Some Thoughts About Easter
By Charles Steiner
In America we love our holidays. Don’t we? We love making a list of things we are going to change as the New Year begins. Women love being pampered by their valentine on Valentine’s Day. Kids love dressing up like something scary or fun and walking around the neighborhood to get a sack full of candy. We love feasting on lots of good food and enjoying the company of loved ones at Thanksgiving. If we have been good, Santa brings us neat stuff at Christmas. Let’s not forget those anniversaries men!
This coming Sunday's holiday is known as Easter. Easter to children means hunting eggs and the bunny comes with a basket of goodies. This is known as the social celebration of Easter. However, millions around the world celebrate Easter as a religious holiday. To them, Easter is the day Jesus was raised from the dead. Is that true? Are Christians to celebrate Easter as a religious holiday? Consider the following information as you ponder that question.
The church in New Testament times did not celebrate Easter. They formally observed the resurrection of Jesus on Sundays as they worshiped together (Acts 20:7, I Corinthians 16:2). Sunday is the day Jesus was raised from the dead (John 20:1ff). Jesus’ resurrection is the foundation upon which our faith and preaching stand (I Corinthians 15:14ff). The Catholic First Council of Nicaea established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon following the northern hemisphere’s vernal equinox in the year 325 as a compromise of Jewish and Gentile beliefs. The date ranges each year between March 22 and April 25. The word Easter (Acts 12:4) is a mistranslation in the King James Version of the Bible for the Greek word pascha. It is correctly translated as Passover (ESV, NASB, NKJV, NIV). David Roper in the Truth for Today Commentary on Acts 1-14 notes the following on page 447, “Perhaps the man-made celebration of Easter was so important in their (The KJV translators) day that they wished to include the word in the Bible.”
With all of these things in mind, I don’t want us to miss one important point. This is a day in which the world is thinking about the Resurrection of Jesus. Much like Christmas with the birth of Jesus, let’s take advantage of this time. Let’s make sure we are prepared to share with those, our faith in the resurrection of Jesus. Let’s take advantages of openings in conversations that might come up. Let’s take the initiative, and tell those we know that Jesus Christ lives today! Don’t wait for them to ask you! They probably won’t! Let’s be proactive in sharing our faith in the resurrected Jesus!