Easter or Passover?

Easter or Passover?

 
Many Christian (not all) are getting ready to celebrate Easter. I’m sure every believer today have heard that Easter came from pagan origins but may have simply dismissed this as irrelevant for believers today. After all, God surely wouldn’t mind if you celebrated this holiday to honor Him, would He? Yet He does mind. The Bible clearly states that God wants to be worshiped according to the way He instructs in the Scriptures (see Deuteronomy 12:29-32). Most Christians think that as long as a person celebrates Easter as honoring Christ’s resurrection, God won’t mind and we shouldn’t care. But God does mind and we should care that He does. It’s funny how many people that knows about our ministry, look at us as extraterrestrial beings for the only reason of celebrating the biblical feast like Passover, Shavuot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (tabernacles) rather that obeying a men made dogma. Many, with good intentions, believe they’re actually honoring the Creator by doing exactly the opposite to what the Creator established. Only if they could just stop for a moment and study just a bit, ask questions rather than pointed as heresy or blasphemy. Many legitimate sources are available today thanks to the internet that describe the origins, history and purpose of the Easter celebration.
 
There’s many Bible reference and encyclopedias today that can help you to verify the following facts:
• Easter cannot be found in Scripture.
• Easter was never instituted by God.
• Easter was never sanctioned by Yeshua the Messiah.
• Easter was never taught by Yeshua’s apostles.
• Easter was never observed by what is called today the early “New Testament Church”.
 
This past valentines day, I stood quiet while I was observing how many well loving Christians celebrating the 14th of February with their spouses, friends and other. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a problem with you showing affection to your spouses friends and love ones, even on the 14th of February…. but just the fact that you’ve decided to contribute to the lies of a pagan tradition just to show someone how much you love them is an oxymoron itself. The same takes place with all other men made traditions and celebrations like Christmas and Halloween. At time I even laugh at people who condemns Halloween, but still has no problem with Christmas or Valentine’s Day because these two days speaks about love…really? What really hurts my spirit is how many Christians don’t have a problem celebrating Easter in contradiction to what God already said about how we’re to worship him. To make a simple this is what he says. If you are going to worship me do it in the way that I establish it and do not use the traditions of the heathen. (Det 12:30-31) The point of faithfulness is that God defines how He should be worshiped, not man:

“Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (Deuteronomy 12:32).

But what is even worst now is how Surprisingly, Christian history is very candid about the origin of Easter, and still don’t have a problem celebrating “Easter Sunday”, but they do have the audacity to criticize those who have decided to keep the biblical feast and its covenant. The ancient records clearly show that it originated from paganism and that it was substituted for the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread observances. Let’s take a look at some of the verifying evidence.
Nelson’s Bible Dictionary explains, “Easter was originally a pagan festival honoring Eostre, a Teutonic (Germanic) goddess of light and spring. At the time of the vernal equinox (the day in the spring when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length), sacrifices were offered in her honor. As early as the eighth century, the name was used to designate the annual Christian celebration of the resurrection of Christ. The only appearance of the word Easter (KJV) is a mistranslation of pascha, the ordinary Greek word for ‘Passover’ in Hebrew Pesach (Acts 12:4).” This source agrees completely with the Catholic Encyclopedia, which states, “[Easter] The English term, according to the Ven. Bede (De temporum ratione, I, v), relates to Estre, a Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and spring, which deity, however, is otherwise unknown, even in the Edda (Simrock, Mythol., 362); Anglo-Saxon, eâster, eâstron; Old High German, ôstra, ôstrara, ôstrarûn; German, Ostern. April was called easter-monadh.”
Why did Easter become a substitute for Passover and who had the authority to make such a drastic change? Certainly not the Apostles. The Apostolic congregation in Jerusalem and all other locations always observed Passover and never Easter. The Apostle Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians wrote about the Passover observance, exhorting them to keep the feast.

“Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Messiah, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:7-8; NKJV).

Rav Shaul, better known today as the Apostle Paul, had instructed the Corinthian assembly in the proper observance of Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread that follow it. He never switched the Biblical observances to Easter or even intimated or envisioned such a thing for the future. Lets look at another source that speaks about how Passover was change to Easter Sunday and how a controversy developed in the 2nd century concerning when to observe Passover. Eastern Bishops in the second century disagree with such change.
Catholic Encyclopedia article, “Easter Controversy,” quotes Eusebius, a 4th century writer on church history: “We read in Eusebius Hist. Eccl., V, xxiii): ‘A question of no small importance arose at that time [i.e. the time of Pope Victor, about A.D. 190].The dioceses of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the 1st month, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should always be observed as the feast of the life-giving pasch.’”
The eastern believers were, at this time, still observing Pesach on the 14th of Abib (the first scriptural month). In a letter from Polycrates (the head of the eastern bishops) to Victor the bishop of Rome, Polycrates insisted that they observe the ancient tradition that was passed on to them by a long line of bishops all the way back to the Apostles. The Roman Church had taken a sharp turn from the narrow way of truth and started down the slippery slope’s broad way to destruction. The church had no scriptural mandate or authority to make such a switch. The Creator in his Word tells us that the Passover observance is everlasting.

“This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to Hashem; throughout your generations you shall observe it as an ordinance for ever… You shall observe this rite as an ordinance for you and for your sons for ever” (Ex. 12:14, 24: RSV).

The correct opinion of the eastern believers, as well as the truth put forth in the Torah together with the writings of the first century, had no effect upon those who favored the pagan Easter over Passover. The controversy continued for the next 135 years when, at the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, Emperor Constantine imposed his view that all the various congregations should observe Easter, on Sunday, in opposition to the Jews whom he held responsible for the Messiah’s death.
Once again we read in the Catholic Encyclopedia,“The text of the decree of the Council of Nicaea which settled, or at least indicated a final settlement of, the difficulty has not been preserved to us, but we have an important document inserted in Eusebius’s ‘Life of Constantine’ (III, xviii sq.). The emperor himself, writing to the Churches after the Council of Nicaea, exhorts them to adopt its conclusions and says among other things: ‘At this meeting the question concerning the most holy day of Easter was discussed, and it was resolved by the united judgment of all present that this feast ought to be kept by all and in every place on one and the same day. . . And first of all it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin. . . for we have received from our Savior a different way. . . And I myself have undertaken that this decision should meet with the approval of your Sagacity in the hope that your Wisdom will gladly admit that practice which is observed at once in the city of Rome and in Africa, throughout Italy and in Egypt. . . with entire unity of judgment,’” “Easter Controversy.”
They refused to observe any day for Passover other than the 14th of Abib. For their refusal to break from keeping Passover and switch to the un-scriptural Easter, Victor, bishop of Rome, excommunicated the eastern bishops.
Why the break from thousands of years of tradition and embrace Easter over Pesach? Because Just like today in many churches, many leader are looking not for what is biblical, but instated, for what works. Roman Church leaders integrated heathen customs of the masses with their worship. Their disdain for anything they deemed Jewish was clear as well, making certain that the church calendar never had Easter fall on the same day as the Passover. Apparently they forgot that Yeshua the Messiah and all the Apostles were Jews who kept the Passover as an example for us.
 
After examining the Scriptures concerning Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, it is clear that the Creator intended for these days to be celebrated by all True Worshipers in remembrance of Yeshua’s death and resurrection as the Lamb of God. The true meaning of the plan of salvation can only be fully understood by the observance of The Creator’s sanctified feast days, not men made dogma.
The apostle wrote, “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the good news I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this good news you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1Cor. 15:1-4).
Those who believe in Yeshua as the Messiah will remain in the truth of His Word and will be found worthy as His disciples. They have gained freedom from the false teachings of this world. Because they have chosen to follow the teaching of Yeshua, they observe Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread rather than the pagan feast of Easter. “To the those who had believed him, Yeshua said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31-32).
True Worshipers must hold to the teachings of our Savior. Yeshua’s life, death, and resurrection are based upon the truth of The Creator’s Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread and not upon the pagan customs of a fertility rite. Yeshua ordained that His followers observe Passover with the new emblems of His body and blood. “For I received from the Master what I also passed on to you: The Master Yeshua, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Master’s death until he comes” (1Cor. 11:23-26).
 
As you can see the ordinance of keeping Passover in Messiah continues to stand today. People have substituted Passover with Easter and now “communion”. Since we are in the subject. I’ll like to invite you and your family to actually celebrate Passover with us…NOT EASTER. Join us March 30th (Friday) at 6:30 pm and let’s celebrate together. All it takes is humbleness and a heart willing to unlearn, and relearn.
Shalom.

 

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