This church did not celebrate a “Son-rise” service this morning. We will not host an Easter egg hunt. Nor will there be plays, pageants or parades. This may seem strange to you since most religious institutions will be divulging in these things on this day. Our reason for not doing so is because we base all of our teaching and practices upon God’s word only. We do not wish to transgress the doctrine of Christ (2 Jn. 9), but only to speak the word of God (1 Pet. 4:11), without adding to or taking away (Rev. 22:18-19).
The celebration of Easter is solely a tradition of man. It had it’s origin in the pagan celebration which gave homage to a false goddess. St. Bede, an English historian of the early 8th century, writes that “Easter finds its origin in an old Teutonic mythology. The entire month of April was dedicated to Eostre, the Anglo-saxon goddess of Spring.” This festival was observed to celebrate the life of Spring. The celebration was later picked up by some early disciples and associated with the Passover by those Christians who had converted from Judaism. Today, Easter is to much of the religious world a celebration of the resurrection of Christ. The method for determining the date of Easter is complex and is a subject of debate. The Western churches (Catholic and Protestant) celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox. Traditions associated with the festival survive in the Easter rabbit, a symbol of fertility, and in colored Easter eggs, originally painted with bright colors to represent the sunlight of spring, and used in Easter-egg rolling contests or given as gifts.
The problem is, there is not one mention of the celebration of Easter in God’s word. Not even a hint that such a holiday existed. It is completely a concoction of man and thrives as a man-made tradition. There are many “churches” which celebrate it with great pomp while under the distinct impression that they are giving honor to God through such practices. I am reminded of those who will say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” (Matt. 7:22). The Lord will say to these people, “depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Vs. 23)
The word “Easter” is found in the King James Version of the Bible in Acts 12:4. No other translation uses the word Easter in this place or any other place in the Bible. Albert Barnes says, “There never was a more absurd or unhappy translation than this. The original is simply after the Passover, meta to pasca. The word Easter now denotes the festival observed by many Christian churches in honour of the resurrection of the Saviour. But the original has no reference to that; nor is there the slightest evidence that any such festival was observed at the time when this book was written.”
Those churches who observe Easter Sunday with all it’s trappings are guilty of teaching as doctrines the commandments of men, and will stand condemned for it (Matt. 15:7-9). This church has, and will always celebrate the resurrection of our Lord just as God directs in His word; by observing the Lord’s Supper upon the first day of every week (1 Cor. 11:23-26; Acts 20:7). All who wish to be acceptable to God will do the same.