The short answer is we should observe Passover, not Easter, and yes it does matter. But such an answer needs explanation to satisfy those who are unsure. Following on from our previous posting about tattoos, we continue our journey unpacking pagan myths and practices that have infiltrated church life over the centuries.
Nowhere in the Bible will you find the word Easter. The word Easter derives from the Germanic name Eostre, a pagan fertility goddess of the Saxon people of northern Europe. Eostre’s origins go back to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, whose main symbols were eggs and rabbits! Although these pagan fertility symbols have become widely accepted in western culture, they remain nonetheless pagan. And God makes it abundantly clear that we are not to do as the pagans do. Therefore the adoption of “Easter” and all its pagan symbolism, sunrise rituals and traditions, into the church of God is actually an abomination. The main feast day of “Ishtar”, which is pronounced “Easter”, was a day to commemorate the resurrection of a pagan god called “Tammuz”, who was believed to be the only begotten son of the moon-goddess, Ishtar and the sun-god.[i] Yet the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob states unambiguously we should not worship Him as the pagans do their gods. For example:
“Take heed to yourself you are not ensnared to follow after them (the pagans) after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘how did these nations serve their gods, I will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord in that way.” Deuteronomy 12:30-31
“Make no mention of the name of their gods, nor let it be heard from your mouth!” Exodus 23:13
“You shall destroy all their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, for you shall worship no other god for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God!” Exodus 34:13
“You shall not make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them, but you shall hold fast to the Lord you God” Joshua 23:7
At “Easter-time” the church celebrates the death and resurrection of the Passover Lamb of God – Jesus Christ. So ask yourself a simple question: how do you think Jesus feels having His bride, the body of true believers, rename His great sacrificial act of love after a pagan goddess?
By contrast, the Passover is well documented throughout the scriptures from the very first Passover, which took place the night the Israelites left Egypt. We are told clearly to keep the Passover forever in memory of what the Lord did. The Passover (Pesach in Hebrew = “to pass over”) incorporates the retelling of the story of Exodus and God’s deliverance from bondage in Egypt, a pagan nation.
So this day shall be to you as a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generation. You shall keep it as a feast by everlasting ordinance.” Exodus 12:14
The Israelites were instructed to mark their homes with the blood of a lamb, symbolic of the eventual shedding of the blood of The Lamb whose sacrifice brought us out of slavery from the kingdom of darkness. Can there be any greater insult to our Lord and King than to take what He has done and taint it with paganism?
The typical Easter story teaches us that Jesus was crucified on “Good Friday” and resurrected early on the first day of the week: Sunday. Yet simple mathematics demonstrate that at the very best, this represents a period of no more than about 38 hours over two nights! Yet the scriptures emphatically state Jesus spent three days and three nights in heart of the earth preaching to the dead in Sheol:
“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40
“Jesus answered and said to them, “destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”” John 2:19
“By whom he also went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the divine long-suffering waited in the days of Noah.” 1 Peter 3:19-2
Using modern chronological computer programmes researchers have ascertained that Jesus was in fact crucified on a Wednesday. He was examined and tested by the authorities in the early hours of the day, as were the Passover lambs in the temple, who like Him, had to be without spot or blemish. He was then crucified and died at around 3pm in the afternoon: the same time the lambs were being ritually slaughtered in the temple. Jewish custom required bodies to be buried before the end of the day. The Jewish day starts and finishes at sundown (around 6pm in Israel). Hence Jesus was buried before sundown. He was the Passover Lamb of God, depicted by the Passover feast and traditions all God’s people were to keep as an everlasting ordinance.
The day after Passover is always a Shabbat. The church has taught us this must be a Saturday, which is the weekly Shabbat in Jewish culture. Jesus was buried before the Passover Shabbat began, a special Shabbat, a bit like our modern bank holiday, which in this case was a Thursday. Therefore he spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night in the grave rising again early on the first day of the week – what for us is early Saturday evening but Sunday in the Jewish calendar. This was the full three days and three nights as it is written.
For 1700 years the church has been misled into believing something that is not correct as it has been over the whole Christmas story – but we’ll save that for later in the year! It is a good example of the lying doctrine of Balaam that Jesus speaks of so angrily in Revelation 2. Man put his own twist and interpretation on events and replaced truth with traditions influenced by pagan practices common at the time.
So this year we encourage you to prayerfully consider replacing Easter, a pagan tradition, and the less obvious “Resurrection Sunday” with Passover, as God requires of you as an everlasting ordinance.[ii] If what we have written troubles you please pray and seek His will. Do your own research and discover for yourself this deceptive piece of theology. Nowhere in the Bible will you find Easter (except perhaps the mistranslation in the old King James) – but you will find the Passover everywhere. If you love Me obey Me says the Lord your God.[iii] Be blessed through obedience to His word – not man’s traditions.
[ii] Exodus 12:14
[iii] John 14:15
Recommended further reading: Celebrating Jesus in the Biblical Feasts by Dr Richard Booker. You can find it at http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=jesus+in+the+feasts