Does Easter Glorify Christ?
What is Easter?
Did you know that Easter Sunday is defined to be the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox (March 21, which is the first day of spring)? Have you ever wondered why a date of such revered status should be subject to the variations of the sun and moon?
The answer to these questions is easily verified in any encyclopedia. The time, the customs, and the traditions of Easter all come from ancient pagan, anti-Christian, religious celebrations. Easter was originally a pagan festival in honor of the Goddess of Spring. It is amazing how something as vile as the original Easter festivals could now be thought to glorify Jesus Christ.
Listen to what the prophet Jeremiah wrote on this subject around 2,600 years ago.
2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
Sunrise worship services didn't originate with Christian churches. They have been a part of pagan practices that predate Christianity by thousands of years. The prophet Ezekiel was shown the following abominations that were practiced in Israel about 2,500 years ago.
15 Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.
16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.
17 Then he said unto me Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.
18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.
Isn't it interesting that in order to participate in that sunrise worship service, those chosen men of Israel had to turn their backs on the temple of the LORD? They were not serving the Lord, but were involved in an abomination against him. We need to be very careful that we aren't doing the same thing. We need to be like the noble Bereans.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
II Timothy 3:16-17
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Ask yourself where did the customs and traditions of Easter come from. How do bunny rabbits, colored eggs, hot-cross buns, baskets, hats, new clothes, sunrise worship services, lilies, and all the other Easter traditions glorify Jesus Christ. Who told you to do these things? Are they part of being furnished unto all good works as we read above, or are they something other than good works.
Should Christians Celebrate Holy Days?
We know the ancient heathen celebrations were an abomination to God, but surely the modern Christian versions glorify him. No they don't! Read what the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia concerning celebrating holy days.
9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
II Corinthians 11:3
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
It is evident that Easter is pagan. It has pagan origins, includes pagan traditions, and incorporates pagan practices that are expressly forbidden in the word of God. The question is, should Christians have any part in a pagan holiday? The Bible is very clear that they should not.
II Timothy 2:19 b
9 Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
II Corinthians 6:16-18
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18 And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you ... with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. (NIV)
You can have the shadow in festivals, or the reality in Jesus Christ. The choice is yours. Jesus Christ is real! The salvation he provides is real! Christians should not celebrate the types, figures, and shadows of holy days and festivals. They should live out the reality of Jesus Christ, and the salvation he provides, in their lives.
How Should Christians Glorify Jesus Christ?
I Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and in which ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures
Christians are commanded to give their lives to Christ. This is much harder than simply celebrating his birth, death, and resurrection; so it isn't as popular. Only by yielding their lives to Jesus Christ and His word (the Bible), can Christians know the perfect will of God.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
This verse should hold a great power over our lives. The Apostle Paul pleads with us, by the highest possible pleading, to live for God. He wants us to consider our bodies to be a living sacrifice. Paul is asking for our lives to be like the Jewish animal sacrifices, whose bodies were killed for the sake of the one making the offering. He wants us to consider ourselves dead to this world and therefore serve the Lord in everything we do.
Paul says that this is just our reasonable service, not the best we can do, but just our reasonable service. Christians should glorify Jesus Christ by living for him.
Won't you give your life to the service of the Lord Jesus Christ in everything that you do? Read the Bible. Seek out Christians that want to serve the Lord above everything else.