Another big post. I know, I know…we don’t celebrate Christmas, and now we don’t celebrate Easter. No Santa, no Easter bunny, and no eggs. You’re thinking my family is really weird, semi-Jewish, and doesn’t believe in Jesus. Well, we may be weird and act like Jews, but we do believe in Jesus. Or really, Yeshua, if you want to know his actual name. (The letter “J” wasn’t invented until around the 15th century.)
Are you a bad person for celebrating Easter? No. I don’t think that at all. This isn’t about what you do and why you do it. This is about why we do what we do. I’m just answering questions people have asked me about why we do this – why and how you do what you do is up to you. God gives you a choice on how you decide to live. It’s not for me to decide.
The reason we celebrate Passover is because it’s a REALLY important holiday. It’s so important that we are supposed to celebrate it forever. It’s so important that if for some reason you were unclean and couldn’t celebrate (if someone died and you had to bury them, for example), there was a second chance for you to celebrate it a month later. It’s so important that the whole holiday is a foreshadowing of the crucifixion. It’s so important that the last thing Jesus did was celebrate this day. It’s the day promises were fulfilled. It’s a great day!
Passover is about redemption. God is redeeming his people and birthing the nation of Israel. It’s the story of Jesus and to me personally, it’s about my life as a believer. I was redeemed from the world (Egypt) through Jesus’ blood (Passover lamb) and now I’m being guided through life (wilderness) by God himself. I still mess up, I still complain, I still lose my way…just like the Israelites. But He is there for me, guiding me to the Promise Land.
Plus, you get to drink four glasses of wine at the Passover (or Seder) meal. I mean…c’mon. Why would you not want to participate in that?
Speaking of the Seder meal and the four glasses of wine, do you think that may be one reason Peter and the others couldn’t stay awake when Jesus went off to pray in the garden? They had just had a huge meal, had four glasses of wine, and listened to the retelling of a looonnnggg story. It’s almost impossible to stay awake after that! Knowing how the Passover is celebrated can help you understand the whole story of Jesus’ last days and the timeline of how it all happened.
I’m sure the disciples continued to celebrate Passover after Jesus’ death. I’m also sure they still brought sacrifices to the Temple, if you want to know the truth. (Paul himself was doing a Nazirite vow and was paying for his sacrifices and the sacrifices of 4 other men – AFTER Jesus died. Acts 21) They would have followed in his footsteps and done what the Torah said to do – remember…they didn’t have the “New Testament”. All the scripture they were talking about was the “old’ part of your Bible. You can’t really understand the new part if you don’t understand what they are talking about in the first place – the “old” part. Or the “basis for all the NEW part” or “the part that let people know how to identify the Messiah” or “the part that Jesus quoted extensively”. You get my point. It may be kinda boring in parts, but it’s REALLY important.
It’s like reading the Constitution. It’s so boring. It’s really dull and long and a little confusing. But aren’t you glad it’s there? People can’t just walk all over you and tell you what to do. There are rules and definitions and all that stuff that makes us…free. It’s the same with the Old Testament.
I hate to bring this up. But I’m going to anyway. You really need to know about the traditions you carry on that you probably don’t even think about. For example, “Easter” or “Ishtar” is the name of a Pagan fertility goddess. Bunnies and eggs…yep…pagan symbols of fertility. I’m not telling you that to make you feel bad – I just think it’s important that you know this stuff. Research it. Make sure you know that what you know is what you think you know.
Whatever you celebrate, remember this: Jesus’ birth is important, but the day he died for us…THAT is what this is all about. Make it a great day, full of joy, repentance, and celebration of the one who was, who is, and is to come.
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