Prior to that time, and until today, the holiday by that name was and is a Pagan holiday. This holiday was celebrated for thousands of years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Easter was a religious celebration to the Pagan "Queen of Heaven," the Mother of life, the Goddess Ishtar, the Goddess of fertility.
Jesus Christ was crucified at the exact time the Passover lambs were being slaughtered for the "Passover" meal, on the day preceding the first day of the "Feast of Unleavened Bread," the fourth day of the week, before sundown. After sundown they ate the "Passover" meal. The next day was the first day of the "Feast of Unleavened Bread," a "high day," a special Holy Day Sabbath, the fifth day of the week. He resurrected on the third day of the "Feast of Unleavened Bread," on the seventh day Sabbath before sundown.
Thus, he was in the grave (the heart of the earth) three days and three nights, as he had predicted to his disciples. (See Matthew 12;40)
Christ and his followers kept the "Passover" and the "Feast of Unleavened Bread." They did not in any way keep the Pagan holiday of Easter. Christ's followers were forbidden to keep any Pagan customs or Pagan traditions. These customs and traditions were decreed to be abominations by God himself throughout the old testament.
The Pagan customs of Easter eggs and the Easter rabbit are associated with this holiday due to their life giving reproductive characteristics. The inference that the Easter rabbit laid the Easter eggs is an abominable lie and has no place in true Christian worship.
Easter sunrise service is an ancient pagan custom of worship to the Sun God "Tammuz" which at the time of the vernal equinox, was returning into the northern hemisphere from its journey to the south. The vernal equinox is the time of the year when the sun crosses the equator in its trek northward. To the pagan religious worshippers, it is a time to celebrate the return of life and reproduction to animal and plant life as well. This is why Ishtar, or Easter, was chosen to be celebrated at this time of the year.
Ezekiel wrote, "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 altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the East; and they worshiped the sun toward the East.
"Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them." Ezekiel 8:16-18
To compound this abominable "anti-Christian" falsehood of Easter, we are told to believe that Christ was crucified on Friday (Good Friday) and rose on Easter Sunday morning,. Thus making Jesus Christ a liar when he said he would be in the grave three days and three nights. Even a child can count and see there are not three days and three nights between Friday and Sunday morning.
The abominable lie is further compounded by saying that Christ resurrected on the morning of the first day of the week. The Bible in no way supports this claim. If we are to believe the scriptures, Christ was put in the grave on Wednesday evening before sunset. If Christ was not a liar as some of the teachings of Christianity depict, then He rose from the grave on Saturday evening before sunset. If the grave was found open and empty early Sunday morning, a reasonable person can only conclude he resurrected the evening before Sunday morning, before the end of the Seventh day Sabbath, or Saturday afternoon before sundown.
"True Christians," or "Followers Of Christ," which would like to follow the scriptures accurately, would do well to observe the God-ordained "Passover" and the "Feast of Unleavened Bread."
This is the holiday celebration which would correctly commemorate the "death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ." "Passover" this year begins Monday evening, April 21st at sunset, and ends Tuesday evening, April 22nd. "Passover" is the the first day of the seven day "Feast of Unleavened Bread."
To keep the "Passover" is the first commandment God gave to the children of Israel. He commanded that it be observed forever as a memorial, "that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life." Deuteronomy 16:3
"And the Lord spake unto Moses, and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, in the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month And they shall eat the flesh in that night And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord's Passover." Exodus 12:1-11
Apostle Paul admonished the Church of Corinth with these words, "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness: but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." I Corinthians 5:7-8
Thus, by his crucifixion at the time of the "Passover," Christ, the "Passover Lamb" became the final sacrifice for sins of those who would deny themselves and follow him. "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." Hebrews 10:14
At the last supper, Jesus instituted a new way for his disciples to commemorate the "Passover." "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matthew 26:26-28
According to the scriptures, this method of keeping the "Passover" in memory of his death once a year, was ordained by Jesus Christ himself. God almighty condemned the keeping of the customs of the pagan holiday "Easter."
The leaders of "False Christianity" have deceived their followers into worshipping at "Easter" instead of "Passover" and the "Feast of Unleavened Bread," to commemorate the "death, burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
For more detailed information on how to keep the "Passover," order your free copy of "The Passion and the Passover," a guide to correct communion. Order from: Five Star Publishing Co., Box 232, 1539 E. China Lake Blvd., Ridgecrest, CA. 93555.
Arnold Gordon may be contacted by email at: BibleQ&A@iwvisp.com