19 Sep The Biblical Truth about Passover and Easter
As the spring season arrives, Christians all over the world eagerly await to celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. Along with Messiah’s birth, it is the most holy and divine celebration of the year, as it reminds us about His ultimate sacrifice for our salvation and eternal life. Most Christians are familiar with the basic understanding of the Feast of Passover and Easter, however, do they share the same meaning? Are both commanded to be celebrated in God’s living Word, which is the Holy Bible? Is one a man-made tradition that is in direct defiance of God? Before we explore the origins of Passover and Easter, let us remember the first and greatest commandment.
Matthew 22:37-38, “Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” (Also see Deuteronomy 6:5)
Every believer in Jesus is commanded to love Him with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength, which, in doing so, will convict a person to follow God’s commandments, including how to worship Him. In fact, Messiah proclaims that those who love Him will keep His commandments.
John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
John 14:21, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
John 14:23, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.”
John 14:24, “He who does not love Me does not keep My words.”
What are Messiah’s commandments?
Matthew 5:17-18, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Torah till all is fulfilled.”
Messiah prophesies He came to fulfill every “jot and tittle” of the Torah and the Prophets (Old Testament), and proclaims heaven and earth will not pass away until all is fulfilled, which will occur at His second coming and millennial reign (1,000-year reign from Jerusalem). At Messiah’s first coming, He fulfilled the “suffering servant” prophecies of the Torah and the Prophets (Isaiah 53), but at His second coming and millennial reign, He will completely fulfill the remaining prophecies of the Torah and the Prophets as the prophesied King and Redeemer of Israel. As Messiah continues, He gives a clear, stern warning to all teachers and believers about the Torah and the Prophets.
Matthew 5:19-20, “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Messiah continues to declare that if anyone breaks, or teaches men to break, any of the commandments of Torah and the Prophets, that person will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. He also warns that our righteousness has to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, who were the “religious leaders” of the day. What can we make of this?
During Messiah’s earthly ministry, the “religious leaders” held near and dear to their hearts the oral traditions of men, which were their own interpretations of Torah and the Prophets, the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). As we see throughout the Gospels, this is the primary reason Messiah boldly challenged the “religious leaders” on numerous occasions, condemning and rebuking them for undoing the Word and Law of God by following the traditions of men, and for being “whitewashed tombs” that look good on the outside, but on the inside were full of unclean things, hypocrisy, and wickedness (Matthew 23, Mark 7:1-13).
Do the oral traditions of men occur today in the Church? Is the Church and its leaders, as a whole, dictating how we need to worship God and not following the instructions of Messiah in Matthew 5:17-20? Is the “created” telling the Creator of the Universe how to worship Him?
Now, let us review what Messiah proclaimed about worshiping in spirit and in truth.
John 4:23, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”
Messiah declares that the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. What is spirit? Is it our own spirit? Absolutely not!
John 4:24, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Messiah commands us to worship in Spirit, which is through God’s holy spirit, the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit). He is not telling us to worship in our own spirit, but in the perfect Holy Spirit of God Almighty.
What is truth? Truth, is God’s everlasting living Word, the Holy Bible, which is inspired by the Spirit of Truth, the blessed Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 1:20-21, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
John 16:13, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.“
The Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, who is the third person of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit – 1 John 5:3), will guide and direct all believers into the truth of the Holy Bible (Word), which is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). With that being said, anything and everything not commanded in God’s Word is traditions of men, and should be weighed and tested by it for clearance and approval.
To summarize John 4, Messiah commands us to worship through the Holy Spirit, not our own spirit, and to worship in the truth of the Holy Bible, not the traditions of men. Now, armed with this knowledge of the sword of the Spirit (Holy Bible), let us discover the importance of God’s calendar, which will propel us into our understanding of Passover and Easter.
To understand the Biblical truth about Passover and Easter, it is a prerequisite to understand God’s calendar, as it directly correlates to Messiah’s first and second coming events. In Genesis, God commanded His divine, sovereign calendar to be calculated by two of His created celestial bodies.
Genesis 1:14, Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night (sun and moon); and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth.”
In the beginning, the Almighty established His calendar based on the sun and the moon in order for us to understand His signs and seasons. Please note, the Julius/Gregorian (Roman) calendar, the one that we use, is based only on the sun. The Hebrew word for seasons is “Mo’ed” (Strong’s #4150), which means an “appointed feast or a divine appointment.” In other words, God created His calendar for specific divine appointments (seasons), so that mankind could understand when Messiah would intersect with us! In Exodus 12, He commanded when the first month would occur on His calendar, which is the month of Abib, commonly known as Nisan (Exodus 12:1-2).
God’s calendar is referred to as the Hebrew (Jewish) calendar, and the first month of the religious year is Nisan. Unfortunately, most of the world today uses the Julius/Gregorian calendar (Roman). However, as we will confirm, it is not the calendar that God uses. Please note, many people think Messiah “changed the calendar.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. There is no biblical evidence that Messiah ever changed the Laws and Commandments of the Father, including the calendar that He revealed to us in the Scriptures (Matthew 5:17-20). This idea of a “changed calendar” is firmly rooted in anti-semitism and the traditions of men.
The Origin of Passover
In the Torah, God commanded the children of Israel to keep seven feasts that correlates with His calendar (Leviticus 23); Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, Feast of Weeks (Shavuot), Trumpets (Yom Teruah), Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and Tabernacles (Sukkot). Why? Because, as we will see, these feasts prophesy when God made flesh (Jesus) would directly intersect with mankind for His first and second coming events!
Leviticus 23:1-2, “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.”
It is very important to understand these are God’s feasts, not Israel’s feasts, and not the Jew’s feasts, but God’s feasts. If you are saved in Jesus, Jew or Gentile, you are grafted into the commonwealth of God’s Israel (Romans 11, Ephesians 2:11-13). Because of this, these feasts are for you to proclaim and celebrate every year, as well. Many people today, especially Christians, believe these are only the Jew’s feasts. However, the feasts of the Lord were given to ALL of Israel (including those foreigners among them) at Sinai (Exodus 12:19), and the term “Jew” does not appear in scripture until the time of King Zedekiah during the Babylonian exile of the House of Judah around 586 B.C. (2 Kings 25:25). Therefore, the Feasts of the Lord are not exclusive to the Jewish people, but are borderless for all of God’s people throughout the nations, His Commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:12, Galatians 6:15-16).
As we discovered in Genesis 1:14, the Hebrew word for “seasons” is Mo’ed, which means a “feast and divine appointment” (Strong’s #4150). Additionally, the Hebrew word for “holy convocations” is Miqra, which means “rehearsal” (Strong’s H-4744). When we substitute the meaning of the Hebrew words into Leviticus 23:1-2, it reads like this:
Leviticus 23:1-2, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: “The divine appointments of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be rehearsals, these are My divine appointments.”
God is clearly proclaiming that His divine appointments (feasts) with mankind, Messiah’s first and second coming events, will occur on His seven feast days (Leviticus 23). Remember, Messiah confirmed that He would fulfill these feasts in Matthew 5:17-20, as Leviticus is included in the Torah.
To understand the divine connection between the commanded feast days (divine appointments) of the Lord and the fulfillment of the first three feasts by Messiah on Passover week (Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits), let us explore the prophetic foreshadows of these feasts, and how Messiah perfectly fulfilled them at His first coming.
The Feast of Passover (Nisan 14)- 1st feast – Leviticus 23
Leviticus 23:5, “On the fourteenth day of the first month at evening is the Lord’s Passover.”
According to God’s calendar, the Hebrew calendar, this day is Nisan 14, which usually occurs in April on the Gregorian calendar. Now, let us discover the prophetic foreshadow of Passover before Messiah’s ultimate fulfillment of this prophetic divine appointment (feast).
Exodus 11:4-7, “Then Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again. But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.”
Moses warned Pharaoh of God’s judgment on all of the Egyptian’s firstborn, including Pharaohs, if he did not release the children of Israel from captivity. In one of the most prophetic, fatal, and devastating events in the Holy Bible, Pharaoh denied Moses’ warning and did not release them.
Exodus 11:9-10, “But the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not heed you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.”
As the Lord understands all of mankind’s decisions before they are made (Daniel 2:20-22), including Pharaohs, this event would become the inauguration of the first national Passover! Nevertheless, before God executed His final plague on the Egyptians, He gave Moses and Aaron instructions for the the Lord’s Passover (rehearsal).
Exodus 12:1-14,” 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. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month (Nisan 10) every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month (Nisan 14). 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 where they eat it. It is the Lord’s Passover. ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike 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. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. ‘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.”
The children of Israel were commanded to take an unblemished, first year male lamb, as the Passover lamb. The description of the lamb foreshadows Jesus, since He is the unblemished Lamb of the world! The children of Israel were commanded to put the blood of the lamb on their doorposts and lintel of the houses in order for them to be excluded (Passover) from God’s wrath. This is a prophetic foreshadow of all believers who accept the blood of the Lamb, Messiah, as He will “passover” them in His day of judgment. Hallelujah!
God also commanded the children of Israel to keep Passover as a memorial (rehearsal), and they were to celebrate this divine appointment (feast) “throughout their generations.” Why did God command them to keep Passover throughout the generations? He was training the children of Israel to rehearse Passover every year so that they would understand Messiah’s first coming events, His divine appointments (feasts – Leviticus 23). The Exodus Passover is what delivered God’s people from Egypt, however, it was also a “rehearsal” for a greater deliverance through Messiah at His first coming, as He is the sacrificial Lamb of the world!
Numbers 9:2-3, “On the fourteenth day of this month (Nisan 14), at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time (rehearsal). According to all its rites and ceremonies you shall keep it.”
Messiah’s Fulfillment of the Feast of Passover- 1st Feast -Leviticus 23
During Messiah’s first coming, He entered Jerusalem when the feast days were approaching (Matt:21, Mark 11, Luke 19, John 12:12). On Nisan 10, four days before Passover, the people were commanded to take a sacrificial lamb to Jerusalem according to the Torah (Exodus 12:3). In Jesus’ day, all of the sacrificial sheep came from Bethlehem, just as the Lamb of God was also born there (Micah 5:2). On Nisan 10, the lambs were brought from Bethlehem into the northern gate to be sacrificed on Nisan 14 (Passover). At the same time, Messiah entered through the eastern gate (Lions Gate) as the Passover Lamb of the world! In other words, Jesus and the lambs entered Jerusalem at the same time for Passover, as both would be sacrificed (John 12).
In another divine parallel to the Feast of Passover as the foreshadow to Jesus’ sacrifice is found in the Psalms. King David wrote the songs for His death, known as the Hallel (Psalms 113-118). Keep in mind, Hosanna means “save now” (Strong’s #5614). As Jesus and the lambs entered Jerusalem, the people were singing the Hallel saying, “save now, save now” (Hosanna)!
Psalm 118:24-26, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now (Hosanna), I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.” (Also see Matt. 21:8-9, Mark 11:10, John 12:12-13)
From Nisan 10-14, the High Priests were commanded to inspect the lambs to make sure they did not have any blemishes (Exodus 12:5). As the High Priests were inspecting the lambs for blemishes, the Pharisees, chief priests, scribes, and Herodians were inspecting Jesus. However, they did not find any wrongdoing of Messiah, because He was perfect and without blemish.
Matthew 26:59-60, “Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none.” (Also see Luke 23:4,13-15)
After the Lord’s supper, and before Messiah was betrayed and crucified, the children of Israel sang Psalm 118 of the Hallel.
Psalm 118:21-23,27, “I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation. The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. God is the Lord, and He has given us light; Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.”
As the children of Israel were singing Psalm 118 as a “rehearsal” for Passover, most did not realize Messiah’s first coming events (three Spring Feasts) were being fulfilled before their very eyes! This prophetic Psalm declares, “this was the Lord’s doing,” clearly confirming that God preordained Messiah’s crucifixion on Nisan 14, and the soldiers were about to “bind the sacrifice to the horns of the altar.”
Revelation 13:8, “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.“
1 Peter 1:19-21, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 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.”
On Nisan 14, the day of the Lord’s Passover, the High Priest’s “rehearsal” was to sacrifice the Lamb. Please note, the High Priests had been “rehearsing” this ceremony for 1,500 years from the time of the first Passover in Egypt.
At the third hour (9am), which is the morning sacrifice, the High Priest would bind the lamb to the alter for Passover. At the exact hour as the High Priest was binding the lamb for sacrifice, the soldiers were also binding Messiah to the cross.
Mark 15:25, “Now it was the third hour (9am), and they crucified Him.”
As they lifted Messiah’s body on the cross, the people were singing Psalms 118 in the Hallel.
Psalm 118:14-16, “The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
As we know, Messiah is the right Hand of God Almighty (Mark 16:19, Luke 22:69). After Messiah was nailed and lifted up on the cross, more “rehearsals” were fulfilled.
Matthew 27:45-47, “Now from the sixth hour (12 noon) until the ninth hour (3pm, evening sacrifice) there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour (3pm evening sacrifice) Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Also see Psalm 22, as it was common for people to quote the first opening sentences of a passage for reference. Jesus is directing us to read Psalm 22).
John 19:30, “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
As the High Priest was killing the Passover lamb (the evening sacrifice-3pm), Messiah, the Passover Lamb of God, died on the cross for the sins of the world! (John 3:16, 1 Peter 3:18, Romans 6:10). Furthermore, when Jesus said, “It is finished,” this is a direct reference to the High Priest, as he would say these exact words when he finished killing the Passover lamb.
In summary of the Feast of Passover, God preordained when the Passover would happen in Egypt and also when His only begotten son, Jesus, would fulfill the first of His seven feasts, the Feast of Passover. Messiah perfectly fulfilled Passover to the exact day, to the exact hour, and to the exact detail of the ceremony! The apostle Paul, who was the primary missionary to the Gentiles (non-Jews), certainly clears up any misunderstanding by Gentiles about the Feast of Passover.
1 Corinthians 5:7-8, “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, 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.” Amen!
Feast of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15)- 2nd Feast -Leviticus 23
Now, let us discover the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15) and how Messiah perfectly fulfilled this feast, as well! We will begin with the prophetic foreshadow in Egypt.
Leviticus 23:6, “And on the fifteenth day of the same month (Nisan 15) is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.”
On the inaugural Feast of Unleavened Bread in Egypt, God commanded the children of Israel to remove all of the leavened bread (sin) from their houses.
Exodus 12:15, “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses.”
Leaven is symbolic for sin. God wanted the children of Israel to remove sin from their houses and their lives. This was a prophetic foreshadow and rehearsal of Messiah’s first coming, because as we are all sinners, He was without sin (unleavened), but became sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God Almighty (2 Corinthians 5:21). Amen!
Exodus 13:10, “You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.”
Messiah’s Fulfillment of Unleavened Bread- 2nd Feast – Leviticus 23
On the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15), Jesus was laid (buried) in a tomb.
Mark 15:46, “Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.”
John 19:31,42, “Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day). So there they laid Jesus in the tomb, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day.”
The Feast of Unleavened Bread, a high holy feast day, should not be confused with the weekly Sabbath. In Leviticus 23:7-8, this feast is commanded to be a “high day,” which is an annual Sabbath. Thus, when Messiah was crucified on Nisan 14 at 3pm (evening sacrifice), they had to take Him off the cross before sundown, as it began Nisan 15, the annual Sabbath high day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (God’s days start from sundown to sundown – Genesis 1:1-3).
Approximately 1,500 years before Messiah’s fulfillment of Unleavened Bread, we discover a prophetic foreshadow of this feast. Just as God “buried” His Son on Nisan 15, the Egyptians buried their firstborn on this day, as well.
Numbers 33:3-4, “They departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month (Nisan 15); on the day after the Passover the children of Israel went out with boldness in the sight of all the Egyptians. For the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom the Lord had killed among them.”
Just as the Egyptians buried their firstborn on the inaugural Feast of Unleavened Bread, God also “buried” Messiah on this feast (Nisan 15), therefore fulfilling the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the exact day and detail of the ceremony.
Feast of FirstFruits – 3rd Feast – Leviticus 23
The third divine appointment (feast) that Messiah fulfilled before He ascended to the right Hand of the Father, is the Feast of FirstFruits. This feast is when the Almighty resurrected Messiah, as He is the FirstFruits of the resurrection!
1 Corinthians 15:23, “But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”
Leviticus 23: 10-12, “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the Lord.”
God commanded the Feast of FirstFruits to be “rehearsed” the day after the Sabbath, which is the first day of the biblical week (Saturday sundown to Sunday sundown). The children of Israel were commanded to bring a sheaf of the first fruits and give it to the High Priests. The High Priests would wave the sheaf to the Lord for acceptance. A sheaf represents a person or people (Strong’ s Dictionary #6016). Also, God commanded a “male lamb of the first year and without blemish” to be offered as a sacrifice when the priests waved the sheaf, which is a prophetic foreshadow of Messiah.
Messiah’s Fulfillment of FirstFruits – 3rd Feast – Leviticus 23
After Jesus was crucified on Nisan 14, and laid in the tomb on Nisan 15, He rose on the Feast of FirstFruits!
Matthew 28:1,5-6, “Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn (Sunday morning), Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.”
According to God’s Word, the Sabbath (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown) is the last day of the week, and the first day of the week is Saturday sundown to Sunday sundown (night comes before day – Genesis 1-2). The apostle Matthew writes that Messiah was not in the tomb “at dawn,” because He had risen. So, at dawn on the first day of the week, Sunday, as the High Priests were waving their first fruits (sheaf) to the Lord, Messiah had already risen from the dead at the same time, becoming the FirstFruits of mankind! The first sheave that the High Priest would wave represents the entire harvest would be fulfilled. This tells us just as Messiah was the FirstFruit dedicated to God, we are His harvest, and therefore we will be resurrected, as well!
Psalm 16:10, “For You will not leave my soul in Sheol (Hell), nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Also see 1 Corinthians 15:50-58, Acts 13:33-35)
As the High Priest waved the sheaf to the Lord, he was also commanded to offer an unblemished male lamb of the first year. As we discovered, Messiah was the unblemished male lamb of the first year (FirstFruits), fulfilling this divine appointment.
Jesus is the Beginning of the Creation of God through whom all things were created. He is also the First Begotten Son, Firstborn of all creatures, Firstborn of Mankind, Firstborn of Mary, First Begotten of the Dead, and the FirstFruits of the Resurrection! Messiah is the Feast of FirstFruits!
Conclusion of the Origin of Passover
Assuredly, the origin of Passover (Nisan 14), Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15), and FirstFruits is clearly and directly from the Holy Bible. God Almighty, and His Son, Jesus, commands their people to proclaim and celebrate the Lord’s feasts throughout the generations (Leviticus 23, Matthew 5:17-20), which includes Jews and Gentiles (Romans 11, Ephesians 2:11-13, Galatians 3:26-29). The first three feasts of the Lord directly continues the order of God’s command to the fourth feast, the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost). In summary, from the Feast of FirstFruits, it is commanded to count fifty days unto the Feast of Shavuot, and it is a statue to be kept forever in all the dwellings throughout the generations (Leviticus 23:15-22, Matthew 5:17-20). Messiah perfectly fulfilled the Feast of Shavuot to the day, hour (9am), and details of the ceremony, as He poured out His holy spirit on the people at this divine appointment (Acts 2), fulfilling the fourth spring feast of His first coming events.
So, what about the remaining three fall feasts in Leviticus 23, Trumpets, Yom Kippur, and Tabernacles?
If God does not change (Malachi 3:6), and if Messiah is the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), and there is no shadow of turning with Him (James 1:17), just as Messiah perfectly fulfilled the first four spring feasts of Leviticus 23 at His first coming, He will definitely fulfill the remaining three fall feasts at His second coming (Matthew 5:17-20)! This is why it is important to understand God’s calendar and the Lord’s feasts, so that we are wise virgins and not foolish ones, understanding the time of our visitation, which is Messiah’s second coming events. (Luke 19:41-44, Matthew 24-25).
1 Corinthians 5:7-8, “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, 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.” Amen!
Psalms 37:23, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.”
The Origins of Easter
As we have discovered, the Lord’s feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, and Shavuot are written and commanded in the Word, the Holy Bible, and Messiah, the Word made flesh, perfectly fulfilled all of them to the exact day, hour, and detail of the ceremony. Additionally, the Lord’s feast days in Leviticus 23 perfectly correlates and aligns with all four Gospel accounts of Messiah’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. Assuredly, worshiping Messiah on these prophetic feast days is clearly biblical and commanded, and it certainly would be worshiping in Spirit and truth. Remember, Messiah will call a person “great in the kingdom of heaven,” if they keep His commandments, which include His divine appointments, the feasts (Matthew 5:19).
So, here are the lingering questions for the rest of this article:
“Is Easter a commanded biblical day according to the Holy Bible?”
“Does Easter perfectly align with the Gospels?”
“How did Easter originate, from the Holy Bible or from man?”
Before we begin, I humbly ask that you locate in your Holy Bible where it is commanded that Messiah’s holy crucifixion and resurrection is to be celebrated on Easter…….
Now, since no one, including religious leaders, can ever seem to locate the “Easter commandment” in the Word, the Holy Bible, let us remember that Messiah commands us to worship in Spirit, which is the Holy Spirit, and in truth (John 4:23-24), which is the Holy Bible (Word). These two work in perfect harmony with one another. Therefore, if we cannot find the commandment to worship on Easter, then it is a tradition of men. Since this is the absolute case, we need to responsibly and thoroughly review Easter’s origins, it’s different names throughout history, what the Holy Bible proclaims about traditions of men, and test it with the commandments of the Lord God, the Almighty.
The origin of the Easter celebration is clearly not derived from Scripture, as there is not one mention of Easter or the worship practices associated with Easter in the entirety of the Holy Bible. Many teach that the word “Easter” originated from the Greek word “Pascha” (Strong’s G3957), which came from the Hebrew word “Pesach” (H6453), which literally is translated Passover. Yet “Pascha” is used 29 times in the New Testament, and NOT ONCE is it ever translated as Easter, but rather it is ALWAYS translated Passover. The only time Easter is found is in the King James Version in Acts 12:4, which is an intentional mistranslation of “Pascha.” This version of the holy Scriptures is heresy and blasphemy, and should be obsolete, to say the least. In fact, in the New Kings James Version, Acts 12:4 states the proper translation, Passover. With that being said, if the word “Easter” and the dates, worship practices, and other trappings did not come from the Holy Bible, where did it all come from? The answer is not found in the Holy Bible, so we must explore other sources such as the historical writings of the “church fathers.”
ON THE KEEPING OF EASTER.(From the Letter of the Emperor to all those not present at the Council. (Found in Eusebius, Vita Const., Lib. iii., 18-20.)
“When the question relative to the sacred festival of Easter arose, it was universally thought that it would be convenient that all should keep the feast on one day; for what could be more beautiful and more desirable, than to see this festival, through which we receive the hope of immortality, celebrated by all with one accord, and in the same manner? It was declared to be particularly unworthy for this, the holiest of all festivals, to follow the custom[the calculation] of the Jews, who had soiled their hands with the most fearful of crimes, and whose minds were blinded. In rejecting their custom,(1) we may transmit to our descendants the legitimate mode of celebrating Easter, which we have observed from the time of the Saviour’s Passion to the present day[according to the day of the week]. We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Saviour has shown us another way; our worship follows a more legitimate and more convenient course(the order of the days of the week); and consequently, in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without their direction we could not keep this feast. How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Saviour, have no longer been led by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them? They do not possess the truth in this Easter question; for, in their blindness and repugnance to all improvements, they frequently celebrate two passovers in the same year. We could not imitate those who are openly in error. How, then, could we follow these Jews, who are most certainly blinded by error? for to celebrate the passover twice in one year is totally inadmissible. But even if this were not so, it would still be your duty not to tarnish your soul by communications with such wicked people[the Jews]. Besides, consider well, that in such an important matter, and on a subject of such great solemnity, there ought not to be any division. Our Saviour has left us only one festal day of our redemption, that is to say, of his holy passion, and he desired[to establish] only one Catholic Church. Think, then, how unseemly it is, that on the same day some should be fasting whilst others are seated at a banquet; and that after Easter, some should be rejoicing at feasts, whilst others are still observing a strict fast. For this reason, a Divine Providence wills that this custom should be rectified and regulated in a uniform way; and everyone, I hope, will agree upon this point. As, on the one hand, it is our duty not to have anything in common with the murderers of our Lord; and as, on the other, the custom now followed by the Churches of the West, of the South, and of the North, and by some of those of the East, is the most acceptable, it has appeared good to all; and I have been guarantee for your consent, that you would accept it with joy, as it is followed at Rome, in Africa, in all Italy, Egypt, Spain, Gaul, Britain, Libya, in all Achaia, and in the dioceses of Asia, of Pontus, and Cilicia. You should consider not only that the number of churches in these provinces make a majority, but also that it is right to demand what our reason approves, and that we should have nothing in common with the Jews. To sum up in few words: By the unanimous judgment of all, it has been decided that the most holy festival of Easter should be everywhere celebrated on one and the same day, and it is not seemly that in so holy a thing there should be any division. As this is the state of the case, accept joyfully the divine favour, and this truly divine command; for all which takes place in assemblies of the bishops ought to be regarded as proceeding from the will of God. Make known to your brethren what has been decreed, keep this most holy day according to the prescribed mode; we can thus celebrate this holy Easter day at the same time, if it is granted me, as I desire, to unite myself with you; we can rejoice together, seeing that the divine power has made use of our instrumentality for destroying the evil designs of the devil, and thus causing faith, peace, and unity to flourish amongst us. May God graciously protect you, my beloved brethren.”
This short excerpt shows us the clear origins of Easter. We are not to judge people or history, but rather test everything to Scripture for truth (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22.) Easter was instituted across the Roman empire by Constantine at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., by a group of men who had very anti-semetic beliefs and practices. Their desire was to distance themselves from the Jewish people as much as possible, and it is clear from many other writings of this era that they saw themselves as the “replacement” of Israel and the Jewish people (Replacement Theology). Easter was not instituted from any examination of Biblical principles, commandments, or writings, but rather as a “convenient” method by human “reason” to unify a diverse empire under the control of a central “church” authority, namely Constantine and the early Roman Catholic Church. Within the above writings, we see the clear motivations of convenience, control, and unity, masked in spiritual philosophy and stark anti-semetism. I wonder what the King of the Jews, Yeshua Hamashiach (Jesus), would have to say about this?
Genesis 12:3, “I will bless this who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.”
John 4:22-24, “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Unfortunately, by rejecting what they perceived as “Jewish,” they completely separated themselves and their posterity (modern day Christianity) from much of the amazing revelation of Scripture and the direct commandments and desires of the God of Israel.
While it is very clear that Easter was institutionalized within the church during the Council of Nicea, this still does not answer the question of where the modern day practices of Easter are derived. For this, we must explore even more ancient practices which often have very little direct evidence, but much circumstantial evidence, of the origins of Easter worship practices.
As we discovered, the name “Easter” does not come from “Pascha,” as many teach in the Church. So where did it come from? The evidence for origins of the name “Easter” is scarce, but in one of the earliest sources available, the Venerable Monk Bede (673-735 A.D.) wrote:
The months of Giuli derive their name from the day when the Sun turns back [and begins] to increase, because one of [thesemonths] precedes [this day] and the other follows. Solmonath can becalled ‘‘month of cakes’’, which they o¡ered to their gods in that month. Hrethmonath is named for their goddess Hretha, to whom they sacrificed at this time. Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated “Paschal month’’, and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance.
-(Faith Wallis (trans.), Bede: The Reckoning of Time, Liverpool University Press, 1999 p.54, https://www.scribd.com/doc/245646239/Bede-Bede-the-Reckoning-of-Time-Liverpool-University-Press-Translated-Texts-for-Historians-Liverpool-University-Press-1999)
If Easter does not come from “Pascha,” and one of the earliest sources state that it has origins in a false goddess celebration, and the early “church fathers” did not use Biblical principles to institute it, can anything that might resemble it actually be found in Scripture? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
There have been many pagan goddesses found throughout many cultures and time periods from the beginning of history: Ashtaroth, Astarte, Asherah, Ishtar, Eostre, Isis, and Eastre, just to name a few. These pagan goddesses are often associated with erotic love, fertility, sex, and war. While there is no clear “smoking gun” evidence that these goddesses are related, they have so much in common, including their names, that it very likely they developed through time by spreading from one culture to the next, permeating all time and humanity. Remember, a little leaven, leavens the whole lump (Galatians 5:9).
Their history and trappings are often so similar that it is very likely they can be traced all the way back to Semiramis, the “queen of heaven” or “star of the east” (this is the much debated theory based on Alexander Hislop’s book The Two Babylons). Semiramis was allegedly the wife of Nimrod, who was deified as Baal and other sun gods (idol), and who was one of the original defiers of God (Gen. 10:8-9). It is no surprise that while the pagan goddess goes by many demonic names, the traditions and symbols used to represent her are very similar across many varying cultures, forms, and time periods. She was almost universally worshiped during the Spring equinox, which is where Easter falls every year.
Please note, the names Ashtaroth and Asherah, and their traditional practices of worship that correlates to Easter traditions, are found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). Ashtaroth is also included in Satan’s evil trinity (Lucifer, Beelzebub, Ashtaroth). Although no one can find Easter in the Gospel accounts of Messiah’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, we can find in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) where it warns us NOT to worship this false goddess or use any of her trappings, traditions, or methods to worship the One True God.
Jeremiah 7:17-20, “Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me. “Do they spite Me?” declares the LORD. “Is it not themselves they spite, to their own shame? says the Lord. “Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces? Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, My anger and My fury will be poured out on this place—on man and on beast, on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground. And it will burn and not be quenched.”
1 Samuel 7:3-4, “Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” So the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.”
1 Samuel 12:10, “And they cried out to the Lord and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. But now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, that we may serve you.”
Judges 2:13, “They abandoned the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth.”
Judges 10:6, “The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth.”
Deuteronomy 16:21, “You shall not plant any tree as an Asherah beside the altar of the Lord your God that you shall make.”
2 Kings 17:16-18, “They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole.”
The symbols used to worship Easter/Ishtar/Ashtaroth/Asherah (pagan goddesses) included the fertility symbols of eggs and rabbits (specifically an egg laying rabbit), and the worship practices included forty days of self deprecation in mourning for her dead son, Tammuz. This was followed by a “sunrise worship service” and a huge carnal celebration when Tammuz was to be “resurrected” at the coming of spring each year. These are the exact same practices that many Christians undergo for Easter, but now its called Lent and Mardi Gras/Carnival, and Sunday sunrise service. Clearly, it is absolutely blasphemous and heretical to have symbolism of a fertility goddess (rabbit an eggs) and Tammuz on the most holiest weekend of the year, Messiah’s crucifixion and resurrection. God’s prophet Ezekiel warned us about worshiping in a “Tammuz” way.
Ezekiel 8:12-16, “Then He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are committing in the dark, each man in the room of his carved images? For they say, ‘The LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the land.’” And He said to me, “Yet you will see still greater abominations which they are committing.” Then He brought me to the entrance of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? Yet you will see still greater abominations than these.” Then He brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house. And behold, at the entrance to the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east; and they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun.”
God plainly warns us not to worship in the manner of “Tammuz,” or to the starry hosts, or to the sun rising in the east. Unfortunately, this is a practice which is directly related to the popular “Easter sunrise service.” In the above verses we see the women and elders of Israel in the House of the Lord weeping for Tammuz and worshiping toward the rising sun in the east. This frightening example almost perfectly parallels the worship practices of those believers who follow in the pagan ways of Easter.
Clearly, the Holy Bible commands us not to have anything to do Ashtaroth, Asherah, Eostre, Easter, or any other pagan name that is associated with this heresy and blasphemous abomination. Didn’t Messiah proclaim that He came to fulfill the Torah and the Prophets, and commands us to worship in Spirit (Holy Spirit) and truth (Holy Bible)? This would include adhering to the commands and warnings of the blasphemous pagan holiday of Easter in the Torah and the Prophets, as well. Make no mistake, the Holy Spirit, God’s spirit, is certainly not going to lead any believer to worship on a holiday that God calls pagan and evil (John 14), and the Holy Bible, the Word, has proclaimed Easter to be from the pits of hell. Easter, and all of its paganism, should not have anything to do with our divine, sovereign, righteous, holy Father, His begotten Son, and the blessed Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of Christians, including religious leaders, pastors, and believers, are completely deceived by Satan as it relates to Easter, and I mean absolutely deceived. What is ironic is that the Church, as a whole, criticizes the Jews for having the oral traditions of the Torah, etc, but they are doing the same exact abomination with Easter, which is an oral tradition of men. In Matthew 23, Messiah scorned the religious leaders as hypocrites for the oral traditions of men, and today, the religious leaders of the Church who celebrate Easter are hypocrites, as well.
My friends, this begs the question, who do you serve first? The Church? Your Pastor? Your Priest? The Pope? Your family? Yourself? Or, do you first and foremost serve the eternal God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Holy One of Israel, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Branch of David, who is Yeshua, Hamashiach, Jesus the Messiah, the everlasting King of Israel?
Matthew 10:34-39, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”
According to the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and His living Word, the Holy Bible, celebrating God in the manner of a false god or goddess is blasphemy and an abomination. Unfortunately, this is the exact act that the Church is doing when they celebrate Messiah through pagan traditions, dates, and symbols. Easter is one of Satan’s largest deceptions upon mankind, and it is certainly the “stumbling block” of many believers in the Church. Why? Because if Satan can get the Church off of God’s calendar so that they do not celebrate and recognize the truth of Messiah’s holy crucifixion and resurrection on the first three divine appointments, which are the three spring feasts days (Leviticus 23), then the Church will not have any idea about the three fall feast days that perfectly correlate to His second coming events, and thus will not be watching as commanded by Messiah (Matthew 24-25). They will be foolish virgins and not wise virgins (Matthew 25:1-13)
Clearly, and without question, God created and commanded Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits for His Son to fulfill, and Satan influenced mankind to create Easter. We have to understand that God does not change (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8-9), and if He calls Ashtaroth/Asherah (Easter) an abomination to Him in the beginning, then it is an abomination to Him today, and will be forevermore. Again, to worship Messiah’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection on Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, is to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). To worship Messiah’s crucifixion and resurrection on Easter is not worshiping in spirit or truth, as it derives from pagan roots and follows pagan practices.
You may be thinking, but doesn’t God understand what is in our hearts?
Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
In this sobering statement, Jeremiah tells us mankind’s hearts are deceitful and wicked. As sad as this may seem, this confirms that we cannot control, influence, or make a pagan, evil festival that God calls an abomination, good and righteous. Religious leaders, pastors, and mankind in general, cannot “Christianize” Easter. What God calls evil, mankind cannot call good. For a person to believe that they are worshiping in spirit and truth on Easter would be directly or indirectly elevating themselves as a deity, which would be idolatry of oneself. Remember, for those who love Messiah, they keep His commandments, and surely they are not burdensome (John 14, 1 John 5:3). The feasts in Leviticus 23 are commandments, and Easter is not, but actually it is forbidden in the Word as an abomination.
Isaiah 5:20-21, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
Isaiah warns us of being prudent and wise in our own sight. By worshiping the holy crucifixion and resurrection on a pagan holiday, believing that we are worshiping in spirit and in truth, in whose eyes are we wise? Ours or Gods? Again, Easter is not truth, and the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, will not lead us to worship on this blasphemous holiday.
Sadly, through the traditions of men, many believers who truly love Jesus have fallen away from the foundation of His ministry, which is the Torah of God, including His seven feasts. One cannot be separated from the other just as Jesus cannot be separated from His Jewish heritage (Matthew 5:17-20). It is through Israel, and the remnant of the House of Judah (the Jews), that God chose to redeem all mankind through the Jewish Messiah, the King of Israel! It is through His commanded ways and feasts that we are to worship, not the ways and traditions of men (Easter).
Mark 7:9,13, Jesus said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
Again, for the Church or a person to believe that they can control or change a pagan holiday into a Godly celebration is foolishly deceiving themselves, and dangerously exalting themselves as a deity. We must remember to deny and humble ourselves to the sovereign righteousness of God Almighty and the Holy Bible.
Matthew 16:24, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Luke 14:11, “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
So often, mankind tries to make God who we think He should be instead of searching and discovering who He is and how we should be worshiping Him according to the Holy Bible. It is all about God’s ways, not our ways, and its about His commandments, not what we think.
Isaiah 55:8-9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Messiah commands us to enter the narrow gate and not the “worldly” wide gate, following His everlasting commandments.
Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
1 John 2:15, ” Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Easter is clearly of the world, as it was created by mankind (influenced by Satan). In contrast, Passover was created as a divine appointment by God Almighty (Leviticus 23), and Messiah fulfilled Passover to the exact day and hour! The Lord hates pagan idols so much, that He commanded the children of Israel to destroy them and told the people not to associate with the idolators.
Deuteronomy 12:2, “You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the Lord your God with such things. (Also see Exodus 34:13, Deuteronomy 12:29-31)
If Messiah was on earth today, can you imagine His response if we asked Him to join us in celebrating His crucifixion and resurrection on Easter, and not on Passover (Nisan 14)?! Make no mistake, He would rebuke us as hypocritical heretics and blasphemers! (Matthew 23) As Gentiles, we need to remember that we are the wild olive branches that are grafted into Israel’s olive tree (Romans 11), and we should worship according to Messiah’s instructions (Torah – Prophets – Matthew 5:17-20). Make no mistake, Gentiles do not support the “root” (Messiah), but the “root” supports us (Romans 11:18). The apostle Paul also warns us of pagan philosophies and empty traditions.
Colossians 2:8-10, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”
Is it ok for someone to celebrate and combine Passover and Easter?
1 Corinthians 10:14-22, “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?
As believers in Messiah, we cannot worship and celebrate Messiah’s crucifixion and resurrection on both Easter and Passover. This would be drinking the cup of demons (Easter) and the cup of the Lord (Passover). There is a very clear distinction between Passover and Easter. Passover is of God, and Easter is from Satan, as Astaroth (Easter) is included in the evil trinity.
1 John 4:6, “We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
With all of the undeniable, convicting evidence against the pagan holiday of Easter, why does the Church, as a whole, stubbornly and defiantly celebrate Easter and carry on these pagan traditions that have no place in the worship of Messiah?
One answer is that Easter is one of the busiest days of the year for the Church. In fact, it is so busy, that there are always multiple services added during this time. Pastors often rationalize this by insisting this is one of the best days on which to share the Gospel with those who may not know Jesus, therefore, they will continue to use this day and these methods to reach as many people as possible “for Christ.” While it is true that we are commanded to spread the Gospel of Jesus, is this really the best way? And what Gospel are we spreading? Should we be encouraging old and new believers, or those who do not know Jesus at all, to worship Him in ways that are specifically against His commands? Which Gospel account uses rabbits, eggs, sunrise services, and Spring equinox dates? While it is absolutely true that believers should be sharing the Gospel with as many people as possible, if we use Easter and other pagan traditions to do this, we completely contradict what we profess to believe!
There are many other justifications made, such as, “we have done it this way for years, so we will continue to do it,” or, “God knows what we mean, and He really doesn’t care when or how we celebrate Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection,” or, “these are just traditions and don’t have any pagan attachments or meanings to us now.” Where in the Holy Bible is it written that mankind gets to dictate the rules on worshiping God? Where does God give us the authority to change His appointed times? While these things may not have pagan meanings to us, what do they mean to God? If God doesn’t care about what we do, or how/what we worship, why did He discipline Israel and send His only begotten Son to die on a cross for us? He did this because mankind keeps doing it wrong!
Isaiah 6:9-10, And He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
John 12:42-43, “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
My friends, ultimately, it comes down to this decision; do you want to worship the way that God specifically commands in the Holy Bible, or do you want to worship in a way that the world tells you to worship because of man-made tradition and emotion? Which way honors Messiah and His sacrifice, and which way pollutes it? Which way is sacrificial, and which way is blaspheming God? Do we sacrifice the traditions of this world in order to live as God commands, or do we test God’s grace by adhering to the world’s traditions? Who do you serve? The Church? Your Pastor? Your Priest? Your Family? Yourself? Or, do you serve the holy, divine, sovereign, King, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah?
2 Corinthians 6:14-16, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial (false gods/goddess’s), or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God…”
Galatians 1:6-10, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”
When Messiah returns and ushers in His millennial reign, the prophet Jeremiah states that many will come to Him, and declare that their “fathers have inherited nothing but lies.”
Jeremiah 16;19-21, “O Lord, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness and unprofitable things.” Will a man make gods for himself, which are not gods? “Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know My hand and My might; And they shall know that My name is the Lord.“
Are we to now follow our fathers and their unbiblical traditions, or the one True Father and the Truth of His Word?
In conclusion, mankind, including religious leaders, and even the angels in heaven, cannot change, control, or mold Easter into a “godly” holiday from what the Almighty has clearly labeled heresy, blasphemy, and ultimately, an abomination. God plainly has told us not to worship on Easter (Ashtoroth/Asherah), and He warned us of the dangers of breaking His commandments (Matthew 5:17-20). Please remember, we do not change the truth to conform the world, we conform to the truth and change the world! I pray and hope that you will worship in spirit and truth on this Passover (April 10th – Nisan 14), Unleavened Bread (April 11th-17th – Nisan 15-21), and Firstfruits, which begins April 10-18th, 2017. In the name higher than every other name, Yeshua Hamashiach, Jesus the Messiah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! Amen, Amen, Amen!
Psalm 119:41-48, “Let Your mercies come also to me, O Lord, Your salvation according to Your word. So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Your word. And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for I have hoped in Your ordinances. So shall I keep Your law continually, forever and ever. And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts. I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love. My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on Your statutes.”