EDITOR: As we approach this week-end, most Vincentians will be preparing for the observance of the Christian/ Cultural Easter festival on the dates highlighted on the Gregorian calendar.
“Good Friday” and “Easter Sunday” are two of these revered days that are associated with the Easter season.
But, can the observance of Easter be justified from the teaching of the sacred Scriptures? Is Easter really the commemoration of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah? A quick study into the Bible will reveal that this is not so.
Instead, you will find that it isYahweh’s Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread that should be observed at this time of year. Let us examine the origins of the Easter spring fertility festival.
Can the word ‘Easter” be found in the Bible? Interestingly it can be found only once in the King James version of the Bible in Acts 12: 4. However, a close examination of the Greek text yields the fact that the word “Easter” is not found there!
Neither is it found in the Aramaic New Testament.
Both texts read “pascha” which is derived from the Hebrew word “pesach.”
It means Passover. If you peruse any later versions of the Bible you will find that this term has been changed to Passover. So, if Easter is not a doctrine that can be justified from the Bible, why do Christians continue to celebrate this custom?
Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, chapter XX1V, P.
208 reveals that the primitive Apostolic believers kept the Passover rather than Easter.When the people of the nations came into the Truth, they associated the resurrection of the Messiah in spring at Passover time with the spring festival common to paganism.The concise edition of Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language shows that Easter is the same as “Eastre”– the Anglo-Saxon dawn goddess! Dr. Solomon Zeitlin, states in the Jewish Quarterly Review,Vol. LX, Jan. 1970, article “The Origin of the Term Edom For Rome, and The Roman Church.”
–“During the first three centuries of the Christian era many Christians, particularly in Asia, celebrated Pascha (Passover) on the 14th day after the new moon of Nisan. Hence, they were called Quartodecimans. At the Council of Nicea, 325 C.E., those who celebrated the 14th day of Nisan were declared heretics. The Christians were prohibited from celebrating Pascha at the time the Jews were celebrating Passover.
The Emperor Constantine, who presided over the Council, said, ‘Let us have nothing in common
with the detestable Jewish crowd.’
Epistles were sent to the Assemblies with the warning not to celebrate Pascha on the 14th day of Nisan. Eusebius refers to these epistles as ‘Festals Epistles.’” The practices associated with Easter: Lent, Easter Sunrise Services, Easter rabbits and eggs and hot cross buns certainly did not originate from the Bible.
In Jeremiah 10:1-2,Yahweh warns his people to ‘learn not the way of the nations’. Dr. Alexander Hislop in his book – The Two Babylon, states, “ Among the pagans this lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing, and which, in many countries, was considerably later than the Christian festival, being observed in Palestine and Assyria in June, therefore called, the month of Tammuz; in Egypt in the middle of May, and in Britain, some time in April.” Dr. Hislop also states that buns were once offered in worship to the queen of heaven; a custom apparently originated over 1500 years before the Common Era.The Bible in Jeremiah 7: 17 – 20 condemns this practice.
If we believe that the Word ofYahweh is Truth (John 17:17) and that it is the manual for mankind’s daily living, a new culture will emerge as we strive to adhere strictly to the teachings of the Scriptures.Yahshua the Messiah kept the Passover with his disciples at the prescribed date and time according to the scriptures.
[Exodus 12; Leviticus 23:5; Luke 22]. He introduced the new Passover emblems (unleavened bread & grape juice which represent His body and blood) and he instructed his followers to continue to observe the Passover in commemoration of his death anniversary.
Let us therefore strive to rid ourselves of all remnants of paganism and worshipYahweh in spirit and truth.
“Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:8)
Ulrick Sutherland Assemblies of Yahweh