Friday, March 21, 2008

What is Easter? ...according to the Bible, of course

Acts 12:4 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.

This is the only passage that mentions the word Easter. Unfortunately, we find in the original Greek that the King James translation should have use the word, ‘Passover.' This was not a reference to the present-day tradition of an annual celebration of the resurrection of Christ but rather a reference to the Passover. This Greek word, paske is used several times in the New Testament and is translated to Passover in every instance other than this passage in Acts.

Satan will use all means to demean and degrade any and everything in the Holy scriptures. This includes taking the teachings, truths, and methods and then perverting (altering) them to the point that people will celebrate them in their own ways. This includes Christmas and Easter celebrations as a religious holy day (i.e. holiday).

Easter was started as a pagan holiday in approximately the 4th century to celebrate fertility and the goddess of Spring. This same goddess has been referred to several names including Aphrodite, Astarte, and Ashtoreth. She is mentioned in 1 Kings 11:5, 33 and 2 Kings 23:13.

Over time, just like the celebration of Christ’s birth, Easter was adopted by the Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches as a tradition and quickly adopted by mankind. Many argue that there is nothing wrong with celebrating Christ’s death and resurrection on a yearly basis as a special day. Unfortunately, once again, man continues to try to outsmart and second guess God. The Spirit, in His divine writings was very specific about when and how to celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection.

Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. 30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

From these two verses, we see that we are to partake of the bread and fruit of the vine on the first day of every week. This is not a yearly practice but rather a weekly ritual. We must follow God’s pattern and not add to it nor take away from it. God has a reason for His commands and we don’t always understand the reasons behind them.

Our congregation celebrates the sacrifice of Christ on a weekly basis. You won’t see special “Easter” sunrise services or a special communion to be ignored for the next 51 weeks. We do as Christ instructed in remembering Him on a weekly basis…for he knows how short our memories are and the need for this constant reminder.


same said...

Thank you, for explaining Easter (Passover). I thought it was something like that. I have always viewed Easter as I view Christmas. They are the two days that there will be great crowds at some places.

Fantabular said...

Excellent entry!
Man's celebration of Easter is yet ANOTHER example of how man sees how God wants something done, but then changes it to how WE want it done because we think our way is better. (we meaning man, not us Christians).
Coincidentally, this tends to happen a LOT around holidays.

One good thing about it though, is it gives us an "open door" opportunity to talk w/ others about how God REALLY wants to remember his son.

Around Easter or Christmas, you can take the position of "well, at least the people of the world are thinking of Jesus at least TWO times this could be worse."
But to that, I ask "are they really thinking about Jesus?"
Because let's be honest, most people in the world see those holidays as an opportunity to get stuff; it doesn't have a religious meaning to them at all.
I guess there are 3 kinds of people around these holidays:
1-People who see them as "me" holidays (people who just want stuff)

2-People who treat them as "family" days (my family falls into this category. We celebrate these days, but there's no religious meaning attached to it).

3-People who DO view these days as religious, and go to church (and it's the only days they do attend services).

We also do Halloween (have you done an entry on Halloween yet Cary? I'll have to go back & read your past entries) but all it means to my kids is "dress up as Barbie & Princess Jasmine & go get a bunch of candy".
And there are Christians I know who hold that against us.

It's interesting how some holidays are viewed as religious by the world (Easter, Christmas, etc..) and Christians get upset because the world celebrates them religiously, but we don't-yet we celebrate the holiday in a "non-religious" way.
Then there's holidays that aren't religious (Halloween, St Patricks Day, etc...) that we celebrate, but not in a religious way, and the same Christians get upset because the origins are paganistic in root.

But to us, neither are religious, or paganistic.

So the question I have for them is "can I accidentally worship a pagan god because it used to be practiced to worship that god?
I'll throw this question out to help answer the first question "can anybody accidentally worship Jehovah God?"
Worship is something that someone purposely sets out to do, so I can't accidentally worship Jehovah, just like I can't accidentally worship some pagan god from the past by walking around w/ my girls & collecting candy.

And then we have the scriptures that tell us that one day will have special meaning to one person, but not to another. And we shouldn't force our special day on anyone else and cause them so stumble.

These are the areas where our love for one another comes into play. We should never force anything on somebody else, just because we're comfortable with it.

If I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2