Passover & the Resurrection

The Passover and it's connection to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ is the foundation of Christianity. So, why are we more concerned with "Easter" than Passover? How did we manage to get to the point where the only two holiday Christians are known for are actually pagan holidays?

Season 1 Episode 17


Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new unleavened batch, as indeed you are. For Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed.1 Corinthians 5:7 CSB
00:01:16 Hey guys welcome back to PSALMS to God podcast. Last week I was planning for this particular episode, and I was studying and researching all of these things to do an episode that would have been part of the high school yearbook superlative series—and I had the person, I had the superlative; I was really excited about this episode. But then I looked at a calendar and some people mentioned some things to me and the Spirit started tugging on my heart to talk about a different topic. And there was a part of me that felt like I didn't need to talk about that topic because I do have a post about this on my blog,[1] and I felt like that covered it. I don't want to beat a dead horse and I was like I don't really need to talk about that again, but of course now that I have a podcast, I feel like they're people who listen to the podcast that don't necessarily read the blog and I'm pretty sure that post came out like four or five years ago. it's pretty old. so things were tugging on me, and then I went to Sabbath School, Saturday, and we talked about some verses from Hebrews. We started at the end of Hebrews 5, in verse 11 and went through the first couple of verses in Hebrews 6. And we were talking about how these established Christians, these people who were supposed to be mature in the faith, were basically still on milk. They were basically still babes, and they weren't able to spread The Word, because they didn't know The Word themselves. And we got into a discussion about our responsibility to spread knowledge and to spread the gospel of Christ, and how we are supposed to continually grow and how we're supposed to push believers around us to grow. And after having that discussion, I felt like what I would wanted to talk about was not as important as what we're going to talk about.
00:03:20 So today we’re talking about the Passover, the resurrection, and this pagan holiday called Easter. I'm pretty sure that most of you are aware that Easter comes up this Sunday. You may not however be aware that the Passover starts this Friday night, and... That’s what you would expect because most people think of Easter as being a celebration of the resurrection of Christ, which happened right after the Passover. This year that seems to be the case, however that is not a guaranteed order of events, for instance in 2016 Easter was on March 27th, the Passover was on April 22nd[3]. How can the Passover happen after Easter? Let alone a month after Easter? Well it's simple Easter has absolutely nothing to do with the resurrection of Christ. It's a pagan holiday, and the way Easter is calculated is not by making it the Sunday after Passover. It's not by making it 3 days after the Passover. Easter has nothing to do with the Passover.
00:04:46 Easter is calculated as the first full moon—well, the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 21st.[19] No. That makes no sense from a Biblical standpoint. That's because it has to do with some sort of equinox and the stars aligning and all of this Pagan stuff—let's not say it's quite like that, because the stars were given for signs, but my point is Easter is not calculated the way the Passover is calculated. The Passover, the date of the Passover. was given by God. If you go into the Old Testament that is repeatedly telling the Israelites when the Passover is, how to celebrate it, all of these things. So Passover is the 14th day of the month of Nisan, I think it's called—don't quote me on that one,[4] but it is a month that was from the Israelites calendar. Basically it started off their year, because it was the start of their Exodus from Egypt. So that's where they're calendar start—or at least their religious calendar started at that point. And because they have a lunar calendar, which means they base their months off the cycles of the Moon, as opposed to the sun and all of these other crazy things that we have in our current calendar, such as the fact that there were some kings who wanted months named after themselves and they wanted their months to have 31 days and not 30 days, which is why February only has 28 days[5]... Yeah, y’all it's a whole thing. Yeah we're not, we don't have time for all that, but basically that is why Passover occurred at varying dates in Western calendars. But if you were going by the Israelite calendar, or if you went by the Jewish calendar, Passover happening of the same day every year, because that's how God specified it. It's not really a moving date, it’s only moving because we changed the calendar. Easter, on the other hand, is a moving date because it has to do with when the moon occurs and so many days after that and all this other hoop-la.
00:07:13 But why I really wanted to talk about it is because it dawned on me that Easter and Christmas are the days when churches are the most well-attended. People who are... Lukewarm Christians, that's what I'm going to call it because I'm just being honest today. People were lukewarm Christians that don't attend church regularly, who may or may not carry God around with them all the time, who may or may not read The Word, typically express some sort of obligation to go to church on Easter and Christmas. They’re like, “I never miss Easter. I never miss Christmas. I go then.” And you will see, churches will be filled to the brim this Sunday, with people celebrating this pagan holiday that has nothing to do with Christ—and Christmas, also is a pagan holiday that has nothing to do with Christ—He was not born on the 25th we can do a whole ‘nother podcast episode on that, but as I was thinking about it what does that say about the church? What does that say about who we’re worshiping and how were worshiping that people feel most obligated to come worship God on a day that is actually meant for a pagan god? What are we teaching in our churches? What are we proclaiming to the world?
00:08:14 One of the things that fascinated me the most in college when I really started diving into The Word and started studying The Word was understanding the true motive of the devil—the true M.O., and what was really going on in the Bible, and what this war is really about. People often think of the devil as being the opposite of God. He's the adversary, so he, where God is good and gracious and forgiving and beautiful and nice and all of these wonderful positive aspects and attributes, people think of the devil as being ugly and evil and crazy and mean and you know, that he would kill people. And you will see in society that anytime you find somebody that is undesirable people labeled them to be the devil or the antichrist. So just because they disagree with their politics or they dislike them or whatever, suddenly that person is the devil or the antichrist. But if you actually look into the history of Satan and if you look into the origins of the word antichrist, then you realize that the devil's crime is not that he was out doing things that were per se bad things, I mean he did do bad things, but the whole point is that he wanted to be God. He wanted to be worshipped as God. That was his crime. That was where he went wrong. And so in order to get that worship, he started faking gods on Earth. He basically tried to make himself the god of the world—and he succeeded. And that is what the war is about.
00:10:42 And so what he did was not just totally invert God's truth, he took some of God's truth and then he put in a little of his own thing. Maybe he added something. Maybe he took something out. And he caused people to worship him instead of God, because people are doing it his way instead of God's way, but that way may not be so drastically different that it's obvious. You’d have to know God to know difference. That is the danger of Satan.
00:11:15 So what happened is that from the beginning, Satan was told the same thing that everyone else was told. Satan was in the garden when Adam and Eve fell. So when God uttered the very first Messianic prophecy in Genesis 3:15, Satan was there. He was talking to Satan! He was like this is how you going to die, this was going to happen, her seed is going to step on the head of your seed. And so we may not fully understand all of the things that God tells us, because we are human. And despite the fact that Satan told us that this Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was going to give us all this grand knowledge, we still don't understand a lot. It's basically like telling children more than they're able to handle, because they're just too young to understand. That's basically where we are as people. We know things that we should not know because we don't know how to handle what we know; that's where we are.
00:12:24 Satan, on the other hand, is an angel, or he was an angel; he’s a fallen angel. He was created above us; he has more knowledge than us. He's not as powerful as God. don't ever get it twisted. God has more power than the enemy, but he has more power than we do, which is why we're not supposed to fight him, we're supposed to let God fight him. Nonetheless he knew some of God's plan. He doesn't know the whole thing—I don’t think—but he knew at least some of it. So he tried to replicate and counterfeit God's plan so that he could convince us to believe him instead.[6] I must say it's a good plan. You know, you usually believe the first thing you hear. The second thing, you’re like “Well, I don’t know, I already believe this thing over here.” So what he did was he tried to stage the whole concept of the virgin birth. So if you look throughout history, you will see many pagan religions that have this trio effect of a father, mother god, and a child. And one of the most famous versions of this is from this Babylonian, or Sumerian. I'm not sure… It’s from that same Mesopotamian era—area—that the Israelites would eventually be in.[7] And there was this child called Tammuz. If you've heard of him, you already know where I'm going.
00:14:02 Basically Tammuz was rumored to be born on the 25th. There were all of these other things that went into his legend and his mythology that also tie into the Spring Equinox and the time of Easter. And so the mother of Tammuz, Ishtar also known as the Queen of Heaven, is a pagan goddess that is found in many, many Pagan religions, and that is where the name Easter actually comes from.[18] Easter is tied to a fertility goddess. And in other languages they do not call this holiday Easter. They call it pascha, or something like that, which ties it closer to the Passover, but it's still not actually related the Passover.
00:15:0415:04 When I was a kid, I used to be so confused about Easter. First of all, why is a rabbit carrying eggs? OK. As a child, I didn’t question the idea of bunnies at Spring, that seems to go hand-in-hand, of course has nothing to do with the resurrection, but it does have to do with Spring. Which, you know, it being a pagan festival of sun worship, it really is about Spring, so that makes sense. But I couldn't figure out why these bunnies had eggs! Bunnies are mammals; they don't eat eggs, they don't lay eggs—why is the Easter Bunny walking around with these eggs? Right? OK, well you know why, because Easter is about a pagan fertility goddess. Bunnies, you know the whole saying “multiply like rabbits?” That's that's why there are bunnies tied to Easter. The eggs, I think that's self-explanatory. We're not going to go into the eggs.
00:16:04 So, yeah. That’s were a lot of this symbolism comes from, and then of course, us being in America—or at least, I’m in America, not sure where you're listening from, but here in America everything is about money, and so they commercialized the holiday. So by the time I was a kid Easter was like Christmas. I used to get an Easter basket and it would have like a teddy bear in it, and like, I always got a VHS. Y’all, I’m telling my age right now, ‘cause DVDs were not a thing, yet. I was got some sort of VHS; it was some sort of cool movie, usually some sort of Disney movie,[8] and you know, I’d get some candy. I would get just, whatever. Like I used to ask for things for Easter the way people ask for things for Christmas. Yeah, like I said commercialism. So some of the problems that are found in Easter are strictly commercial problems that have to do with money and have nothing to do with paganism, but there are a lot of things about Easter that are tied directly to paganism.
00:17:11 One of the reasons that it bothers me that this distinction is not evident within the church is the fact that the Bible tells us to abstain from the appearance of evil,[9] and it tells us not to do as the pagans do, not to worship pagan gods.[10] It's interesting, because I feel like in today's society, it's so easy to get your hands on information. Information is out there everywhere; correct information and false information. And we are not as well versed in scripture as we should be. So it's really easy for kids to leave church, go to college, and basically be bamboozled into who-knows-what. Because some people are out here teaching the truth and some people are out here teaching some foolishness and some people are teaching something that's kind of in-between here; they’re peppering it with truth and lies. And it's really hard understand what is true, and I've had so many friends that went to college and learned about Tammuz, and learned about this pagan holiday and that pagan holiday, and put two and two together that Easter and Christmas are pagan holidays, and that there's no real difference between those holidays and these pagan holidays for these false gods and goddesses. And then instead of understanding the whole picture, that's where it stops, and they decide that Christianity is also a false religion, and they stopped believing in God and they stopped believing in Jesus. And that is a tragedy, because the Bible doesn't condone Easter or Christmas. Neither of them are promoted in the Bible.
00:19:10 So let's talk about what is actually in the Bible. The word Easter can only be found in 1 verse in 1 translation and that is the King James version (KJV). If you have a King James version of the Bible and you go to Acts 12:4, you will see the word Easter. That is not translated like that in any other version. Now the argument is that the word that is translated to Easter in the King James version there is actually pascha which is the Hebrew word for Passover,[11][12] and so all of the other versions will translate it as Passover. And there is arguments between translators, between scholars, about which version is correct and why it's this way or that way. I'm not an expert on translating from Greek to English,[13] so I'm not inserting my opinion on that, but I can say that no matter how you translate that verse you still come out with the conclusion that Easter was not a Christian holiday.
00:20:19 So, if you go to that verse and you read it and you look at the context, what is happening in that chapter is that the Romans have just crucified James, one of the followers of Christ. They have seen that this made the Jews happy. Remember at this point in history, the Jews hated the Christians and the Romans hated the Christians. So they were both persecuting the Christians. It was illegal to be a follower of Christ at this point in history. So Herod, who was King in Rome at the time, he decided to capture Peter and kill Peter, as well, but it was during the time of the Unleavened Bread, which is the feast that follows Passover. In the King James version, it says that he was going to wait until after Easter to kill Peter. In other translations it will stay until after Passover.
00:21:21The Jewish religion was an established religion; it wasn't illegal. They were basically letting the Jews be, even though they were in subjugation to Rome. So they were not necessarily trying to cause a riot amongst the Jews by having some sort of crucifixion in the middle of the Passover season, in the middle of the Feast of Unleavened Bread because that would have gone against their tradition, so they would wait until after. That makes sense. Easter would have been a pagan holiday that the Romans kept. So the Romans would have waited until after their celebration to kill the prisoner, as well. There is no way that they would have waited for a Christian holiday, because Christianity was illegal. In fact they would have been more likely to kill this person during the Christian holiday, to spite them basically and to say like we don't care about this this is not a legitimate holiday, and to make a point that they were not recognized by the government. You have to remember, this is not America. This is not during this time where we have freedom of religion; there was no such thing as freedom of religion back then. So that's one thing to be gleaned from that particular chapter, from that particular verse.
00:22:47 That being said there are verses in the Bible that allude to Easter. If you remember back in the beginning when I talked about Ishtar, that is the goddess that is typically associated with Easter. There are so many other names for her and one of them is the Queen of Heaven, and in the Old Testament it talks about the Queen of Heaven a couple of times. So you can check out Jeremiah 7:18, Jeremiah 44:17-25, and you can check out Ezekiel 8:13-16. And in some of these verses you will also see references to Tammuz. And here they talk about not just the whole you know Queen of Heaven worship, they mention hot cross buns, well they mention cakes which became hot cross buns for those who are familiar with that tradition, and they also talked about some sort of sunrise worship situation, which has translated into the modern sunrise service.
00:24:02 And before I continue I do want to insert that I am not trying to come for people who have been celebrating Easter and who’ve gone to sunrise service, ‘cause I've done this too. I celebrated Easter all throughout my childhood. I already told you I used to ask for gifts to be in my Easter basket and I used to be excited to get it. I have plenty of little colorful Easter bunnies that I got during Easter—I love teddy bears, love stuffed animals, still have these bunnies at my house back home.[14] I used to get my little Easter dress and say my little Easter speech at church. We used to have Easter egg hunts. I went to sunrise service. Yeah I did that too, but that was before I really started understanding why it mattered that it was not really of God, and that it really has nothing to do with the resurrection.
00:24:57 So, like I said, there were some verses in the Bible that actually talk about the Queen of Heaven and how dismayed God is at the idolatry of the Israelites worshipping this pagan goddess.
00:25:11 Another thing that comes from this, like I said, of people researching into this and being swayed against God even though the Bible speaks against this, is the confusion that comes from it. I spoke a little bit about this in my podcast called How I Found God.[15] Growing up in the church when I was very young, I did not fully understand what it meant for Jesus to die on the cross for us. You see the whole thing with the Resurrection, the crucifixion and the resurrection, is that Jesus is our Passover Lamb. That is why I chose chose 1st Corinthians 5:7 to start off the episode, because the real significance of the crucifixion and the resurrection is the Passover.
00:26:04
Photocredit: Unsplash.com/Bill Fairs
During the Exodus, Moses was sent to bring God's people out of bondage, but the final plague was a plague of death, death to the enemies of God's people. God's people were identified by the covering of the lamb’s blood. They were told to kill this lamb, that was unblemished, and put his blood on their door post, and it was that act that kept them from dying[16]—dying y'all! The symbolism in this act is what God was setting up, for what was to come, which is Jesus the Passover Lamb dying for us, so that we don't have to die the second death. So that we can live for eternity, and so that we can be released from bondage of sin. That is the connection between the Passover, the crucifixion and the resurrection. And it's important. It’s fundamental. That is fundamental thing of Christianity. If you don't understand anything else about Christianity that is what John 3:16 is about, and that is important. So we should not be screwing that message up.
00:27:21 But when I was a kid, what I thought Easter was colorful floral dresses, bright flowers, and happy, happy, happy, and Easter egg hunts. I saw a spring festival and while I concede that Christ rising from the dead is a joyous occasion, and it's a great thing, there is also a lot solemness and sorrow that should also be taken into mind when you're talking about the crucifixion. The fact that He was beat, spat upon, that He bled to death. That He basically suffocated hanging from a cross for us, that He was separated from God for the first time in His life and that that had to have been a traumatic experience, and it was all for us. He didn't do anything wrong. I did something wrong. You did something wrong. Your neighbor did something wrong. We the people did something wrong, and we were the ones that were sitting there saying “yeah kill Him. Crucifying Him.” Meanwhile the disciples are running wild, denying him and hiding, and fleeing, and fearing for their lives, while He is suffering. That is not what is conveyed in our current celebration of Easter.
00:28:43 And while I fully understand that as an adult, I did not see that as a kid, which is why it was hard for me to understand what it actually meant to believe in Jesus and to worship Him as a Savior. I was like “yeah, He died and He rose, yeah. Whooo! I’m happy about this.” Because I didn’t fully understand it. And I think that have been one of those girls that was more materialistic and more girly and less tomboyish, I probably would have gone headfirst into these concepts of the Easter dress and the right shoes and the right hair. I mean I remember being in college, I was just out of college, and one of my friends made a Facebook post where she was bragging about the fact that she had picked out her Easter dress. She bought the dress. She was all set for Easter, but she couldn't figure out what church she was going to. And I was just like wait, you were more concerned about what you would wear than where you would go? Than what community you would fellowship with and what you would do to serve God on that day?
00:29:54 And that was one of the first moments that I really took in how disturbing it is that our perception of this holiday is what it is. Because that's not what the resurrection is about, and it's not what it should be about. We should be more focused on what the Bible actually says. And I would hate to see people end up not in heaven because they were turned away from Christianity by false holidays—by bootleg pagan holidays masquerading as Christian holidays. That's what I'm saying. And I would also hate to see well-meaning, well-intentioned Christians get caught up in the hype, because I realize a lot of people think they're doing the right thing. I don’t think people go out and do things with evil intentions, some people do, but most people I think you're doing what you think is the right thing. And so I would hate to see those people get to Heaven and God be like “I don’t know you, ‘cause you’re were out here worshipping in this pagan goddess Ishtar, claiming you was worshipping My Son, but you wasn't.”[17]
00:31:09 And so, I just wanted to put it out there and encourage you to study The Word. Study the history of these holidays. Know what you're celebrating, why you're celebrating it, and how it came to be, because that's very important. Thank you guys for listening. I hope that it was informative and that it has touched you. And I hope you know like I said that this is not me coming at you it's just me sharing what the Holy Spirit has put on my heart. I hope you will continue to listen in, that you will subscribe, like, all of those wonderful things. If you would like to see the transcript for this episode or to follow up on some of the things that I mentioned in the episode, I will link them in the transcripts. It will be at www.psalmstogod.com/PassoverAndResurrection. See you next time

Footnotes and References

  1. Ree Hughes. “Easter”. PSALMS to God.
  2. Easter 2016”. Calendar 12; visited April 2019
  3. Passover 2016”. My Jewish Learning; visited April 2019
  4. Actually you can quote me on that. Leviticus 23:5 and Esther 3:7 confirm that Passover is in fact the 14th day of the month of Nisan.
  5. Why does February have 28 days, and July and August, 31 days”. Times of India. January 6, 2008
  6. Truth Unedited. “History of Religion (Part 1): Pagans, Nimrod, and Babylon”. YouTube. March 12, 2018
  7. Tammuz”. Encyclopædia Britannica. January 7, 2015
  8. The irony of receiving movies about magic and wizardry (all condemned in Deuteronomy) while celebrating a pagan fesitval in the name of Jesus… Glad He’s a forgiving God.
  9. 1 Thessalonians 5:22
  10. 1 Peter 4
  11. Actually it’s Aramaic, my bad.
  12. 3957. Pascha”. Bible Hub; visited April 2019
  13. I don’t know where my brain was at; I was just naming languages. The bottom line is true though. I’m not qualified to translate any languages.
  14. And by this weird phrase, I mean my parent’s house
  15. Ree Hughes. “How I Found God”. PSALMS to God. March 18, 2019
  16. Exodus 12
  17. I don’t know why I worded it like this. It’s full of fallacies, but you get the point. I don’t want them barred from Heaven because of the reason I listed
  18. Catherine Boeckmann. "When is Easter 2019?". . March 27, 2019
  19. "Calculating the Easter Date". Time and Date; visited April 2019

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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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