A Few Thoughts on Easter

22 04 2014

I as most children in American Christianity grew up celebrating Easter. I have many wonderful memories of Easter egg hunts and Easter baskets. As an adult I have had to decide what I would and would not celebrate and Easter has lingered as a major question in my mind. With the passing of another Easter recently I thought I would record my thoughts on the issue. I don’t condemn my family for raising me with such practices as they did it in ignorance and I’m sure if presented with the history of such things they would not have chosen to participate themselves.

The holiday known as Easter is actually of pagan origins. We see it even in the time the Bible.

“Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.” (Acts 12:1-4)

Most modern Bible translations use the word Passover instead of Easter in order to support the idea of Easter as a Christian holiday. A quick look at the text will show that this translation is in error. The Bible says that Peter was arrested during the days of unleavened bread. The Bible makes it clear that this was a seven day period following not preceding the Passover.

” And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the Lord. And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. In the first day shall be an holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work therein.” (Numbers 28:16-18)

If Peter was arrested during the days of unleavened bread and was going to be held until after Passover then he would have to be in jail all year. This makes no sense at all. The only way to understand this with the information we have is that he was arrested after Passover during the days of unleavened bread and was to be brought out to the people after the celebration of Easter which was near in time to Passover. Since we have no indication from Scripture that the disciples celebrated Easter as a day to remember the resurrection we must assume it was a Roman holiday not a Christian one.

Easter comes to evangelical and Protestant churches through the Roman Catholic Church which is a continuation of the Babylonian mystery religion. In pagan traditions fertility gods were worshiped during this festival which is why the rabbit is synonymous with Easter. It originated as a celebration of the resurrection of Tammuz the son of Semiramis and Nimrod who was hailed by the pagans as the promised Messiah. He was said to have been killed and brought back to life. The egg was a sacred symbol depicting the mystery of his resurrection which is why we have the egg in modern celebrations.

The festival widely known as the festival of Ishtar was preceded by a 40 day period of weeping for sins eerily similar to the Catholic tradition of Lent. This 40 day period culminated in the festival of Ishtar just as Lent culminates in the Easter celebration. Is it wrong to celebrate the resurrection of Christ? I don’t believe it is but we must shy away from the pagan rituals and celebrate in truth. My church calls it Resurrection Sunday not Easter Sunday and we don’t entertain egg hunts or bunny rabbits.

The modern world knows very little of the pagan origins of Easter and many unsaved flock to church on that day when they will avoid it all year long. This provides many wonderful opportunities to share the Gospel. Take advantage of these opportunities while celebrating in truth. I took time to explain to my Sunday School class the pagan parts of Easter and the distinction of the celebration of the resurrection of Christ. We are told not to worship as the heathen do and this would apply to Easter as well. Take this time of year as a chance to preach to many unsaved people as well as teaching your regular church folks the difference between the holy and profane.

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