UPDATED 23 OCTOBER, 2006
Do you celebrate Easter?
Easter is a non-Biblical holiday that is not listed among the appointed times that God gave to His people in Leviticus 23. Because Easter is not listed as a holiday that has been ordained by the Lord, we do not celebrate it. The majority in the Messianic movement do not celebrate Easter because it is something that He has not commanded us to do.
Many sincere Christians today observe Easter because in their minds they believe they are commemorating the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah. We believe that the resurrection of our Lord and Savior is something that is certainly worthy of commemoration, but is “Easter” the proper time to do it? The name “Easter,” for example, has absolutely no connection to the resurrection, and the customs and traditions that have become commonly associated with it, namely the Easter Bunny and egg hunts, have nothing to do with commemorating what the Lord has done for us by His atoning work at Golgotha (Calvary), and instead stem from Babylonian fertility rites. If we are to truly commemorate Yeshua’s sacrifice and resurrection for us, then we believe that it should be done as part of our celebrating the Spring festivals of Passover and Unleavened Bread.
There are Messianics who unfairly criticize and condemn our Christian brethren who celebrate Easter in ignorance, who sincerely believe that they are honoring the Lord. We believe that this is inappropriate, and that it is our responsibility to show them the right way to do things from the Scriptures, yet while remembering that while many of us were still in mainstream Christianity we celebrated Easter with similar intentions. Believing in ignorance that we were celebrating Yeshua’s death, burial, and resurrection, the Lord in His mercy honored us for what we did. We have to extend that same mercy to our brothers and sisters who do not celebrate His appointed times, so that the Holy Spirit might convict them about what they should truly be doing from the Word.
Consult the editor’s article “What is the Problem With Easter?” for a further discussion of this issue.