Is Easter A Christian Holiday?
I always cringe when I hear the term “Easter Sunday.” Why? Because there is nothing Christian about the term “Easter!”
According to Wikipedia: “The modern English term Easter, cognate with modern German Ostern, developed from the Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre.[nb 2] This is generally held to have originally referred to the name of an Anglo-Saxon goddess, Ēostre, a form of the widely attested Indo-European dawn goddess.[nb 3]”
David Curtis, Pastor of Berean Bible Church puts it this way:
“Is there something special about the date? Prior to A.D. 325, Easter was variously celebrated on different days of the week, including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In that year, the Council of Nicaea was convened by emperor Constantine. It issued the Easter Rule which states that Easter shall be celebrated on the first Sunday that occurs after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. The ecclesiastical “vernal equinox” is always on March 21. Therefore, Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday between the dates of March 22 and April 25. Constantine took all of the pagan holidays and made them Christian holidays.
Does the rabbit have some spiritual significance? The Easter Bunny is not a modern invention. The symbol originated with the pagan festival of Eastre. The goddess, Eastre, was worshiped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the rabbit.
So How much of Easter is Christian? None of it!”
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
But what is special about the day that many wrongly label “Easter Sunday?” It is a very special day which has nothing to do with bunny rabbits, colored eggs, or easter egg hunts. It should be called “Resurrection Sunday” because it was on this day that our Lord Jesus was raised from the dead! Yes! Its all about the Resurrection!
Here is what is of significance on this day! The Bible account tells us in Matt. 28:1-8:
“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. 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. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 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.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.”
Yes! Jesus proved He was who He said He was by His resurrection from the grave. He is Risen! This is our song and our joy today!
And the benefit is that we who believe in Him will never die! Even as Jesus himself stated:
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
Joh 11:26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
This should be our question today. Do we have enough faith to believe? For it is only by putting our trust in Him that we will receive this blessed gift!