What Is Easter?
E. G. Cook
Former Pastor – Philadelphia Baptist Church
Birmingham , Alabama
(Now In Glory)
I would like to beg your indulgence for a few minutes while we study the subject of Easter together. And I pray we may do this studying with an open mind. After all that is the only way we will ever learn anything. So long as I do not want to learn about that particular thing you cannot teach me one single thing about it, no matter how badly I need to know it.
So, with that in mind, I believe you will agree with me that Easter is probably the greatest festival of the whole religious world. It is supposed to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a movable feast, that is, it does not always fall on the same date.The Council at Nicaea held in 325 A.D. by the apostate churches who had just recently been married to the Roman state decided that Easter should be celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox which is March 21st. I will have to admit that I do not know what the moon had to do with my Lord’s resurrection. As a result of this decision by the Council at Nicaea, Easter may fall on any date from March 22nd to April 25th.
The name „Easter” comes from Eostre the name of a Teutonic goddess of spring. She was a pagan goddess, but when this old religious world wanted another religious festival, they just anglicized the name of this pagan goddess of spring, and they had Easter. The Catholic Church has, through the centuries, followed the practice of giving pagan observances Christian names. And by doing that she made it possible for pagans to go right on with their pagan worship and still be good Catholics. They just called the pagan worship by a Christian name, but it was still pagan worship just the same. And though Easter is supposed to commemorate our ‘Lords resurrection, it sometimes falls on a day that is more than three weeks before the actual date of the resurrection. In the light of Scriptures like Luke 23:54, John 19:14, 31 and I Corinthians 5:7 we know that our Lord was crucified on the day of the Passover. And according to Leviticus 23:5 the Passover fell on the 14th day of their first month, Abib which is April 14th on our calendar. Then according to Matthew 20:19, Mark 9:31; 10:34 and Luke 1 8:33, 24:7 He rose again in the third day. I believe a third grade school child should be able to tell you that the 17th day of April is the third day after April 14th. If I wanted to celebrate my Lord’s resurrection just one time a year, I most certainly would do it on April 1 7th, because that is the date on which He rose. I was born in April, and I have never celebrated my birthday in March.
Still Easter fell on March 26th in 1967, some three weeks before April 1 7th. And in spite of that the Catholic Church, and a lot of even Baptist Churches told their people that this is the day our Lord rose from the dead. In 1968 Easter fell on April 14th. In 1969 it was April 6th, and in 1970 it was March 29th, but still most of you were told that this is the day our Lord rose from the dead. This year this heathen feast falls on April 1 9th, but still that is two days after the date our Lord rose. How gullible can some of our Lord’s saints be in order to be popular? I am so thankful that my Lord has delivered me from the heathenism theCatholic Church has crammed down the throats of so many of our dear Lord’s saints. But for the amazing grace of God I would be worshipping all that junk myself. Really and truly dear Christian friend, is there just one thing connected with Easter that makes any sense? There are so many abominable things in the eyes of Almighty God that are connected with Easter.
There is Lent that so many Baptists are observing at this time, March 14th. Then there is Ash Wednesday, Passion Sunday, Passion week, Palm Sunday, Holy week and Good Friday. And even though our Lord’s entire earthly ministry lay in between His forty days fasting in the wilderness and His resurrection, still we are told that the forty days Lenten season is in commemoration of His forty days fasting. Some three and a half years elapsed between His fasting and His resurrection, but if you notice, Lent ends at the very hour Easter begins. There is no time lapse at all between them. This should arouse the curiosity of all thinking people. And I believe that if you become curious enough to look into the matter for yourself, you will find that Lent really commemorates an altogether different forty days.
Soon after the Flood Nimrod, Abraham’s great grandson, and his followers founded a false religious system known as Babylonian Mysticism. According to tradition Nimrod’s wife Semiramis was the first queen of heaven. She, according to this tradition, had a son named Tammuz who was according to this tradition, killed by a wild boar, and after forty days came back to life. Lent and Easter really commemorate these forty days, and this resurrection. When you come to see that the Catholic Church is nothing in the world but christianized Babylonian Mysticism, that is, that it is nothing but that old false religious system with a Christian name, you should have no trouble in seeing where they get all their feast days, and other evil practices.
And then when we come to the day called Good Friday, may I ask you a simple question in all sincerity, and in all humility? In the clear teaching of the precious Word of God, when we say that our Lord was crucified on Friday, do we not accuse Him of outright lying? We may do it unintentionally through ignorance, but do we not do it just the same? In Matthew 12:40 our Lord said, „As Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly: so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” The word ‘whale’ here comes from KETOS which means a great fish, see Jonah 1:17. Now we either believe Matthew 12:40 or we do not believe it. There is no middle ground. And I beg of you to notice that this Scripture says absolutely nothing about a little tiny part of a day. It is the Catholic Church that does that. We know from Scriptures like Matthew 27:57-60, and John 19:38-42 our Lord was buried late in the evening, at the end of the day. So we cannot be honest with the Scriptures and count that day as one of the three days He was to spend in the heart of the earth.
I am going to say something now that may startle some one. But if I do not prove my statement by the Word of God, just forget it. No one should believe what any preacher or teacher says unless he proves it by the Scriptures. I contend, and declare that Christ was not crucified on Friday, and neither did He rise on Sunday morning. Even the great magician Houdini could not find three days and three nights between Friday evening late and Sunday morning early. And neither can the pope of Rome find them there either. They are just not there. So if you believe Matthew 12:40, you simply cannot believe that Christ was crucified on Friday. And if you believe Christ was crucified on Friday, you might as well forget about Matthew 12:40. They are diametrically opposed to each other.
You will recall that I said Christ did not rise on Sunday morning. Someone may be saying I should read Matthew 28:1-2. I am aware of the earthquake that occurred that Sunday morning when the angel rolled the stone from the mouth of the tomb. According to Luke 24:2 and John 20:1 this took place before daylight that morning. But you and I both know the angel did not have to roll that stone from the mouth of the tomb in order to let the Lord of glory out, but rather to let the disciples in. Since He could come into the room where the disciples were with the door shut, He could also come out of that tomb with the stone still over its mouth. Now if we are ready to admit that Christ was buried at the end of day, and that He was in the grave three days and three nights, or 72 hours, I believe we will be forced to admit that He was buried at the end of the day on Wednesday, and that He rose at the same time of the day on Saturday. In that way He was in the heart of the earth Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And He was there Wednesday night, Thursday night and Friday night. Is there really anything other than the teaching of the Catholic Curch that would hinder you from believing that?
I know someone is saying, yes, but the Bible says the next day after the crucifixion was the
sabbath day. This, to, is where the Catholic Church has misled the people. Certainly the Bible teaches that the next day after our Lord was crucified was a sabbath day. In John 19:31 John tells us that this sabbath was a high day, that is, it was a special sabbath. It was not just the common seventh day sabbath. We have already seen that our Lord was crucified on the day of the Passover. In I Corinthians 5:7b we read, „for even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us”. Now if we turn to Exodus 12:1 6 we will find that a special sabbath fell on the next day after the Passover. Here we are told that the people were not to do anything on this day except to eat. This is the high sabbath that fell on the day following our Lord’s crucifixion. There is no reason under Heaven for us to believe that the sabbath mentioned in John 19:31 was Saturday.
Yes, I am aware that you can find the word „Easter in your Bible. But the word „Easter” in Acts 12:4 comes from the Greek word PASCHA which means Passover. But the Episcopalian translators of the King James version, the scared Catholics that they were, loved their Easter so much that they just had to put it in the Bible somewhere. So they just mistranslated this word PASCHA in order to do it. Your pastor knows this to be true, or at least he should know it. Ask him why he still leads the church in the observance of all the heathen days. His answer just might amuse you. In Galatians 4:10-11, Paul says „Ye observe days, and months, and times (seasons], and years. I am afraid of you, least I have bestowed upon you labor in vain”. Paul is saying that he is afraid that his labor among them has been in vain because that after he has labored among them they are still observing those old days, months, seasons, etc.
But let us remember, Paul had never heard of Christmas, Easter, Good Friday and a lot of other abominable days and seasons you and I have had crammed down our throats by the Catholic Church in our day. What would he say to the Baptist Churches of our land and country today if he were writing a letter to them? May we come to see that all this heathenism dishonors our dear Lord, and keeps our minds off His precious Word.