IYNTK about Easter
(Information You Need to Know)
The word “Easter” was derived from the proto-Germanic word meaning “to rise.” This is seen in the contemporary German cognate “ööst-” and the English word “east,” the direction from which the sun rises in the morning. It is not true that the word was derived from the pagan goddess Oestar or from the Babylonian goddess Ishtar.
The first Easter, the literal, bodily, supernatural resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, occurred on the Sunday after Passover in 33 AD. Because of this, the first day of the week became Christianity’s primary day of weekly worship and celebration of the resurrection by means of the corporate gathering of the local church (singing, sharing/prayer, Scripture and supper/LORD’s Supper). By the late 1st century, the Sunday after the Jewish Passover was recognized as a special day of resurrection celebration for believers.
Many of the modern popular aspects of the celebration of Easter did come from cultural traditions rather than from biblical doctrine. However, rather than paganizing the Church, the Church took these well known (at the time) elements and “converted” them to convey Christian principles. For example, the egg was a common pagan sign of fertility and good luck. In Christian tradition, the egg has been used as an analogy to the Trinity and to signify the resurrection life promised us by Christ’s resurrection. Rabbits were fertility symbols among some ancient European pagans, but in Christianity we remember that all life physically and spiritually comes from God in accord with His program of salvation which revolves around the death and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the “Passover Lamb” (Exodus. 12:5), the One Whose sacrifice cleanses from sin (Isaiah. 53:7; John 1:29; Acts 8:32-25; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation. 5:6-13; 7:13-14; 15:3). Since Easter isn’t about the Easter Bunny some Christians may opt out of “dealing with him” while others including the Pastor of TBF (Romans 14:5b) don’t mind having a little fun with him on the fringes of our personal celebration of the most important event in human history-the literal, bodily, supernatural resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.