Is Easter a Christian Holiday?

by Les’a Cole

easter-fertility goddessWhen asked about Easter, many reply that it is a fun holiday: Easter Bonnets, Bunnies, and Easter Egg Hunts. Others remark: “Easter, Christmas, and Mother’s Day are the three days we always go to church.” Still others reply, “We call it Resurrection Sunday, because that is when Jesus rose from the dead.”

The tradition of celebrating Easter is honored by nearly all contemporary Christians. Most believe that Easter began with the resurrection of our Saviour and was instituted in the 1st century by His disciples. But, did it??

First, let’s examine the historic roots of Easter and the main characters

Noah’s great grandson was the mighty hunter Nimrod. He began the cities of Babylon and other great cities in the land of Shinar (between the Euphrates and the Tigris Rivers). From Shinar, Nimrod went to Assyria and built Nineveh and other cities. (Genesis 10:10)

“Nimrod was the first king in the world to ever wear a crown: the horns of a bull. He was their lord because he was the supreme authority in all matters of spiritual and religious understanding, as well as maintaining his empire. Nimrod had managed to gather the people of the world under one ruler; with one philosophy, one mind and one language,[i] ” Encouraged by his father Cush, Nimrod began polytheism, including human sacrifice, in the post-flood world.[ii]

After the death of Nimrod’s father (Cush), Nimrod’s mother (Semiramis) became Nimrod’s wife and the Queen of Babylon. Semiramis has also been known by many other names, including Ishtar, Aphrodite, Venus, Astarte, and Ashtaroth[iii], Astoreth, Astaroth, Asherah [the chief goddess in many areas and ancient cultures Some of Semiramis’ titles are Goddess of Fertility, Love and War; Guidance Councilor for both Demons and humans; Ruler of 40 legions of spirits; Treasurer of Hell, and Beelzebub’s granddaughter.[iv] Though Semiramis’ name took on various spellings and pronunciations, the demonic character traits remained the same.

easter - semiramisAfter Nimrod was killed, his body parts were spread throughout his kingdom. Semiramis told that he had ascended to the sun and that he would now be called Baal, the sun god. He would be present on earth in the form of a flame (candle or lamp) when used in worship. She also recounted that she had come to earth from the moon in a giant egg. Her moon egg became known as Ishtar’s Egg, symbolizing the Goddess Easter. (Ishtar is pronounced: “Easter”.)[v]

Semiramis (aka Ishtar, etc.) became pregnant and claimed it was the rays of the sun god, Baal (aka Nimrod), who caused her to conceive. The baby was named Tammuz. After Tammuz was killed by a wild pig, Semiramis asserted that Tammuz ascended to his father Baal. “The two of them would be worshippers in the sacred candle or lamp flame as Father, Son and Spirit.”[vi] (To be part of the godhead, the already deified Ishtar changed herself into a dove.[vii])

Worshiped as the Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, Ishtar (Semiramis) proclaimed a 40-day period of sorrow andeaster bunny and eggs easter-hamfasting (no meat allowed) prior to the anniversary of Tammuz’ death. The first Sunday, following the first full moon, after the spring equinox is the festivity. It is called Ishtar’s Sunday and is celebrated with rabbits and eggs. And because Tammuz was killed by a pig, ham must be eaten on Ishtar’s Sunday. They also ate sacred cakes with the mark of a “T” or a cross on the top.[i]

It is interesting to note that Asherah, which is another name for Semiramis, is mentioned 40 times in the Bible. The verses below speak about the Asherah image’s being an abomination, that it provoked Yahweh.

  • “He [King Asa of Israel] also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. And Asa cut down her [Asherah] image and burned it at the brook Kidron.” 1Kings 15:13, ESV, NASB.
  • “Ahab [King Ahab] also made the Asherah. Thus Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him,” 1Kings 16:33, NASB, ESV.
  • “Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal [the Sun God] and 400 prophets of the Asherah {Semiramis], who eat at Jezebel’s table.” 1Kings 18:19, NASB, ESV, NIV.
  • “They removed the image of Asherah from the house of Baal and burned it,” 2Kings 10:26, NSB.

Queen of Heaven (aka Semiramis or Asherah) is mentioned in Jeremiah 7:18; and Jeremiah 44:15-25. People made fires, baked cakes, poured out drinks for other gods. This provoked YHWH to anger. (I encourage you to read these complete passages for more understanding.)

But, Easter traditions are fun for the kids…

People often argue, “But we are Christians. We don’t do these things to honor pagan gods; we honor Jesus; these are just fun customs.” Again, let us look at the origin of these traditions.

Easter Eggs[ii]: Because dying or coloring eggs and hiding them has been part of many families’ Easter traditions is easter - easter basketthere anything wrong with this Western tradition?

For thousands of years the egg has been a symbol of fertility. It also became a symbol the Goddess Easter (Ishtar/Astarte/Semiramis)[iii], who was to have been hatched from the giant moon egg. Ishtar Eggs was even bear one of her names.

Easter Bunny: the Easter bunny is the oldest pagan symbol of fertility, a sexual symbol of fertility. [iv]

Hot cross buns of Good Friday: The hot cross buns of Good Friday and dyed Easter eggs were part of Chaldean easter-cross bunsrites. The Œbuns [sacred bread offered to the gods] were used in the worship of the queen of heaven, the goddess Ishtar, as early as the days of Cecrops [the mythical king of Athens], the founder of Athens — 500 years BEFORE the Christian era.[v]

Lent: Semiramis proclaimed no meat would be eaten during the mourning of Tammuz’ death. This mourning lasted forty days, one for each year of Tammuz’ life. The Bible relates, “Then he brought me to the entrance to the north gate of the house of the LORD, and I saw women sitting there, mourning for Tammuz,” Ezekiel 8:14, NIV. In the next verse, we see the LORD viewed this practice as abominable: “He said to me, ‘Do you see this, son of man? You will see things that are even more detestable than this.’” Today this is celebrated by people’s giving up something for Lent. (For information about the dates, refer to the final paragraph on page 1 and The Date of Easter section on page 3.)

Sunrise Service: Services facing the sun in the east were practiced long before the resurrection of Yeshua. “He theneaster - resurrection sunday brought me into the inner court of the house of the LORD, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs toward the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east,” Ezekiel 8:16. Note: these men turned their backs toward the Temple and bowed to the sun; this happened in 592 BC[i], hundreds of years before the birth of Christianity.

Furthermore, sunrise services are not commemorating Yeshua’s resurrection because He arose while it was dark — prior to sunrise. In fact, it was still dark when Mary Magdalene found the tomb empty. “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance,” John 20:1, NIV.

The date of Easter: In 325 AD, the first Ecumenical Council was held at Nicea (or Nicaea), in present-day Turkey. It decreed Easter would be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon that occurred after the Spring Equinox.[ii] (Sound familiar? This is the same dating as Ishtar’s Sunday; the conclusion of mourning for Tammuz.)

What does G-d say?

BibleAfter studying this topic, we see that not only is G-d the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, but also the evil spirits that exerted influence in the early days of the Bible are still operative in our world today. They continually lure people into deception: a little Easter Egg Hunt here or an Easter Bunny there. “Every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes,” Deut 12:8b, NASB. However, G-od very explicitly tells us that we are to observe His feasts. He tells us that Passover is:

  • “A festival to the LORD: a lasting ordinance for generations to come,” Ex 12:14b; Lev 23:14, NIV.
  • Yeshua said: “I desire to eat this Passover with you,” Luke 22:15, NIV. Furthermore, G-d tells us when and how we are to celebrate
  • “The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD’s Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast,” Lev 23:5-6, NIV.

G-d also explicitly instructs that his children are not to worship either at the places or in the manner in which the people of the world worship. We are to worship G-d’s way.

Asherah Pole

Asherah Pole

2“You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3 You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place. 4You shall not act like this toward the LORD your God.” Deut 12:2-4, NASB.

Paul reinforces that followers of G-d are to worship His way when he asks: “What agreement is there between the temple of G-d and idols?,” 2Cor 6:16a, NIV.

What did the Puritans and Pilgrims do?

“Easter was not popular with the Puritans or the Pilgrim settlers in America. Neither Puritans or Pilgrims had use for ceremonies associated with religious festivals invented in either pagan history, or reinvented by Roman Catholicism. In actuality, here in the America’s only after the bloodshed Civil War did Easter “begin again” to be accepted.

“The Puritans believed “there is no Scriptural command, approved example, or good and necessary inference, which warrants tying specific acts of redemption to ‘holy’ days of our own choosing.” (Chris Coldwell, The Religious Observance of Christmas and ‘Holy Days’ in American Presbyterianism)”[i]

What should we do?

When pondering what to do, a verse that comes to mind is obedience is better than sacrifice. (1Sam 15:22: “But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”). As Believers, we need to remember what G-d’s Word warns of: “Every man doing whatever is right (even including Christian-izing Resurrection Sunday, aka Easter) in his own eyes,” Deut 12:8b, NASB. However, G-d tells us that we are to observe His Festivals as an eternal memorial.

Consider: Do we commemorate Easter (the Fertility Goddess of Babylon) and try to cloak it in “Christian-ese” or do we celebrate the death and resurrection of our LORD and Saviour during G-d’s appointed time of Passover?

Prayer:

“Mighty heavenly Father, You have brought us to another holiday. Help us to embrace and to learn more about Your calendar – and to look forward with anticipation. Bring all our children to a knowledge of You and to walk in Your precepts. Be with and heal our soldiers. Bring Your peace to J’lem and turn the hearts of Americans to You. In Your holy Name.”

Endnotes:

[i]    http://www.apuritansmind.com/the-christian-walk/easter-the-devils-holiday-by-dr-c-matthew-mcmahon/

[i]    NIV, 1985, preface to the book of Ezekiel.

[ii]    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_is_the_date_for_Easter_calculated_each_year; and http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/2007/04/calculating_easter.html; and http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080303074630AA7wj26

[i]    http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org

[ii]    http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t020.html

[iii]   http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t020.html#11

[iv]   http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t020.html

[v]    http://www.biblebelievers.com/babylon/sect32.htm

Endnotes:

[i]    http://www.loveyah.com/nimrod.htm

[ii]    http://www.mystery-babylon.org/originsofbabylontwo.html

[iii]   http://gatewaytoheaven.ning.com/profiles/blogs/ishtar-pronounced-easterthe

[iv]   http://www.angelfire.com/empire/serpentis666/Astaroth.html

[v]    http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org

[vi]   http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org/tracts/tract1.html

[vii]   http://www.biblebelievers.com/babylon/sect32.htm