Easter is one of the significant Christian Holidays. It is celebrated on the 1st Sunday following the 1st full moon after the spring (vernal) equinox (March 21). It can fall on any Sabbath (Sunday) between March 22 and April 25. If you just joined Christianity, you might wonder, what does Easter have to do with Jesus?
Easter is a Christian holiday that commemorates Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Christians observe this holiday yearly because it represents the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. Also, it reveals God’s salvific plan for man. Jesus’ resurrection is crucial because it gives Christians hope of resurrection after death. Therefore, Easter is a crucial holiday in Christianity.
History of Easter in the Bible. Is Easter celebrated in the Bible? What was the original purpose of Easter? What is the significance of Easter in Christianity? What did Jesus say about Easter? The pagan origin of Easter. How is the Easter bunny connected to Jesus and Easter? Why is Easter associated with the color purple? Bible verses about Easter. Keep reading to learn more!
History of Easter in the Bible
Easter was established to mark an essential biblical event; Jesus’ resurrection. It is also from the nativity events that took place before Jesus’ crucifixion that the Church could pick accurately that day Jesus was resurrected.
The Bible states that Jesus and His disciples celebrated Passover in Jerusalem before Jesus was arrested and crucified. In the Hebrew calendar, the Passover occurs on the 15th day of Nissan. This day falls on the 1st full moon after the spring (vernal) equinox. The vernal equinox is the day the sun crosses directly over the Equator in March. As mentioned earlier, this can happen any Sunday between March 22 and April 25. This event marks the end of winter and the beginning of the fruitful spring season in the Northern Hemisphere.
In 325, the first council (the council of Nicaea) to address the entire Christian Church stated that Easter would be celebrated on the 1st Sunday following the 1st full moon after the spring (vernal) equinox (March 21).
Is Easter celebrated in the Bible?
In Acts 12:4, the King James Bible mentions the name Easter. When taken literally, the passage suggests that the Easter holiday was celebrated in the Bible. However, this assumption is incorrect. The 1st century Church did not observe Easter.
Before its adoption by the Christians to celebrate Christ’s resurrection, Easter was a holiday that celebrated a pagan goddess of fertility. Members of the first century Church observed the Passover, which marks Jesus’ crucifixion and death.
The confusion arises because the authors of the King James Bible were members of and were influenced by the doctrines of the Catholic and Anglican churches. The authors’ biases resulted in errors when translating the Bible from Greek to English. One of the biases can be seen in their incorrect translation of the Greek word Pascha. They transliterated the name Pascha into Easter, which is incorrect.
The correct transliteration of the name Pascha can be found in the New International Version (NIV) Bible, which transliterates the word Pascha into Passover. Also, most other modern Bibles reject the transliteration of the name Pascha to Easter.
What was the original purpose of Easter?
The original purpose of Easter was to celebrate Jesus’ victory over death; His resurrection. However, the holiday was not called Easter, as you call it today. As I mentioned, the 1st century Church celebrated the death and resurrection of Christ during the Passover feast. As I outlined earlier, Jesus was arrested and crucified during Passover.
What is the significance of Easter in Christianity?
Easter is one of the most significant Christian holidays because it marks Jesus’ resurrection or triumph over death. Christians around the world have a firm belief that Jesus died so that they could be redeemed from their sinful nature. Also, they are guaranteed eternal life if they have faith and believe in Jesus.
What did Jesus say about Easter?
Easter is not based on the Bible; therefore, Jesus did not say anything about the holiday. However, as stated in the Bible, Jesus requests all Christians to remember His sacrifice for them during the Last Supper, Luke 22:19-20. On this night, he broke bread and gave it to his disciples in memory of his sacrifice on the cross. He also gave them wine in remembrance of his blood that would be shed on the cross.
Is Paganism the origin of Easter?
The term Easter is derived from the name Astarte, one of the names of Beltis (queen of heaven). Astarte was a Syrian goddess hatched from an egg that fell from heaven.
The worship of Astarte (an early form of Easter) and Bel was introduced into Britain in ancient times alongside Druidical worship. The worship of Astarte (Ishtar) took place in April. It is from this pagan holiday that the holiday Christians now call Easter was derived.
Before being renamed Easter, in the 3rd or 4th centuries, early Christians observed it as Passover (Pasch). Early Christians observed Pasch to both commemorate Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Therefore, Easter has a pagan origin.
How is the Easter bunny connected to Jesus and Easter?
The most popular Easter or the start of the spring season symbol is eggs. The Easter bunny is a mythical egg bringer. Stories about the Easter bunny started in the 1700s. In a dissertation titled “About Easter Eggs,” Joh Richier talks of hares hiding large baskets of brightly colored eggs for children to find.
The Easter bunny is common in the United States, Germany, England, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Denmark. Easter bunnies hide eggs for children to find during the Easter holiday. These eggs are only cooked after Jesus’ resurrection.
Eggs are viewed as a symbol of rebirth or a new beginning. In 1610, Pope Paul V blessed the eating of eggs to commemorate Jesus’ resurrection.
Why is Easter associated with the color purple?
Purple is one of the Easter colors. While it is generally associated with royalty, purple symbolizes humility, penance, and sorrow for Christ’s suffering in the context of the Easter holiday. The color is mainly associated with lent, a period of sacrifice that also marks the impending resurrection of Jesus.
Bible verses about Easter
Luke 24:1-3. “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” This passage talks about how Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna, and other women, found out about Jesus’ resurrection on the first day of the week (Easter Monday).
Romans 1:4. “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:” This verse states that through His resurrection, Jesus proved that He was the Son of God as He had earlier claimed during His ministry but was nearly stoned by the Jews for blasphemy. They saw him as a mere mortal and did not believe that He was the Messiah.
Romans 5:11. “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” This passage states how Jesus’ death on the cross redeemed man from sin.
museumofthebible.org. (n.d.). The history of Easter. Retrieved January 21, 2023
biblestudy.org. (n.d.). What Does Easter Mean in the Bible? Retrieved January 21, 2023
biblestudy.org. (n.d.). The Real History of Easter! Retrieved January 21, 2023
kingjamesbibleonline.org. (n.d.). Official King James Bible online. Retrieved January 21, 2023
kingjamesbibleonline.org. (2015). King James Bible online. Retrieved January 22, 2023
Britannica. (n.d.). Why is Easter celebrated? Retrieved January 21, 2023
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.