Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Should Christians Celebrate Easter?


Should We Call It Easter Or Resurrection Day?

Question : Greetings in our Savior Lord Jesus' precious name! I have this question. A good believer Brother put these videos and I watched them both. We as a family, few years ago learned that Easter is a pagan holiday and not actual Resurrection day. So we do not wish anyone Easter but only Happy Resurrection day. But the second video says that Jesus did not die on Friday but on Wednesday and rose on Sabbath Day! May you prayerfully unearth the truth for me? I hope you do not mind me sending you these two videos that shows some truth! We must dig for truth and not go by what is world wide accepted or has been emerged from many centuries practices of tradition. I want to follow the truth! Thanks! One video is 5 min and the other is 8 min!

Answer : Greetings to you in Jesus name! I believe that we can celebrate of the resurrection joy of Jesus, if possible all the 365 days in a year because all of these days are created by God for us to rejoice and celebrate, that is why the Psalmist says, "This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psa 118:24). Apostle Paul agrees with the above Bible verse to say, "4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" (Php 4:4).

Love, not command, is what motivates many Christians to celebrate Easter. I encourage all those who celebrate Easter to make Christ the center of their celebration. The decision to observe Easter, and how to observe it, is a personal matter in the New Testament. There is no clear yes or no from either Jesus or the apostles in regard to celebration of any festivals. According to the apostles, baptism in water and the Lord’s Supper are the only sacraments of the church. Baptism in water is a declaration to the world that a believer has died with Christ and they have been raised with Him to walk in the newness of life (Matthew 28:19; Acts 10:47-48; Romans 6:4). The celebration of the Lord’s Supper by eating of the bread and drinking of the cup is a remembrance of Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:24-30).

Here is what apostle Paul says regarding celebration of any kind for the Christians, "11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ." (Col 2:11-17). In other words Paul was saying that it is not legalism of keeping the law and festivals like in the Old Testament that matters to God (Psa 81:3), but relationship with living Christ that matters the most in the New Testament era (John 15:1-8). Because all the celebration we can do is just the shadow of the things that have happened or the things to come, but the reality of our spiritual experience is not in experiencing joy and ecstasy because of neither tradition nor the festivals that we choose to celebrate, but in reality of connecting to God through our Lord Jesus Christ in fellowship and intimacy through the Word of God and the Spirit of God (1 John 1:3; 2 Cor 13:13-14).

Jack Kelley a Bible teacher of the website explains by saying, "Jesus said, “Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matt. 12:40). But there’s no way to fit 3 days and 3 nights between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:31 all identify Preparation Day as the day of the Lord’ s death, while Matt. 27:62 says the day after the crucifixion was the day after Preparation Day. So all four Gospels agree; Jesus died on Preparation day, the 14th of their month Nisan, which is Passover. As evening began the day, He ate the ritual meal with His disciples in the Upper Room, and then was arrested, tried, convicted, and put to death; all on Passover. So just like the Lord had commanded in Exodus 12, our Passover Lamb was selected on the 10th, inspected on the 11th, 12th, and 13th, and executed on the 14th of Nisan.

Therefore Passover, the 14th, was a Thursday. The Feast of Unleavened bread began on Friday the 15th, Saturday the 16th was the weekly Sabbath, and Resurrection Morning was also a Sunday, the 17th, when the Feast of First Fruits was celebrated. From Thursday to Sunday there are three days and three nights. The Hebrew day changes at sunset, which means that night precedes day.

In a gist, Jesus had to die on Passover to fulfill the prophecy. Early that Thursday morning the Jewish leadership had gotten permission to crucify Him. (Matt. 27:1-26). By 9.00 AM He was hanging on the Cross, by 3.00 PM he died and was buried before sundown brought the Feast of Unleavened Bread which was a holy day of non-activity for the Jews. Thursday was day one and after sundown was Friday. Friday the 15th, night one, and the special Sabbath John mentioned began (John 19:31). At sunrise it was Friday morning, and day two began. The next sundown brought Saturday night the 16th, night two, and the regular Sabbath began. As of sunrise it was Saturday day, the beginning of day three. At sundown on Saturday it became Sunday night the 17th, night three, and sometime before sunrise Jesus rose from the tomb. Three days and three nights. When the women arrived at sunrise to anoint His body early in the morning, He was already gone (Matt 28:1-8).[Note : So in the week Jesus died two Sabbaths that permitted no work were observed back to back: The Feast of Unleavened Bread on Friday the 15th, and the regular weekly Sabbath on Saturday the 16th. Luke 24:1 tells us they were going to anoint His body for burial because the two consecutive Sabbaths had prevented them from doing so earlier (Luke 23:55-56).]"

So Sunday morning was the resurrection morning in which the tomb of Jesus was empty because He has risen just as He said He will. The two disciples who met the Lord on the road to Emmaus that Sunday (the day the Lord’s resurrection was discovered) help us to confirm that the resurrection day was the third day after the crucifixion of Jesus (Luke 24:13-35). “Since” is roughly equivalent to “after”, Thursday was the day He died and after that the day one was Friday, day two was Saturday and the day three was Sunday in which these disciples who met the Lord were going towards a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem (Luke 24:13, 18-20, 21). If Jesus had died on Wednesday and rose on Sabbath Day [i.e. Sunday] these disciples on the way to Emmaus would have told, 'this is the fourth day after Crucifixion of Jesus has happened.' So that logic would not fit and create chaos as it is wrong to calculate like that, and it would create more confusion than solve the mystery of three days and three nights prophecy of Jesus.

Now that "Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed." (1 Cor 5:7), we are supposed to look to what Jesus did for us rather than when He did and what hour and second he fulfilled it intricately. Clearly the apostle Paul emphasizes the spiritual aspect of Jesus forever defeating Satan and all His demonic cohorts who are our enemies, and therefore has forever forgiven all of our sins once and for all time by nailing it to the Cross and wiped of the handwriting of the requirement of the law which was against us. By His death Jesus has appeased God's justice fully, and thus we have become justified before God through the resurrection of Jesus (Col 2:11-17; 1 Cor 15:3-4, 14, 17). Justification is both a past where God declared us "guiltless" and a future event where we will be rewarded for our sacrificial work, by God giving us a glorious eternal body of honor (Romans 4:25; 5:19). Those who obey the law are justified in the past, but now those who live by faith are justified and honored (Romans 2:13; Romans 3:25-26; Heb 10:38). Christ died for our justification of present reality and future reality of what is to come has been guaranteed by the resurrection of the Lord on Sunday morning, which actually clearly shows us that we will one day be resurrected and live with God just like Jesus which is our future hope and comfort (1 Cor 15:12-19, 49, 51-52, 57-58; 1 Thess 4:14-18; 1 John 3:2-3).

According to Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, Easter or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. So according to me, you can call Easter Sunday as the 'Happy Resurrection Day' because that would be a specific wish of reminding people of the truth of what Jesus has done for us by coming alive. Also it would remind us that Jesus is no more dead, but He is alive and well at the right hand of God making intercession for each one of us to succeed as His disciples on earth and inherit great eternal reward from God for eternity ahead (Rom 8:34). At the same time it is not a sin to call it as Easter too, because that would indicate that Jesus the Son of God has risen like a sun in the east on Sunday which is Easter morning symbolically. The world is full of spiritual darkness ruled by Satan and his cohorts, but Jesus as a Morning star has risen in the hearts of all the believing saints as well as He rose physically alive from death to live forever and ever on behalf of ever one of us who believe him as the last human Adam and the second man of the new creation of God which actually means that He is the image of the invisible God and the first born over all creation (2 Peter 1:16-21; 2 Cor 4:4; 1 Cor 15:45-47; Col 1:15). As Jesus is described in the Scripture by Luke as "the rising sun" (Luke 1:78) and He is also called the "bright Morning Star" in Scripture by John the apostolic revelator (Revelation 22:16), we know that Easter truly belongs to none other than Jesus rightfully no matter how much tradition of pagans the world tries to mix and change the meaning of it. So whom we worship is one God through our one risen Lord Jesus, though there are many so called gods the world worships around us it doesn't matter and it can never affect our true worship as we worship God in our spirit and in His truth spiritually beyond time, space and limitation of any human kind (1 Cor 8:6; John 4:24). As we have seen above that the sun symbolically and spiritually represented by the apostles as Jesus, also the sun is universally worshiped as a god by pagan cultures, but God has used such symbol in spite of all such thing in Scripture to symbolize an aspect of Jesus’ glory because God conveys to us all that the fulness of all the earth and the glory of it belong to Him and Him alone who created it (Psa 24:1). So rather than not celebrating Easter based on our small understanding, let us do it all for the glory of God focusing on what Jesus has done for us to make a spiritual and a eternal difference in our lives and circle of friends. We are blessed because of Jesus and so we shall celebrate the resurrection day for Jesus! Hurrah!!! Jesus is alive and are we in this earth fulfilling God's purpose for our lives!!! Happy Easter Resurrection Day!!!

Much Blessings....


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