a Pagan Word?
WE often heard that the word EASTER is a pagan word, can you give a brief explanation to this? In our church (in the Philippines), we prefer to use Resurrection Sunday, rather than EASTER Sunday.
I am also a Sunday School teacher and a curriculum writer. I have to clarify this term to my learners so that they will not be confused.
Thanks and God bless.
are only seven holidays in Scripture that God commanded his people to
celebrate. The first three, Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits is what "Easter" is really all
about. Jesus rode into Jerusalem
before Passover on Lamb Selection Day--what
we now call Palm Sunday--and died on the Feast of Passover; he is our Passover lamb. He was then laid in the grave during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He did not decay in the grave. He is our sinless, without leaven, sacrifice. On the third day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
called Firstfruits, Jesus came back to life. He is the first one to be raised from the dead to live eternally, “the firstfruits of eternal life,” never to die again; now, whoever believes in him will also have eternal life!
Today, the Feast of Firstfruits* celebrates Jesus’ resurrection,
what we now call “Easter Sunday.” Originally, during this feast,
Israel's priest waved barley grain before the Lord to demonstrate that Israel trusted God to provide the rest of the harvest. In the same way, if we believe and trust in Jesus, then we too can be part of the harvest of those who will be raised to life after
*Explanation used with permission from the curriculum book "Come
Celebrate the Feasts of the Lord--They Show Us Jesus!"
As to your specific question regarding the word, "Easter," the following link provides a useful and concise explanation: http://www.victorious.org/churchbook/chur71.htm
Another idea to consider is by taking a once-pagan holiday, Eostere, and redeeming
it--by celebrating Jesus' defeat over sin and death--Christians are
participating in the work of Christ.