Easter is a widely-observed annual celebration commemorating the resurrection of Christ. You probably have noticed that Easter comes at a different time each year. “Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon that falls on or next after the vernal equinox (March 21 in the Gregorian calendar); if the full moon happens on Sunday, Easter is celebrated one week later. Easter Sunday cannot be earlier than March 22 or later than April 25; dates of all other movable church feasts depend on that of Easter”.
The Origin of Easter
Some church historians assert that Easter observance began in the first century, but they must admit that their first evidence for the observance,,. comes from the second century. There soon arose a bitter controversy over which day Easter was to be celebrated. Some were observing it on any day of the week, and others were celebrating it only on the nearest Sunday. This indicates that they had no instruction from the Lord on this matter. By A.D. 325 the council of Nicaea decreed that it should be on Sunday, but did not fix the particular Sunday. The exact time of observance was determined by later councils.
Is Easter in the Bible?
The word Easter is only found one time in the English translation of the Bible and there it is a mistranslation. The King James rendering of Acts 12:4 used the phrase “intending after Easter.” The original is simply after the Passover. The word Easter now denotes the festival observed by many Christian churches in honor of the resurrection of the Savior. However, the original has no reference to that, nor is there the slightest evidence that any such festival was observed at the time when this book was written. The translation is not only unhappy, as it does not convey at all the meaning of the original, but because it may contribute to foster an opinion that such a festival was observed in the time of the apostles. The word translated Passover, and the one used in Acts 12:4, means “a passing over” and is used with reference to the Jewish festival of Passover which was celebrated on the 14th of the month Nisan. This same word is used in Matthew 26:2; Mark 14:1; Luke 2:41; 22:1; John 2:13, 23 and other places, and in every instance is translated Passover in the King James Version except Acts 12:4. More recent versions correctly use the term Passover in Acts 12:4. It is absurd to think that Herod Agrippa I wanted to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. The Scripture says that he “laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword. He proceeded to arrest Peter also” (Acts 12:1-3).
New Testament Christians Did Not Observe Easter
The apostle Paul warned against the observance of feast days, new moons, etc. (Gal. 4:10-11 f; Col. 2:16-17). In apostolic times Christians commemorated the Lord’s resurrection every Sunday, by meeting on that day for worship. When Paul refers to Christ as our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7) his language is metaphorical and cannot be regarded as containing any allusion to a church function. For many people, Easter has become the one time of the year they attend church services. Many forget the admonition of Hebrews 10:25: “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”
Importance of the Resurrection of Christ
Let no one imagine that we oppose the resurrection of Christ. It is the bedrock of Christianity and the deity of Jesus rests upon it (Rom. 1:4). Christians today meet EVERY first day of the week (SUNDAY), as did the early Christians, to observe the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7). The first day of the week is a memorial to the resurrection of Christ. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ serves as the form of an individual’s death to sin, burial in baptism, and resurrection to walk a new life as a new creature in Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-4 ff; Rom 6:3-11; Col. 2:12).
Conclusion: “Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God” (1 Pet. 4:11). This is not a suggestion but rather is a commandment from God. Therefore, celebration of Easter is without the expressed authority of God, and should not be celebrated by Christians!