I want to begin this post by saying that today, I unequivocally celebrate the resurrection of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, from Death into Life, and I praise Him for making that possible for me, too! And as you know, if you have followed this blog for any length of time, that I love researching the Word for historical and theological context. So, it is with awe and wonder that I find that our Christian celebration of Easter this year coincides with the last day of the Jewish faith's Passover celebration. Let me share with you how the two come together to show the glory and sovereignty of YHWH, the Creator of the Universe and the Most High God.
In our Christian faith, Easter has come to mean the celebration of the resurrection of Christ three days after His crucifixion. It is the oldest Christian holiday and the most important day of the church year because of what Christ did for us. His willingness to pay the debt owed by all mankind throughout history, for the sins we have committed, culminates at the Cross. He endured God's wrath so that we don't have to and could be forgiven our sins and reconciled with God, our Father in heaven. Christ's crucifixion and resurrection constitutes the single most important event upon which Christianity is based.
I have written many posts about the corrupted history of Easter and how it came to be in the traditions of our faith and the Church. You can enter the word "Easter" in the search bar of this blog and peruse those, if you are interested. For the purpose of this post, here is a short summary of that history: In 325 AD, Emperor Constantine, at the Nicean Council, ordered all Churches to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. The early Church had celebrated the Resurrection during the Passover, beginning on the 14th day of the Hebrew month called Nisan, which could fall on any day of the week [being governed by the Jewish lunar year]. But the Churches near Rome had abandoned the practice because they hated the Jews, blaming them for the death of Jesus, so they fixed the date to the first Sunday after the first full moon of Spring, which coincided with the ancient Roman celebration called ‘Easter’, after the pagan goddess of Spring, Eostre. It helps to know that Constantine, before his self-professed conversion, was a pagan who worshiped the Sun God, hence his desire to move the celebration of Christ's resurrection to "Sunday".
His Satan-induced hatred of the Jews caused the Jewish influence (in the form of the Feasts) to be erased from the Church. Here is a direct quote from Constantine himself: “And truly, in the first place, it seems to everyone a most unworthy thing that we should follow the customs of the Jews in the celebration of this most holy solemnity, who, polluted wretches! having stained their hands with a nefarious crime, are justly blinded in their minds. It is fit, therefore, that rejecting the practice of this people, we should perpetuate to all future ages the celebration of this rite, in a more legitimate order, which we have kept from the first day of our "Lord's" passion even to the present times. Let us then have nothing in common with the most hostile rabble of the Jews.” (Council of Nicea, pg. 52.)
Now that you have that background, I hope you can appreciate the importance of Christian acknowledgement of the Lord's Feasts (they are not "the Jewish feasts"), especially the celebration of the Feast of Passover, including the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of First Fruits. There is actually so much significance that ties the Jewish Passover celebration and the Christian celebration of Easter, or Resurrection Day, as it is becoming more popularly known. And there is an interesting correlation between the two this year.
First of all, there are eight days assigned to the Feast of Passover by YHWH. And in the Christian tradition, there are eight days from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Day/Easter. The last day of Passover is celebrated in commemoration of the crossing of the Red Sea [or the Sea of Reeds, as some versions of the Bible call it]. Eighty years prior to this event, the infant Moses was delivered from the waters of the Nile River, after the Pharaoh of Egypt decreed that all Hebrew sons born to the Israelite slaves should be drowned. Eighty years later, this same man called Moses, would be instrumental in delivering the nation of Israel from the waters of the Red Sea. This experience is known in the Bible as the Exodus; when Israel is delivered out of their bondage of slavery in Egypt into a new birth, or existence, if you will. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 10:2 tells us that in crossing through the Red Sea "all Israel were baptized into Moses [into his safekeeping as their leader]... That event is what is being celebrated around the world today, on Resurrection Day, by millions of Jews.
In a similar manner, today we Christians celebrate that we are baptized into Christ, united with Him in His death and burial [as our sins are crucified and buried through His sacrifice on the Cross] and in His resurrection [as the Forerunner of our own birth into a future resurrected life]. He is the First Fruit of the Harvest of believers into an eternal resurrected life. This year, the Feast of First Fruits falls on the same day as Resurrection Day/Easter! I do not believe this is a coincidence in 2021! This year, I believe YHWH is calling the attention of His faithful to His Holy calendar. I believe we are coming close to His ordained time when we will be united in the worship of our Redeemer, the Jewish King of the Universe. This year, whether Jew or Christian, we will all be celebrating our deliverance from bondage into God's Grace and His strong will and desire to save us all and transfer us into His Kingdom on earth. So, join me, in praising God for bringing our faiths into alignment this year, as we pray that His promise of dwelling with us on earth will soon come to pass. Happy Pesach and Happy Resurrection Day!
Romans 8:11 Yes, God raised Jesus to life! And since God’s Spirit of Resurrection lives in you, He will also raise your dying body to life by the same Spirit that breathes life into you!