EASTER

Kenneth L. Jones

Many people celebrate Easter as a special day of annual religious observance in a sincere effort to commemorate the resurrection of Christ. This practice, however, was unknown to the church of the New Testament. It cannot be traced any further back than the latter part of the second century. The word, Easter, does not appear in the original text of the New Testament. Its one appearance in the King James Version of the Bible (Acts 12:4) is an unfortunate mistranslation of the Greek word, PASCHA, that should be translated Passover. Herod had imprisoned Peter and was " . . .intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people." This should read " . . . intending after Passover to bring him forth to the people." Passover was an annual observance of the Jewish nation in remembrance of their deliverance for Egyptian bondage. The English word Easter and the German word Ostern refer to the season of the year, the spring. There was a Teutonic goddess Ostera, whose festival was celebrated early in the spring by the Saxons (Smith’s Dictionary Of The Bible, Vol. I, pp. 637,638.) The only special day of religious observance authorized in the Scriptures for the church is weekly, on the first day of the week. It was on this day that Christ entered triumphantly into the city of Jerusalem, it was the day on which He was resurrected, and the day on which the church was established.


The first day of the week (Sunday) is the only special day of religious observance authorized in the New Testament for the church. This is the day on which the disciples came together to "break bread"(Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:2), referring to the Lord’s Supper. In observing the Lord’s Supper, symbolizing His body and blood, they remembered His death and all things surrounding it, including His resurrection. They were also to look forward to His second appearance (I Corinthians 11:23-30). They assembled at various times of the week for Bible study, prayer or singing, but the only day for observing the Lord’s Supper was the first day of the week.

The Easter Bunny and the Easter Egg Hunt may be harmless for children so long as they do not attach any religious significance. These practices, however, have no origin in the inspired Scriptures. The practice of decorating eggs and exchanging them as gifts is a tradition associated with Easter.



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