by Oletta Branstiter
Some pastors are having a field day with the fact that Easter falls on April Fool’s Day this year. The church marquees practically write themselves. Trump apologist Dr. Robert Jeffress, of First Baptist Church in Dallas, has titled his Sunday sermon, “The Resurrection: Foolish, Fake News, or Fact?” (Insert eye roll here.)
Every year, children are being fooled into equating chaotic and greedy egg hunts inexplicably produced by a rabbit, with a prophesied miracle. The fake celebrations are facilitated by exquisite hand-dyed Ukrainian Pysanky eggs from the local Orthodox church to pre-dyed pastel eggs purchased by the dozens at Costco.
Where did this tradition come from?
According to History.com,
“The most prominent secular symbol of the Christian holiday, the Easter bunny reportedly was introduced to America by the German immigrants who brought over their stories of an egg-laying hare. The decoration of eggs is believed to date back to at least the 13th century… According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called ‘Osterhase’ or ‘Oschter Haws.’ Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs.”
The very term “Easter”, used freely and proudly by most Christian churches, is pagan in origin.
“The word Easter is of Saxon origin, Eastra, the goddess of spring, in whose honour sacrifices were offered about Passover time each year.” from Ancient-Origins.net
The article continues:
“According to some scholars, such as Dr. Tony Nugent, teacher of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University, and Presbyterian minister, the Easter story comes from the Sumerian legend of Damuzi (Tammuz) and his wife Inanna (Ishtar), an epic myth called ‘The Descent of Inanna’ found inscribed on cuneiform clay tablets dating back to 2100 BC. When Tammuz dies, Ishtar is grief–stricken and follows him to the underworld. In the underworld, she enters through seven gates, and her worldly attire is removed. ‘Naked and bowed low’ she is judged, killed, and then hung on display. In her absence, the earth loses its fertility, crops cease to grow and animals stop reproducing. Unless something is done, all life on earth will end.
After Inanna has been missing for three days her assistant goes to other gods for help. Finally one of them Enki, creates two creatures who carry the plant of life and water of life down to the Underworld, sprinkling them on Inanna and Damuzi, resurrecting them, and giving them the power to return to the earth as the light of the sun for six months. After the six months are up, Tammuz returns to the underworld of the dead, remaining there for another six months, and Ishtar pursues him, prompting the water god to rescue them both. Thus were the cycles of winter death and spring life.”
In other words, “Easter” is an elaborate pagan myth about a Christ-like female goddess designed to explain the arrival of Spring, celebrated by “Christians” with a German fable. Yay?
By way of contrast, Jewish synagogues celebrate the biblical Passover, described by Chabad.org:
“The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan, March 30-April 7, 2018. Passover (Pesach) commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. Pesach is observed by avoiding leaven, and highlighted by the Seder meals that include four cups of wine, eating matzah and bitter herbs, and retelling the story of the Exodus.
In Hebrew it is known as Pesach (which means ‘to pass over’) because G‑d passed over the Jewish homes when killing the Egyptian firstborn on the very first Passover eve.”
The extended Passover celebration includes the Feast of Firstfruits, explained by JewsforJesus.org:
“Three holidays are associated with the giving of firstfruits in the Old Testament. Firstfruits are mentioned in connection with the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) in Numbers 28:26; Tabernacles (Sukkot) in Exodus 23:16; and Passover in Leviticus 23:10. Since Passover (Pesach) was the first of the three holidays, the ‘first firstfruits’ were offered in connection with that holiday.
Christ in His resurrection is ‘the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep’ (I Corinthians. 15:20-23). Jesus gave His life as our Passover lamb on the 14th day of the first Hebrew month, Nisan. We believe that He rose from the dead on the 16th of Nisan, the Feast of Firstfruits.
In addition to the fact that God has promised that we, too, will be raised from the dead, in Romans 8:23 Paul says that as redeemed people we possess the ‘firstfruits of the Spirit.’ Paul is saying here either that the measure of the Holy Spirit that we now have is but a foretaste of the greater measure there will be in the age to come, or that the gift of the Spirit now is a foretaste of the many other blessings we will have in due course.”
Many Christian churches offer Passover seder ceremonies in honor of the Old Testament. Do they include the importance of celebrating the Firstfruits of the prophesied Messiah’s accomplishment?
“The Feasts of the Lord reveal pictures of God’s redemptive plan. The first four feasts deal with the First Coming of God’s Lamb the Messiah and the last three feast deal with the Second Coming, when the Lamb returns in Glory and Power as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5).
The Feast of First Fruits reveals aspects of the First Coming of God’s Lamb, the Messiah, who would be the First Fruit of God’s redemption. On this feast Israel was to bring before the Lord the ‘First’ of the harvest, by doing this Israel was acknowledging the source of their blessing.” from TruthNet.org
Don’t be fooled: Pagan goddesses, German egg-laying rabbits and even abbreviated Passover celebrations are distractions from the fullness of knowledge of the miraculous fulfillment of the prophesied Feast of the Lord.
When our Lord proclaimed, “It is finished” as he took his last breath during the crucifixion, He was declaring that all Messianic prophecy was being fulfilled. He is the prophet who shows the Way. He is the sacrificial lamb. He accomplished the necessary sacrifice for our sins. He is the Firstfruits of our resurrection. This is what matters.
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?