Rick Warren, the pastor who delivered the invocation at President Obama's inauguration, said once on national television that Easter is the most important Christian holiday. But the truth is, "Easter" has little to do with YHWH (Yahweh), Yeshua, or Scripture! The only Bible version in which you'll find the word "Easter" is in the King James - which renders useless the entire chapter of Acts 12 because NOBODY went into Jerusalem to celebrate the pagan, man-made day of "Easter"...Easter is NOT one of God's Biblical Feasts!
Easter is a completely man-made "holy day"....It is the day chosen in Christianity to celebrate the resurrection of the Messiah; thought to have happened on Sunday morning. Sadly, today's "Easter" ignores the commanded Pesach (Passover) which is observed at sunset the 14th of Nisan, in favor of placing the emphasis on the the resurrection rather than the intended substitution of one life for another. Contrary to popular belief, the word "Easter" does not mean "Passover" and is NOT originally English. The word originates from the Old English Easterdæg, which, in-turn, is from Eastre (Northumbrian Eostre), which in-turn, is from the Proto-Germanic prefix "austron-", meaning "dawn"!
Jacob Grimm, in his 1835 Deutsche Mythologie, cites literature to link the holiday to a Germanic goddess whose name was "Ostara". Grimm argued against the older connection of Easter to "Eostre" by Bede (the 7th to 8th-century English monk), writing:
We Germans to this day call April ostermonat, and ôstarmânoth is found as early as Eginhart (temp. Car. Mag.). The great Christian festival, which usually falls in April or the end of March, bears in the oldest of OHG remains the name ôstarâ ... it is mostly found in the plural, because two days ... were kept at Easter. This Ostarâ, like the [Anglo-Saxon] Eástre, must in heathen religion have denoted a higher being, whose worship was so firmly rooted, that the Christian teachers tolerated the name, and applied it to one of their own grandest anniversaries.
Grimm writes that "all of the nations bordering on us have retained the Biblical pascha; even Ulphilas writes paska, not áustrô, though he must have known the word". Grimm continues that the old German adverb "ôstar" refers to the rising sun, as did the Old Norse term "austr". (Note the relationship to today's German "osten" which means "east".)
Ostara, Eástre seems therefore to have been the divinity of the radiant dawn, of upspringing light, a spectacle that brings joy and blessing, whose meaning could be easily adapted by the resurrection-day of the Christian's God. Bonfires were lighted at Easter and according to popular belief of long standing, the moment the sun rises on Easter Sunday morning, he gives three joyful leaps, he dances for joy ... Water drawn on the Easter morning is, like that at Christmas, holy and healing ... here also heathen notions seems to have grafted themselves on great Christian festivals. Maidens clothed in white, who at Easter, at the season of returning spring, show themselves in clefts of the rock and on mountains, are suggestive of the ancient goddess.
Does this sound like something YHWH would ordain? Worshipping the sunrise and dressing in white, honoring spring instead of his gift of life? So, why would our Creator honor "Easter"?
Yes, of course, the resurrection is important as the promised aspect of "eternal life" - but also important is our preparation for that eternal life! Yeshua said we, too, will be resurrected:
John 5: 25. Amen, amen I say to you that the hour is coming, even now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of Elohim, and those who hear will live. 26. For as to the Father, there is life in his Qnoma (nature). 27. And He gave him authority to also execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. 28. Do not marvel at this for the hour is coming when all those who are in the grave will hear his voice! 29. And those who have done good things will go forth to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil things to the resurrection of judgment. (AENT)
Scripture, over and over again, warns us about man-made "holy days" and traditions that man has designed in order to honor YHWH - such as the following, which perfectly describes Easter Sunrise services:
Ezekiel 8: 15 He said to me, "Do you see this, son of man? Yet you will see still greater abominations than these." 16 Then He brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house. And behold, at the entrance to the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east; and they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun. 17 He said to me, "Do you see this, son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they have committed here, that they have filled the land with violence and provoked Me repeatedly? For behold, they are putting the twig to their nose. 18 "Therefore, I indeed will deal in wrath. My eye will have no pity nor will I spare; (NASB)
Unfortunately, this is the very thing millions of Christians do every Easter Sunday morning! They stand there with rapt faces adoring the sun as it rises in the east, not realizing they are performing the rituals of old. Deceived into believing this is Christian, millions practice the identical form of the ancient sun-worship of the Sun-god BAAL!
The Bible tells us this is the MOST ABOMINABLE of all idolatry in the sight of our Creator! Yet millions of Christians partake in this ritual, never stopping to think about what they're actually doing....
"If there is found among you, within any of your gates [in any city] that Adonai your God gives you, a man or woman who does what Adonai your God sees as wicked, transgressing his covenant by going and serving other gods and worshipping them, the sun, the moon, or anything in the sky — something I have forbidden — (Deuteronomy 17:2-3, CJB)
Easter is just another name for Ashteroth (Ashtaroth) "The Queen of Heaven." (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17-25). While Ashteroth is often cited as a placename in scripture (Joshua 9:10, for example), she is often named as a god: Judges 2:13; Judges 10:6; 1 Samuel 7:3-4; 1 Samuel 12:10. Easter was actually not considered a "Christian" festival until the Fourth Century, and the celebration of Easter was and is not observed in accordance with the prescribed time for the observance of Passover. Early Christians celebrated Passover on the 14th day of the first month, but this was quickly squelched by the likes of the "Church Fathers" such as Constantine, Tertullian and Marcion, who did everything in their power to get rid of "anything Jewish" in the worship of their "Jesus".
History records that spring festivals in honor of the pagan fertility goddesses and the events associated with them were celebrated at the same time as "Easter". In the year 399 A.D. the Theodosian Code attempted to remove the pagan connotation from those events and banned their observance. After much debate, the Nicaean council of 325 A.D. decreed that "Easter" should be celebrated on the first Sunday, after the full moon, on or after the vernal equinox. Why was so much debate necessary if "Easter" was a tradition passed down from the Apostles? The answer is that it was not an Apostolic institution, but an invention of man!
The truth is that Easter has nothing whatsoever to do with the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua! Observing the sunrise, painting eggs, Easter egg "hunts", dressing in one's finest, Easter ham, and holding services on Sunday do not honor our God! God's commanded Biblical Feasts reveal that Yeshua was born during the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles) which falls on the Gregorian calendar September/October timeframe. He was nailed to the stake on 14 Nisan at Passover and was buried before sunset that same day; and He rose after 3 days and 3 nights, just before sunset on the following Sabbath (approximately 5-6 p.m.) - On what day was our Savior resurrected?....And, even if He actually was resurrected on a Sunday morning, where in the scriptures are we told this would negate the Seventh Day as YHWH's Sabbath (which is a SIGN between Him and His people - and relegate the honor of the SIGN to Sunday/the "first day")?
Ezekiel 20: 11 I gave them my laws and showed them my rulings; if a person obeys them, he will have life through them. 12 I gave them my shabbats as a sign between me and them, so that they would know that I, ADONAI, am the one who makes them holy.
So how are believers supposed to celebrate the resurrection of Yeshua? The secret is contained within the Bible ordained feast of Passover. Also, please read how Yeshua has so far fulfilled the first four of the seven Biblical Feasts.