Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.
8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast.
9 Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs, and internal organs.
– Exodus 12: 7-9
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
There is a growing number of Christians who think that the celebration of “Easter” is rooted in pagan traditions. One of the basic assumptions is that the name “Easter” is a Christian appropriation of “Ishtar,” a Babylonian fertility goddess. However, the English word “Easter” likely comes from the Proto-Germanic “austron,” which means “sunrise” – arguably a fitting name for a celebration that commemorates Jesus’ rising from the dead.
It is important to understand that outside of the English-speaking world, “Easter” is known by its proper name “Pascha.” This means that the majority of Christians in the world celebrate “Pascha” — an Aramaic synonym of the Hebrew Pesach, which means “Passover,” rather than “Easter.”
The feast of Passover (Exodus 12) was the last straw that broke the camel’s back with regard to the resistance of Pharaoh. It was the night of the great release of Israel from the bondage and slavery of Egypt. They killed a lamb, used some of the blood to mark their doorpost, roasted the whole of the sacrificed lamb, and feasted on it fully dressed.
During Easter, Christians celebrate the work of Christ’s redemption, believing that only in His resurrection is God’s forgiveness truly sealed. Because of Jesus’ resurrection, the judgment of God passes over believers just as the Angel of Death passed over the Israelite homes marked by the blood of the lamb during their captivity in Egypt.
While we have the blood for the remission of sin, we are also to feast on the lamb that was slain. The blood marking is to be accompanied by feasting. Our new life of freedom from the wages of sin is sustained as we are strengthened by feasting on the word of God. Otherwise, we may not be able to actually journey beyond the red seas of life into the purposed promised land.
Christians often fail to see the direct connection between “Easter/Pascha” and “Passover/Pesach.” Though the celebrations are officially done according to a different calendar, the rituals are symbolic of the new covenant.
Is Easter a Pagan holiday? Not quite. It is fundamentally a biblical holiday.
So let’s not allow our right to commemorate the death and resurrection of Christ to be undermined and misdirected. Rather, let’s continue to leverage the opportunity to raise the banner of Jesus Christ high for the world to see.
LET US PRAY:
Dear Heavenly Father, I’m forever grateful to you.
You did not wait for me to draw near to You, But You clothed Yourself with frail humanity.
You did not wait for me to cry out to You, But You let me hear Your voice calling me
And I’m forever grateful to You, I’m forever grateful for the cross
I’m forever grateful to You, That You came to seek and save the lost.
Help me to be a faithful witness, a worthy example, and a true ambassador of the message of reconciliation all lifelong.
In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.