WHAT IS IT REALLY? (Just another manmade Holiday.)
And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. ~ Luke 22:19-20
2016 years ago Jews celebrated Passover. It was in remembrance of God’s Angel “Passing Over” the homes of the Jews that believed and had put a mark in blood from a slaughtered spring lamb on their door post. This was the 10th and deadliest of the 10 plagues on Egypt to force Pharaoh to Let His people go. It was the death of the first born. This happened in 1300 BC.
You can see the similarities between Passover and Easter. Both required the blood of a lamb. It’s also important to note that the Jews saw Moses as a powerful man of God. In a way, he was seen as a “Savior”.
If you fast forward 1300 years we come to the birth of Christ. The Jews of the time were expecting Moses V.2 and looking for a “powerful” leader like Moses. When Jesus started his 3 years of teaching, he taught peace. He wasn’t like Joshua, a fierce warrior. He taught the Jews to love their neighbors and pray for their enemies. This was not the image the Pharisees had. The prophecy of Christ’s birth are many in the Old Testament. (Somewhere around 352) You can start with Isaiah 7:14.
In Matthew 5:17 Jesus said: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill”. Jesus (God in the flesh) became the lamb.
On the other hand, John writes from the Island of Patmos in the book called “Revelation” that Jesus will return and there will be Justice. Man will see the “other side” of Jesus. On a personal note, I believe this will happen in our time so “get right with Jesus” (see yesterday’s sermon)
As for Easter, know that it’s a Sunday when Christians celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Also understand that Jesus (as with Christmas) did not say: “Pick a day in spring and remember me”. No. Read the top paragraph again. In the book of Acts Luke wrote in chapter 20 verse 7: “When we gathered on the first day of the week to break bread…” Yes this is a partial verse as it goes on to talk about Paul’s plans for travel the next day. But this is the only reference in the New Testament as to when the original 1st century church took communion.
In Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth in chapter 11 verse 26 Paul instructed: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” So Easter should be practiced every day. Some consider the blessing of your meal a form of remembering Christ.
Many churches hold communion on various Sundays of the year to remember the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, but as you see in Acts 20, Paul said they got together on the first day of the week or Sunday.
Finally Easter Eggs
The tradition was started by Christians in Mesopotamia (Modern day Iraq) where they would take eggs, color them red (for the blood of Christ) and remove the contents. This would be indicative of the empty tomb.
As for the bunny? Go ask Santa Clause.