Why, as a Christian, I Don't Celebrate Easter

It's Easter Sunday and millions of Christians are out celebrating the resurrection of Christ, except, Passover is still a month away. Why it matters that you're trying to mix God and paganism.

Introduction

Today is Easter (also called Resurrection Sunday), but the Passover is not until the night of Friday April 22. How can that be? There are many who recognize the pagan origins of Easter. A quick Google search will easily reveal the origin of the word Easter to be Ä’astre. Some say this is from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility.[2][3] Others claim the origin is from Ishtar, a Babylonian goddess linked with Baal and Tammuz.[1][4] In the further reading section, you will find articles on these pagan origins and I'll touch on them a little throughout the post, but what I really want to talk about is why it matters.
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Easter in the Bilbe

The Bible has sole authority concerning the ways of God. We know from several passages that anyone or anything that contradicts the Bible is not of God, and is a false doctrine.
1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:1 Timothy 4:1-4 KJV

Another point I want to make on the above verses before moving on comes from verse 3. Meats that God created to be received with thanksgiving could refer to clean meats (God didn't create unclean meats to be received with thanksgiving...that's covered in another post) or to food in general (you will notice that meat is used to mean food/sustenance throughout the Bible). Now, what is Lent again? It originated with the Pope commanding Catholics to abstain from meat for 40 days,[5] this is the same religion that forbids their priests to marry...

Back to the topic at hand, in the further reading section, many of the articles listed will cross reference God's commands not to mix pagan worship with worship for Him, but some people argue the use of the word Easter in Acts 12 proves that it is an ordained holiday. Let's look at these verses, too.
1Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 4And 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

Notice that both the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Easter are mentioned. If you read up on the Feast Days, you know that the Feast of Unleavened Bread directly follows the Passover. Thus we are talking about a year when Easter and the Passover were held in close proximity. Easter this year is 4 weeks off of the Passover. Notice also that it does not say that the disciples were celebrating Easter, actually, it implies King Herod was observing the holiday. He wanted to handle the situation after he celebrated Easter, if he was waiting on the Jews, he would have waited until after the Feast of Unleavened Bread and he would not have waited on the Christians because Christianity was illegal then. If Easter was a Christian holiday it would have been illegal, Herod wouldn't have waited for people to celebrate it to kill a Christian. Some sources refer to it as a mistranslation, suggesting that the original Greek word was pascha, which refers to the Passover.[1]
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Resurrection Sunday

Photocredit: ShutterStock.com/CREATISTA
Many who know the pagan origins of Easter reject traditions such as egg hunts and Easter baskets, calling the holiday "Resurrection Sunday." Yet, on many occasions, like this year, this so called "Resurrection Sunday" does not coincide with the resurrection! Jesus died as our Passover Lamb, during Passover, which means Resurrection Sunday should occur during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It isn't difficult to determine when Passover begins, the Jews still celebrate the holy day and subsequent feast each year. A fascinating dive into how Jesus' sacrifice relates to the feast days can be found in my post Leviticus 23: Feasts. So, why do so many Christian churches still venerate the pagan Sunday of Easter?

Imagine that someone close to you has a very special day. Since we are the Bride of Christ, I'm going to say an anniversary. Let's pick an arbitrary date for you and this special someone's anniversary, say July 3rd. You met, you fell in love, you married on July 3rd. Now, that person has an arch nemesis who tried to take their glory, tried to steal all their friends, twists everything they say, and is out to bring them down. Their anniversary is July 15th, and most of the people you know attend this big party that is thrown in honor of the arch nemesis' anniversary on July 15th. Knowing this, you choose to celebrate your anniversary on July 15th and attend this party, but claim you're there for your own anniversary. How does that sound? Do you think your spouse will mind? Passover is the anniversary of our (the Church, not us individually) relationship with Jesus, yet churches celebrate on a day that actually commemorates pagan goddesses, promotes commercialism, and doesn't align with anything He told us in The Word.

The Jesus who died to pay for our sins died during Passover, He rose from the grave that Sunday. Passover 2016 begins sunset Friday April 22, almost a month from today. My Jesus wasn't crucified last Friday (or Wednesday for those who believe in a Wednesday crucifixion, again another topic for another post), and He didn't rise before daylight this morning, because according to the Biblical timeline, He hasn't even gotten to Jerusalem yet. I will not dishonor Him by attaching His name and His glory to a pagan festival because it's "the norm." He sacrificed His life, was beaten, humiliated, and bled for me, so the least I can do is keep the facts straight about when He died for me and when He rose.
15Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. 16And 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. 17Then 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. 18Therefore 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.Ezekiel 8:15-18 KJV

Further Reading

  1. "The True Origin of Easter" — David C. Pack
  2. "Ancient Pagan Origins of Easter" — April Holloway (2014)
  3. "Easter" — History.com (2009)
  4. "Why Do We Celebrate Easter: 5 Facts About This Holiday's Origins" — Kathryn Kattalia (2016)
  5. "The Pagan Origin Of Easter" — David J. Meyer
  6. "Where did “Easter” get its name? Where did the concept of an Easter egg and bunny originate?" — Paul S. Taylor
  7. "The Plain Truth About Easter" — Herbert W. Armstrong (1973)
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References

  1. Pack, David C. "The True Origin of Easter". The Restored Church of God. 2016
  2. "Easter". History.com. 2009
  3. Kattalia, Kathryn. "Why Do We Celebrate Easter: 5 Facts About This Holiday's Origins". Bustle. April 2016
  4. Holloway, April. "Ancient Pagan Origins of Easter". Ancient Origins. April 2014
  5. "FAQs About Lent". Catholic Online. 2016

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About

Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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