“He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” – Romans 4:25
Easter… The season is synonymous with bunnies, chicks, baskets, and colored eggs. But to those who know their Holy Bible, it has deep meaning. It is not just another secular holiday on the calendar; but it is the holiest week of the entire year, in which lives can be changed and souls can be saved. It is the season to celebrate God’s redemption for both Jews and Gentiles alike. Though it is not just a celebration of the LORD’s Passover in Egypt, but of the ultimate Passover Lamb – Who came down from Heaven to be sacrificed in the greatest redemption story mankind will ever know.
The only begotten Son of YaHWeH God endured the most excruciating torture and death in history, so that us poor sinners could be reconciled to our Father in Heaven. And then, to top it all off, He rose from the dead to prove that His sacrifice would bring all who believe in Him everlasting life. For just as He rose from the dead, so too will He resurrect everyone who has put their faith in Him in the end. So “Easter” is not about bunnies and chicks at all, but rather the LAMB of God.
In the Biblical Greek, Easter is translated as “Pascha,” which means “Passover.” Any Christians who ignore the holy Biblical feast of the LORD, referring to it as just some “Jewish holiday,” are missing the whole reason for the season. The Jews in ancient Egypt were protected by God from all His plagues, from the destroyer, and from death, when they marked the doorposts of their homes in the blood of a lamb. As I pointed out in my Passover article: if the LORD had passed over His children when He saw the blood of a sacrificed animal, how much more will He not pass over His children today when He sees us covered and washed in the Blood of His sinless Son, Jesus Christ?!
So, the “Easter” holiday of Christians is really just the continuation – or rather the culmination – of the LORD’s Passover. Lord Jesus was actually crucified at the same exact time that the Passover lambs were being slain in the temple for the feast, on a Friday afternoon (Nisan 14 in 33 A.D.). That is why, though the Hebrew calendar and our western Gregorian calendar differ, Passover and the Christian holidays of Good Friday and Easter Sunday are so closely intertwined.
“It was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour (when Jesus was delivered up to be crucified).” – John 19:14
Lord JESUS Himself celebrated the Passover feast, in what Christians call the Last Supper (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, John 13). The Apostle Paul spoke of the connection between Christ and the sacrificial Passover lamb ~
“For even Christ our PASSOVER is sacrificed for us.” – 1st Corinthians 5:7
Even though Easter is known as Pascha (Passover) in the Greek, pagans hijacked the name to associate it (and our Christian holiday itself) with a Saxon goddess named “Eastre” (Oestre or Ostara). She was known as a “fertility goddess” of the Spring. And the custom of Easter being associated with bunnies and eggs has much to do with Eastre. Rabbits happen to be an ancient symbol of fertility.
According to some sources, the “Easter Bunny” first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who brought their tradition of an egg-laying hare. Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its “colored eggs.” Eventually, this custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Now, there is nothing wrong with Easter baskets filled with candy and toys (as what child doesn’t love that on Easter morning); but I recommend that you somehow associate it with Christ as opposed to an “Easter Bunny.”
The same goes for the eggs, because the egg is another ancient symbol of fertility, and has long been associated with pagan festivals that celebrate spring. So if you color eggs with your kids every year, start to incorporate Christian symbolism. For instance, paint crosses, doves, or angels on them, or even paint the name of Jesus on the eggs. I’ve heard that some Christian parents have used the eggs as teaching tools for their kids, to represent Christ’s emergence from the tomb in His resurrection. After coloring them and placing them out for decoration, they will then crack them open on Resurrection Day. Other believers dye eggs bright red to symbolize the Blood of Christ.
So, instead of continuing to paganize God’s holy feasts along with the secular world, you should Christianize any pagan rituals that you may have been ignorantly engaging in. If you don’t have young children, I’d do away with unBiblical customs altogether.
That is why I personally like to refer to Easter as Pesach, Resurrection Sunday, Passover Sacrifice of our Lord, or Holy Week. All of these titles make clear what and WHO I’m observing and celebrating, and it’s not an Easter Bunny or some pagan goddess! It is THE LAMB. And just like with Christmas, Jesus is the “Reason for the Season.”
He and the Father in Heaven decided “before the foundation of the world” that He (as God in the flesh) would come down and become the acceptable sacrifice for the sins of the human race once and for all. Christ took a body with flesh and blood, endured temptation, hunger, thirst, shame, grief, suffered unthinkable torture unto death, and through it all He SINNED NOT. He took upon Himself the punishment, pain, and judgments which WE all deserve.
He did so out of His great immeasurable love for us, even knowing that not everyone would love Him back or appreciate what He had done. The Father must have shed infinite tears watching His Only Begotten suffer so badly for His children on the earth. Jesus Christ accepted the mission that would bring about the salvation of every soul who accepts His sacrifice on their behalf. He did all of the work. As He said before He breathed His last breath on the Cross… “It is finished.”
All that we poor sinners are required to do is REPENT of our sins, and ask the Father to cleanse us of every sin we have ever committed in Christ’s most holy shed blood. That’s it. God has made it so easy on us, yet somehow every person on Earth is not a Christian. How in the world can you not be?!
Finally, Christ Jesus completed God’s Plan for Salvation by being the only one in history to ever RISE FROM THE DEAD, which proved His Divinity. His empty tomb is the reason why we call Him “the Author and finisher of our faith” (HEBREWS 5:9 & 12:22). As He Himself earlier prophesied, three days after His death on Calvary’s Cross, He triumphantly rose from the grave – defeating any power that Satan or death had over us once and for all.
This is what the season and holy weekend is all about: JESUS. Just Jesus. Nothing else. Like John Hagee once said, all we will ever need in this life is “JESUS PLUS NOTHING.” He’s all I need, because every other blessing in this life flows through Him. Without Him, I would have nothing good. I was the worst sinner on the block for about a decade of my life, and now I’ve been a preacher man for the past 15 years. How is that possible? Because of one Man – the God-Man – Jesus Christ. I thank and praise our Father in Heaven every day for my precious holy Savior and Lord. Thank you YHWH. Thank you Jesus.
To close this article, I’m going to give many Biblical verses to strengthen your faith this Holy Week; and to remind you Who you should be honoring and celebrating. It is the one who died for me and died for you. The least that we can do today is LIVE FOR HIM.
“JESUS CHRIST, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:6-11
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” – Isaiah 53:4-11
“You were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” – 1st Peter 1:19-23
“Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” – Revelation 1:5
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” – Leviticus 17:11
“Without shedding of blood is no remission of sins.” – Hebrews 9:22
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” – Hebrews 9:12-14
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” – 1st Timothy 1:15-16
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all.” – 1st Timothy 2:5-6
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:16-18
“The Angel in the tomb said unto them, do not fear; You seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: HE IS RISEN; He is not here: Behold the place where they laid Him.” – Mark 16:6
“Jesus said unto her, I Am the Resurrection, and the Life.” – John 11:25
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” – 1st Corinthians 15:3-4
“The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” – John 3:35-36
“Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” – 1st Timothy 3:16
“And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God does not have life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that you may KNOW that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.” – 1st John 5:11-13
“Jesus said, I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: there is NO MAN who comes unto the Father, except by Me.” – John 14:6
“JESUS CHRIST: There is salvation in no other; for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12
“For you are all the children of God by FAITH in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:26