Why I Take Issue With Easter

Mar 28, 2024 1:42 AM

I stopped celebrating both Easter and Christmas a while ago. When i first stopped celebrating these holidays I felt a desire to help others see the truth I’d found, but I quickly realized most people didn’t want to hear the truth. In fact, these conversations were some of the beginning of me realizing that how we perceive interactions often has more to do with our own self than the other people. When we don’t want to hear or know something, we are quick to find the person telling us pushy, judgmental, and legalistic, even when they aren’t (and trust me, I’m saying this about all aspects in life and including myself in the group). So after a while I found myself focused on other things because I didn’t want to cause a fuss. Unfortunately, fear of how others perceive us does not exempt us from following the instructions the Holy Spirit gives us…

The Perfect Example

This year (2024) lends the perfect example of why I feel so strongly about not celebrating Easter—even more so than Christmas. Easter Sunday is March 31, 2024. This week leading up to it I have seen people and even pastors talking about “Holy Week” to prepare for the celebration. What is Holy Week and why is this the perfect example? Holy Week is supposed to commemorate the events leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Messiah. Recognizable days of the week include Palm Sunday, representing His arrival in Jerusalem, Good Friday, representing His crucifixion and Easter Sunday representing the resurrection. Lesser known days (at least for Protestants) are meant to commemorate Messiah cleansing the temple, Judas’ betrayal, and the institution of Communion (called the Eucharist by Catholics).[1] Unlike the birth of Messiah, we know exactly when these events took place.

When Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.” 📚 Matthew 26:1-2 NASB
Now the Passover and Festival of Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest Him covertly and kill Him; 📚 Mark 14:1 NASB
And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 📚 Luke 22:14 NASB
However, you have a custom that I release one prisoner for you at the Passover; therefore do you wish that I release for you the King of the Jews?” 📚 John 18:39 NASB

When was Messiah crucified? He was crucified during Passover. When is Passover? Leviticus 23:5, Numbers 9:5, Numbers 28:16; 33:3, 2 Chronicles 35:1, Ezra 6:19, and Ezekiel 45:21 all confirm Passover was held the 14th day of the 1st month in the Israelite year. The Israelites used a lunar calendar (meaning months are determined by the moon).[4] This calendar is still used in many cultures around the world and we know exactly when that date is for the current year. When is Passover this year? April 22, 2024.

Why the Date Matters

We could get in to the details of the name “Easter” and its link to a pagan goddess or the history of the holiday itself and how bunnies and eggs are tied to the fertility goddess it’s named after, but what I want to focus on is the date because it really exposes the failure of the modern church to truly explain the most significant part of our faith.

As mentioned above, the date of the Passover is a fixed, known date assigned by the Most High. The only reason it seems to “move” to those of us in the West is that we are using a different calendar (the Gregorian Calendar) than the culture where the events transpired. Easter on the other hand is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.[2][3] Easter has nothing to do with the Passover which is why there’s such a large gap in the date this year, while on other years they line up quite nicely. Easter is a celebration of the spring season, while Passover is a commemoration of salvation.

Messiah’s crucifixion didn’t just happen at Passover, He is our Passover Lamb. We see reference to Messiah as the Lamb of God throughout the New Testament, but growing up no one at Church ever pointed out the clear parallels between God bringing Israel out of bondage in Egypt to Him freeing us from the bondage of sin today. The details of the first Passover are told in Exodus 12. The Israelites were instructed to place the blood of an unblemished lamb over their door and when death passed through Egypt, those under the lambs blood were spared (or saved). Messiah was the perfect lamb who was sacrificed (at Passover) so that when we plead His blood we will be spared from the second death. His death and resurrection are the ultimate fulfillment of Passover. Therefore, the celebration of His death and resurrection is intrinsically related to the Passover.

The Ugly Truth

At least with Christmas people have the excuse that no one knows when the Messiah was born. However we know exactly when the events surrounding Messiah’s crucifixion and resurrection occurred. Forget the arguments of whether we are or are not called to commemorate or celebrate these events, and say we all agreed that it was right or at least ok to do so. Why wouldn’t you celebrate during the actual time period prescribed by God? You want to have a play retelling the events? Ok, why not have the play sometime around April 22 during the Passover? Churches are referencing “Resurrection Sunday” to distance themself from Easter but why are you celebrating it on Easter? You want to commemorate the Holy Week, fine but why not start the week before April 22?

I’m not one to argue that people can’t or shouldn’t commemorate the resurrection of our Messiah, but the fact that churches are so desperate to cling to a date that has nothing to do with Messiah and everything to do with paganism says a lot. There are countless people attending services that do not know the truth—a friend of mine accused me of being atheist because I don’t celebrate a holiday that has nothing to do with Messiah in the first place. However, there are countless pastors who do know better and are choosing to lead their flock in to darkness. While I believe they will be held accountable for their role in leading people astray, each of us is responsible for our own salvation (Philippians 2:12). So I encourage you to study for yourself, pray for yourself, and not be led astray by the masses.

References and Footnotes

  1. Holy Week”. Encyclopedia Britannica. visited March 27, 2024
  2. Konstantin Bikos. “Calculating the Easter Date”; visited March 27, 2024
  3. When is Easter”. Royal Museums Greenwich; visited March 27, 2024
  4. Tracy R. Rich. “The Jewish Calendar: A Closer Look. Judaism 101; visited March 27, 2024

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