Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter or Resurrection Day?

As it is Easter today, a continuation of an earlier post seems fitting.

First, a little historical background on the Easter holiday.

The original meaning of the word Easter is of Saxon origin, and is supposed to be derived from Eostre, the goddess of Love, or the Venus of the North, in honor of whom a festival was celebrated by our pagan ancestors in the month of April.* At the time of the early church, this festival coincided with the Passover of the Jews, and with the feast observed by Christians in honor of the Resurrection of Christ. The name Easter, with help from the Church of Rome, became used to denote the latter.

The term, "Easter" wouldn't be terrible to use as a Christian. Even celebrating the "Easter" holiday (with Christ as the focus, of course) wouldn't be terrible. I just wonder why would a Christian want to be associated (even if just by name) with such damnable idolatry? Brother and sister, Christian, redeemed sinner: the King of Kings will have no rivals.

Christians are to be separate, set apart, outside of the camp. I don't want goddess worshipping to be confused with the celebration of the resurrected Savior - Jesus Christ. The concerned Christian, I believe, should be apprehensive about engaging in activity that even hints of idolatry. Referring to Christians, 1 Peter 2:9 reads:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

And let's face it, brothers and sisters. Look around. Go shopping. Listen to the Radio. Who reigns in our land? Christ or Eostre?

I want it to mean something. I want others to know Christians don't celebrate Easter by the world's definition. I want the world to know that the Easter bunny only matters to Christians when it's part of the resurrection Day FEAST!

Christians celebrate the day when Christ's body rose from the dead, stepped out of the tomb, proving Himself to be God in the flesh, and securing the salvation of His people. We celebrate resurrection Day.

The Resurrection

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” 8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

-Matthew 28:1-10

*Thanks to Challies for doing the grunt work.


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