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So Few Eggs, and No Bunnies!

So Few Eggs, and No Bunnies!

     This Sunday, the world is focused on the so-called “Easter” holiday. It is regrettable that so few realize the true nature, origin and purpose of this much commercialized annual event. It is equally disheartening that so many true Christians fail to realize that this “holiday” was made up by man and has no basis at all in the Word of God. Unfortunately, many fail to understand that ignorance in regard to this and many other ‘religious’ events is a direct result of often self-imposed stunted spiritual growth. This stems directly from a lack of sound Bible study and meditation on the Word of God.  
     Before any get upset, let me remind all that the Word “Easter” occurs only once in the KJV Bible, (Acts 12:4) and no times in the ASV Bible. In this occurrence in the KJV, the word is “translated” from the Greek word pascha, and most of the time is translated Passover.   As for the word ‘Passover’, it is found 28 times in 26 New Testament verses, and only 2 of these are after the establishment of the church for which Jesus died.   In the first, (1Cor. 5:7), we find it used in a figurative sense, as it refers to Christ who gave Himself as the only suitable Sacrifice to provide the means of reconciliation of sinful man to God.   In the second, (Heb. 11:28), the term refers to Moses’ participation in the original ‘passover’ by putting blood on the doorposts and lentils so the destroyer would not slay the firstborn and would ‘pass over’ that house.
     The current argument for embracing this man-made commercialized day is that we are ‘remembering’ or ‘celebrating’ the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.   Would someone please show me this from the New Testament after the establishment of the church?   Has not anyone asked how the many traditions of this (or any other) holiday came to be? Were they taken from the Scriptures? If so, I can’t find them. There is not one instance of a person ‘celebrating’ the resurrection of Christ in the New Testament, after the start of the church which began on Pentecost A.D. 33.    
     How do folks attempt to celebrate this monumental event today?   Some have ‘special’ services (sunrise etc.), others paint eggs, give others chocolate bunnies, wear new pastel-colored clothes and gather with family and friends for any number of activities.   Let me quickly state that ‘traditions’ such as the coloring & hiding of boiled eggs, chocolate in bunny shapes, family gatherings and such are not wrong in themselves.   However, to take such and substitute it for “religious” service, or for religious purposes is wrong. ONCE AGAIN, these types of things are ‘traditions”, and are not inherently wrong. And, what in the world would any of these have to do with the resurrection of the Son of God to fulfill God’s Will for humanity anyway?  
     The pondering of such questions should cause all to research to discover the origin of this, and any other holiday. When did “Easter” originate? When was it decided to incorporate eggs & bunnies for such a purpose? In fact, egg(s) cannot be located within the God ‘s Word following Acts chapter 2 when the church began.   Bunnies are not found in the entirety of the Bible. The word “Easter” is likely derived from Eostre, or Eostrae, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility.   Ah, now we see the symbolism of bunnies as they seem to be quite fertile. The egg, of course is a symbol of fertility.
     The Council of Nicaea in 325 (Catholic) decreed that Easter should be observed on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox. The reason for such was because of certain false teaching against which the Bible sternly warns.   A Britannica article on Easter states: By the 4th century the Easter vigil was well established in various liturgical expressions. It was characterized by a spirit of joyful anticipation of the Resurrection and—because of the belief that Jesus’ Second Coming would occur on Easter—the return of Jesus.   Surely, we remember the Lord’s Words in Matt. 24:36 - But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.   Oh, the error man allows himself to embrace by listening to other men.
     There is however, something true Christians are to participate in weekly. This is the Lord’s Supper. There are multiple passages which teach regarding this most sacred and somber event.   The purpose of this is to commemorate, not the Lord’s Resurrection, but His death. Matt. 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:14-20, 1Cor. 10:16-17, & 1Cor. 11:23-29 are some of these. In His death is where He shed His blood so man could be saved upon obedience to the gospel.   Are not these verses sufficient to show the importance of this memorial feast? We can also see in these verses the ‘emblems’ to be used in this supper, and for what they stand.   The ‘unleavened bread’ represents the body of Christ and the “fruit of the vine” (grape juice), represents His precious blood, shed willingly on the cross of Calvary. These are the only authorized things to be used for this. We cannot substitute in any way.
     Notice if you will, how often this is to be observed. Acts 20:7 tells us that the disciples (Christians) gathered to “break bread” every first day of the week. Rom. 1:3-4 tells us Jesus was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.   His death is what we remember each first day. This is not an annual occurrence, nor is it to be relegated to “special days”, or on holidays as some religious folks do. It is to be observed each week on every first day, by Christians as we prepare for a resurrection of our own.  

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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