by Bob Russell, ©2021

(Apr. 5, 2021) — I know popular culture likes the term “Easter,” and I use that word also sometimes but really prefer using “Resurrection Sunday.” I don’t have any objection to holding Easter egg hunts for children but also believe they should be told the true significance of the day at a very early age. Sadly, I came to this mindset a very few years ago, long after my children were grown and most of my grandchildren also grown. I belong to three churches, all of which allow the little ones to have fun while also teaching them the meaning of the day.

Easter is not about a bunny just as Christmas isn’t about Santa Claus, but I don’t see any harm in observing some of the secular traditions along with the spiritual meaning.  Christmas gifts are Biblical; remember the wise men brought gifts to Jesus to celebrate His birth.  Jesus also taught that it is better to give than to receive so giving gifts at Christmas seems appropriate if done in moderation and with a proper acknowledgement to the true meaning of Christmas like hunting eggs on Easter while honoring the significance of Easter.

I have heard people rail about Christmas saying it is a pagan holiday, but I don’t buy into that.  I don’t know on what date Jesus was born nor do I know on what dates He died and rose from the grave but I believe observing the events with honor and respect is what is important, not whether the dates are exactly right or not.   People who get hung up on dates are missing the importance of observing the meaning of the events.  I don’t know if December 25 was once a pagan holiday or not and don’t care because I know what it is to me, and the same with Resurrection Sunday.

There have been people trying to convince me that Jesus was crucified on the Thursday before, not on Good Friday, claiming “their research” says it was Thursday.  I have one pastor with a PhD in Theology and another with a Master’s Degree and their beliefs hold a lot more water than someone who has “done their own research.”  From what I read in the Bible and what my pastors teach I believe Good Friday is correct and will believe it until God tells me different or I find a whole bunch of Bible scholars who can convince me otherwise.

Just exactly which day what happens isn’t important enough for me to spend a lot of time arguing about it so I will believe what I believe and let others pick which days they want to believe.  The important thing to me is to acknowledge the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus and to celebrate them in the proper spirit.

I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, the Father, Son Jesus, and the Holy Ghost, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.

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  1. Easter was the name of the Germanic goddess of dawn who is pursuing springtime, Ostara – commonly referred to as Eostre or Eastre. It was also the name of the month of Easter, about 2000-year ago. So, someone decided the name should remain became the goddess and the month were popular, and it became the name for the resurrection of Jesus calibration. It was a way to help the Church convert pagans to Christianity by cloaking and mixing the Spring Equinox with the Resurrection.
    Easter celebrate the resurrection of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, on the third day after his Crucifixion. Okay, so why does Easter occur on different dates and days every year.
    The reason is because Easter must fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. Easter can be as early as March 22 or as late as April 25.
    Religious holidays are often connected to the change of seasons. The Gospels offer no information regarding the time of year Jesus was born. The reason His birth is celebrated on December 25 is most likely because that date had been recognized as the start of winter by the Roman Empire.
    Daylight following that date gradually increases day by day. So, it was a perfect symbol for the birth of Jesus the “light of the world” as proclaimed in John’s Gospel.
    Easter falls on or near the Jewish holiday of Passover and the vernal equinox, when days have equal periods of light and darkness. For those in northern latitudes, the arrival of spring was met with glee, because it signaled the end of cold winter weather.
    Spring also signals the renewal of life. Flora and fauna which have been dormant during the winter, come back to life. The symbolism of new life and rebirth relates well to the resurrection of Jesus.

    1. Very interesting, Mr Day,
      Etymology is not necessarily history. The problem with the Germanic goddess idea is that it is highly unlikely the early Christian church, centered in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, had anything to do with German goddesses. They started with Passover (when it actually happened) and after a lot of debate settled on using an ecclesiastical rather than the Jewish calendar. Most peoples have celebrations around the seasons, planting and harvesting. Not surprisingly, religious holidays serve those purposes in the Judeo-Christian west.
      Interestingly, some languages use a derivation of Passover as the name of Easter (French Pâques). In old Germanic it was austron (sunrise) and modern German das Ostern or Osterfest (root – east).