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The True Meaning of Easter is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Wait! What happened to the Bunny at Easter?
Easter is the second most celebrated Christian festival in the world. It is a time when families gather and greet each other warmly, eat and play Easter games.
But do you know that Easter was derived from a pagan festival known as Eostre/Oestrar and is still celebrated today by witches?
So what is the real meaning of Easter?
Let's start from the very beginning.. in the Bible..
In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve with sinless and perfect bodies.
But the devil tempted Adam and Eve, making them sinned against God. They were driven out of the Garden of Eden, separated from God. Adam and Eve populated the earth but because of their sin, mankind live on earth, sinful and ruled by Satan himself. The relationship between God and man was broken.
The Jews were the chosen people of God. The only way to cleanse their sins was to shed blood through the sacrifice of unblemished lambs/goats during the Passover feast.
But God had a plan.
God sent His only begotten son Jesus Christ into this world, sinless, to die as a living sacrifice for all mankind so that whosoever would believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
God sent Jesus to die on the cross, replacing the need for sacrifices of lambs once and for all eternity. All followers of Christ are forever cleansed from sin and be born again spiritually! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ died on a day just before the Jewish Passover. The day was called Good Friday to commemorate the death of Jesus and Easter Sunday, the resurrection of Jesus. There are scholars who debated on the actual date for Good Friday and Easter but we will leave that discussion for another time.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of Christian belief.
Christians are not Jews. Christians are followers of Christ.
Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and died for the sin of mankind in order to mend the relationship with God.
Before Christ, because of our sin, man cannot stand in the presence of God because God is pure and sinless.
Now, with Jesus’s death and resurrection, our sins are washed away. We are now blameless in the sight of God. Jesus died once and paid for our sins with His blood forevermore!
Now we can come before God and be known as blameless because of Christ’s blood on the cross.
This is the true meaning of Easter.
But Does the Bible Instruct Christians to Celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ?
The only instruction that Jesus gave to his disciples to observe was the last supper.
"And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you - do this in remembrance of me."
NKJV Luke 22:19
The bible does not instruct believers to celebrate Christ’s resurrection.
Then Why do Christians still celebrate Easter today?
According to the Bible, the date of His resurrection was in proximity to the Jewish Passover feast. The early Jewish Christians remembered and replaced their Jewish Passover celebration for the resurrection of Jesus. Hence the name "Pesach" (in Hebrew) meaning “Passover”, but it is used to refer to Jesus' resurrection.
To this day, the resurrection of Jesus was known as "Paschal" (Latin) or "Pesach" (Hebrew).
But to the English speaking, it was called Easter. It was derived from the celebration of a pagan goddess known as Eostre/Ostara . A festival which also celebrates hope, new beginnings and new life.
How is the Passover linked to Jesus’s Resurrection?
The Passover celebration was to commemorate the Jewish Exodus when Moses led the Israelites out of Slavery, from Egypt. The early Jewish Christians viewed this freedom from slavery in the Exodus the same as the freedom from sin when Jesus shed His blood on the cross for us.
When Jesus died on the cross, He broke Satan’s hold on our lives. Jesus bought us with His blood and made the ultimate sacrifice once and for all. We as Christians, who follow in the footsteps of Jesus, will forever more be seen as blameless in the eyes of God.
While the bible (old testament) instructed the Jews to celebrate the Passover (Exodus 12:18),
"Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come."
NKJV Exodus 12:18
there was no mention for Christians to celebrate Jesus’s resurrection.
Easter celebration is therefore man-made.
Because of this, many do not believe in celebrating Easter.
So When is Easter celebrated?
Easter was initially celebrated together with the Passover by the Jewish Christians. The date changed every year when we based it on our present Gregorian calendar. Early Christians were persecuted at that time.
But in 321AD, the Roman Emperor Constantinople embraced Christianity and stopped the persecution of Christians.
In 325AD, he presided over a meeting with religious leaders known as the Council of Nicaea to discuss matters relating to Christendom. One matter was to decide the date to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
The council deliberated and finally decreed that the date to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus was to be the Sunday following the first full moon of the spring equinox.
Easter would then be celebrated on a different date from the Jewish Passover festival.
Make sure you check out the dates for Easter for the next 99 years!
Which Denominations Still Do Not Celebrate Easter?
Most Christians generally accepted Easter to mark the day of Jesus’s resurrection even though the name was obviously from a pagan goddess.
Here are 8 churches who still do not believe in the Easter celebration. They are :
- Religious Society of Friends (Quakers),
- Chosen People Ministries
- Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA)
- Jews for Jesus
- Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations
- Worldwide Church of God Movement churches,
- Deeper Life
- God's Kingdom Society (GKS)
Do you think Christians should celebrate Easter?
Let me know in the comments below.