Is Easter Pagan?
04-17-2011, 11:31 AM (This post was last modified: 04-17-2011 01:07 PM by Vic.)
RE: Is Easter Pagan?
(04-17-2011 09:12 AM)Rose of Shushan Wrote:Quote:Ideally, as followers of Christ, I think it is reasonable to hope that our religious observances and traditions were handed down to us from none other than Christ himself or perhaps even His apostles whom He instructed.
Good points Rose. The fact is, customs are developed because we can have that freedom to have customs. That some dye eggs red to illustrate the shed blood of Christ and crack them open to show the opening of the tomb....symbolism that illustrates in a simplicity that even a child can get. Do we need those things, no. But neither is their prohibition of making the celebrations to include things that enhance the telling of the Truth of Jesus Christ. Is it wrong for people to have children's games or gifts at this time....no...because as Jesus said, fathers know how to give good gifts to their children, but God can do far better than that. [my paraphrase]
THere was no paganism associated with easter, except in the minds of those who liked to disparage Christians, and which began as an issue 100's of years later. It's far easier to do that than receive the message of the Gospel. There was no pagan goddess being celebrated by Christians, no pagan celebration called easter or whatever variation. For Christians it was always about Christ.
At the risk of repeating some things,
The word pascha is translated all other times in the KJB as passover, which refers to the annual Jewish feast of offering a lamb to God to commemorate their deliverance out of slavery in Egypt. That's the shadow of things to come.
After the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, this word is used only three times in the NT, >in Acts 12:4, once in 1 Corinthians 5:7, where we are told, "For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." And then in Hebrews 11:28 where the KJV says regarding Moses: "Through faith he kept the passover"
And yes, the Lord's supper, which Jesus celebrated with the apostles is very much part of the Easter celebration. Paul, clearly refers to the "passover meal" as "The Lord's Supper" in 1 Corinthians 11:20. It is no longer celebrated only once a year but can be celebrated as many times a year as we wish. See 1 Corinthians 11:26. But only once a year do we publicly proclaim and celebrate the resurrection, and in English and many other languages, this event is called Easter, and it has no pagan connotations because it signifies Christ dying for us and being risen from the grave.
Anyone who says that easter is pagan is totally wrong and has no historical facts to back it up. That a new word was needed to differentiate the celebration is not odd whatsoever, if you one looks at the various new words brought into being when translating from one language to another to explain a concept. It would not only be confusing but cause error to use the same word for two different events taking place about the same time and celebrated by two distinct beliefs. One the shadow, one the fulfillment. One wanting to still sacrifice lambs for sin, one recognising the final sin sacrifice of Jesus our Passover Lamb, the Lamb of God...and so it goes. The celebrations are different and focus and understanding is different. Hence no mystery to use a different term for each.
It is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the Salvation of mankind through repentance of sin. As the controversy was always about when to hold the feast of the 'Saviour's passover' as Eusebius noted, some having the custom for the 14th based on the lunar calender and what had become tradition/custom via specifically the apostle John, but also the other apostles had given directives, and what they taught had also been handed down through those faithful men at that time who were given leadership as bishops in churches throughout the world--and they were originally called by the apostles, through the direction of the Holy Spirit, and which was also determined according to the Scriptures,-- and which in different areas meant following those customs as they were originally taught.
The issue became not fighting over the timing of the event, but rather, to allow the freedom to choose, and keep it according to the custom handed down. I think we see the freedom in it by having the Good Friday through to Easter Sunday taking the whole of the event into proper perspective. That a firm date was set, rather than going by the lunar timings is no issue really. Because regardless when, as Christians we are going to proclaim and celebrate what Christ has done for us.
The Lord's supper or communion can be taken as often as a person chooses. It is not bound to Easter celebrations whatsoever. But because it was a spiritual application, including the concept of keeping the 'feast'. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians before he was even teaching on the Lord's Supper, and was dealing with fornication and such within the church, it was the spiritual significance and application that was being pointed to.
1Co 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
1Co 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:
1Co 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Paul taught this about what Jesus said, and it was always to be done in remembrance of Him. The focus was not the passover of times past, but Him dying for us -His body v24 and that He was bringing in the New Covenant v25. via the shedding of His blood, the True Passover Lamb :
Co 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
1Co 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
1Co 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
1Co 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
1Co 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
In other words, one can observe the Lord's Supper at any time, but one cannot take the Lord's Supper at any time without fully understanding the significance of it without dire spiritual and physical consequences. Just as understanding was needed to see that He was the fulfillment of passover, so too, all the other feasts which were types and shadows of things to come. God's perfect plan in motion.
Incidentally, because heresies were abounding right from the time of Christ, it was important to validate the beliefs to what the apostles had handed down, and that included what they gave the bishops of the churches. That there could be diffences on such as these things, and a willingness to allow those differences, as shown with what Eusebius noted with Polycarp and the believers in Rome, shows that it wasn't the timing of when to have the feast that was important, and which also shows it wasn't a heresy. But rather, the celebration itself and remembrance and understanding of why they would do it in the first place and why it would and should be different than the pre-resurrection passover which is still kept by those who reject Jesus Christ.
3John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
|Messages In This Thread|
RE: Is Easter Pagan? - melmartinez01 - 07-27-2010, 09:31 AM
RE: Is Easter Pagan? - Vic - 04-17-2011 11:31 AM
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