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14).


He will not share the worship of Himself and His Son Jesus, with anyone or anything else. To incorporate pagan teachings into the worship of God would be the same as asking God to share His throne with the works of the devil. That is impossible for God to entertain.

Ezekiel 8:14-18 “Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.” (Tammuz=Nimrod, the sun god) “Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and, behold at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their faces toward the east, and they worshiped the sun toward the east. Then he said to me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger; and lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury; mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.”

 

(This is the only place in the Bible where men are described as observing a sun rise worship service. As millions do every Easter Sunday morning as the sun rises in their worship service.The pagans turned their backs on God’s temple, faced the sun at its rising and worshiped the mythical sun god and the goddess of spring, “Easter”.)

Jeremiah 7:18-19 “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. Do they provoke me to anger? saith the Lord: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?”

(These cakes are still baked today at Easter and called hot cross buns. The cross or X is an ancient symbol for the solar wheel and is the symbol of the sun and the ‘queen of heaven’ or Semiramus, the motherwife of Nimrod. Some feel that these hot cross buns are Satan’s counterfeit for unleavened bread.)

Exodus 12:24 “And ye shall observe this thing for as ordinance to thee and thy sons forever.”

(Passover is forever)

(Jesus, early apostles and converted Gentile Christians observed the holy days mentioned in Lev.23 and Acts 2:1, and 18:21, and 20:6 &16,and 1Cor 5: 78, and 16:8.)

from The American Book of Days by Douglas article Easter

“The name of a feast, according to the Venerable Bede, comes from Eostre, A Teutonic goddess whose festival was celebrated in the spring. The name was given to the Christian festival in celebration of the resurrected Eostre, it was who, according to the legend, opened portals of Valhalla to recieve Baldur, called the white god because of his purity and also the sun god because his brow supplied light to mankind. It was Baldur who, after he had been murdered by Utgard Loki, the enemy of goodness and truth, spent half the year in Valhalla and the other half with the pale goddess of the lower regions.

There is no doubt that the church in its early days adopted the old pagan customs and gave a Christian meaning to them.

The egg, as a symbol of New Life is much older than Christianity and the coloring of it at the spring festival is also of very ancient origin. The Egyptians, the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans used it this way. Eggs were eaten during the spring festival from very early times. Children are told that the rabbit lays the Easter eggs in a garden for the children to find. This is an adaption of the pagan custom of regarding the rabbit as an emblem of fertility, that is, of new life.”

(What most people don’t know. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary shows that the word Easter comes from the name of an old Teutonic goddess of spring.)

Funk and Wagnall’s Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend p 341 “Early in history the egg became a symbol for sex, reproduction and life. The egg represented a resurrection and after life and was used to cast magical spells’

(Long before Jesus was born eggs were used in religious worship)

 

A Treasury of American Superstition page 361

“The hare represented abundant life and the fertility of the earth… Because hares were born with eyes open, they were sacred to the ‘open eyed moon’ in Egypt, and thus connected with Easter, as the date is set by the moon’s orbit to this day. The Germans made the hare sacred to the goddess Eastre, and said that on Easter Eve it would lay eggs for good children.”

(As you can see the early Christians saw in these pagan rituals symbols of Christ’s resurrection to new life. So obviously they ‘borrowed’ some of the heathen customs. Even tho’ God commands his people NOT to follow the ways of the heathen, and NOT to use pagan customs to worship Him!)

Alexander Hislop’s The Two Babylons p. 105

“Among the pagans the Lent season seems to have been as indispensible preliminary to the great annusl festival in commeration on the death and rresurrection of Tammuz, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing.”(It was believed that the pagan god Tammuz died and was resurrected. He was a counterfeit Messiah. The mourning of his death was held annually a kind of Lenton season. Obviously, this pagan god has influenced present day religious practices.

There are no instructiions in the Bible for Christians to observe a period of Lent. Nor is there any Biblical authority for the practice of attending Easter sunrise services either. Just the opposite Ezek 8 :1316.)

The Two Babylons by Hislop p 140105

“the forty days abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess. Such a Lent of forty days, in the spring of the year, is still observed by the Yezidis or pagan Devil worshippers of Koordistan, who have inherited it from thier early masters, the Babylonians. Such a Lent of forty days was held in spring by the Pagan Mexicans…Such a Lent of forty days was observed in Egypt…”

Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition Easter

“There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament or in the writings of the Apostolic fathers…The first Christians continued to observe the Jewish festivals, though in a new spirit, as commemorations of events which those festivals had foreshadowed. Thus the Passover, with a new conception added to it, of Christ as the true Paschal Lamb and the first fruits from the dead continued to be observed.

Although the observance of Easter was at a very early period in the practice of the Christian Church, a serious difference as to the day for its observance soon arose between the Christians of Jewish and those of Gentile descent, which led to a long and bitter controversy. With the Jewish Christians…the fast ended on the 14th day of the moon at evening without regard to the day of the week. The Gentile Christians on the other hand identified the first day of the week with the resurrection, and kept the preceeding Friday as the commeration of the crucifixion, irrespective of the day of the month.

Generally speaking, the Western Churches [catholic] kept Easter on the first day of the week, while the Eastern Churches followed the Jewish rule.

Polycarp, the disciple of John the Evangelist, and bishop of Smyrna, visited Rome in 159 to confer with Anicetus, the bishop of the see, on the subject, and urged the tradition which he had recieved from the apostles of observing the 14th day.Anicetus, however, declined. About 40 years later,(197), the question was discussed in a very different spirit between Victor, bishop of Rome, and Polycarp, metropolitan of proconsular Asia [the territory of the Churches at Ephesus, Galatia, Antioch, Philadelphia and all those mentioned in Rev 2 & 3 the churches established through Apostle Paul]. That province was the only portion of Christendom which still adhered to the Jewish usuage prevailing at Rome.This Polycrates firmly refused to agree to, and urged many weighty reasons to the contrary, where upon Victor proceeded to excommunicate Polycrates and the Christians who continued the Eastern usuage. He was, however, restrained from actually proceeding to enforce the decree of excommunication…and the Asiatic churches retained their usuage unmolested. We find the Jewish ususge from time to time reasserting itself after this, but it never prevailed to any large extent.

A final settlement of the dispute was one among the other reasons which led Constantine to summon the council at Nicaea in 325. At that time the Syrians and Antiochenes were the solitary champions of the observance of the 14th day. The decision of the council was unanimous that Easter was to be kept on Sunday, and on the same Sunday throughout the world, and that ‘none hereafter should follow the blindness of the Jews.’

…(the few who afterwards separated themselves from the unity of the church [Roman Catholic}, and continued to keep the 14th day, were named ‘Quarto decimani’ and the dispute itself is known as the ‘Quarto deciman controversy.”)

A Treasury of American Superstition p. 362

“To imitate Nature’s emergence in her own gorgeous attire of delicate green, in ancient times, when Easter was New Year’s Day, people cast off their old clothes to start the New Year right. Therefore the custom of wearing a new outfit on Easter is a holdover from this time. The custom of wearing new clothes prevailed also in Northern Europe as it was considered discourteous and therefore bad luck to greet the Scandinavian goddess of spring, or Easter, in anything but a fresh garb, since the goddess was bestowing one on the earth. Needless to say, the Easter parade on Fifth avenue, New York, is the most famous survival of this old custom. There is an old superstition that wearing three new things on Easter assures good luck throughout the year. It is interesting also, that in early times, the Easter ‘Bonnet’ was a wreath of flowers or leaves. The circle or crown expressed the round sun and its course in the heavens which brought the return of spring.”


Encyclopedia Britannica Easterpopular customs

“Around the Christian observance of Easter as the climax of the Liturgical Drama of holy week and good Friday folk customs have collected, many of which have been handed down from the ancient ceremonial and symbolism of the pagan spring festival brought into relation with the resurrection theme. When the medieval miracle plays of Northern and Central Europe came to an end in the 6th century, under the pressure of the reformation, the way was open for the gradual revival of the calendar customs and folk drama, in spite of puritan opposition of revels, acting and dancing. Thus the liturgical portrayal of the death and resurrection of Christ enacted in the ecclesiastical Easter plays gradually found its secular counterpart in the popular survivals of the ancient seasonal ritual connected with the spring equinox.

These took a variety of forms which Easter eggs, formerly forbidden to be eaten during Lent have been very prominent as symbols of new life and resurrection. In Lancashire on Easter eve boys and men have been in the habit of touring the town and village as ‘pace eggers’. Begging for eggs before performing the ‘pace egging’ or pasch (Easter) play. This was the Easter version of the St George mummer’s play. This death and resurrection theme recurs in the sword dances which were also of frequent occurance among the traditional ritual dances at this season. The widespread belief that the sun danced for joy on Easter morning at dawn led to the custom of going to the hills at sunrise to see and take part in this event. A practice that was still prevelent in the British Isles in the 19th century. Rolling colored eggs down slopes on Easter Monday remains a popular observance especially in the North of England. Formerly Easter eggs, sometimes were consecrated for ceremonial use in churches, and at Chester Cathedral the bishop and dean are said to have engaged in an egg throwing match with the choir boys when the antiphon Quem Qaeritis was sung on Easter Day.

The hare, the symbol of fertility in ancient Egypt, a symbolism which is kept in Europe is not found in North America and its place is taken by the Easter Rabbit, the symbol of fertility and periodicity both human and lunar accredited with laying eggs in nests prepared for it at Easter, or with hiding them away for children to find. But it was not until the later part of the 19th century, especially during the civil war, that Easter customs were observed in the U.S. except in a few states, such as Louisianna and Virginia, not dominated by the Puritan element. Then those who had died in the war were commorated in the churches which were decorated with flowers on Easter Day. This brought the festival into prominence and gradually some of the folk customs were revived, notably under Irish influence.”

Funk and Wagnall Encyclopedia Easter

“Annual festival commerating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the principle feast of the Christian year. It is celebrated on Sunday on varying dates between Mar 22nd and Apr 25th, and it is therefore called a moveable feast. The dates of several ecclesiastical festivals, extending over a period between septuagesima Sunday (the ninth Sunday before Easter and the first Sunday of Advent, are fixed in relation to the date of Easter.)

Connected with the observance of Easter are the fortyday penintential season of Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday and concluding at midnight on holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday; holy week, commencing on Palm Sunday, including Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion and terminating with holy Saturday and the Octave of Easter, extending from Easter Sunday through the following Sunday. During the octave of Easter in early Christian times, the newly baptized wore white garments. White being the liturgical color of Easter and signifying light, purity and joy.

PreChristian tradition Easter, a Christian festival, embodies many preChristian traditions. The origin of its name is unknown. Scholars however, accepting the derivation proposed by the 8th century English scholar, Saint Bede, believe it probably comes from Eastre, the Anglosaxon name of a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility, to whom was dedicated a month corresponding to April, her festival celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox; traditions associated with the festival survive in the Easter Rabbit, a symbol of fertility, and in colored Easter eggs, originally painted with gay hues to represent the sunlight of spring, and used in Eaaster egg rolling contests or given as gifts.

Such festivals and myths and legends that explain their origin, were common in ancient religions. A Greek myth tells of the return of Persephone, daughter of Demeter, goddess of the earth, from the underworld to the light of day; her return symbolized to the ancient Greeks the resurrection of life in the spring after the desolatiion of winter. Many ancient peoples shared similiar legends. The Phrygians believed that their omnipotent deity went to sleep at the time of the winter solstice and they preformed ceremonies with music and dancing at the spring equinox to awaken him. The Christian festival of Easter probably embodies a number of converging traditions; most scholars emphasize the original relation of Easter to the Jewish festival of Passover, or Pasch. The early Christians, many of whom were of Jewish origin, were brought up in the Hebrew tradition and regarded Easter as a new feature of the Passover festival, a commeration of the advent of the Messiah foretold by the prophets.

What can we know about Easter, its history and origins?

The Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th edition) says in the article Easter:

“The name Easter, like the names of the days of the week, is a survival from the old Teutonic mythology. According to Bede [an eight century monk] it is derived from Eostre, or Ostdra, the AngloSaxon goddess of spring, to whom the month answering to our April, and called Eostermonath, was dedicated.”

 

Later studies indicate the word may be derived from an ancient festival celebrated in the spring in honor of the rising sun.
Many of the customs associated with Easter harken back to ancient and nonChristian religious practices. The Encylopaedia Britannica says, regarding the egg:

 

“the egg as a symbol of fertility and of renewed life goes back to the ancient Egyptians and Persians, who had also the custom of colouring and eating eggs during their spring festival.” (article Easter).

 

Jesuit author Francis X. Weiser in “The Easter Book”, pages 15, 181 and 188, says:


“Just as many Christian customs and similar observance had their origin in preChristian times, so, too some of the popular traditions of…. Easter dates back to ancient nature rites… The origin of the Easter egg is based on the fertility lore of the IndoEuropean races…The Easter bunny had its origin in preChristian fertility lore. Hare and rabbit were the most fertile animals our forefathers knew, serving as symbols of … new life in the spring season”.

So we see that Easter, its celebrations and traditions long predates Christianity, but few ever stop to ask, just what does all this have to do with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

History shows that Easter was not a tradition of the Apostles and the early Church. The Encyclopedia Britannica further states about the holiday in its article entitled Easter:


“There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the apostolic Fathers. The sanctity of special times was an idea absent from the minds of the first Christians, who continued to observe the Jewish festivals, though in a new spirit, as commemorations of events which those festivals had foreshadowed. Thus the Passover, with a new conception added to it of Christ, as the true Paschal Lamb and the first fruits from the dead, continued to be observed, and became the Christian Easter.”

The Change From Passover to Easter

How did this change from Passover to Easter come about, and by whose authority was it made? Do we find any instruction in the Bible to celebrate Christ’s resurrection?

We do find Easter mentioned in the Bible in Acts 12: 4, but only in the King James version. The New King James and almost all other versions correctly translate the word as Passover. However even in the King James there is no indication in this passage of the celebration of an Easter Festival in commemoration of Christ’s resurrection.

Looking again to history we can find much about the change of Passover to Easter. By the second century there began to be many changes in the Christian Church. Writer J.L. Hurlbut in his book The Story of the Christian Church, (page 41), says that at that time,


“we find a church in many aspects very different from that in the days of St. Peter and St. Paul”.

It was in the second century that the emphasis began to change from the commemoration of Christ’s death at the Passover to celebration of His resurrection at the same time. Eusebius, a church historian who wrote in the fourthcentury, says:


“There was a considerable discussion raised about this time, in consequence of a difference of opinion respecting the observance of the paschal [Passover] season. The churches of all Asia, guided by a remoter tradition, supposed that they ought to keep the fourteenth day of the moon for the festival of the Savior’s Passover, in the which day the Jews were commanded to kill the paschal lamb…it was not the custom to celebrate it this manner in the churches throughout the rest of the world…Hence there were synod and convocations of the bishops on this question; and all unanimously…communicated to all the churches in all places that the mystery of our Lord’s resurrection should be celebrated on no other day than [Sunday]” (Ecclestical History, book 5, chapter 23).

Easter Established

By the fourth century the controversy had reached the point that the Roman Emperor Constantine decided to step in and bring it to an end. Constantine decided to intervene, not for religious reasons, but for political reasons. He saw Christianity as a means of securing unity in his empire but first he must insure unity in the Christian church.

In A.D. 325 Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea. The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology in the article “Easter” has this to say concerning the Council of Nicaea:


” …despite the efforts in Asia Minor to maintain the Jewish Passover date of 14 Nisan for Easter (hence the name Quartodecimans), the Council of Nicaea adopted the annual Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox (March 21)”.

So we see Easter adopted by the professing Christian Church not on the authority of God, but rather by the authority of men.

Now Christianity had adopted Easter as its official dogma and with Constantine’s patronage and protection the Church began to grow. All manner of people began to convert to Christianity. J.L. Hurlbut in his Story of the Christian Church, page 79 writes concerning that period:


“Everybody sought membership in the Church and nearly everybody was received. Both good and bad, seekers after God and hypocritical seekers after gain, rushed into communion… The services of worship increased in splendor, but were less spiritual and hearty than those of former times and replaced the nighttime Passover service that was a commemoration of Christ’ death. Not only had the date and time been changed but the whole meaning of the festival was changed. ”


Humanly it seems that it would be a wonderful and reasonable thing to celebrate Christ’s resurrection. Because it does seem that it must be the right thing to do many, over the years from the second century onward, have embraced Easter as a way to worship Jesus Christ.

But what does God say in His word? Does it make a difference? Nowhere in the Bible is there any commandment that we should commemorate Christ’s resurrection. But there are very specific commands that we should keep the New Testament Passover not with the sacrifice of a lamb as the Israelites did, but with the unleavened bread and wine that Christ presented to His disciples at the Last Supper. These were symbols of Christ’s sacrifice for us as the perfect Passover Lamb. If we are Christians shouldn’t our goal be to order our life according to the standards God sets in His Word?

The dilemma we face with Easter is that it follows the traditions of men and not the clear commands of God. So we are placed in the position of having to decide if we will do what seems humanly right and follow the traditions of men, or if we will follow the clear commands of Christ and the example of the Apostles and live according to ever word that proceeds out of the mouth of God and not according to the traditions of men?

Christ Himself addressed this dilemma and said it was possible to worship him in vain by following tradition: “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honorth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” Matthew 15: 89, , and He also said that it was not enough to call Him Lord, we must also do what He commands: “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not the thing which I say.” Luke 6: 46 ~. Are we going to be found guilty of worshiping god in vain, following men’s traditions rather than obeying God commands? It does make a difference to God. Are we willing to follow and obey Him even though it may mean going against the traditions that all those around us are following?

 

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