Passover or Easter?

Hello Friends, 

As the spring season arrives, Christians all over the world eagerly await to celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah. Along with Messiah’s birth, it is the most holy and divine celebration of the year, as it resembles our salvation of eternal life! Most Christians are familiar with the basic understanding of the Feast of Passover and Easter, however, do they share the same meaning? Are they both from God’s living Word, which is the Holy Bible? Before we explore the origin and foundation of Passover and Easter, let us remember the first and greatest commandment.

Deuteronomy 6:5, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

Matthew 22:37-38, “Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.”

Every Christian is commanded to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We are also commanded to search and discover the proper way to worship Him through the Holy Bible.

Matthew 7:7-8, ““Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

Now, with this armor of knowledge, let us discover the foundation of Passover and Easter. 

 

God’s Calendar

In Genesis, God established His divine calendar for signs and seasons. 

Genesis 1:14, “Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth.”

The Lord established His calendar for mankind (you and me) based on the sun and the moon in order for us to understand His signs and seasons. The Hebrew word for seasons is “Mo’ed” (Strong’s #4150), which means an “appointed feast, an appointed festival, or an appointed time.” God created His calendar for specific divine appointments (seasons) with mankind! In Exodus, He commanded the children of Israel as to when the first month would occur on His calendar. 

Exodus 12:1-2,” Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.”

God’s calendar is referred to as the Hebrew (Jewish) calendar, and the first month of the religious year is Nisan. Today, most of the world uses the Julius/Gregorian calendar (Roman), however, as we will confirm, it is not the calendar that God uses. 

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The Origin of Passover

In the Torah, God commanded the children of Israel to keep seven feasts that would coincide with His calendar; Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, Shavuot, Trumpets, Yom Kippur, and Tabernacles. The children of Israel were commanded to proclaim and celebrate these feasts every year.

Leviticus 23:1-2, “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.”

The Lord told Moses to tell the children of Israel about His feasts. It is very important to understand that these are not Israel’s feasts, and not the Jew’s feasts, but God’s feasts. So, if you are saved in Jesus, Jew or Gentile, then these feasts are for you to proclaim and celebrate every year as well! As we discovered, the word Mo’ed means feasts or divine appointments (Strong’s #4150). Now, let us define “holy convocations” from the original Hebrew language.

The Hebrew word for “holy convocations” is Miqra, which means “rehearsal” (Strong’s Dictionary, H-4744). 

When we substitute the words of the original Hebrew meaning into Leviticus 23:1-2, it reads like this (I am paraphrasing to common English):

Leviticus 23:1-2, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: “The divine appointments of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be rehearsals, these are My divine appointments.”

God is clearly telling us that His divine appointments with mankind, Messiah’s First and Second Coming events, will occur on His seven feast days. Messiah also confirmed that He would fulfill these feasts as well.

Matthew 5:17-18, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law (Torah) till all is fulfilled.”

Messiah plainly stated that He is going to fulfill ALL of the law (Torah) and the prophets. Yeshua (Jesus) was the Word made flesh (John 1), who embodied and followed the Law of God (Torah) perfectly. Thus, He did not destroy or abolish the Torah, but rather He fulfilled it to perfection. Messiah also fulfilled many prophecies of the Torah and the prophets at His First Coming, and He will fulfill all of the remaining prophecies at His Second Coming. 

To understand the connection between the commanded Feast Days of the Lord and Messiah, let us explore the prophetic foreshadows of the three feasts of Passover weekend, and how Messiah fulfilled them at His First Coming!

The Feast of Passover (Nisan 14)

Leviticus 23:5, “On the fourteenth day of the first month (Nisan 14) at evening is the Lord’s Passover.”

According to the Hebrew calendar, this day is Nisan 14, which is usually in April on the Gregorian calendar. The children of Israel have “rehearsed” Passover since the first Passover in Egypt, approximately 1,500 years before Messiah was born. Let us remember, the children of Israel were captives in Egypt for 400 years. At the end of the Egyptian captivity, God sent ten plagues upon Pharaoh and the Egyptian people (Exodus 7-12). God’s tenth plague set the children of Israel free from Egyptian captivity.

Prophetic Foreshadow of Messiah’s Passover

Exodus 11:4-7, “Then Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again. But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.”

Moses warned Pharaoh of God’s judgment on all of the Egyptian’s firstborn, including Pharaohs, if he did not release the children of Israel from captivity. In one of the most prophetic, fatal, and devastating events in the Holy Bible, Pharaoh denied Moses’ warning and did not release them.

Exodus 11:9-10, “But the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not heed you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.”

As the Lord understands all of mankind’s decisions before they are made (Daniel 2:20-22), including Pharaohs, this event would become the inauguration of the first Passover! Before God executed His final plague on the Egyptians, God gave Moses and Aaron instructions for the the Lord’s Passover (rehearsal).

Exodus 12:1-14,” Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month (Nisan 10) every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month (Nisan 14). Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. It is the Lord’s Passover. ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.

Just as God commanded, the first month of the Hebrew calendar is Nisan. The children of Israel were commanded to take an unblemished, first year, male lamb as the Passover lamb. The description of the lamb foreshadows Jesus, since He is the unblemished Lamb of the world! The children of Israel were commanded to put the blood of the lamb on their doorposts, and also on the lintel of the houses in order for them to be excluded (Passover) from God’s wrath. This is a prophetic foreshadow of all believers who accept the blood of the cross, as the Lord will “passover” us in His day of judgment. Hallelujah!

God also commanded the children of Israel to keep Passover as a memorial (rehearsal), and they were to celebrate this feast “throughout their generations.” Why did God command them to keep Passover throughout the generations? He was training the children of Israel to rehearse Passover every year so they would understand Messiah’s First Coming events, His divine appointments (feasts). The Exodus Passover is what delivered God’s people from Egypt, however, it was also a “rehearsal” for a greater deliverance in the future!

Numbers 9:2-3, “Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month (Nisan 14), at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time (rehearsal). According to all its rites and ceremonies you shall keep it.

 

Messiah’s Fulfillment of Passover

During Messiah’s First Coming, He entered Jerusalem when the feast days were approaching. On Nisan 10, four days before Passover, the people were commanded to take a sacrificial lamb to Jerusalem according to the Torah.

Exodus 12:3, “On the tenth of this month (Nisan 10) every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.”

In Jesus’ day, all of the sheep were raised in Bethlehem, just as our Lamb of God was also born there (Micah 5:2).

On Nisan 10, the lambs were brought from Bethlehem into the northern gate to be sacrificed for Passover. At the same time, Messiah was entering through the eastern gate (Lions Gate) as the Passover Lamb of the world! Jesus and the lambs entered Jerusalem at the same time for Passover, as both would be sacrificed.

King David wrote the songs for Messiah’s seven feasts days known as the Hallel (Psalms 113-118). Also, Hosanna means save now (Strong’s #5614). As Jesus and the lambs were coming into Jerusalem, the people were singing the Hallel saying, ” save now, save now” (Hosanna)!

Psalm 118:24-26, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now (Hosanna), I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.”

The day before Passover on Nisan 14, the High Priests were commanded to inspect the lambs and make sure they did not have any blemishes.

Exodus 12:5, “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year.”

As the High Priests were inspecting the lambs for blemishes, the Pharisees and Herodians were inspecting Jesus.

Mark 12:13, “Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words.”

However, they did not find any wrongdoing of Messiah, as He was without blemish.

Matthew 26:59-60, “Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none.

Pilate found Him without blemish as well.

Luke 23:13-15, “Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him.” (Also Luke 23:4)

During the Lord’s Seven Feasts, the children of Israel sang the Hallel, Psalms 113-118. After the Lord’s supper, and before Messiah was betrayed and crucified on Passover, the children of Israel were singing Psalm 118. 

Psalm 118:21-23,27, “I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation. The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. God is the Lord, and He has given us light; Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.”

The children of Israel were singing Psalm 118 as a “rehearsal” for Passover and did not realize Messiah’s First Coming events (three Spring Feasts) were being fulfilled! This prophetic Psalm states, “this was the Lord’s doing,” clearly confirming that God preordained Messiah’s crucifixion. The soldiers were about to “bind the sacrifice to the horns of the altar.”

On Nisan 14, the day of Passover, the High Priest’s “rehearsal” was to sacrifice the Lamb. The High Priests had been rehearsing this ceremony for 1,500 years, ever since the children of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt. At the third hour (9am), which is the morning sacrifice, the High Priest would bind the lamb to the alter for Passover. At the exact hour as the High Priest was binding the lamb for sacrifice, the soldiers were also binding Messiah to the cross.

Mark 15:21-25, “Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. Now it was the third hour (9am), and they crucified Him.

As they lifted Messiah’s body on the cross, the people were singing Psalms 118 in the Hallel.

Psalm 118:14-16, “The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”

As we know, Messiah is the right hand of God Almighty (Mark 16:19, Luke 22:69). After Messiah was nailed and lifted up on the cross, more “rehearsals” were fulfilled.

Matthew 27:45-47, “Now from the sixth hour (12 noon) until the ninth hour (3pm, evening sacrifice) there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour (3pm evening sacrifice) Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

John 19:30, “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

As the High Priest was killing the lamb for Passover (the evening sacrifice-3pm), Messiah died on the cross for the sins of the world! (1 Peter 3:18, Romans 6:10). Furthermore, when Jesus said, “It is finished,” this is a direct reference to the High Priest, as he would say the exact words when he finished killing the Passover lamb.

God preordained when the first Passover would happen in Egypt and exactly when His only begotten son, Jesus, would fulfill the Feast of Passover. Messiah fulfilled Passover to the exact day, to the exact hour, and to the exact detail of the ceremony! 

 

Feast of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15)

Prophetic Foreshadow of Unleavened Bread

The day after Passover, Nisan 15, is the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Leviticus 23:6, “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.”

On the inaugural Feast of Unleavened Bread in Egypt, God commanded the children of Israel to remove all of the leavened bread from their houses.

Exodus 12:15, “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.”

Leavened bread symbolizes sin. God wanted the children of Israel to remove sin from their houses and their lives. This was a prophetic foreshadow and rehearsal of Messiah’s First Coming, as He was without sin (unleavened).

Exodus 13:7-10, “Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters. And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘This is done because of what the Lord did for me when I came up from Egypt. It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt. You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.”

 

Messiah’s Fulfillment of Unleavened Bread

On Nisan 15, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Jesus was laid (buried) in a tomb.

Mark 15:46, “Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.”

Messiah was unleavened, without sin, and He fulfilled the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

2 Corinthians 5:21, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (Also see Hebrews 4:14-16).

Approximately 1,500 years before Messiah’s fulfillment of Unleavened Bread, we discover a prophetic foreshadow of this feast. God “buried” His Son on Nisan 15, and the Egyptians buried their firstborn on this day as well.

Numbers 33:3-4, “They departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month (Nisan 15); on the day after the Passover the children of Israel went out with boldness in the sight of all the Egyptians. For the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom the Lord had killed among them.”

Just as the Egyptians buried their firstborn on the inaugural Feast of Unleavened Bread, God also “buried” Messiah on this feast  (Nisan 15), therefore fulfilling the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the exact detail and the exact day! 

 

The Feast of FirstFruits (Nisan 16)

Prophetic Foreshadow of FirstFruits

Two days after Passover, on Nisan 16, is the Feast of FirstFruits.

Leviticus 23: 10-12, “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the Lord.”

God commanded the Feast of FirstFruits to be “rehearsed” the day after the Sabbath (Saturday), which is Sunday, Nisan 16. The children of Israel were commanded to bring a sheaf of the first fruits and give it to the High Priests. The High Priests would wave the sheaf to the Lord for acceptance. A sheaf represents a person or people (Strong’ s Dictionary #6016). Also, God commanded a “male lamb of the first year and without blemish” to be offered as a sacrifice when the priests waved the sheaf.

Messiah’s Fulfillment of FirstFruits

After Jesus was crucified on Nisan 14, and laid in the tomb on Nisan 15, He rose on Nisan 16, the Feast of FirstFruits!

Matthew 28:1,5-6, “Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn (Sunday), Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.”

According to God’s (Hebrew) calendar, the Sabbath (Saturday) is the last day of the week, and the first day of the week is Sunday. The Apostle Matthew states that Messiah was not in the tomb “at dawn,” because He had risen! So, at dawn on Sunday (Nisan 16), as the High Priests were waving their first fruits (sheaf) to the Lord, Messiah rose from the dead at the same time, becoming the FirstFruits of mankind! The first sheave that the High Priest would wave represents that the entire harvest would be fulfilled. This tells us that just as Messiah was the FirstFruit dedicated to God, we are His harvest, and therefore we will be resurrected as well!

Psalm 16:10, “For You will not leave my soul in Sheol (Hell), nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

As the High Priest waved the sheaf to the Lord, he was also commanded to offer an unblemished male lamb of the first year. As we discovered, Messiah was the unblemished male lamb of the first year (FirstFruits), fulfilling this prophecy!

Acts 13:33-35, “God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’ And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’ Therefore He also says in another Psalm: ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’”

Jesus is the Beginning of the Creation of God, First Begotten Son, Firstborn of all creatures, Firstborn of Mankind, Firstborn of Mary, First Begotten of the Dead, and the FirstFruits of the Resurrection! Messiah is the Feast of FirstFruits!

Clearly and without question, the foundation of Passover (Nisan 14), Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15), and FirstFruits (Nisan 16) is directly from the Holy Bible. God Almighty commanded the children of Israel to proclaim and celebrate these feasts throughout the generations. 

Are the seven feasts for the Gentiles to celebrate as well? Remember, God commanded that these were His feasts, not just Israel’s or the Jewish people’s feasts. Also, Messiah Himself stated that He came to fulfill the Torah and the prophets. 

Matthew 5:17-18, “”Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

So, if you are saved in Jesus the Messiah, and He fulfilled the Spring Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, then clearly, these feasts are for all of mankind, Jew and Gentile, to celebrate and proclaim every year! Furthermore, God commands His believers to celebrate this holy and divine weekend on Nisan 14-16 (April 22-24, 2016)

 

Easter

Before we discover the origin and foundation of Easter, we must understand that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, and He never changes (Malachi 3:6). He commands us to understand the Holy Bible, the laws and commandments it contains, and worship Him in spirit AND in truth

John 4:23-24, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

This section of the article is not meant to condemn or judge anyone, as I have celebrated the Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection on Easter for over 35 years. However, out of love for the Holy Trinity (God Almighty, Messiah, Holy Spirit) and mankind (Jew and Gentile), this article is written for the truth to be proclaimed. I pray that you will read this section with an open heart and discernment. 

The origin of “Easter” is derived from several pagan goddess’s found throughout many cultures and time periods in history: Eoster, Asherah, Ishtar, Eastre, Ashtoreth, Astarte, just to name a few. These goddess’s are often associated with erotic love, fertility, sex, and war.  Their history can be traced all the way back to Semiramis, the “queen of heaven” or “star of the east.” She was the wife of Nimrod, who was deified as Baal and other sun gods (idol), and who was one of the original defiers of God. It is no surprise that while she goes by many names, the traditions and symbols used to represent her are very similar across many varying cultures, forms, and time periods.  She was almost universally worshiped during the Spring equinox, which is where Easter falls every year, and can never be on the dates of Passover, Unleavened Bread, or FirstFruits (Nisan 14-16).

It is widely known that the early Christian church adopted the pagan symbols, celebration dates, and practices of the surrounding cultures and then officially “christianized” them to appeal to both the pagans and the Christians in a political compromise during the time of Constantine (Council of Nicea in 325 C.E.). Because of Jewish persecution and the deep anti-Semitism within the early Gentile church, the Feast days of the Lord (Leviticus 23) and many of the worship practices of the early believers, called Nazarenes, were made illegal and replaced with sun god and fertility goddess symbols, celebration days, worship practices, and traditions. 

The prophet Jeremiah warned of worshiping the “queen of heaven.”

Jeremiah 7:17-20“Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me. “Do they spite Me?” declares the LORD. “Is it not themselves they spite, to their own shame? says the Lord. “Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces? Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, My anger and My fury will be poured out on this place—on man and on beast, on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground. And it will burn and not be quenched.”

God clearly warned His people in multiple verses in the Holy Bible of worshiping Ashtoreth (Easter), as well.

Judges 2:11-13, “Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals; and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger. They forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.”

1 Samuel 7:3-4, “Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” So the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.

The goddess Asherah is mentioned over a dozen times in the Holy Bible, and never in a favorable way.  In 2 Kings 17, we learn of the House of Israel’s extensive sins and idolatry, for which they were removed from the Lord’s presence. One of the primary idolatries for which they were guilty of was the worshiping of Asherah (Easter):

2 Kings 17: 16-18,They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger. So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence.”

The symbols used to worship Easter/Ishtar/Ashtaroth (pagan goddesses) included the fertility symbols of eggs and rabbits (specifically an egg laying rabbit), and the worship practices included forty days of self deprecation in mourning for her dead son, Tammuz, followed by a sunrise worship service and a huge carnal celebration when Tammuz was said to be “resurrected” at the coming of spring each year. This is the same practice that many Christians undergo before Easter, but now its called Lent and Mardi Gras/Carnival. God warned us about worshiping in a “Tammuz” way.

Ezekiel 8:12-16, “Then He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are committing in the dark, each man in the room of his carved images? For they say, ‘The LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the land.’” And He said to me, “Yet you will see still greater abominations which they are committing.” Then He brought me to the entrance of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? Yet you will see still greater abominations than these.” Then He brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house. And behold, at the entrance to the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east; and they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun.

God plainly warns us not to worship in the manner of “Tammuz,” or to the starry hosts, or to the sun rising in the east. Unfortunately, this is a practice which is directly related to the popular “Easter sunrise service.” In the above verses we see the women and elders of Israel in the House of the Lord weeping for Tammuz and worshiping toward the rising sun in the east. This frightening example almost perfectly parallels the worship practices of those believers who follow in the pagan ways of Easter. 

According to God Almighty and His living Word, the Holy Bible, celebrating God in the manner of a false god or goddess is an abomination and blasphemy. Unfortunately, this is the exact thing that mankind is doing when they celebrate Messiah through pagan traditions, dates, and symbols, although they do not realize it. Easter is one of Satan’s largest deceptions upon mankind; to worship the holy, divine crucifixion and resurrection of Messiah on the pagan rooted holiday, Easter. 

 The Holy Bible clearly commands us that the celebration of Messiah’s crucifixion and resurrection is to be celebrated every year on Nisan 14-16. In contrast, the celebration of Easter (Ashtaroth/Asherah) is only found in the Holy Bible as an abomination and never falls on the commanded dates of the Lord. For example, in 2016, Easter falls on Adar 15-17 (March 25-27). Again, this is heresy and blasphemy to Messiah’s holy and divine crucifixion and resurrection. God commanded all believers to worship Messiah’s crucifixion and resurrection on Nisan 14-16 (April 22-24). Clearly and without question, God created Passover, and Satan influenced mankind to create Easter. We have to understand, God does not change, and if He calls Ashtaroth/Asherah (Easter) an abomination to Him in the beginning, then it is an abomination to Him today, and will be forevermore.

Malachi 3:6, ““For I am the Lord, I do not change.”

Hebrews 13:8-9, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines.”

To worship Messiah’s crucifixion and resurrection on Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits, is worshiping God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). To worship Messiah’s crucifixion and resurrection on Easter is not, as it derives from pagan roots and follows pagan practices. But doesn’t God understand what is in our hearts? The Holy Bible tells us the answer.

Jeremiah 17:9, ““The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?”

In this sobering statement, Jeremiah tells us that mankind’s hearts are deceitful and wicked. As sad as this may seem, this confirms that we cannot “control, influence, or make” a pagan, evil festival that God calls an abomination, good and righteous. Religious leaders, pastors, and mankind in general, cannot “Christianize” Easter. What God calls evil, mankind cannot call good. 

Isaiah 5:20-21, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

Isaiah warns us of being prudent and wise in our own sight. By worshiping the holy crucifixion and resurrection on a pagan holiday, believing we are worshiping in spirit and in truth, in whose eyes are we wise?  Ours, or Gods? Again, Easter is not truth, and the Holy Spirit will not lead us to worship on a blasphemous holiday. As Judeo-Christians, we are to worship and keep the commandments of the Holy Bible, including the Torah, not the traditions of men (Easter).

Sadly, through the traditions of men, many believers who truly love Jesus have fallen away from the foundation of His ministry, which is the Torah of God, including His seven feasts. One cannot be separated from the other just as Jesus cannot be separated from His Jewish heritage. It is through Israel, and the remnant of the House of Judah (the Jews), that God chose to redeem all mankind through the Jewish Messiah, the King of Israel! It is through His commanded ways and Feasts that we are to worship, not the ways and traditions of men.

Mark 7:9,13, “Jesus said to them,All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

For the Church or a person to believe that they can control or change a pagan holiday into a Godly celebration is foolishly deceiving themselves, and dangerously exalting themselves as a deity. We must remember to deny and humble ourselves to the sovereign righteousness of God Almighty and the Holy Bible.  

Matthew 16:24, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

Luke 14:11, “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

So often mankind tries to make God who we think He should be instead of searching and discovering who He is and how we should be worshiping Him through the Holy Bible. It is all about God’s ways, not our ways, and its about His commandments, not what we think.

Isaiah 55:8-9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

Messiah commands us to enter the narrow gate, and not the “worldly” wide gate, following His everlasting commandments.

Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

1 John 2:15, “ Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Easter is clearly of the world, as it was created by mankind (influenced by Satan). In contrast, Passover was created as a divine appointment by God Almighty (Leviticus 23), and Messiah fulfilled Passover to the exact day and hour! The Lord hates pagan idols so much, that He commanded the children of Israel to destroy them and told the people not to associate with the idolators. 

Deuteronomy 12:2, “You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the Lord your God with such things.

Deuteronomy 12:29-31, “When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; (Also see Exodus 34:13)

As we discussed, many Christians, including some churches, believe that the Torah is not valid today or is obsolete. However, this is not an accurate understanding. Although the Mosaic Covenant (old covenant) is obsolete, and replaced with the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:13), the prophecies of the Torah are still very much valid. Messiah clearly confirms this, as He will fulfill the prophecies of the Torah and the prophets.  

Mathew 5:17-18, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law (Torah) or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

So, if Messiah states that He is going to fulfill the Torah, including the seven feasts, and He fulfilled the first three feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and FirstFruits to the exact day and hour, shouldn’t we worship His crucifixion and resurrection on the correct day? The resounding answer is absolutely yes! In doing so, we will be worshiping in spirit and in truth!

Proverbs 3:5-8, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.”

If Messiah was on earth today, can you imagine His response if we asked Him to join us in celebrating His crucifixion and resurrection on Easter, and not on the Passover weekend of Nisan 14-16?! Make no mistake, He would rebuke us as heretics and blasphemers! (Matthew 23) As Gentiles, we need to remember that Gentiles are the wild olives that are grafted into Israel’s “promised” tree (Romans 11), and we should worship according to Messiah’s instructions. We do not support the “root,” but the “root” supports us (Romans 11:18). 

The Apostle Paul also warns us of pagan philosophies and empty traditions. 

Colossians 2:8-10, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”

Clearly Easter is a principle of the world, and according to the tradition of men, not of Messiah.  

1 Corinthians 10:14-22, “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

As believers in Messiah, we cannot worship and celebrate Messiah’s crucifixion and resurrection on both Easter and Passover. This would be drinking the cup of demons (Easter) and the cup of the Lord (Passover). There is a very clear distinction between Passover and Easter. Passover is of God, and Easter is from Satan. If we love the Lord with all of our hearts, souls, and minds, we should keep His commandments, as they are not burdensome. 

1 John 5:1-4, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments (Passover). For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

1 John 4:6, “We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

Now that we have explored Passover and Easter, why does the church still insist on celebrating Easter and carrying on the traditions that have no place in the worship of Messiah?  One answer is that Easter is one of the busiest days of the year for the church. In fact, it is so busy, that there are always multiple services added during this time!  It is often rationalized by insisting that this is one of the best days on which to share the Gospel with those who may not know Jesus, therefore, they will continue to use this day and these methods to reach as many people as possible “for Christ.” While it is true that we are commanded to spread the Gospel of Jesus, is this really the best way, and what Gospel are we spreading? Should we be encouraging new and old believers, or those who do not know Jesus at all, to worship Him in ways that are specifically against His commands? Which Gospel account uses rabbits, eggs, sunrise services, and Spring equinox dates? While it is true that Christian’s should be sharing the Gospel with as many people as possible, if we use Easter and other pagan traditions to do this we completely contradict what we profess to believe!

There are many other justifications made, such as “we have done it this way for years, so we will continue to do it,” or “God knows what we mean, and He really doesn’t care when or how we celebrate Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection,” or “these are just traditions and don’t have any pagan attachments or meanings to us now.” Where in the Holy Bible does it says that mankind gets to make the rules on worshiping God? Where does God give us the authority to change His appointed times? While these things may not have pagan meanings to us, what do they mean to God?  If God doesn’t care about what we do, or how/what we worship, why did He discipline Israel and send His only begotten Son to die on a cross for us? He did this because we keep doing it wrong!

Ultimately, it comes down to this decision: do you want to worship the way that God specifically commands in the Holy Bible, or do you want to worship in a way that the world tells you to worship because of tradition and emotion?  Which way honors Messiah and His sacrifice, and which way pollutes it?  Which way is sacrificial, and which way is blaspheming God? Do we sacrifice the traditions of this world in order to live as God commands, or do we test God’s grace by adhering to the world’s traditions?

2 Corinthians 6:14-16, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial (false gods/goddess’s), or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God…”

Galatians 1:6-10, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”

In conclusion, the Holy Bible clearly tells us to worship in spirit and in truth. As we have discovered, Passover is truth from God and Easter is not, as it is from Satan. Passover is a celebration to God on a day that He commanded, using symbols and methods that glorify Him and remember His grace, mercy, and Messiah. Easter on the other hand, is a celebration on the day of His enemy (queen of heaven), using ways, methods, and symbols that pollute His holiness with idolatry. These things do not glorify Him, but remind Him of the immorality, prostitution temples, and human sacrifice from which these symbols and rituals derive. 

Mankind, including religious leaders, cannot change, control, or mold Easter into a “godly” holiday from what the Almighty has clearly labeled heresy, blasphemy, and ultimately, an abomination. God plainly has told us not to worship on Easter (Ashtoroth/Asherah), and He warned us of the dangers of breaking His commandments. Please remember, we do not change the truth to conform the world, we conform to the truth and change the world!

I pray and hope that you will worship this holy, divine weekend on God’s commanded dates of Nisan 14-16 (April 22-24). In doing so, you will be worshiping in spirit and in truth, just as Messiah has commanded us! In the name of Jesus the Messiah (Be Shem Yeshua Hamashiach) Amen, Amen, and Amen!

Psalm 119:41-48, “Let Your mercies come also to me, O Lord, Your salvation according to Your word. So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Your word. And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for I have hoped in Your ordinances. So shall I keep Your law continually, forever and ever. And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts. I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love. My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on Your statutes.”

 

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