Happy Easter? Is that actually a slap in the face to Jesus if we are Christians?
I will join with you in exclaiming… Matt Mouzakis eloquently states it correctly… *happy celebration day of the resurrection of Jesus -I can say amen to that!
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To believers, Jesus is our Passover Lamb.
Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover.?” Matthew 26:17
Feast of Unleavened Bread – Today (EASTER SUNDAY) Christianity celebrates the day of the resurrection. Year after year I find myself begrudgingly having to decide if I am going to join the world’s celebration or run into the churches (as Jesus might have done) turning over tables proclaiming the truth! You see we as Christians really get “Easter” wrong and it is likely a slap in the face to Jesus. Let me expound.
Easter is a pagan Festival imported into the Christian church. This started around the 4th Century, but the pagan festival or Holiday itself dates back to before the Baylonians. “Easter” is derived from Eastre, or Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of spring and dawn. There also is some historical connection existing between the words “Easter” and “East,” where the sun rises. The festival of Eostre was celebrated on the day of the Vernal Equinox (spring). Traditions associated with the festival of the Teutonic fertility Goddess survive in the Easter rabbit and colored eggs.
The rites connected with the death and resurrection of the gods Tammuz, Osiris, and Adonis are the Forerunners of the “Christian” Easter; they are the first East services.
(13) He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. (14) Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and behold, there sat women WEEPING FOR TAMMUZ (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 alter, 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. Here the people of God, Israel, had back-slid into idolatry. Tammuz was a Babylonian god.
You may notice when you read any of the gospels and the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection that the events celebrated are Jewish Calendar days. In Matthew we read the first day of the events is the Feast of Unleavened bread. In other words, Jesus and His disciples were celebrating the calendar God gave us not man’s calendar. Easter is Pagan. Calling is Christian doesn’t make it Christian, in fact that is part of the real problem; wanting to still be of the world but take on the title “Christian” didn’t work for in the gospels and it still doesn’t work today. One of my favorite things about Christ’s death and resurrection is that it follows God’s calendar. It doesn’t work to simply declare another day! If you’re celebrating the resurrection on Easter, it means that you have decided mans way is better than God’s and your technically worshipping the wrong god! Let that sink in!
When we start to take on elements of the worlds (anti-God) celebrations instead of God’s we miss the deeper significance of the Passover lamb and atonement. We give way to becoming another version of the world’s systems and are conformed to the patterns of this world. Are you worshipping a fertility cult or Jesus?
So I hate to be the “EASTER SCROOGE” but I am saddenned as a devout disciple of Christ that we so easily follow the world not Jesus. When most of us read Matthew and the Feast of Unleavened Bread we have no idea what that means to us and what the amazing significance and story it was in light of Jesus and the cross. Don’t you want to be on Jesus’ clock?
So I hate to break it to you but your a few days early!
In 2022 Resurrection Day isn’t until Tuesday!
JESUS AS THE PASSOVER MEAL
Any Christian will tell you that Jesus died and rose in three days; yet how does that happen from Friday to Sunday? Even a young child can do the math here.
Tradition would tell you that Jesus had his last meal with the disciples on Thursday evening and was crucified on Good Friday. But you’re going to end up with a whole bunch of scripture that doesn’t make sense if you take that understanding of tradition. And as I mentioned, even a kid is going to have a problem with the math on that one!
So, to set the record straight, there are ways that some try to argue for a Friday crucifixion but it’s incredibly problematic, personally I would say it simply doesn’t work. Three days means three days (especially from a Hebraic perspective.)
Jesus’ last meal was Wednesday night, and he was crucified on Thursday, the 14th of the Hebrew month Nisan. The Passover meal itself was eaten Thursday night, at sundown, as the 15th of Nisan began. Jesus never ate that Passover meal. Jesus dies in the late afternoon which coincides with the Passover meal on Thursday . (He was the Passover meal)
Jesus was indeed in the tomb ”three days and three nights,” scripture is also clear on the chronology of the “Last Supper” and the Passover and how the Sabbaths and festival days correlate together that year. If you get this wrong you’re going to get the whole mission of Jesus off. You’re not going to get the scapegoat Theology for Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice that once and for all covers sin.
There aren’t any contradictions in the scripture; the contradictions are within tradition. Finding the answers within the stories we have that all agree with each is called harmonizing the gospels.
If you understand this argument you’re probably asking what about the Sabbath?! As Jews know, the day of Passover itself is also a “Sabbath” or rest day — no matter what weekday it falls on. In the year 30 AD Friday, the 15th of the Jewish month Nisan was also a Sabbath — so two Sabbaths occurred back to back — Friday and Saturday. Matthew knows this as he says that the women who visited Jesus’ tomb came early Sunday morning “after the Sabbaths” (Matthew 28:1). This is not the time or place to get into this but there’s a lot of significance within the scripture of the two Sabbath‘s.
The plural usage of “sabbaths” is very important. That’s not an accident! “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away” (John 19:31). This is the topic that raises the most controversy among scholarship and can be argued for Wednesday or Friday. A high Sabbath by definition occurred when a feast day fell on the 7th day weekly Sabbath. While the seventh day is already considered the “weekly” Sabbath, the feast days are considered the “annual” Sabbath feasts (Lev. 23:23-38). Preparation day is also in contention. In my opinion, the only way all the gospels “agree: with a calendar is to put His last meal with the disciples on Wednesday evening.
John really gives us the best picture of this by displaying that Wednesday night “last supper” was “before the festival of Passover.” He also notes that when Jesus’ accusers delivered him to be crucified on Thursday morning they would not enter Pilate’s courtyard because they would be defiled and would not be able to eat the Passover that evening (John 18:28). John knows that the Jews would be eating their traditional Seder meal Thursday evening.
Those who often think or assume that the last supper was a Passover meal are mistaken. Jesus didn’t eat a Passover meal in 30 CE. When the Passover meal began at sundown on Thursday Jesus was dead literally offering himself as the Passover sacrifice. (Another clue is told to us that He was hastily put in the tomb). This is also why in Luke Jesus tells his followers at that last meal: “I earnestly wanted to eat this Passover with you before I suffer but I won’t eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (Luke 22:14). Some have struggled with this verse trying to make sense of it because they think he’s eating the Passover meal but it makes sense when you view that it wasn’t the Passover meal. (it’s also worth noting that the word “again” found in some texts is not in the original manuscripts). In other words, Jesus didn’t eat the Passover meal because he was the Passover meal once and for all.
Jesus shared “a loaf of bread” with his disciples, using the Greek word (artos) that refers to an ordinary loaf — not to the unleavened flat bread or matzos that Jews eat with their Passover meals. In other places in scripture it is specific with unleavened bread; if that’s what they meant I think they would’ve use the other word (azumos)to describe it.
And if that’s not enough, if we look towards extra biblical sources we will also see this view regularly supported. For instance, the Talmud says, “They hung Yeshua the Nazarene on Erev Pesach”-which means on the “eve of Passover” (b. Sanhedrin 67a and 43a).
May you be blessed today as you consider removing the leaven (all things that distract) from Jesus and solely focus on being wholly and completely given to Him as He was to the cross for you.