Celebration of Easter

The topic to which I speak is that of Easter; only a summary of considerations is provided here. The Holy Scriptures speak to this issue. However, some explanatory guidance is essential concerning the application of the scriptures in our modern day society.

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Colossians 2:16-22 says “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come….”

Christian holidays are considered by Christians to be special holydays. So let no one judge you as to their validity if they are intended to honor and glorify God. There are those who state that Christians should not celebrate Easter. They say this because Easter appears only once in the Kings James Version (KJV) of the Bible (Acts 12:4). Some say that occurrence should have been translated using the word Passover. In fact, the same Greek Word is translated Passover in other places in the KJV. Indeed the New King James Version (NKJV) does use the word Passover instead of Easter.

Why the KJV translators used the word Easter instead of Passover in Acts 12:4 is unclear. But it really is not significant for us. The reason is that Easter is generally understood to refer to an annual Christian holiday in which people of faith celebrate the resurrection of Jesus in a special way. Some begin this celebration with Good Friday on the Friday prior to Easter Sunday to celebrate the death and burial of Jesus. Some even begin the celebration prior to Good Friday with such practices as Lent, etc. The idea of the Easter period is to celebrate the crucifixion death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The Bible does not give the exact date of Jesus death in terms of our calendar. The exact date does not matter. When we celebrate does not matter so long as we come as close as possible to what the Bible says. What we call that celebration does not matter.

Words have meaning only to the extent we commonly agree they mean. Moreover, their meaning is dependent on the context in which they are used. Furthermore, words change in common meaning over time. So no matter what the word Easter meant in ancient times and no matter from where it is derived, the key is what we mean by it now. For example, it is said that the word Jupiter comes from the chief of the Roman gods whose name was Jupiter or Jove. Now the word Jupiter is commonly understood to refer to the planet Jupiter and not to the Roman god named Jupiter. In Dallas Texas there is a street named Jupiter. Does this mean the people that live on that street or the business that reside on that street worship the Roman god Jupiter? Of course, one could not rightly conclude such a thing just because such people/businesses reside on that street. So it is for the word Easter. It means what we mean by it now.

To God Be the Glory!

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