Is Easter pagan? Should Christians Celebrate it?

Hello my friends,

Welcome to Take me to Eternity.

As you know, Resurrection day celebrations are coming and of course no one can miss the mass amounts of eggs and bunnies we are seeing.

Today we are going to parcel through the question “Should Christians celebrate Easter?” Should we call it Easter or Resurrection day? Does it even matter? 

Are rabbits, and chicks and eggs acceptable? I know, I know, another holiday break down from Lea…..

Welcome to a place that knows all too well that the struggle between flesh and spirit is real, hang out with me as I try to compare everything against scripture so we can keep the good and toss the bad. Let’s remember how blessed we are in this fallen world and why.

There is so much emphasis on Easter baskets, egg hunts, and bunnies that we forget the whole reason to celebrate is Jesus. A friend of mine made me a shirt that says silly rabbit Easter is for Jesus.

Shout out to Jessy’s girl designs and her beautiful t shirts. You can find her on fb if you want to check her out! https://www.facebook.com/JessysGirlDesigns/.

We live in a world full of distractions. I have a goal for myself and my children that I can lessen those distractions so we can remember to keep front and center the only one who really matters. Maybe you will see in this podcast the reason to look further into the things we do when celebrating Christ. 

It becomes Idolatry when we put anything in front of God or in the place where he ought to be. So many times we don’t see that as what is happening until it is too late and we already have done it. Sometimes however, things called idolatrous are simply a neutral thing that can be used wrongly.

That includes bunnies and eggs in place of Jesus crucified and him risen. We are to give glory to the Lord not a bunny, we should worship him and what he did for us and truthfully toss out the things That are taking his place in our central focus. The things that muddy the waters and take our focus away can be a problem. We need to keep the main thing the main thing.

Bunnies and chicks and eggs are part of God’s creation and them in and of themselves aren’t pagan and shouldn’t be thrown out altogether but the focus should always be on the Lord and those just cute reminders of his handiwork. We should look at those things and praise God for them. 

Too often we think we need to participate in things that aren’t healthy or helpful. Participate in worldly things so we don’t look odd or our kids feel left out. We are to be set apart though, and that means looking and acting differently than the world. 

I think we take Jesus’ resurrection for granted. When we celebrate Easter, the bunny and what you get become the main focus when we are supposed to be focused on our savior. Our children can’t wait for a bunny or the fun things, and the whole reason we say we celebrate it gets put on a back shelf when we kind of mention it or talk about it a little instead of focusing primarily on it. 

Or we read that one story book that mentions Jesus when talking about Easter but at the same time is still pushing that bunny and the eggs more than anything else. 

I know there are so many explanations for why we can twist to make a bunny and eggs fit into the life and death of Jesus but why? It’s still a distraction and it can be harmful to little minds who need to be focused on the God that gives them life. 

I have to say I love bunnies just not “The Easter bunny.” It becomes much like Santa and takes the stage when Christ should be the center. 

There are so many ways to justify things that take the place in our hearts and minds that only God should hold but none are actually acceptable. What do you think your child thinks of first when they think of Easter? That should be a question that gives us pause. What are they the most excited about?

I think it is really important to emphasize the reason for celebrating Easter instead of the distractions that are generally promoted. Though dying eggs is fun. Egg hunts and baskets of goodies, they take away from the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. 

I have looked into Christmas, Halloween and Easter. If you haven’t seen my Christmas and Halloween podcast you can find them on my YouTube page or on most podcasting platforms. If you are interested, that is.

I think it’s important to know the truths and even some of the fiction that comes with our celebrations so we can have an answer when people ask or a settled conscience when we are opposed. We will have thought out what we are doing and why. We will be able to say with knowledge that isn’t pagan or I won’t partake because….

I understand all too well how hard it is when you have kids that have been taught about the Easter bunny and then later you realize there is more than a small problem with it. I got really convicted about it myself and had to decide what to do with that for my family and myself. 

The question I had to ask was do I honor God and flip my family upside down? Or do I continue to do the things that now weighed even heavier on my conscience? 

So let’s get into the history of easter.

Some people say Easter is a pagan holiday. Some say it is only connected because of the etymology of the word Easter. The term ‘’Easter’’ is derived from an ancient English goddess who was mentioned by monk Bede during the 7th and 8th-centuries. He wrote that the ‘’Eosturmonath” was an old  English month which corresponded to April and was once named after the goddess Eostre and the celebrations were to honor her. We know that months and days and such were named after pagan gods and goddesses so it makes sense. 

There is a woman named Marcia Montenegro and she does a post every year about Easter not being pagan. She is a great source to look at if you want a slightly different view than mine. She is a godly woman who does a ton of research and I respect her work very much. Here is her page. https://tinyurl.com/yts4avkv

In Greek and Latin, there is a festival referred to as ‘’Pascha’’ which initially denoted the famous Jewish celebrations known as the Passover, and it commemorates the exodus of the Jew from Egypt. 

Pascha (paska) has been celebrated since Moses led the Israelites from Egypt. It was called the Passover. Before Jesus died on the cross he changed the festival to a reminder of his work on the cross during the last supper. He fulfilled the Passover being that it was a type and shadow of him and his sacrifice. He is our Passover lamb who took the sins of the world so that we might be clothed in his righteousness. 

It seems that as with most holy things there is unholy running side by side and we need to divorce the unholy from the holy. It seems like there could have been a true holy day (the Passover) and a pagan holy day that melded over the years. Unfortunately that happens when we compromise and envelope pagan practices to please the culture or just please our own flesh. Does that mean however that we are celebrating pagan celebrations? I don’t think so. A question to ask is, “who do you honor by what you do, and where is your focus?”

While there absolutely are a ton of pagan holidays that fall around the same time, that is simply because of spring. 

Spring is a time to celebrate the change in the weather and new life. Historically followers of the one true God would celebrate God’s provisions for them. People celebrate in the ways they know how, or see fit. So we have different ideas of what that means. Should we just call it for what it actually is? Probably so, but the fact that pagans have a celebration at the same time in and of itself shouldn’t be a reason to not celebrate the resurrection of our savior. 

Easter is now a commercialized holiday and we ought to get back to our christian roots with it. The fact that there are pagan holidays at the same time as Easter does not mean all things done on that day are pagan. 

If someone has the same birthday as you it doesn’t make it not your birthday. 

We as Jesus’ followers celebrate the birth of Jesus and his birth was absolutely amazing but his work on the cross and rising after should not be taken lightly. That is why when the apostles preached they preached Christ and him crucified.

“For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:22-24

The power of salvation is in the gospel and that is the death, atonement and resurrection of Christ our Lord. It is the way we are saved and it is the most important thing ever. Jesus is our passover lamb and we shouldn’t forget that nor should we think that how we honor him and celebrate him doesn’t matter. In his death we were atoned for and in his resurrection he defeated death. That means we will be alive with him in Eternity. Anything that takes the main focus should be discarded. 

It is really easy to say the main focus is him but and excuse something that we deem fun and harmless while at the same time taking what really is fun and harmless and elevating it more than it ought to be. 

There are myths or legends that talk about Easter from another point. Things that are everything but Christian. They could very well be credible, and in fact there are some pretty good connections to some of the things. We should take it seriously and at the same time prayerfully weigh what to do with it. We should be set apart from those around us and in doing so not compromise truth with fiction. Not muddy the waters when it comes to the worship and celebration of God. I know that an idol is nothing and that there are no other gods but I also know that the worship of Idols is to worship demons and the glory should always be given to God and him alone. I am not saying you bow down to the bunny but that isn’t exactly the entirety of what idolatry is. It is simply a part of what it could look like. What does it say when we put focus on a magical bunny instead of Christ?

“They have made Me jealous with what is not God; They have provoked Me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation,”. Deuteronomy‬ ‭32:21‬
“I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.” Isaiah‬ ‭42:8

The definition of Idol is….

I’DOL

1. An image, form or representation, usually of a man or other animal, consecrated as an object of worship; a pagan deity. Idols are usually statues or images, carved out of wood or stone, or formed of metals, particularly silver or gold.

2. An image..

3. A person loved and honored to adoration.

4. Any thing on which we set our affections; that to which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment.

An idol is any thing which usurps the place of God in the hearts of his rational creatures.

5. A representation.

Genesis, Jeremiah and Ezekiel have verses that point to a pagan annual celebration that goes as far back as Babylon. 

When you look into what that is they say that Nimrod, the great grandson of Noah slept with and married his mother Semiramis. So she then becomes queen. 

Nimrod gets murdered and Semiramis says that Nimrod’s spirit was lifted up and becomes one with the sun. He is now the sun god Baal. 

Then she says that she is now the Queen of heaven who was sent down to earth in an egg conceived by the moon goddess. 

Jeremiah 7 and 44 both mention the queen of heaven. Some make some pretty weird doctrine out of this saying that there is a queen of heaven that is God’s wife and such, but when you read it, it is talking about idolatry and it is pretty well condemned. Jeremiah 7:18 says

“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.” Jeremiah 7:18

In Jeremiah chapter 44 he is telling them that because they sacrifice to other gods they are being judged for it, and will continue to be judged for it because they haven’t stopped. It talks about the women sacrificing burnt offerings to the Queen of heaven multiple times. 

If you look through the legend, ashtaroth and Baal were being worshipped at the same time in the same places and her name gets mixed with ashtaroth as well as ostara, and Ishtar. Just as there are many names for people, goddesses were no different. Different peoples had different names for each. 

So as the “queen of heaven” she makes her symbols eggs and bunnies. Both are a symbol for reproduction. We know Satan wants to act like he can reproduce and create when in fact he can’t. Everything was made by, through and for Jesus. Everything is the Lords’ whether people follow him or not. 

So apparently Semiramis gets pregnant and says the father is Baal,

 (creepy) 

or Nimrod who are both one and the same according to her. And when she gives birth she gives birth to Tammuz. He ends up dying also and she decides to make a celebration for him with eggs. They supposedly used eggs and painted them with blood. And you had to hide the eggs around your house and hide them so animals wouldn’t eat them as an offering to the queen of heaven so she would bless your fertility.

I know what you are thinking. Yes, I do know how crazy the things that come out of my mouth sometimes sound but seriously, people do some crazy stuff so I don’t know what to tell you other than what I have found and this isn’t a one off thing.

Tammuz and the Queen of heaven are both referenced in the Bible as pagan gods. 

“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. He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they have committed here, that they have filled the land with violence and provoked Me repeatedly? For behold, they are putting the twig to their nose. Therefore, I indeed will deal in wrath. My eye will have no pity nor will I spare; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, yet I will not listen to them.””

The visual of men outside the house of The LORD with their backs to it worshiping a false god is just heart wrenching isn’t it? 

The legend goes on to have so many of the significant things people do for Easter much like Christmas there is some truth to the fact that some things we do have a pagan background. We should care about that but that doesn’t mean everything needs to be thrown out or else we couldn’t say days of the week, month, or wear a wedding ring.

To get into all of the things here would take forever  but I am sure you get the point. 

So what do we do with this? What does this mean for Easter? Being that this is a legend and that the people who celebrate it for the Lord are celebrating it to worship him. Being that Passover or pascha is not the same as whatever that is. Being that you can have two different holidays with similarities, or legends that could or could not be true?

First I would say we all ought to pray about what would honor God and what wouldn’t. What is neutral and where our hearts are in it. How we present it to our children and what we emphasize. 

I would say if you feel convicted about it you absolutely should listen to the Holy Spirit and celebrate Jesus in a way that honors him in your life. Don’t go against your conscience. Remember what it is: resurrection day, Passover, Or pascha. 

I Love celebrating Jesus and his work on the cross and that he has risen. I have had a problem with the bunny and the eggs since before I knew any of this simply because they don’t have anything to do with the Lord and absolutely take away from him being the center focus. 

Like so many people out there though I allowed it anyway. Partly for fear of what the world would say. Partly because it was fun and completely harmless at least that is what it looks like on the outside. 

We have to live for an audience of One and that is God. That means weighing what looks harmless to see if it actually is harmless. 

There are so many compromises that have led the Christian community in general to accept things that aren’t ok. I think it is important as some of you may know that we all look at and evaluate what we do and how we do it according to God’s word and adjust accordingly. 

Questions we should ask. How are we to worship God? What is a compromise? How many compromises are too many? Where do you draw the line? And at what point can I still say with a clear heart and conscience that I am honoring God while doing them? I am so glad we have the Holy Spirit to help guide us and shape us. 

God knows that any compromise is too much. That is why over and over he said don’t do what the pagans do. Don’t worship me how they worship their gods and don’t marry them or give your children to marry them. Or don’t be unequally yoked with darkness. 

It has everything to do with honor. And love and respect. For the one who deserves us to care. I think when we compromise enough it becomes a salvation issue. We should ask ourselves, are we really making Jesus The LORD of our lives? For one person Easter might be idolatrous and for another a day of absolute reverence and worship. 

I think we really need to evaluate what our main focus in life is in general, let alone if we are saying that we are celebrating Christ. We should hold his name and his worship in the highest regard, not take it in vain and use it in a way that devalues it. 

If we carry the name of Christ to call ourselves christians and then live the way the world does, are we at the least hypocrites?

I wonder what Jesus would do sometimes. The absolute honor and obedience, never compromising truth. Knowing the same God that was talked about in the Old Testament is the same God that lived on earth and is the same God that dwells in us we can learn from the entirety of scripture what Jesus would do. 

If the pagans used these things as a tool for sacrifice to a pagan deity which as we know is demon worship, then I personally don’t want anything to do with them. I don’t need to look like the world. I do however want to continue to worship the Lord and keep him the focus of all things. 

What if the things are just harmless pieces of creation, what merit do we put on an object to be good or bad if it’s neutral? Bunnies are bunnies until you make them something else. 

I very much believe that because the Bible says teachers are to be held to a higher standard that they will be on earth as well as in heaven. We ought to all take the mindset of “ what are we promoting and accepting? Is it good, is it godly?”

“Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” James 3:1

He will judge us according to our understanding. We should all be teachable and correctable. Wanting to please the Lord in all that we do. Parents, you are teachers. Your children are your first ministry. 

I know people who simply say I don’t want to know, but I believe that we don’t have room to be willfully ignorant. If we know there could be an issue it is up to us to search to find answers. If we feel that something could be wrong, look into it because we should know what we are doing and we should care enough to spend the time to find it.

How often do you read the Bible to know what God said and why he said it? To know how you ought to live and not what you think of a passage? How much time do you spend in your bible to learn and not just read or find some uplifting passage? How often do you read the places you don’t feel like or are hard? The ones that have nothing to do with you?  

Do you pray for wisdom and understanding? Are you willing to change your view if God presents you with a different one? I am not saying listen to me cause I know all the answers but I am saying find them. We need to put the time and effort in to find them. Don’t just disregard stuff because it takes effort or because you think it sounds silly. Or even worse because you like it and don’t want to be corrected. We all fall short and we should remember to check out hearts because they are deceitful. Check our motives and recalibrate ourselves to the Word. 

We take time to care for the food we put into our bodies, we should do the same with what we put into our minds and hearts and especially our spiritual food. We should take the time to know what we are celebrating and to use our discernment to find what is truth and what is lies. 

I think we should be able to tell the pagan who asks why we do what we do an answer. Plenty of people get tripped up by bad arguments and if more Christian’s had answers for these things maybe we would be able to have real conversations that make unbelievers rethink what they believe. Trust me it can happen but only if we exercise our discernment.

“Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame. Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit? Behold, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them stand up, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame. The man shapes iron into a cutting tool and does his work over the coals, fashioning it with hammers and working it with his strong arm. He also gets hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and becomes weary. Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house. Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow. Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image and falls down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god.””

How easily man worships things other than God. How easily we can take something harmless and neutral and make it idolatry. 

What I really want to talk about after all that is, what does the Bible say about the whole point of this celebration?

“While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.””

So in this he establishes that we are to remember him in this way. They then went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. Jesus was grieved and distressed it says. He prays that the cup will pass from him because he knew the cup of God’s wrath was going to be poured out on him as he took the punishment for the sins of the world. 

What an intensely unimaginable thing to think about. How that must have felt to him knowing what was coming and obediently giving up his own will for the fathers. 

His fleshly angst while he sweat blood. This is how we ought to be. The absolute acceptance of God’s will over our own no matter what that looks like. 

It’s crazy to me because He was betrayed by someone closest to him, someone who was said to be his disciple. Who walked with him. Someone he called a friend, Someone who watched him first hand perform miracles and sat and listened to the best teacher you could ever have. He was betrayed For money. 

How hard was Judas’ heart? To give Jesus over for money. Jesus was put on trial, He was questioned, He was beaten, He was mimicked, mocked and taunted. 

They stripped Jesus, they put a scarlet robe on him and a crown of thorns on his head and then they beat him as they made fun of him. If we were alive then, we could have been one of them. How many of these people came to Christ later? How many mock him now. We should pray that they come to the Lord also. 

They took the robe off and put his own clothes back on him and brought him to be crucified. They crucified him. With a robber at either side. The holy blameless one being killed like an evil sinner. Before he died he said “it is finished.” Such beautiful words right there. God paid all of our debt so that if we repent and believe we can be made clean. Clothed in his righteousness. One of the thieves next to Jesus went down mocking him. The other acknowledged him and  asked Jesus to remember him. The depiction of one man saved and the other too stubborn to see the truth. 

It says the temple veil was torn from top to bottom. That was the veil that protected people from God’s holiness. Only the consecrated priests could go behind the veil and there were a lot of rules to protect them because no sin unatoned for could enter. The veil being torn is so significant because that was the veil between us and God. That protected us from the judgment of being in the direct holy presence of God. Jesus was the atonement for the world. He is now the highest priest. The one who is our protection. Our advocate. Our Savior. Our atonement. Our Lord. 

If you are a true born again believer the moment you become born again God looks at you and sees Jesus righteousness. No thing can we do. It’s been done by the only perfect sacrifice.

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:21

This is just awesome isn’t it? It says:

He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin (he was perfect and spotless and blameless. He never sinned once) to be sin (take on our sin) on our behalf, so that we (THAT’S US!! WE ARE WE!!!) might become the righteousness of God (we are clothed in his righteousness, purified) in him.

I just love that. So After Jesus allowed death to overtake him a rich man named Joseph came and took his body wrapped in linen and brought him to a tomb. Laid him inside and rolled a giant stone over the entrance. The priests and Pharisees remembered that he said he would rise again and gave orders for the tomb to be secured so they put guards outside and a seal on the stone.

On the third day it says Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look for the grave.

“And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” Matthew 28:2-7

So the WOMEN did you catch that? Went and told the disciples that he had risen and they thought the women were crazy. The first people to share the gospel were women haha. After this Jesus appeared many times. To all the apostles, they touched him and talked with him and ate with him for forty days. And then he ascended before their eyes. He appeared to 500 people at one time too!

There is so much historical evidence for the truth of Jesus, his death on the cross and even the empty tomb. If someone really wants to know the truth it’s out there and it’s findable. You just have to be willing to accept the truth when you find it.

Some things are unknowable but there is so much that we CAN know. God is so amazing you guys. He provided a way for us. THIS is what we ought to be focused on. THIS is what our children should be excited about. 

The reason for the celebration is Jesus and his amazing sacrifice. He suffered and died for us so that we might be made right with God. He rose again and sent the Holy Spirit to live in those who obey him to be a pledge. A promise of our eternal salvation. He sanctifies us and leads us, empowers us and teaches us and so much more. 

So is it Easter or Resurrection day? A bunny and eggs or Christ Crucified and raised again? Is the focus on distractions or on our savior? Just some questions.

Hope y’all found this helpful. 

I love you guys and pray that you know the one who saved your soul, seek him in everything, search his word, know it, love it and hold fast to it. 

Bye for now

LeaFiore

By Take me to Eternity

I am a God fearing mother of two. A wife to a wonderful husband. A crafter of junk. A baker. And anything the LORD puts in my path.

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