The Faithbook

A place of writing and reflection…

The Origins of Easter

GotQuestionsOrg

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. 

—1 John 4:1-2

Today’s entry comes from Got Questions.org and their Biblical response about the origins of Easter, because it should be important to us  as to what we believe and how we live it out.

Easter, just like many other holidays, didn’t find it’s start in Christianity though now many of us do celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection on this day along side chocolate bunnies and candied eggs.

The origins of Easter are rooted in European traditions. The name Easter comes from a pagan figure called Eastre (or Eostre) who was celebrated as the goddess of spring by the Saxons of Northern Europe. A festival called Eastre was held during the spring equinox by these people to honor her. The goddess Eastre’s earthly symbol was the rabbit, which was also known as a symbol of fertility. Originally, there were some very pagan (and sometimes utterly evil) practices that went along with the celebration. Today, Easter is almost a completely commercialized holiday, with all the focus on Easter eggs and the Easter bunny being remnants of the goddess worship.

In the Christian faith, Easter has come to mean the celebration of the resurrection of Christ three days after His crucifixion. It is the oldest Christian holiday and the most important day of the church year because of the significance of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the events upon which Christianity is based. Easter Sunday is preceded by the season of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting and repentance culminating in Holy Week and followed by a 50-day Easter season that stretches from Easter to Pentecost.

Because of the commercialization and pagan origins of Easter, many churches prefer to refer to it as “Resurrection Sunday.” The rationale is the more we focus on Christ and the less we focus on the pagan holiday, the better. As previously mentioned, the resurrection of Christ is the central theme of Christianity. Paul says that without this, our faith is futile (1 Corinthians 15:17). What more wonderful reason could we have to celebrate! What is important is the true reason behind our celebration, which is that Christ was resurrected from the dead, making it possible for us to have eternal life (Romans 6:4)!

Should we celebrate Easter or allow our children to go on Easter eggs hunts? This is a question both parents and church leaders struggle with. There is nothing essentially evil about painting and hiding eggs and having children search for them. What is important is our focus. If our focus is on Christ and not the eggs, our children will understand that the eggs are just a game. Children can participate in an Easter egg hunt as long as the true meaning of the day is explained and emphasized, but ultimately this must be left up to the discretion of parents.

The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus - By: Gary R. Habermas, Michael R. Licona<br /> Recommended Resources:The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary Habermas and Logos Bible Software

 

 

The Faithbook 2015
Article and photo copyright of Got Questions.org.

Got Questions Ministries seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by providing biblical, applicable, and timely answers to spiritually related questions through an internet presence.

GotQuestions.org is a volunteer ministry of dedicated and trained servants who have a desire to assist others in their understanding of God, Scripture, salvation, and other spiritual topics. We are Christian, Protestant, conservative, evangelical, fundamental, and non-denominational. We view ourselves as a para-church ministry, coming alongside the church to help people find answers to their spiritually related questions.

We will do our best to prayerfully and thoroughly research your question and answer it in a biblically based manner. It is not our purpose to make you agree with us, but rather to point you to what the Bible says concerning your question. You can be assured that your question will be answered by a trained and dedicated Christian who loves the Lord and desires to assist you in your walk with Him. Our writing staff includes pastors, youth pastors, missionaries, biblical counselors, Bible/Christian college students, seminary students, and lay students of God’s Word.

All of our answers are reviewed for biblical and theological accuracy by our staff, with final approval given by our President and Founder, S. Michael Houdmann. He possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Calvary Bible College and a Master’s degree in Christian Theology from Calvary Theological Seminary (Kansas City, MO). May God richly bless you as you seek to study His Word and grow in your walk with Him! (Romans 11:36)

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In Mosul, ISIS militants marked with a spray-painted ن (the Arabic letter for “N”) all Christian property to be seized after the ultimatum. “N”, or ن , is the first letter of the Arabic word for Christian, “Nasrani” or Nazarene. #pray4thepersecuted

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