Have you ever looked at the traditions people celebrate this time of year, calling it Easter, and wonder what they have to do with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus? Do you believe that is how God wants us to celebrate our Lord and Savior? Let’s take a look at what God has to say about the matter through His own Words.
(Exodus 12:1-51) And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, (2) This month (Abib) shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. (3) Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: (4) And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. (5) Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: (6) And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day (usually the evening of April 3rd—the fourteenth day after Spring Equinox) of the same month (Abib): and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. (7) And they shall take of the blood (we use olive oil instead of lamb’s blood today because it is the oil of our people), and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. (8) And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. (9) Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. (10) And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. (11) And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover. (12) For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. (13) And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood (Christ’s blood), I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. (14) And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance FOR EVER. (15) Sevendays shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day YE SHALL PUT AWAY LEAVEN OUT OF YOUR HOUSES: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cutoff from Israel. (16) And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them (today, Jesus is our Sabbath, so every day we are in the Word, we are in Sabbath), save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. (17) And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. (18) In the first month (Abib), on the fourteenth day of the month (usually the evening of April 3rd) at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month (usually April 10th) at even. (19) SEVEN DAYS SHALL THERE BE NO LEAVEN (traditions of Pharisees and Sadducees, things added into Christianity) FOUND IN YOUR HOUSES: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. (20) Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread. (21) Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. (22) And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood (Christ’s blood) that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. (23) For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door,and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. (24) And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons FOR EVER. (25) And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. (26) And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? (27) That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. (28) And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. (29) And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. (30) And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. (31) And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. (32) Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. (33) And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men. (34) And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. (35) And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed ofthe Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: (36) And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians. (37) And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. (38) And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle. (39) And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt,for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual. (40) Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. (41) And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. (42) It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations. (43) And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof: (44) But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. (45) A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof. (46) In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof. (47) All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. (48) And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised (now circumcision of the heart, as the ordinance of circumcision was fulfilled with Christ’s blood, although it still could be used for health reasons), and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. (49) One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you. (50) Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. (51) And it came to pass the selfsame day, that the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.
Passover is a day that God ordained, which He expected us and told us to celebrate until the end of time, and God never changes; everything in the Old Testament histories was given to us as an example for us today. When God chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, He did so to teach us about our salvation through Jesus Christ.
Many people believe that once Jesus came and died for us, the Old Testament was done away with, but we can see here, for example, that God told us then, and it is just as pertinent now, that this ordinance, as well as the rest of the Old Testament is still in effect. However, as ordinances go, the way we observe them often changes from a physical, flesh practice (the shedding of blood for example) to a spiritual practice. In the case of Passover, the way Christians are to observe is to follow the ordinances on a spiritual level by accepting the blood of Christ to cover you from the angel of death.
(1 Corinthians 5:7) PURGE OUT THEREFORE THE OLD LEAVEN, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even CHRIST OUR PASSOVER is sacrificed for us:
Christ became our Passover Lamb, sacrificed once and for all time. He replaced the sacrificial lamb in the ordinance of Passover, which we are told by God to observe until the end of time.
As we can see here, we are not only told that Jesus is our Passover, but we are to purge out all leaven from our homes during this time, just as God instructed us thousands of years ago. So what is this leaven?
(Matthew 16:5-11) And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. (6) Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES AND OF THE SADDUCEES. (7) And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. (8) Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? (9) DO YE NOT UNDERSTAND, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? (10) Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? (11) How is it that ye do not understand that I SPAKE IT NOT TO YOU CONCERNING BREAD,that ye should BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES AND SADDUCEES?
He said this twice for emphasis.
(Matthew 16:12) Then understood they how that he bade them NOT BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN OF BREAD, BUT OFTHE DOCTRINE OF THE PHARISEES AND OF THE SADDUCEES.
The leaven is anything that is added into true biblical Christianity, which does not belong there. We are told, by Jesus to beware of this leaven, especially that of the Pharisees ad Sadducees. What is an example of leaven? For one, anything that has been borrowed from pagan religions, such as worship and traditions of Ashteroth, otherwise know as Ishtar. We are clearly told by God to purge our home of all these pagan things and traditions of men, and focus solely on what is biblical.
These pagan deities have been worshiped for millennia, and the traditions associated with Easter can easily be traced to their celebration. Ishtar is a goddess of fertility, hence the eggs (a symbol of fertility), chocolate (regarded as an aphrodisiac), bunnies (known to reproduce very quickly), and other baby animals, which are symbols of fertility in and of themselves. The traditions associated and practiced, in a time otherwise meant to be dedicated to the sacrifice Jesus made for us, are also directly linked to what ancient pagans did to please their Ishtar.
In fact, there is only one instance where the word Easter appears in the English Bible, and it is a mistranslation from the Greek ‘pascha’, which is a term that means Passover. That verse in Acts should never have even said “Easter,” but rather “Passover,” as it was translated the other 28 times it was used.
So we know that God told us, those who are loyal to Him, to celebrate Passover forever, and we know that Jesus became our Passover, so how do we observe it today?
(Matthew 26:26-28) And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. (27) And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; (28) For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
This is the way Jesus taught us, via His apostles, to remember Him. We take this Communion to commemorate Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for our sins. We also recognize that as true Christians, He lives in us as we do in Him.
In addition to Communion, another thing which can be a good idea is to anoint our doorways with olive oil, which represents the Holy Spirit of God. This takes the place of spreading Lamb’s blood around our doors. Anointing our homes can serve as a sign that the places we live are dedicated to God, through Jesus Christ, and is a good way to commemorate the first Passover.
We are also instructed by God to teach our kids why we do these things on this day, and they will most likely ask because this is not what most families practice these days. The way children question so many things in the world around us gives us a good opportunity to teach them, especially when it comes to the ways of God.
So ask yourself: Do you really think God wants us to take the focus away form Jesus and put it on the Ishtar Bunny?