believe it? The observance of Easter is never once
commanded in the Bible! Don't take our word for it!
is no indication of the observance of the Easter
festival in the New Testament." So
states the Encyclopedia Britannica.
celebration of Easter does not appear in the New
Testament."(A Dictionary of Religion and
Ethics, Mathews and Smith, pg. 140)
Have you ever wondered what colored eggs have to do with
Christ's death? And what Easter rabbits and hot-cross
buns have to do with Christ's resurrection? What about
the name "Easter" itself? Do you know its origin and
meaning? And what about Easter Sunrise services? How did
the "Christian" world come to accept and celebrate
Easter? It's high time you knew the truth about Easter.
Services Before Jesus' Birth
Turn back the pages of history for a moment. See how
Easter came to be accepted by the professing Christian
world. Take the year 8 B.C. -4 years before Christ's
birth. Notice what was taking place in that particular
year among the non-Christian population of Europe, the
As was customary with the spring of each year, a
particular event was about to take place. General
excitement permeated the towns and villages.
It was a Saturday evening, called Sunnun-abend,
when the event was to occur. On this particular evening
in 8 B.C., everyone left his habitation and then
gathered outside the village or town. All those capable
would collect wood, place it around an oak tree, and set
As the massive mountain of wood began to burn, everyone
would gather around the fire, completely encircling it.
Flames would light up the entire sky. This ceremony
occurred throughout the land.
Then followed the more solemn part of the evening. The
populace would kneel and beseech Sunna their goddess
of dawn as
she was then called, imploring her to bring back the
long-awaited spring days. The date of this festival was
a Saturday night about the 21st of
This was the time of the vernal equinox, when the short
winter days cease and the long, warm spring months
begin. (As a matter of interest, the German word for
Saturday,- Sonnabend traces
itself back to the Saturday night on which the goddess
worshiped. The ancient Germans counted their days from
evening to evening. Thus Saturday eve was actually the
beginning of today's Sunday.
After having offered sacrifices to the goddess of the
spring on this evening, the people retired till early
morning. On this morning,- Sunday, sometime before dawn,
everyone would meet again outside with their faces
to the East, toward the rising sun, praising their
goddess Sunna for
bringing them this long-awaited first day of spring.
This day, the first Sunday after March 21st,
was their annual holiday. It was a joyous day of various
celebrations and games. One of the games was to find
colored eggs which were hidden in the grass, around
trees and in other hiding places. The children
especially enjoyed these games.
Although the coloring varied, the predominate colors of
the eggs were red and gold, symbolizing the bright rays
of the sun. Some of the eggs were given as an offering
to the spring goddess and the others were eaten. The egg
was regarded as the emblem of germinating life in early
Hot-cross buns were also baked and offered to the
goddess. (See the Encyclopedia
of Religion and Ethics, vol.
2, pg 34 and The
Westminster Dictionary of the Bible, John
D. Davis, pg 145.)
Move forward in history to a time several centuries
after the birth of Christ. We find the heathen populace
of Europe still observing this annual spring festival to
the goddess of dawn or spring. But now she was known by
another, more general name,- EOSTRE.
The name Sunna had
merely been the localized German name, which was now
changed to the more general nameEostre. Here is
During the previous centuries, vast numbers of people
from Persia and Assyria had settled on the European
mainland. These Eastern peoples were also worshiping a
spring goddess. Their celebration likewise coincided
with the beginning of spring. In fact, even colored eggs
were associated with their spring festival. Notice,- "The
ancient Persians, when they kept the festival of the
solar new year in March, mutually presented each other
with colored eggs." (Chamber's
The spring festival of these Eastern immigrants was
identical to the festival the Germanic people
celebrated. There was only one difference. The name of
their goddess was ISHTAR.
The Germans pronounced it slightly different, resulting
in EOSTRE or
as we today pronounce "EASTER."
Thus the settlers from the East influenced the local
population to alter the name of their goddess Sunna to
that of Easter.
But it was still the same goddess. It was still the same
festival on which they worshiped the goddess Sunnaseveral
centuries before. They still gathered wood on Saturday
eve. They still had their huge bonfire that night. They
still arose early the next morning for the sunrise
service. And they still played games and looked for
colored eggs on that day. It was still a highly popular
festival. With the influx of the Eastern tribes, it
became more generally celebrated than ever before.
Nothing had changed except the name of their goddess,
or in more modern terminology,- Easter.
But how and why did the Christian-professing world
accept this festival, knowing its heathen origin? The
first three centuries after Christ reveal what
The Church founded by Jesus Christ in 31 A.D., never
kept Easter. . .Notice the words of a historian of the 3rdcentury, Socrates
the apostles, therefore, nor the Gospels have anywhere
imposed. . .Easter." (Ecclesiastical
History, v., 22) And again,- "The
first Christians continued to observe the Jewish
festivals (that is, the festivals God gave to His people
Israel), though in a new spirit, as commemorations of
events which those festivals had foreshadowed." (Encyclopedia
Britannica, vol. 8, pg 828)
There was no holiday commemorating a resurrection, only
a festival commemorating Christ's death. (The Passover)
Notice what the historian Gieseler admits,- "There
is no trace of a yearly festival of a resurrection among
Church, section 53, pg 178)
Instead of celebrating a resurrection or Easter
festival, for which there was no Biblical injunction,
the early Christians kept God's annual festival, the
Passover. This yearly event commemorated the death of
Jewish Christians in the early Church continued to
celebrate the Passover."(International
Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
This leaves no room for doubt, God's true Church never
kept Easter, but instead commemorated Christ's death
annually by observing the New Testament Passover.
As we come to the beginning of the second century, we
find another Church, claiming to represent Christ's true
Church. It introduced a new festival
in place of the Passover. It called this unauthorized festival,
of the resurrection.
During the second and third centuries, Italy was
infiltrated en masse by people from the East, from
Syria, Persia and Babylon. Often these Eastern people
would come in the forms of slaves who would later gain
their freedom and settle down in the West. At the same
time large-scale immigrations took place. So great was
the influx of these Eastern peoples that, by the time of
Tacitus, famous first century Roman historian, many of
Rome's military men and senators were actually of
foreign, Oriental blood.
There was also a tendency during these times for
philosophers from the East to travel westward, bringing
their philosophy with them. Their powerful influence
actually changed the religion of the Roman populace.
This is how it happened. "Some
of the most powerful divine invaders who came from the
East to conquer the West were SOLAR DIVINITIES. . .These
immigrants from the East brought the religion of the SUN
with them."(Encyclopedia of Religion and
Ethics, vol. 8, pg. 59)
And one form of sun-worship they were very familiar with
was a resurrection festival in the spring.
Now these Eastern immigrants settling in the West, with
their appealing sun-worship, made a profound impression
on the minds of the average Roman. Because of this and
the fact that a large percentage of the population was
already Eastern in origin, the professing Christian
world thought of a scheme to add immense numbers to
Realizing that a vast portion of the population in the
Roman Empire was familiar with sun-worship, it was
decided to make use of the day these Easterners
worshiped on,- Sunday. There was instituted a
resurrection feast, not to the literal sun, which the
pagans worshiped, but supposedly in honor of the true
This Sunday festival was introduced in the mid second
since the second century" says
theKing's English Encyclopedia, referring to
this Sunday feast.
is also evidence in Irenaeus' language to Victor that
such an annual celebration was then general, and that it
had been so at least for a generation." (Irenaeus
was a second century writer and Victor became head of
the Church at Rome around 190 A.D.)(The Gospels as
Historical Documents, Stanton, pg 192)This
"resurrection festival" had not been kept from the
beginning.(of the Christian Church) It originated from
men in the second century.
If we go back a generation from Victor, we come to the
time when the "Passover
The very fact that this controversy arose in the second
century, and not before, shows the change took place at
And true enough, the "Passover Controversy" started
after (the Church at) Rome (later known as Catholic) had
instituted this new "resurrection
festival." The Christians in Asia Minor (where disciples
of the original apostles were) were alarmed at the
institution of a "resurrection festival" (for which
there was no Biblical injunction) in
place of the
New Testament Passover. Throughout Asia Minor, voices of
At the height of this controversy, leaders from both
East and West met to settle the dispute, but without
success. History has recorded for us the words of one
Church leader from Asia Minor. His name was Polycrates,
living around the end of the second century.
FROM Larry R. Lasiter,
Editor: Polycrates was a disciple of Polycarp who was a
disciple of the Apostle John. Polycarp refused to accept
the replacement of the NT Passover with this
"resurrection festival" stating to Anicetus, the Roman
Bishop,- "I have always observed it (NT Passover) with
John, the disciple of our Lord, and the rest of the
Apostles with whom he associated."
The "history recorded" Mr.
Marx is referring to the before mentioned paragraph is
the letter from Polycrates to Pope Victor as referenced
to by Eusebius, xxiv, - "We (Churches in Asia Minor)
therefore observe the GENUINE DAY (NT Passover); NEITHER
ADDING thereto nor TAKING THEREFROM. For in Asia great
lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again in the
day of the Lord's appearing, in which he will come with
glory from heaven, and will raise up all the saints;. .
.Philip, one of the twelve Apostles, who sleeps in
Heirapolis,. . .John, who rested upon the bosom of our
Lord, . . .Polycarp of Smyrna, . . .ALL THESE OBSERVED
THE FOURTEENTH DAY OF THE PASSOVER according to the
GOSPEL, deviating in no respect but following the RULE
OF FAITH, . . .and my relatives always observed the day
when the people threw away the leaven (Abib 14). I
therefore, brethren, am now 65 years in the Lord, who
having conferred with the brethren throughout the world,
and having studied the whole of the Sacred Scriptures,
am not threatened, to intimidate me. For they who are
greater than I, have said,- "WE OUGHT TO OBEY GOD RATHER
THAN MEN." (End of Editor)
The controversy soon abated, finally leaving the Western
Church victorious. (It was not until after Emperor
Constantine in 325 A.D. forced all within his Empire to
keep a resurrection feast on Sundays, that the keeping
of the New Testament Passover gradually ceased)
Introducing this new festival on the pagan day of Sunday
paid dividends. The heathen populace of Rome quickly
noticed the similarity of the newly introduced festival
with their own spring festival in honor of their
As a result, they became "Christians" in droves. The
Church grew in number, speedily outgrowing all other
rivals. Since the goal during the time of her ascendancy
and growth was to quickly attract new members, Church
leaders would often meet the heathen "half-way". This
lenient policy made it easier for the unconverted to
In soliciting new members, the Church would allow the
unconverted populace to retain many of their heathen
practices and beliefs, in a "watered-down" version.
For example, the Church knew that many of the immigrants
from the East were used to celebrating a heathen spring
festival. So these heathen practices and festivals were
given a "Christian dressing". The newly converted were
asked not to worship their pagan gods or goddesses on
certain days, but rather to worship the true God and
Savior on these days. And the days chosen for these
"Christianized" celebrations were usually the identical
days on which the pagans worshiped their false gods on,
not the days God ordained.
This compromise is admitted by the scholar, Aringhus. He
mentions that the Church,- "Found
it necessary, in the conversion of the Gentiles, to
dissemble and wink at many things, and yield to the
times."(Taylor's Diegesis, pg 237)
Such compromise with the pagans gained "Christianity"
vast numbers of converts. By the time of Constantine in
326 A.D., Church leaders were able to influence the
emperor to pass a decree forcing all within the Empire
to keep this Sunday resurrection. Notice,- The
Roman practice gained ground everywhere. . .and was
established by the Council of Nicaea in 325 as the law
of the whole Church." (History
of the Church, Schaff, vol 2, pg 218)
Simultaneously, it was strictly forbidden for any
Christian to continue keeping the NT Passover. It was
considered "Jewish". The pagans, now professing to be
Christians, were left - "Free
to develop a Christian philosophy of THEIR OWN, better
suited to the Gentile temperament." (History
of Jewish Christianity, Schonfield, pg 54)
In the following centuries, as the culture of the Roman
Empire expanded into Central Europe, the religion of the
Roman Empire also spread into these areas. The policy of
"converting" pagans continued. Whole heathen tribes were
forced into "accepting Christ" and into accepting what
was claimed to be His religion.
This policy was zealously carried out by the "Christian"
Emperors. Charlemagne (c.800 A.D.) was especially eager
in bringing thousands of unconverted pagans into the
fold of the (Catholic) Church. Here is what he did.
After being crowned "Emperor", Charlemagne set out to
subdue the German tribes living in the East. The Western
part of Europe, France, the Rhineland, and Italy, was
already under his sway.
Defeating the unconverted Germans, he forced the German
chiefs to be baptized with their entire people. At first
King and subjects refused. But finally, seeing there was
no choice, the defeated chiefs relented. Thus in one
day, tens of thousands became "Christians."
Although these "newly converted" Germans resented the
method used in their conversion, they soon found
themselves right at home. Noticing especially the
resurrection festival that was being kept on their own
day of worship,- Sunday, the new converts needed little
persuasion to celebrate this "Christian" spring
festival, which was similar to what they had been used
to in the worship of their spring goddess Easter.
As time passed, these former pagans, now "converted",
were not satisfied to merely observe a Sunday
resurrection festival to Christ. They coveted and
yearned for the beautiful but pagan embellishments which
they were accustomed to observing.
Thus, in the process of time, they were influential in
changing the name from "resurrection festival" to
Easter. But they didn't stop here. They further
introduced into the Christian world more outright
Soon, all of Western Europe was hunting for Easter eggs
on this man-made, unbiblical festival. The Easter rabbit
also became a symbol of fertility. Many even continued
to rise early Sunday morning to face the sun in prayer.
Campfires were lit each Saturday evening leading up to
Easter. Many pagan converts would also bake cakes called
"hot-cross" buns and eat them at Easter. In due time
these and other pagan spring rites were celebrated on
Easter Sunday. Thus the man-made festival supposed to
commemorate Jesus' resurrection, came to be embellished
with more and more paganism.
What About Today?
Now you might ask, "What difference does it make? Easter
seems such an enjoyable festive occasion. Certainly no
harm can come from its observance," you say.
Of course, if there is no God, then it makes no
difference at all. If Christ is not alive, ruling this
entire universe, and concerned with mankind, then it
doesn't matter whether you keep this unauthorized,
paganized Easter celebration.
But if you claim to be a Christian and believe religious
beliefs and practices are to be founded on God's Word,
then it does make a difference whether you keep Easter.
Then it becomes a matter of obedience to Christ, doing
and believing what He commands, without adding or taking
away. God does not take lightly any attempt by man to
either add or take away from what He has commanded.
(Deut. 4:2 / Rev. 22:18)
But you might reason, "Well, I
know Easter is of pagan origin. But after all, we don't
worship pagan gods. Certainly God would understand."
If you really are a Christian and a believer in God,
then notice God's instructions in regard to Easter,- "When
the Lord your God shall cut off the nations from before
you, whither you go to possess them, and thou succeedest
them, and dwelleth in their land (this
parallels what happened when professing Christians went
into Central Europe to convert the heathen) take
heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following
them. . .and that thou enquire not after their gods,
saying HOW DID THESE NATIONS SERVE THEIR GODS? EVEN SO
WILL I DO LIKEWISE. THOU SHALT NOT DO SO UNTO THE LORD
THY GOD." (Deuteronomy
12:29-31) (God is saying, He doesn't want you to worship
Him as the pagans worshiped their gods, using their
Which course will you choose? Will you
obey man? Or God?
"THREE DAYS and THREE
The Resurrection was
not on Sunday
By: Larry R. Lasiter
On April 18 of this year (2003), many will observe "Good
Friday", the day they believe that Jesus was crucified.
Then on April 20, Easter Sunday will be observed as the
day Christ arose from the dead. But was Jesus truly
crucified on a Friday and resurrected on a Sunday
Morning? And does it really matter?
The Sign of Jonah
If you believe in Jesus as the Messiah, then it does
matter, because the only sign which would be given to
prove that He was the promised Messiah is the sign of
When the Jewish religious leaders asked Jesus for a
sign to prove that He was sent from God, Jesus
answered,-"An evil and adulterous generation
craves for a sign; and yet NO SIGN shall be given to it
BUT THE SIGN OF JONAH the prophet. For just as Jonah was
THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS in the belly of the sea
monster, so shall the Son of man be THREE DAYS and THREE
NIGHTS in the heart of the earth." (Matthew
said, not only three DAYS but also three NIGHTS. That is
72 hours in the grave.
Many erroneously assume that because Jesus was
crucified on the "day of preparation" that He was killed
on "Friday", the weekly preparation day.
behold, a man named Joseph, who was a member of the
Council, a good and righteous man, a man from Arimathea,
a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of
God; this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of
Jesus. And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen
cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where
no one had ever lain. And it was the PREPARATION DAY,
and the SABBATH WAS ABOUT TO BEGIN. Now the women who
had come with Him out of Galilee followed after, and saw
the tomb and how His body was laid. And they returned
and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath
they rested according to the commandment." (Luke
We can read the same account in the other gospels as
well, so it is very clear that Jesus was killed and
buried on the day of preparation. But how can we get
THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS from near sundown Friday to
Friday NIGHT would be ONE NIGHT, Saturday would be
ONE DAY. Saturday NIGHT would be TWO NIGHTS and Sunday
morning could not even be counted as a DAY.
This reckoning would give us only ONE DAY and TWO
NIGHTS, not the THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS Jesus gave
as His only sign.
Jesus certainly made no mistake so what is the answer
to this puzzle? The answer can only be found when we
being prepared for observance. There are more "Sabbaths"
than just the weekly Sabbaths. They are called "Annual
Sabbaths" or "High Days."
These are a part of the annual Festivals commanded by
God in Leviticus 23, and are the Lord's appointed times
for assembly and observance. They may fall on any day of
the week during the year.
The ANNUAL SABBATHS are (1)
First Day of Unleavened Bread. (2) Seventh Day of
Unleavened Bread. (3) Feast of Pentecost or First Fruits (always
Feast of Trumpets. (5) Day of Atonement. (6) Feast of
Tabernacles or Booths. (7) Last Great Day.
Now with this understanding let us read Leviticus
23:5-7,- "In the first month, on the FOURTEENTH DAY of
the month at twilight is the Lord's PASSOVER. Then on
the FIFTEENTH DAY of the same month there is the FEAST
OF UNLEAVENED BREAD to the Lord; for seven days you
shall eat unleavened bread. On the FIRST DAY you shall
have a HOLY CONVOCATION; you shall not do any laborious
Notice that this ANNUAL SABBATH follows the Lord's
PASSOVER. Now notice Luke
22:15,- Jesus said to His disciples,- "I have earnestly
desired to eat this PASSOVER with you before I SUFFER."
After the PASSOVER MEAL they departed to the Mount of
Olives. In Luke 22, Verse 47 we find Jesus betrayed by
Judas Iscariot and in Verse 54,- arrested. All this
happened on the PASSOVER, the 14th of
The following morning (still the Passover), Jesus was
tried, beaten and sentenced to death by crucifixion. We
find in Matthew 27, Verse 50 that Jesus cried out with a
loud voice and died. Verse 46 tells us it was at the
"ninth hour" of the day (Passover), which is 3 in the
All of this, from the eating of the Passover, to His
death and burial, took place on the 14th of
Nissan, the Passover.
Joseph, who asked Pilate for Jesus' body, had until
sundown to prepare the body with spices and secure Him
in His tomb. Days began and ended at sundown, so sundown
would begin a new day, in this case a High Sabbath, the
First Day of Unleavened Bread.(15th Nissan)
This day of preparation mentioned in the Gospels was
not to prepare for a "weekly" Sabbath, but the First Day
of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
as crucified in 31 A.D. (I surmise) on Passover 14th Nissan,
a WEDNESDAY that year and was buried just prior to
sundown which would begin the next day,- THURSDAY, 15th Nissan
a High Day. THREE DAYS and THREE NIGHTS later, near the
end of the WEEKLY SABBATH (Saturday), He arose from the
24:1-3,- "But on the first day of the week, at early
dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which
they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away
from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find
the Body of the Lord Jesus."
It was early SUNDAY
MORNING and Jesus was ALREADY GONE. He was not
resurrected on Sunday morning, the tomb was already
Fulfilling the "Sign
of Jonah", Jesus was true to His own prophecy
concerning Himself,- He was in the grave Wednesday
NIGHT(1st), Thurs-DAY(1st), Thursday NIGHT(2nd),
Fri-DAY(2nd), Friday NIGHT(3rd)Satur-DAY(3rd). Thus
THREE FULL DAYS and THREE FULL NIGHTS.
arose on Sunday morning, that would be three days and FOUR NIGHTS,
thus nullifying the Lord's own prophecy of His
If Jesus was put in the tomb just
before sundown, then He must have been resurrected
from the tomb at
that same time of day three
days later. Which would be near
the end of
the weekly Sabbath as it was beginning to get dark. At
sundown would begin Sunday, the first day it was noticed
that He was gone from His tomb.
WHAT ABOUT MARK
Many point out that Mark Chapter 16, Verse 9 does not
harmonize with the other resurrection accounts given in
the Gospel records.
They may be right, notice,- "Now
after He had risen EARLY ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK,
He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had
cast out seven demons."
(Translators added punctuation, so if a comma was
supposed to be after "risen", then the Verse would be
saying that "After Jesus had
evening), He appeared to Mary on the "first day.") But
let's leave it as it is and consider the following.
So which gospel account is a sincere Christian to
believe? Well, the answer is in your own Bible if it has
acenter-reference. If you look closely at Mark
16, beginning in Verse 9, you will see that Verses 9
through 20 are in "brackets".
Why? Check your own center-reference and you will
read that these Verses are not found in the older
manuscripts of the Bible. This is the translators way of
warning the reader that what they are reading may be
"spurious." Meaning that it may have been ADDED at a
LATER DATE to promote a targeted agenda.
After the second century the Scriptures were penned
by Scribes who would later be known as Catholic Monks
living in Monasteries.
Since the "resurrection festival" was promoted by
those who would later be known as the leaders of
Catholicism, and was ordered held on "resurrection
Sunday", it is likely that these Verses in Mark were
added during the "Passover Controversy."
Incidently, there has been other Verses which have
been found to be spurious and later removed from future
One such Verse is found in 1 John Chapter 5, Verse 7,
which reads in the KJV,- "For
there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father,
the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one."
The true rendering of this Verse from the oldest
Greek Manuscripts is,- "And
it is the spirit which bears witness, because the spirit
is the truth."
As you can see, nothing at all alike. Why? The first
rendering is from the Latin Vulgate, a Roman Catholic
translation by the Bishop, Jerome. Why
would Jerome take the liberty to alter a verse to say
that there are THREE in Heaven comprising the God-Head,
and further add that THEY ARE ONE?
Perhaps it is because of another "controversy", this
time concerning the "Nature of God." After years of
debate, the Catholic Church finally
ruled that God is a Trinity of beings,- yet one. Many
translations do not add this Verse, realizing that
coming from the Latin Vulgate ( completed in 405 A.D.)
was probably spurious, being too self-serving to the
Catholics new doctrinal position.
Jesus was Crucified on a Wednesday PASSOVER, because
He IS OUR PASSOVER LAMB. God always does things ON TIME
and at His APPOINTED TIMES. Everything
surrounding the first Passover observance in ancient
Egypt was foreshadowing Him, the true Lamb to come that
would save man from death by giving His own precious
life as a sacrifice.
As Christians, we no longer observe this very special
day as a memorial of deliverance of Israel from Egypt,
but as a memorial of the death of our Lord who delivered
us from eternal death. Don't neglect this meaningful
Should Christians Observe the
By: Larry R. Lasiter
Mention that you observe the Passover, but with New
Testament symbols to most "Christians" and you will
often be asked,- "Are
you a Christian Jew?" It
is the common conception today that Christianity
observes Easter and only Jews observe the Passover. But
Did you know that Jesus, Himself commanded
that the Gentile converts to Christianity be taught to
observe the NT Passover?
He most certainly did, and though it is easy to
overlook, it is right there in your Bible.
The Apostle Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles,
that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the
uncircumcised (Gentiles) just as Peter with the gospel
to the circumcised (Israelites)." (Galatians 2:7)
Paul was not one of the original twelve Apostles, but
was chosen by Jesus after the resurrection. In fact,
Paul led a persecution against the early Christian
converts, having many arrested. But on the road to
Damascus the glorified Jesus struck Paul blind and
revealed to him that He had indeed been the Messiah and
commissioned him as Apostle to the Gentile converts. All
but one of Paul's letters to the Churches were to
predominately Gentile congregations.
Did Paul Teach
Gentiles to Observe the Passover?
In his first letter to the Churches of God in the
Gentile city of Corinth Paul wrote,- "For
Christ, OUR PASSOVER also
has been sacrificed. LET US therefore CELEBRATE THE
FEAST, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of
malice and wickedness, but with the UNLEAVENED BREAD of
sincerity and truth." (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)
Paul was not only teaching Gentile Christians to
observe the Passover, but to "Celebrate the Feast" of
UNLEAVENED BREAD which follows it. How can we know that
Jesus instructed Paul to teach its observance? We will
soon see in Chapter 11.
is a "Letter" not a "Book"
What does that mean? It means that it was composed in
a single time frame, and what is mentioned later may be
connecting to something previously stated. And the
letter was read in the Churches of Corinth from
beginning to end in one sitting.
The reference to the Passover and Unleavened Bread in
Chapter 5 would likely mean that the letter arrived in
the spring about the time of their commanded
There must have been a problem with HOW these new
converts were observing the Passover, because later in
his letter, Paul corrects them. It appears that some
were bringing their own meals to eat before the actual
Passover ceremony, and were eating freely in the
presence of poorer brethren who had brought no food for
In Chapter 11, Verse 20, Paul reminds them that they
are not coming together to eat the "Lord's Supper",-
meaning that unlike the Jewish Passover where a lamb is
eaten, that their "Lamb" is Jesus and His "meat" is
I RECEIVED FROM THE LORD that which I ALSO DELIVERED TO
YOU, that the Lord Jesus IN THE NIGHT IN WHICH HE WAS
BETRAYED took BREAD; and when He had given thanks, He
broke it, and said,- "THIS IS MY BODY which is for you,
DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE of Me." In the same way He took
THE CUP also, AFTER SUPPER, saying,- "THIS is the NEW
COVENANT in MY BLOOD; DO THIS, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this
bread and drink the cup, you PROCLAIM the LORD'S DEATH
until He comes."
Notice carefully, that concerning the NT Passover
observance, Paul said that he "DELIVERED" to the Gentile
he had "RECEIVED"
from the Lord.
Paul was not saying, "Do this ANYTIME or OFTEN." But
"as often as you do" you proclaim the Lord's death. It
is a memorial of
the Lord's death. The memorial is 14th Nissan,
the Passover, the same day the first Passover lamb was
slain in Egypt which foreshadowed the blessed Lamb to
come. Remember Paul instructing them to "Celebrate the
Feast" of Unleavened Bread earlier in his letter? This
shows when they
were partaking of the Bread and the Wine,- it was at
Passover. Notice also that this is the "New Covenant"
ceremony for Christians to observe, in its appointed
"The Lord's APPOINTED TIMES which you shall
proclaim as HOLY CONVOCATIONS,- MY APPOINTED TIMES ARE
THESE. . .In the first month, on the fourteenth day of
the month at twilight is the Lord's PASSOVER."
On that first Passover in Egypt, a lamb was slain,
its blood smeared on the front of the Israelites homes
to protect them from DEATH which would pass through the
land THAT EVENING.More than 1000 years later, a Lamb
called Jesus gave His life on this
very day, the Passover, the Lord's appointed
spill the precious blood that would save the world. This
year, 2003 it is the evening of April 15th.