Q. Whether you refer to it as Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday, it does not matter, as long as we worship our Lord who paid for our sins. As far as observing feast days or Sabbaths, we are not to allow others to judge us in such matters. Colossians 2:16-17 states, “Therefore let no one judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a festival, a New Moon, or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the body that casts it belongs to Christ.”
A. The belief that it doesn’t matter how we worship as long as our intentions are right could not be further from the truth. The Bible is extremely clear that we’re to worship Yahweh, our Heavenly Father, as He directs in His Word. We see many examples confirming what happens when we willfully stray from His commandments.
One of the most notable examples is found with the first king of Israel after the split between Southern and Northern Israel. Instead of worshiping Yahweh on the time He appointed, Jeroboam modified the date from the seventh to eighth month. He also set up golden calves and made priests of the lowest of the people, 1Kings 12:25-33. Because of this act of defiance, Jeroboam was cursed, 2Kings 13:1-10, and Israel never recovered.
There are similar examples of this type of rebellion by Israel. Elijah withstood Ahab and Jezebel and the prophets of Baal for a similar reason.
The Torah also provides many warnings against practicing the worship of other nations. Consider the following:
- Leviticus 18:3: “After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.”
- Leviticus 20:23: “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”
- Deuteronomy 12:30-31: “Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their mighty ones, saying, How did these nations serve their mighty ones? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto Yahweh thy Elohim: for every abomination to Yahweh, which he hateth, have they done unto their mighty ones; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their mighty ones.”
In addition to the Law, we find this warning from Jeremiah 10:2:
- Jeremiah 10:2: “Thus saith Yahweh, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.”
Clearly, Easter Sunday has two strikes against it. Number one, the Easter celebration is undeniably pagan and number two, the Messiah was not resurrected Sunday morning. Based on the biblical narrative, He was resurrected late on Saturday prior to sunset. Also, we are never commanded to remember His resurrection, only His death.
Here are a few sources confirming the paganism of Easter Sunday:
“The English word comes from the Anglo-Saxon Eastre or Estera, a Teutonic goddess to whom sacrifice was offered in April, so the name was transferred to the paschal feast. The word does not properly occur in Scripture, although the King James Version has it in Acts 12:4 where it stands for Passover … There is no trace of Easter celebration in the New Testament,” International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Easter.
“Easter was originally a pagan festival honoring Eostre, a Teutonic (Germanic) goddess of light and spring. At the time of the vernal equinox (the day in the spring when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length), sacrifices were offered in her honor. As early as the eighth century, the name was used to designate the annual Christian celebration of the resurrection of Christ,” Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Easter.
Regarding your reference to Colossians 2:16, Paul there is not disavowing the Sabbath and Feasts, as often taught by mainstream theologians. Paul’s message is quite the opposite. He is warning those in the assembly not to allow the world to judge them on their obedience to Yahweh’s Word.
The biblical record is clear, the Sabbath and Feasts were observed by the Messiah and His disciples. In some cases, years/decades after Yahshua’s resurrection. Below are several examples:
- Luke 2:41: “Now his [Yahshua’s] parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.”
- Luke 22:11 “…Where is the guestchamber, where I [Yahshua] shall eat the passover with my disciples?”
- 1Corinthians 5:7-8: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast….”
- Acts 20:6: “And we [Paul and company] sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread….”
- Acts 2:1: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they [apostles / disciples] were all with one accord in one place.”
- Acts 20:16: “…for he [Paul] hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.”
- 1Corinthians 16:8: “But I [Paul] will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.”
- Acts 27:9: “…because the fast [Day of Atonement] was now already past….”
- John 7:2, 37: “Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand … In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yahshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”