I wrote this two years ago. It is harsh, and please hear my heart, I do NOT want you to stop celebrating the RISEN Savior Who is our High Priest and King. HE alone is worthy of praise, glory and honor.
What I pray this article does is challenge everyone to stop and think about how they celebrate His resurrection. If we can get closer to the original mind of Christ why shouldn’t we?
This is what He has challenged me to do… He has us all on a journey. I’m not trying to guilt you or force you to do anything. May you keep listening to Him and follow HIS path. He will lead and guide.
One of my least favorite holiday is coming up… Easter. It just tugs at me every year and my stomach rolls. Why?
First, let me ask a question: If you were forced to deny Easter and stop celebrating the holiday or lose your life, what would you do? We have always been asked what would happen if we faced persecution. Denying Easter would be a form of persecution.
Early believers in Jesus were asked to do just that. Most of them were Jewish. If they were not Jewish and “grafted in” like we are, they were taught to follow Torah and the celebrations of Torah. These believers continued to celebrate all the Feasts God commanded in Torah. Passover, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashana, Sukkot… They were all part of their yearly festivals.
When Constantine came along, he did not want anyone celebrating the Jewish holidays. He wanted those to be banned. He required people to stop celebrating the Biblical holidays and started to create his own – which were based on celebrations to other gods. This gave him control over what people were learning. Bibles were taken away and everyone was required to learn from the “leaders.”
During this time, Easter was created. A “form of godliness, but denying the Power.” A man- made tradition that Jesus warns of in His teachings. Essentially, an idol serving another god.
We may say we would not stop celebrating Easter if we were forced too, but that’s exactly what people began to do. They stopped reading their Bible for themselves. They started listening to their “church leaders” and got way off track. They stopped celebrating the holidays that God commanded in Torah and began creating their own.
Knowing these things, why do we continue to celebrate the holiday? Because it’s tradition… Because this is what we know… It’s not all bad… Because we need to celebrate our risen Savior… God’s grace covers everything so He understands…
I agree, we need to celebrate our risen Savior. We just need to take it back to the context that Jesus would want it celebrated in – Passover. Man-made traditions are high places that must be torn down. Constantine and the followers after him put up some high places. They built some “traditions” that need to come down.
At the beginning of the year I posted about the high places that king after king in Israel and Judah did not tear down. They did what was “right in the eyes of The Lord, BUT did not tear down the high places.” People might be doing what is “right in the eyes of The Lord,” but I think we still have high places to tear down and this is one of them.
Yes, God’s grace does cover us. And He knows our hearts. But, I believe He still wants us to constantly come before Him and remove things that are not from Him. He does not want us to stay the same. Every year He reveals a little more to me about what to remove. He shows me another speck in my eye (usually it ends up being a log) that needs to be removed. If I don’t remove it, I am sinning before Him and that is not something I want to do.
Celebrating Passover is one of my favorite times of year. I challenge you to do the same. It will change you from the inside out…
Shabbat and Shalom and Chag Semeach Pessach