Everywhere I look the past few weeks there have been commercials for new Easter dresses or cute little patent-leather leather shoes, Easter Baskets and Cadberry chocolates. While temptimg in the extreme- All these things stir those childhood memories of wearing of wearing pretty little hats and white gloves and large family dinners at Grandmother’s house on Easter.
But let’s be honest here. A celebration of chocolate Bunnies, polyester pink grass and hidden eggs has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus but are customs that stem directly from the pagan worship of Ishtar and Tamus. Long ago Emperor Constantine “declared: the Roman Empire as instantaneously a Christian Nation it was deemed expedient to “Christianize” many of the dates and celebrations already celebrated and now declare those Pagan Holidays as Christian Holy Days. Easy Peasy. Suddenly the spring fertility rites involving Prolific rabbits, colored eggs, phallic worship and related symbols are stamped “Christian holidays”. Where once there were little hot crossed buns marked with a T for Tamus- suddenly they are marked with the cross of Jesus.
What could be easier? Add to this the added bonus of achieving anti-Semitic goals of easing the “look” of Christianity from a very Jewishy feel to something more glorious and “religiously organized”. Satan’s fingerprints are all over this!
Like it or not, Jesus was crucified on the Feast of Passover. He was buried and in the grave during the Feast of Unleavened Bread and then he rose, victorious, by the unmeasurable Power of the Holy spirit on the Feast of First Fruits. Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. And in the Old Testament the Lord proclaimed that these were not Jewish or Hebrew Feasts. He said very clearly and slowly, using easy to understand terms: These are MY Feasts and you are to keep them forever! Lev. 23:2, Deut. 15, Is. 33:20
This word means Divine Appointments in God’s Day-Timer. 7 times a year- to rehearse, teach and review- so that that the Jewish people wouldn’t miss the first coming of Yeshuah the Messiah and that they wouldn’t miss the arrival nor the significance of the Holy Spirit on the Feast of Pentecost.
Likewise, you and I don’t want to be so focused on the Easter-egg hunt on the front lawn at the church that we miss the next set of Divine Appointments. Don’t get cocky and think it can’t happen! Easter is being celebrated today but the Feast of Passover, the day that Jesus was actually crucified, begins on April 23rd. I don’t want to steal your fun or rain on your Easter Parade. But, we as Believers are to be set apart. We the Body of Christ are to come out of the pagan worldly mix. We shouldn’t have our kids wonder one day…well if the Easter bunny and Santa aren’t real then maybe Jesus isn’t either! It all must therefore, holiday fun and games and feel-good myths!
We must not shy away or forget the essential Jewish Roots of Christianity. These specific dates had a specific purpose and easy to read pictures! Christianity was not something new, concocted in the upper room by 12 guys who just saw their Leader die. No it was the specific fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecy and therefore the Completion of the Jewish faith. That is why many Jewish Christians today call themselves “Completed Jews”!! Christianity is not something new or separate. It is the culmination of the Plan to redeem what had been lost in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned.
By buying into the commercial aspects Easter and forgetting the Empty Tomb we are forgetting those first 3 important Feasts of the Lord but, by mixing and mingling our faith with the counterfeit Pagan aspects of Easter we have shifted the focus from the Throne and the Word of God and are at risk of entirely missing the final three Feasts of the Lord which clearly identify His second Coming in Power.
This resurrection story should not be confined to one weekend a year but recalled daily by the faithful. Ever cognizant of the Amazing Grace Jesus extended to each of us – ever mindful to remember the blood that mercifully covers our sins. That cross is empty and the stone is rolled away revealing a totally empty grave. The same incredible power that raised Jesus from the dead is now housed in me- in you! That message is still as powerful today as it was for the two convicted criminals that hung on either side of Jesus. They watched and listened as innocent Jesus asked the Father for forgiveness for all of his enemies while hanging bruised and bloodied in the relentless afternoon sun. One, in the power released by that forgiveness, realized that Jesus was the Messiah and received that blessing of forgiveness.
The other criminal did not. One fellow is in heaven today with Jesus and the other one is not. We are all, every one of us totally lost with a death sentence of hellfire on us until we realize that we are hopeless and receive His forgiveness! Acknowledge that Jesus is Lord and has the power to save us! Don’t wait-do it now!
He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed! But we must not forget, or neglect to teach our children that the angels rolled that Stone away from the grave on the Feast of First Fruits…that specific prophetic picture that shows us that Jesus- Yeshua is the Messiah and He is the First Fruit of the dead…He is Alive and he is coming back soon to fulfill those final 3 unfulfilled, Feasts of the Lord! Be ready- Be watching!