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DOCTRINE QUESTION 103
Why does our celebration of Easter change from year to year. Is the resurrection of our Lord governed by the moon?
The answer to this is two fold. First Easter is not a biblical celebration for Christians. It is only mentioned once in Acts 12:4 and is a translation of the Hebrew word “pasach” which means “passover.” Since our Lord was crucified on this day Christians have undertaken to institute a celebration of His death on or near this date. Since the Jewish calendar only has 360 days it means that the day on our calendar varies from year to year. Easter is pagan in origin and the word itself is derived from “Ostara” in Ang-Saxon language “Eástre” Ostara was a goddess. It's celebration has varied from time to time and on the whole is a little bit of Judaism and Paganism mixed into Christianity. It has degenerated over the years and now the “eggs” and “bunnies” have the most prominent places. God never likes mixtures, and His command to His people in this relationship is found in 2 Corinthians 6:17, “Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord”.
Secondly the only biblical celebration we are told to observe is the Lord's death. He says in Luke 22:19, “...do this in Remembrance of Me” This the early believers did, Acts 2:46, Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 11:23... He says “as oft as we do this we shew the Lord's death till He come” 1 Corinthians 11:26. The word “shew” means to “proclaim.” It is not His birth we are to proclaim, as the angles did, Luke 2:11. It is not His resurrection, that the angels did Matthew 28:5-6; but they did not proclaim His death. Every time we observe the Lord's Supper we are proclaiming His death. This we can only rightly do if we know Him as Lord and Saviour.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen