Easter Name Change Obscures Its Biblical Roots!
You may not know that Easter has Biblical roots that have been concealed by a name change. Its origins are in the Biblical holiday "First Fruits" during the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Today this week is known as Pesach or Passover.
After the Messiah celebrated his last meal with his disciples, he presented himself as the final sacrifice for sin. Before the Sabbath of that week (which always falls on the 15th of Nisan -- John 19:31) he was buried. On the third day -- which is the first day of the week and the holiday of First Fruits -- the Messiah rose from the dead.
At the very same time, another celebration of offering was taking place in the Temple of Jerusalem. According to Scriptural practice, the Israelites brought the first fruits before YEHOVAH God on the day after the Sabbath and First Day of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 16).
In Leviticus 23:10-11 we read:
"Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter the land I am going to give to you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath.'"
The Sabbath referred to here (as previously mentioned) is BOTH the weekly Sabbath and the first High Day (an annual Sabbath) of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The next day would then be the first day of the week AND the 16th day of Nisan.
The apostle Paul, a brilliant student of the Scriptures, understood this and wrote in I Corinthians 15:20: "But Messiah has indeed been raised from the dead, the FIRSTFRUITS of those who have fallen asleep." The term "firstfruits" specifically refers to this offering. He is directly connecting the events of the resurrection of the Messiah and the Biblical holiday during which it occurred.
The Gentile Version
The Gentiles already had holidays to celebrate the passing of winter into spring. After the fourth century, when the Roman Empire declared itself to be "Christian," the church confronted numerous unbiblical cultures. Unable to completely supplant their pagan traditions, the church eventually integrated the cultural practices of the new converts.
Easter is described by Webster's Encyclopedia as the "spring feast of the Christian Church commemorating the resurrection of the Messiah. It is a moveable feast, falling on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox (March 21)." However, the Day of First Fruits (Nisan 16 and the first day of the week) floats through the Gregorian Calendar we keep today and can fall on any day of our week.
Using the name Easter for the Day of First Fruits unfortunately ties it to a mythical goddess and removes the Holy Day from its Biblical roots. The well-known symbols of eggs, candy, rabbits and chicks are trappings to camoflage the Biblical foundation of the feast.
Getting It Right
We read in I Corinthians 15:3-4:
"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."
The empty tomb on the Mount of Olives is visible evidence of the truth of our faith -- a faith based on the Word of YEHOVAH God. The Gospel receives authenticity from the Old Testament, which predicts the life, death, and resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah.
The day of the resurrection should be known by its Biblical name "First Fruits" to properly connect it to the Old Testament scriptures. This is the TRUE source of its authenticity. True Christians need to celebrate the resurrection on the 16th of Nisan -- the ACTUAL day when the resurrection took place.
Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.