Easter Or Passover

Passover, Not Easter

It will happen,
when your children
ask you,
‘What do you mean
by this service?’
that you will say,
‘It is the sacrifice
of YAHWEH’s Passover,
who passed over
the houses
of the children of Israel
in Egypt.

Exodus 12.26-27

The first things that come to mind for many people when you mention Easter is Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, jellybeans, Easter baskets, chocolate, new clothes, fancy ham dinners, hot-cross buns, the arrival of Spring, etc. Interestingly, this is pretty close to the actual meaning of "Easter". It began as a pagan celebration of the rites of Spring. If you look up “Easter” in Webster’s New World Dictionary here’s what it says:

"Easter (akin go G. Ostern), spring, Easter; orig., name of pagan vernal festival almost coincident in date with the paschal festival of the church < Eastre, dawn goddess (see EAST),
1. an annual Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, held on the first Sunday after the date of the first full moon that occurs on or after March 21: abbreviated E. 
2. the Sunday of this festival: often Easter Sunday
." (emphasis added)
(Note: The “paschal festival” is a reference to
Passover, also known as Pasca, Pesach, Phasekh, etc. Ostern is modern German for Ostara, a later form of Eostre.)

I'm going to guess that if anyone looks up Easter in the dictionary they're not likely to follow through and look up Pasca, Pesach, or the "paschal festival". That's most unfortunate, because that's where the real focus ought to be during this time of celebration if you claim to be believing in YAHWEH and His Son, YAHUSHUA.

For many Easter is a time of "fun", not a time of remembering that YAHWEH, The Creator, sent His only Son, YAHUSHUA (Jesus) into the world to die - in order to deliver us from the power of sin and death.
Quite the contrast with jellybeans and chocolate, etc.

There are actually a number of pagan entities and rites associated with this season of the year. It's the time of the Spring Equinox, so it has “ astrological" connections - even to the “gods" and “goddesses" of the sun, moon and stars.

Here are some of the names of similar goddesses connected to the spring rites. These are all variations of the same name or concept. Ostara a Norse Goddess of fertility, Aphrodite from ancient Cyprus, Ashtoreth from ancient Yisra’el,
Astarte from ancient Greece,
Demeter from Mycenae,
Hathor from ancient Egypt,
Ishtar from Assyria,
Kali, from India.
If you’re familiar with Scripture you’ll quickly recognize some of these.

Many would tell you Easter is about the celebration of the resurrection of YAHUSHUA (Jesus) from the dead after His crucifixion and burial. This understanding is not correct. 
Passover is the festival associated with that event, not "Easter”. 

Tradition has convinced us this is proper, but tradition is wrong.
Tradition has blended the pagan with the religious
- and destroyed the religious dimension in the process
.
The result is confusion, a work of The Adversary.

What’s celebrated as “Easter” should actually be celebrated as part of the feast known as Passover (Pesach, Paska, Pascha, Phasekh, Pascal, etc.). Originally in the early communities of believers Passover was the highest point of the religious year. It focused on the death, resurrection, and ascension of The Messiah, YAHUSHUA (Jesus). It was a time for remembering the first Passover, with its deliverance of the children of Yisra’el from bondage in Egypt. That event foretold the later deliverance  of people from their bondage to sin.

Passover holds all the elements we need to examine to understand our redemption as revealed in The Messiah. It was right in the middle of the Passover celebration that The Messiah was murdered - as a Lamb without blemish (He was without sin). His own death and resurrection was designed to deliver us from bondage to the debt we owe as a result of our own personal sin. There is no greater event in the life of one who believes in and trusts in YAHWEH and His Son, YAHUSHUA, than this, with perhaps the exception of our final arrival in Eternity.

Passover should not be buried under the traditions of Easter celebrations. 

If you do a bit of homework you can easily discover the sources for the use of the eggs, bunnies, chocolate, ham (pork was forbidden to the Yisra’elites), spring cleaning, new clothes, etc. Easter was, and is, totally pagan in its roots. It was tied to the fertility gods and goddesses. It involved sun worship (sun-day) with its attendant sunrise services, worshipping the coming of the sun as the vernal equinox occurred.

Easter pollutes Passover and sucks the truth out of the story, replacing it with selfishness, greed, and pagan rituals.
Why do believers allow their children to be taught these perversions?
Why has this practice not been stopped long ago by the leaders of our "churches" (See Definitions for the use of this term)?

Below is an excerpt from the Wikipedia posting on Passover, with similar comments under Easter:

"Anglo-Saxon and German
The modern English term Easter is speculated to have developed from Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre or Eoaster, which itself developed prior to 899. The name refers to Eostur-monath, a month of the Germanic calendar attested by Bede as named after the goddess Ēostre of Anglo-Saxon paganism. Bede notes that Eostur-monath was the equivalent to the month of April, and that feasts held in her honor during Ēostur-monath had died out by the time of his writing, replaced with the Christian custom of Easter.
Using comparative linguistic evidence from continental Germanic sources, the 19th century scholar Jacob Grimm proposed the existence of an equivalent form of Eostre among the pre-Christian beliefs of the continental Germanic peoples, whose name he reconstructed as Ostara.
The implications of the goddess have resulted in scholarly theories about whether or not Eostre is an invention of Bede, theories connecting Eostre with records of Germanic folk custom (including hares and eggs), and as descendant of the Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn through the etymology of her name. Grimm's reconstructed Ostara has had some influence in modern popular culture. Modern German has Ostern, but otherwise, Germanic languages have generally borrowed the form pascha… "

As you can see, the origins of the name for this spring festival, Easter, have very pagan roots. Other than the timing of this pagan festival, around the time of the spring, or vernal, equinox, Easter has no "Christian" roots or basis whatsoever. Through the course of history this pagan festival has been merged with the celebration of Passover, and dramatically polluted it.

Like many “holidays” currently celebrated, the religious and the profane have been merged to corrupt these events. This is nothing but the work of The Adversary to confuse and deceive YAHWEH’s people. 

Think about the word, holiday. Where does it come from? These were originally “holy days”, religious celebrations. Now they’re just party times for the most part. 

The Wikipedia posting on Passover begins like this:

"Passover is a biblically mandated holiday, indicating that it was already old and traditional by the time of the redaction (editing) of the Pentateuch:

Leviticus 23.5-7 On the first new moon, 
on the fourteenth after the new moon, 
between the evenings is Passover to
YAHWEH

On the fifteenth day after this new moon 
is the Festival of Unleavened Bread   matstah 
to YAHWEH.  
Seven days unleavened bread you are to eat! 
On the first day a set apart convocation is to exist for you.
Any laborious work you are not to do.

The merging of the secular pagan traditions with the religious ones has truly muddied the waters. The result is confusion in the minds of those who claim to be Christians, and even the minds of many who have a Hebrew background. For those who are not religious there is also much confusion about just exactly what Easter really means. Most simply do not know.

The traditional celebration of Easter needs to be significantly altered if one is to attempt to make this a "religious festival", and cause it to become faithful to The Word of YAHWEH (God). In its present form, with all of its corruptions, Easter does not  honor Him, or his Son, YAHUSHUA (Jesus). Indeed, it makes a mockery of the original Passover story and the later deliverance of Believers from their offense debt.

Passover is far more than a time to remember the deliverance of the Children of Yisra’el from bondage in Egypt. With the death and resurrection of our Messiah, YAHUSHUA, it now marks the passing over of our offense debt by YAHWEH!. Thus, Passover is truly a pass-over for every Believer! Consequently, it should be celebrated as such, and every Believer should learn to observe Passover properly!

Where Do We Begin?

We must begin by returning to the Scriptural account of Passover (Pesach, Paskah, Pascah, etc.) The story of the death and resurrection of The Messiah, YAHUSHUA, ultimately begins with the story of the deliverance of Yisra’el from bondage in Egypt. The book of Exodus contains the essence of this story. Chapters 1-4 tell of Moshe and his preparation for this event.
Chapters 5-14 recount the events surrounding this great deliverance. Chapter 12 specifically identifies the beginning instructions concerning Passover.

Passover was to be a perpetual “appointed time” (festival) for the children of Yisra’el (Exodus 12.14, 42). They were to remember YAHWEH’s deliverance throughout all their succeeding generations. They were never to forget what He had done for them in redeeming the entire nation from 430 years of bondage.

What they didn’t realize was that this time of remembrance was also prophetic. It foreshadowed the coming of The Messiah many generations later. He would also deliver YAHWEH’s people from bondage. But this bondage involved the deliverance from the consequences of their offenses. The Passover celebration was intended to remind us of His mighty deliverance, both in the past and in the present. By doing so it also points the way to the future. 

Passover

The events of Passover are fairly specific. The original event was only completed one time, but there were instructions for how to celebrate the remembrance of that event. By this I mean that the Messenger of Death did not visit the land every time Passover occurred. That only happened the first time - in Egypt. Following the protocols in succeeding years served as a reminder, not as protection from certain death on that very night.

There were specific instructions given for consecrating the first born after Israel entered the Promised Land, the Land of Kena’an (Exodus 13.1, 11-16). This was to be a reminder of the death of Egypt’s first born on that first Passover. It was also indicative of the death of YAHWEH’s first born Son, YAHUSHUA.

The preparation for Passover included the institution of a new time schedule for Yisra’el. Exodus 12.1-2 identifies this new beginning. We know it as the first of Nisan or Abib. It became the beginning of the Religious year in Yisra’el, in a real sense marking the beginnings of the nation of Yisra’el. (This should be the time for them to observe the start of their “new year”. Yet they have clung to tradition even in this.)

It’s important to recognize that Yisra'el established their months on the basis of the cycle of the moon. A new moon (darkness) was the beginning of a new month. (The very word, month, comes from this concept.) Their calendar would essentially differ from that of the rest of the world from this point onward, establishing the uniqueness with which YAHWEH treated His chosen people. 

The first day of their year was not in January,and it was no longer to be in September. Instead it was established by YAHWEH as the day in which their deliverance was initiated. It would forever act as a reminder that with YAHWEH things are always different from the ways of the world. It was determined by things YAHWEH created in the beginning, in Genesis.

On the tenth of the month they were to select an unblemished lamb. They were to keep it until the fourteenth day of the month and kill it at twilight. If the family was too small to eat all of it, they were to share it with another family, a neighbor. Some of the blood from this lamb was to be spread, with hyssop branches, on the lintel and the doorposts of the houses where it was to be eaten. They were to stay inside that night. No one was to leave the house for any reason.

The lamb was to be roasted in fire and eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The entire animal was to be roasted in the fire. None of it was to remain until the morning. Any portions not consumed were to be burned with fire. It was also to be eaten with a belt on the waist, and sandals on the feet. It was to be eaten quickly, not like a normal slow feasting that would be done. It was preparation for the journey out of the land of Egypt.

In connection with this event they were also to celebrate seven days of unleavened bread. (Exodus 12.15-20, 13.3-10) This involved a sacred assembly on the first day and on the seventh day. No work (employment) was to be done on these days. This, too, was to be a perpetual celebration on the fourteenth through the twenty first of the month. No leaven was to be found in the houses. No leaven was to be eaten. Anyone who did not comply would be cut off from the assembly of Yisra’el. (This is where the concept of "spring cleaning" originated.)

At midnight on the fourteenth of the month (remember, the day began at sunset) YAHWEH struck all the first born of Egypt. They all died. Then Pharaoh released the Yisra’elites to leave the country, urging them to go. About six hundred thousand men, plus women and children, marched out of Egypt (Properly, Mitsraim - This was a son of Ham.). Estimates suggest 2-5 million people were involved in The Exodus event. Nothing like it had ever been seen in all creation, nor would there ever be an event like it again.   

First Fruits and The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost, Shavuot

After Yisra’el entered the Promised Land YAHWEH established the celebrations of The Feast of First Fruits, and The Feast of Weeks - sometimes called Counting the Omer - during the time of the Passover (Pesach or Phasekh) celebration. The Feast of First Fruits involved waving a sheaf of freshly harvested barley before YAHWEH on the day after The Sabbath. (There’s much debate about which day this was, but many have taken this to mean the first day of the week, the day after the normal Sabbath. This may not be completely accurate.)

From this day they were to count seven Sabbaths plus one day, 50 days. This became known as Counting the Omer. The omer was a dry measure of a quantity of barley. This omer was involved in the waving of the barley as the First Fruits. The idea was to count the days from the day the omer was presented to the priest. The last day was also the day after The Sabbath.

The 50 days became known as Pentecost (Shavuot), mainly because that was the Greek word for fifty. It’s typically how we remember it today, although we seldom celebrate it as we should. It’s a very significant date in the life of Yisra’el and in the life of every Believer. It’s believed that on this very day - 50 days after the Yisra’elites left Egypt - The Torah was given to Moshe. It’s also the day The Set Apart Divine Nature of YAHWEH was poured out on those who believed in The Messiah, YAHUSHUA (Jesus) following His resurrection and ascension.

This celebration was originally referred to as The Feast of Weeks, or Shavuot. It was also called The Feast of First Fruits because it involved presenting the first fruits of the wheat harvest. A study of the feasts, or appointed times, of YAHWEH will give you some very interesting insights into their meaning for us even today.

The use of the term first fruits for both times has certainly caused some confusion about what really constitutes the Feast of First Fruits. There are actually two celebrations, but one should be called the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, to distinguish them from one another. The Adversary is always trying to confuse YAHWEH’s people. 

The Sad Reality

Most people, Christians and Hebrews alike, have a very limited understanding of these events and their celebrations today. Many know little or nothing about Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, The Feast of First Fruits, the consecration of the first born, The Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost (Shavuot), Counting the Omer, and all of the things that are thus connected together to the event we inappropriately call “Easter”.

This is most unfortunate. Passover affects virtually everything we do in our walks as Believers. 

Perversely, the traditions of men have replaced The Word of YAHWEH in the practice of our faith. Passover has succumbed to Easter. Christmas, which we know is not the time for the birth of The Messiah, has been perverted with Santa Claus, gifts, huge debt, and selfishness. All Saints Day has been perverted by Halloween. Mardi Gras taints the spring feasts. Father’s Day corrupts Pentecost.

We need, desperately, to correct these unconscionable perversions. We need to present the truth of Scripture to the people of YAHWEH. We need to call people back to YAHWEH’s Word to re-discover the very foundations of our faith. How can we honor YAHWEH and His Son YAHUSHUA if we do not know why we're celebrating the events we call holidays? How can we honor them when the mingling of pagan traditions with religious celebrations clouds our minds with misunderstandings and evil lies? 

Do You Know?

Spring cleaning has its origins in the Feast of Unleavened Bread. No leaven was to be found in the houses of the people of YAHWEH. For seven days they were to eat only unleavened bread. If leavening was found in their homes they were to be cut off from the assembly. So, every year at Passover time, the people of YAHWEH would clean their homes from top to bottom, removing the leaven, making certain none remained in their home. That’s the real origin of this concept.

We need to “clean house” with the people of YAHWEH today. We need to get the corruption out of our lives. Leaven is a symbol of sin in Scripture. How appropriate such a symbol is. We need to get the sin out of our lives, every day. And when it comes to our religious traditions, we need to purge the house of YAHWEH of the polluting influence of the traditions of men. (We are His “house” as Believers. He “dwells” inside of us.)

  • The unleavened wafers of “communion" speak to the Feast of Unleavened Bread
  • The cup of “communion" speaks of the shed blood of YAHUSHUA, and was part of the Passover meal YAHUSHUA shared with His disciples. (What’s commonly called “communion” or “The Lord’s Supper”, is actually part of
    The Passover Meal. It was intended to be celebrated ONLY during the celebration of Passover - once a year!)
  • Baptism reminds us of the consecration of the first born. And the firstborn remind us of the coming inheritance promised to those who believe and trust in YAHWEH
  • The waving of the first fruits remind us that they belong to YAHWEH, the best of the best, and the first of the produce of our labors. 
  • The counting of the omer, 50 days, reminds us to anticipate our entrance into the inheritance, the Promised Land of Eternity. 
  • Pentecost (Shavuot), the culmination of the 50 days, reminds us of the giving of The Torah and the deliverance from the requirements of The Torah, at the same time. It reminds us YAHWEH sent The Set Apart Divine Nature of YAHWEH, to live in our midst – dwelling within us.

Sadly, these are all lost amidst the traditions of men. Tradition has swallowed up The Word of YAHWEHThe Truth has buried under a pile of lies and deceptions

My heart aches as I witness the devastation. I long to help at least a few others re-discover the foundations of our faith. I long to have others help me remember what great things YAHWEH has done for us.

We don’t have a lot of time left.  We need to spread The Word. We are far closer today to the return of The Messiah than many realize. We are warned that “as it was in the days of Noah,” so will it be when the Son of Man comes again.

People were caught up in doing things their way when the flood came. They would not listen to The Word of YAHWEH, even though it was proclaimed to them. Only eight were redeemed from the floodwaters. The Word of YAHWEH, and even the gene pool of the human race, had been corrupted to the point YAHWEH could put up with it no longer.

The time is coming for a very similar process to occur once more. No more water, but the fire next time. Nuclear holocaust? Volcanic explosions? Asteroid impact? Global warfare? An outburst of solar radiation so intense it burns up the planet? Take your pick. We don’t know how soon it will come. But we know it will come. Our task is to live this day for YAHWEH, listening to His Word and doing His Word. 

But we cannot do that if we do not know His Word. 

What Can You Do?

Most importantly the question is, “What will you do to change the way things are done?” You can begin immediately to stop following the traditions you’ve accepted as being correct. It’s time to start questioning every one of your traditions. Find out The Truth. Do your homework. It’s not that hard to do. If you could find this page on the Internet you can also learn a great deal about the traditions you’ve been taught and their real origins from the same Internet.

Talk to your family, friends, pastor, teacher, etc. Ask them questions. Find out what they really know, or don’t know about these things. Do a study of the Feasts of Israel. At the very least, read Leviticus 23 as a beginning. Read the story of the Exodus and the Passover, regularly to remind you off the lessons involved.

Get serious about studying The Word of YAHWEH. There's a new text available for FREE on this site to help you. It is Scripture For Seekers. This new version offers an entirely fresh look at Scripture. There’s a new format, new notes, and countless new insights into the meaning of the terms. Get started today to discover that the Truth really is.

You cannot learn what you do not read, or what you do not focus your mind upon. Do everything you can to follow what YAHWEH says, not what mankind says. Encourage your pastor or Bible study teacher to explore these areas with you. Start a study for your family or with your friends and learn these things for yourself. I’ve only scratched the surface of these vitally important topics. There’s much more to learn.

Most importantly, confess your ignorance and misuse of these things to YAHWEH. Repent. Determine in your heart that you will change the way you do things. That’s what repentance is about. Seek to truly honor Him, doing what He desires, and not what the world says you should do. Ask Him to teach you. He will. Then trust His Word as you grow in your understanding of it.

May YAHWEH motivate YOU to change - TODAY!

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May YAHWEH speak to your heart and bless you with understanding as you explore His Word.