Truth or Tradition

On April 12th Christians around the world will celebrate the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection of Christ is a major doctrine for Christianity. No resurrection, no heaven for anyone!

“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen…And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!…”

I Corinthians 15:13, 17

The name of the day celebrating the resurrection of Christ is Easter. The word “Easter” is found only once in the King James translation of the Bible.

“…Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he (Herod the king) arrested him (Peter), he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Easter.”
Acts 12:3-4

The Greek word translated “Easter” in the above passage is pascha which in turn is transliterated from the Hebrew pesach. Both pascha and pesach mean Passover. This is consistent with the Old Testament Jewish festivals where the seven Days of Unleavened Bread began the day immediately following Passover.

So then, where does the word Easter originate and what does it really mean? It has a pagan origin and is the basis for the name of the ancient goddess of spring known as Semiramis to the Babylonians, Ishtar to the Assyrians, Astarte to the Greeks, and Ashteroth to the Jews. You may recall that this pagan goddess was the wife of Nimrod, the great rebel against God. She is the infamous Babylonian queen of heaven that the Bible vehemently warns against. Nimrod and his wife were the beginning of counterfeit religions. The recognition and worship of Ashteroth was the downfall of King Solomon. The future of such false religions, referred to in the book of Revelation as Babylon the Great is clearly spelled out.

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”…The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. Revelation 17:1-5

We presently celebrate “Easter” on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox each year. That is why the date varies from year to year.

Now let’s take a closer look at the major event occurring during the week preceding what we call “Easter.”

Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you…On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb…Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year…Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses…So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.”
Exodus 12:1-7, 14

The first Jewish month was Nissan which began by observation, i.e. when the first sliver of the new moon was evident. The day of the Passover would then be a full moon and was ordained to coincide with the vernal equinox.

How then, does this all fit in with the passion week of the New Testament?

Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover Lamb…and as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many…” Mark 14:12, 22-24

…“Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” I Corinthians 11:24-25

Therefore, we are admonished to remember the sacrificial death of Christ as our Passover Lamb and the shedding of His blood.

“… For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”

I Corinthians 5:7

…“knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold…but with the precious blood of Christ as a lamb without blemish and without spot.
I Peter 1:18-19

Only after we have comprehended the significance of Christ’s sacrificial death, then we can turn our attention to the wonders of His resurrection.

He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” I Peter 1:20-21

Therefore, “Easter” is not taught in the New Testament, but the Passover Lamb is. And eggs, rabbits, and ham are pagan items associated with Tammuz, the son of the queen of heaven and Nimrod. How these items became associated with the sacred time of year that commemorates the Passover Lamb and the celebration of the resurrection of Christ remains obscure.

Tradition may not always be founded on truth.

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