Christians and Easter
According to the Bible, there is no connection between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the common modern traditions related to Easter Sunday. The word Easter is mentioned only once in the King James Version of the Bible in Acts 12:4. Scholars recognize that this is a mistranslation of the word pascha, the Greek form of the Hebrew word meaning “Passover.”
The word Easter is of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from the Norse Eôstre, the goddess of spring, in whose honor a festival was celebrated each year at the time of the vernal equinox spring by the Saxons of Northern Europe. The goddess Eastre’s earthly symbol was the rabbit-a symbol of fertility.
Originally, there were some very pagan and evil practices associated with this holiday. In our modern culture, Easter has become a commercialized holiday with all the focus on Easter eggs, Easter bunny and other traditions of the pagan goddess worship.
The ancient Roman Catholic Church mixed the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection with celebrations that involved spring fertility rituals in order to make Christianity more attractive to non-Christians. The Roman bishops urged that its celebration fall always on a Sunday (Eusebius Ecclesiastical History v. 23–25) a custom that doubtless contributed to the practice of the weekly Sunday observance.
The Bible teaches that Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week, Sunday (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2,9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1,19). Christ was resurrected from the dead, making it possible for us to have eternal life (Romans 6:4). Certainly, Jesus’ resurrection should be remembered and celebrated (1 Corinthians 15).
But while it is appropriate for Jesus’ resurrection to be celebrated, the day on which Jesus’ resurrection is celebrated should not be referred to as Easter. Further, Christ’s resurrection is something that should be celebrated every day, not just once a year (Romans 6:4).
In His Service,