Search the Scriptures as we may, we cannot find any instruction to keep holy a day or a period called Easter. The English word 'EASTER" is used once only in the Scriptures and, as in all other 28 usages of the original Greek word "Pascha", it should have been translated as "Passover".
The word 'pascha', in it's reference to a period in time, relates to the 'paschal festival', the feast of Passover, extending from the 14th to the 20th day of the FIRST MONTH (Nisan), of the Jewish year. (See Strong's No 3957)
WHAT WAS THE PASSOVER FESTIVAL FOR?
It was a Jewish festival memorialising the occasion on which their ancient fathers, preparing to leave Egypt, the country of their slavedom, were bidden by the Father to sacrifice a lamb without spot or blemish and paint the sacrificial blood on the lintels of the doorposts of their houses in order to ensure the "passing over" of the 'angel of death'. Any house that was not protected by that sacrificial blood, suffered at the hand of the angel....the eldest child, the firstborn, died.
Whilst the slaying of the paschal lamb was to Israel a type of something that was to come, in the form of the sacrifice of their Messiah, they failed to recognise that type when it occurred and they therefore were not covered by the sacrificial blood of the Lamb . The results were disastrous, for more than a million Jews lost their lives and thousands more were led away into slavery in the years AD70-135.
HOW LONG WAS THE PASSOVER FESTIVAL?
In Leviticus 23 you can read of the instruction of the Father to Israel concerning Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Passover was to be kept on the 14th day of the first month, (Abib/Nisan) and the Feast of Unleavened Bread was to commence on the 15th day and for 7 days all Israel was to eat unleavened bread. The first day of the feast of 'unleavened bread' was to be a 'holy day', a day of holy convocation, on which no Israelite was to labour in any way. The 7th day was likewise. These days were in addition to the normal 7th day Sabbath Holy Day.
WHY THE EASTER FESTIVAL?
The simple answer is to be found in the 'take-over' of Christianity by Rome in AD 325, when Constantine declared Christianity to be the 'religion' of the Roman Empire. The Empire included many religions and all of them had their own 'gods' which they continued worshipping under the guise of Christianity. The 'sun god' of Babylon was Tammuz and the 'moon god' Ishtar, was known as Ashtoreth to many people, including the Jews. You can read in Jer
7:17-18 that at one time they incurred the Father's wrath by making the round cakes with 't' on them for use in the festival of worship to Ashtoreth, the 'moon god', and for this idolatry we well know that the Father severely punished Israel.
The 'Christianity' the Roman Empire now embraced was thus a mixture of the beliefs of the original Church at Rome and the beliefs and practises of the pagans who were welcomed into the Church. The festival in honour of Ishtar became a Christian celebration,
complete with the original pagan idea of 40 days of fasting before the celebration of their worship to Ishtar. That 40 days became the 40 days of 'Lent'.
BUNNIES AND SUNRISE CELEBRATIONS:
Semiramis was the wife of Nimrod, and this beautiful woman, the Queen of Assyria was worshipped as the goddess of love and fertility. She convinced her people that Nimrod had become the 'sun god' and she was the 'moon god', worshipped under the Babylonian name of Ishtah, or, Ashtoreth to the Jews and many others, Venus to the Romans and Astarte to the Phoenicians. To many of these people, the EGG was a symbol of fertility and this pagan idea was carried over into Christianity. In later generations, because the humble BUNNY RABBIT multiplied so speedily, it also became a symbol of fertility and thus the two became associated with this pagan festival of Easter. Because the Easter/ Ishtar celebration had its roots in worship to the 'sun god' and the 'moon god' as the king and QUEEN OF HEAVEN, so the Easter celebrations commenced as the sun came up and it's light obliterated the moon. The celebration of Easter in it's present form is completely pagan in origin and cannot be acceptable to the Father. One world-wide religion worships Mary, the mother of the Lord Jesus, (who, they claim is in fact 'god the Son'), as the QUEEN OF HEAVEN.
WHAT IS THE TRUTH?
The simple truth is that the Jews of AD325 were still celebrating the Passover, unaware that what it really meant had already come to pass in the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. Just as Daniel the Prophet foretold that their Messiah would be cut off in the 'middle of the week' (Dan
9:27) so the Lord Jesus was actually crucified, as the 'paschal Lamb, on a Wednesday, not the (good) Friday of present religious observance.
He went into the grave at the end of that day and, as the Scriptures insist that He had to be in the grave for THREE DAY AND THREE NIGHTS
(Matt.12:40) it is not difficult to work out that He stayed in the grave Wednesday night, Thursday, Thursday night, Friday. Friday night and all day Saturday, coming forth from the grave at the end of the Sabbath, Saturday. Thus when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (Matt
28:1) came to the tomb as the first day of the week dawned, they were told by an angel that Christ was risen.
Many Christians are confused by the fact that the day AFTER the Passover day, was to be a HOLY DAY, (a Sabbath) and thus they are easily convinced that the actual crucifixion of the Lord Jesus as the final sacrifice under the Mosaic system occurred on a Friday and was followed by the normal Sabbath. This is not so. The HOLY DAY on the day after the sacrifice of the paschal lamb, was the first day of Unleavened Bread and was a Holy Day , a day of convocation.
DOES IT ALL MATTER?
Ask yourself...do you think the Father would be pleased with you if you keep a pagan festival? Surely the answer is NO. It is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus that is our HOPE,
not a pagan festival which honours the 'gods' of the sun and the moon.