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History Of The Easter Celebration. Current Practice Of Many Religion An Annual Holiday Millions Celebrate Today Jesus’ Resurrection Many Consider It The Most Holy Religious Day For Some It Is One Of Only Two Services Christmas Easter If This Is Your Practice I Hope We See You Every Week

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history of the easter celebration

History Of The Easter Celebration

Current Practice Of Many Religion

An Annual Holiday

Millions Celebrate Today Jesus’ Resurrection

Many Consider It The Most Holy Religious Day

For Some It Is One Of Only Two Services

Christmas

Easter

If This Is Your Practice I Hope We See You Every Week

We worship every Sunday at 9:30, 10:30, 6:00

We remember The Resurrection Each Lord’s Day

did you know

3957 pascha { pas’-khah}

AV - Passover 28, Easter 1; 29

1) the paschal sacrifice (which was accustomed to be offered for the people’s deliverance of old from Egypt)

Did You Know??
  • The N.T. Church Didn’t Observe Yearly Resurrection
  • Easter Is Not Found In Bible
    • Only in Acts 12:4 and only in JKV of 1611
    • A Mistranslation of Original Greek Word
    • I.S.B.E. Vol 2, page 889, under Easter
  • 4And 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.
    • The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
  • “The Eng. Word comes from the Angelo-Saxon Eastre or Estera, a Teutonic goddess (of fertility and springtime whs) to whom sacrifice was offered in April, so the name was transferred to the paschal feast …There is no trace of Easter celebration in the NT”
the pagan origin of present easter celebration
The Pagan Origin Of Present Easter Celebration
  • “The Rabbit was sacred to the Germanic goddess “Eastre”, the goddess of fertility and springtime…And if you stop to think about it, rabbits are an extremely appropriate symbol for springtime, because of what they are famous for – having more rabbits.” William Heim, Associate Dean of the College of the Arts and Letters at USF, via Orlando Sentinel, 4/15/87
  • “It appears there was a custom among ancient Egyptians and Romans to give eggs as presents at this time of year. That was intended to insure that the recipient would have a very fertile or productive year.” ibid
  • He went on to say that hunting for Easter eggs may have begun as the search for gifts from the sacred animal, the rabbit, on the morning of the festival. ibid
does this cause you to question easter celebration
Does This Cause You To Question Easter Celebration??
  • How did the YEARLY observance of Jesus’ Resurrection originate?
  • How did Pagan names and traditions become associated with a “Christian Holiday?
  • What significance should this have on the Lord’s church?
historical perspectives
Historical Perspectives
  • Passover was important feast to Jews
    • Instituted by Moses
    • Commemorating Egyptian deliverance
    • During this feast Jesus instituted L.S.
  • Many converted Jews kept Jewish festivals
    • Paul kept such for various reasons
      • Acts 18:18-20
      • Acts 21:17-26
paul took jewish vows
Paul Took Jewish Vows
  • Acts 18:18-20

18And Paul, having tarried after this yet many days, took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila: having shorn his head in Cenchreae; for he had a vow. 19And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. 20And when they asked him to abide a longer time, he consented not;

    • 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
paul took jewish vows1
Paul Took Jewish Vows
  • Acts 21:17-26

17And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. 18And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. 19And when he had saluted them, he rehearsed one by one the things which God had wrought among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20And they, when they heard it, glorified God; and they said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of them that have believed; and they are all zealous for the law: 21and they have been informed concerning thee, that thou teachest all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children neither to walk after the customs. 22What is it therefore? They will certainly hear that thou art come. 23Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men that have a vow on them; 24these take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges for them, that they may shave their heads: and all shall know that there is no truth in the things whereof they have been informed concerning thee; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, keeping the law. 25But as touching the Gentiles that have believed, we wrote, giving judgment that they should keep themselves from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what is strangled, and from fornication. 26Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them went into the temple, declaring the fulfilment of the days of purification, until the offering was offered for every one of them.

    • 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
historical perspectives1
Historical Perspectives
  • 1 Corinthians 5:7-8
  • 7Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, even as ye are unleavened. For our passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ: 8wherefore 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.
    • 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
  • Passover was important feast to Jews
    • Instituted by Moses
    • Commemorating Egyptian deliverance
    • During this feast Jesus instituted L.S.
  • Many converted Jews kept Jewish festivals
    • Paul kept such for various reasons
      • Acts 18:18-20
      • Acts 21:17-26
  • But these were not bound upon the gentiles
  • Departures after Apostles’ death
    • Passover began to be observed as death of Jesus
    • He died on Passover week and was our Passover Lamb
    • So a yearly observance was begun
perversion of original observance

Acts 20:7

  • 7And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and prolonged his speech until midnight.
    • 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.

1 Corinthians 11:17-21

17But in giving you this charge, I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better but for the worse. 18For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and I partly believe it. 19For there must be also factions among you, that they that are approved may be made manifest among you. 20When therefore ye assemble yourselves together, it is not possible to eat the Lord’s supper: 21for in your eating each one taketh before other his own supper; and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

Perversion Of Original Observance
  • Christ Instituted The L.S.
    • To Commemorate His death
    • Done in the regular assembly
    • Done on a weekly basis

Luke 22:14-2014And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the apostles with him. 15And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16for I say unto you, I shall not eat it, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17And he received a cup, and when he had given thanks, he said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18for I say unto you, I shall not drink from henceforth of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 19And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20And the cup in like manner after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you.

other departures soon followed
Other Departures Soon Followed
  • Palm Sunday – Jesus Triumphant Entry
  • Good Friday – The Crucifixion Day
  • Resurrection Sunday - Known called Easter
easter controversy
Easter Controversy

Close enough for

Government work

The Council of Nice, 325 AD, decreed that it should be on

Sunday, but it did not fix the particular Sunday. It was left to

The Bishop of Alexandria to determine, since that city was

Regarded as the authority in astronomical matters and he was

To communicate to the other bishops.

I.S.B.E. vol 2, Pg 889, under Easter

  • In 2nd – 3rd Century
    • Jewish Christians followed Jewish chronology
      • Celebrated Passover when Jews did – 14th Nisan
      • Jewish calendar is lunar based
      • Passover day varied every year
      • So the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection varied
    • Gentile Christians identified it with 1st day of week
      • The “Christian Passover” always on Thursday
      • Commemoration of Jesus’ death always on Friday
      • Celebration of Jesus’ resurrection always on Sunday
    • The day observance regulated by Nicene Council 325 AD
      • Those using Jewish chronology branded as heretics
    • Which specific day was regulated by the Bishop of Alexandria

“But this was not satisfactory, esp. to the western churches, and a

Definite rule for the determination of Easter was needed. By some

It was kept as early as March 21, and by others as late as April 25,

And others followed dates between. The rule was finally adopted,

In the 7th century, to celebrate Easter on the Sunday following the

14th day of the calendar moon which comes on or after, the vernal

Equinox which was fixed for March 21.This is not always the

Astronomical moon, but near enough for practical purposes, and is

Determined without astronomical calculation by certain intricate

Rules adopted by ecclesiastical authority.”

I.S.B.E. vol 2, Pg 889, under Easter

Extrabiblical

Best Guess

caused mass confusion
Caused Mass Confusion
  • Some were sorrowful remembering Jesus’ death
  • Concurrent with joyous celebrations of Jesus’ resurrection
  • Eastern and Western churches threatened excommunication
  • Neither accepted the other as faithful
  • Even after Jewish calendar was dropped for the 1st day
  • Which calendar would be used Julian or Gregorian
  • There was a 10 day difference between the two
  • Eastern churches adopted the Julian Calendar
  • Western churches adopted the Gregorian Calendar
  • Today east and west still observe the day at different times
  • Now there is a 13 day difference in the two calendars

Established by

Human tradition

assimilation of paganism
Assimilation Of Paganism
  • Common practice with pagan converts
    • Not discourage remove pagan rituals
    • Instead the pagan customs were “Christianized”
  • Effects of this common practice
    • Effectively neutralize pagan rituals
    • Hiding origin of Easter from a pagan goddess
    • Without studies like this they are forgotten

“With the advent of Christianity, the egg, still taken as a symbol of life, was simply borrowed to be a symbol of the Christian holiday.”

“The earliest Easter eggs were dyed red to represent the blood shed by Christ.”

“Many cultures celebrated the advent of spring down through history. When Christianity came along about 2,000 years ago, there was already a number of pagan celebrations in place.”

“People rarely discard a holiday. When a new system of beliefs comes along, you simply come up with a new mythic structure to explain why you are celebrating that holiday in the first place.”

Orlando Sentinel, 4/15/87 by William Heim

easter from a biblical perspective
Easter From A Biblical Perspective

Galatians 4:8-11

8Howbeit at that time, not knowing God, ye were in bondage

to them that by nature are no gods: 9but now that ye have

come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how turn

ye back again to the weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto

ye desire to be in bondage over again? 10Ye observe days,

and months, and seasons, and years. 11I am afraid of you,

lest by any means I have bestowed labor upon you in vain.

  • Paul was concerned for Galatian churches
    • Doesn’t say practice was sinful per se
    • He simply expresses some concern
  • Contextually the concern was over “why” of things
    • If they believed it necessary for salvation – labor in vain
    • If justification by the Law – Severed from Christ

Galatians 5:4

4Ye are severed from Christ, ye who would be justified by the

law; ye are fallen away from grace.

was paul inconsistent

Acts 18:18

18And Paul, having tarried after this yet many

days, took his leave of the brethren, and sailed

thence for Syria, and with him Priscilla and

Aquila: having shorn his head in Cenchreae; for

he had a vow.

Numbers 6:13-15

13And this is the law of the Nazirite, when the

days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be

brought unto the door of the tent of meeting:

14and he shall offer his oblation unto Jehovah,

one he-lamb a year old without blemish for a

burnt-offering, and one ewe-lamb a year old

without blemish for a sin-offering, and one ram

without blemish for peace-offerings, 15and a

basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour

mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers

anointed with oil, and their meal-offering, and

their drink-offerings. 16And the priest shall

present them before Jehovah, and shall offer his

sin-offering, and his burnt-offering:

1 Corinthians 9:19-20

19For though I was free from all men, I

brought myself under bondage to all, that

I might gain the more. 20And to the Jews

I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews;

to them that are under the law, as under

the law, not being myself under the law,

that I might gain them that are under the

law;

Was Paul Inconsistent??

Acts 20:16

16For Paul had determined to sail past Ephesus,

that he might not have to spend time in Asia;

for he was hastening, if it were possible for

him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.

  • Instructed Colossians don’t let anyone judge you in Law
    • Some Jewish Christians tried to bind Law upon Gentiles
    • Gentile Christians told don’t let anyone judge you over Law
  • He kept Jewish law when expedient
    • He had Timothy circumcised
    • He took a vow
    • He desired to keep Jewish feast
    • He participated in purification ceremonies included animal sacrifices

Acts 16:1-3

And he came also to Derbe and to Lystra: and

behold, a certain disciple was there, named

Timothy, the son of a Jewess that believed;

but his father was a Greek. 2The same was

well reported of by the brethren that were at

Lystra and Iconium. 3Him would Paul have to

go forth with him; and he took and

circumcised him because of the Jews that

were in those parts: for they all knew that his

father was a Greek.

Acts 21:23-24

23Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men

that have a vow on them; 24these take, and purify thyself

with them, and be at charges for them, that they may shave

their heads: and all shall know that there is no truth in the

things whereof they have been informed concerning thee;

but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, keeping the law.

Acts 15:1, 5

1And certain men came down from Judaea and

taught the brethren, saying, Except ye be

circumcised after the custom of Moses, ye

cannot be saved.

5But there rose up certain of the sect of the

Pharisees who believed, saying, It is needful to

circumcise them, and to charge them to keep

the law of Moses.

Colossians 2:16-17

16Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or

in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new

moon or a sabbath day: 17which are a shadow

of the things to come; but the body is Christ’s.

personal liberty or church doctrine
Personal Liberty Or Church Doctrine
  • He was very clear in his teaching w/o inconsistency
    • These were done on an individual basis
    • These should not be bound upon others
    • It had nothing to do with justification in Christ
    • No one compelled to keep these things
application to easter

Romans 14:13-19

13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge ye this rather, that no man put a

stumblingblock in his brother’s way, or an occasion

of falling. 14I know, and am persuaded in the Lord

Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself: save that to

him who accounteth anything to be unclean, to him

it is unclean. 15For if because of meat thy brother is

grieved, thou walkest no longer in love. Destroy not

with thy meat him for whom Christ died. 16Let not

then your good be evil spoken of: 17for the kingdom

of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness

and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18For he that

herein serveth Christ is well-pleasing to God, and

approved of men. 19So then let us follow after things

which make for peace, and things whereby we may

edify one another.

Application To Easter
  • I enjoyed coloring eggs with grandkids, Yet….
  • Bible is silent on YEARLY Observance Of Jesus’ resurrection
  • God did not authorize any such for the church
  • The YEARLY observance is based on human tradition
  • We must not keep human traditions
  • It must not become a matter of doctrine but liberty
  • It cannot be something we bind upon others
  • It cannot supplant God’s revealed word
  • Annual observance is unwise, unauthorized, and sinful
  • It mixes human tradition with God’s commands
  • It forces people to observe human traditions
  • God allows Christians liberty to observe days personally
    • We might circumcise for hygiene
    • We might color eggs with grandchildren for family entertainment
  • Those who differ cannot be condemned for not observing
  • Individual liberty must not become license for the church
  • Be sensitive to the scruples of other Christians

Romans 14:4-6

4Who art thou that judgest the servant of another?

to his own lord he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall

be made to stand; for the Lord hath power to make

him stand. 5One man esteemeth one day above

another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let

each man be fully assured in his own mind. 6He

that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord:

and he that eateth, eateth unto the Lord, for he

giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, unto

the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

Mark 7:7-9

7But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their

doctrines the precepts of men. 8Ye leave the

commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition

of men. 9And he said unto them, Full well do ye

reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep

your tradition.

Romans 14:2

3Let not him that eateth set at nought him that

eateth not; and let not him that eateth not judge

him that eateth: for God hath received him.

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