The Resurrection, the climax to the greatest story ever told. God created the beauty and comfort of the garden for man. When Adam and Eve fell, the plot thickened. As the story unfolded — prophecies, the flood, kings good and bad, cycles of blessings and exiles, obedience and rebellion rolled through the ages — the common thread of promise was woven, that of a savior who would sacrifice Himself for all.
I am going to thoroughly enjoy our Easter Sunday celebration, all the music and the joy. I think He got out of that tomb immediately after midnight Saturday, that rolling the stone away and posting the angels was for the benefit of those who came to the tomb at dawn. I think the shroud is what they say it is, that being a proud Dad, God took a picture of his kid on His graduation from death to life. I think Yeshua greeted his disciples with a huge grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye — hugs all around, tears flowing freely, maybe even uncontrolled fist bumps and air leaps. I’m going to celebrate this holiday with all I’ve got in me!
But we’re missing a few things after 17 centuries of dilution, religious wars, distortion and antisemitism.
The feasts given to Moses in the wilderness were the pattern of how that promise first mentioned just prior to the expulsion from the garden would be fulfilled both in the coming of the sacrificial lamb which we celebrate now and that of the victorious conqueror, soon to come again.
This year I attended Passover with my Messianic Jewish friends. They set it a day early as Yeshua did that fateful year of His sacrifice, knowing He’d be “busy” on the cross as the real and final lamb precisely when lambs were being slaughtered in the temple. Passover is the 14th of Nissan also known as Aviv. That year it fell on the Sabbath, sundown on Friday, explaining the hurry to get Jesus’ body in the borrowed tomb late that afternoon.
Our Church traditions have disconnected from the Passover with both the Roman calendar based on the sun (they were sun worshipers) and by renaming His Passover celebration exclusively as The Last Supper. By doing so, we come away with only bread and wine, still a beautiful sacrament. We’ve even diluted the wine part of that last feast of Passover by interpreting His statement that He would not drink of the cup again until He returned, as a teaching against all kinds of alcohol consumption. Instead He was referring to the fourth cup of the Passover feast.
We’ve lost a vast amount of value and blessing by obliterating our Judaic roots without considering Yeshua’s Jewishness and that He followed all the customs and feasts as did the first century believers. Want to know how that happened? Here’s an excerpt from this:
Passover, which fell on the 14th day of the month of Nisan, always fell on a full moon. Some Christians, principally those in the East, known as the Quartodecimians, thought Easter, too, should always fall on the 14th day of the lunar month, which was, by definition, the full moon, since the month started at the new moon. Others thought Easter should always fall on a Sunday, since that was the original Resurrection Day. This led to conflict: One reason to convene the Nicene Council was to prevent the resulting, threatened schism.
The Council decreed Easter to be the first Sunday after the Full Moon following the Spring Equinox, March 21, unless that Full Moon fell on a Sunday (in which case Easter would be the following Sunday).
In addition to the perfectly reasonable desire to keep the memorial on the same day of the week as Christ’s Resurrection, there were other, ignoble motives for separating the Christian celebration from the Jewish holy day. In his letter to those not at the Nicene Council, the Emperor Constantine spells out some of what we would refer to as anti-semitism:
“Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way.”
– Eusebius The Life of Constantine
Other Reasons for Easter’s Date