John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Beautiful verse isn’t it. As we’re all familiar in scripture, Jesus dies on a cross for the sins of mankind and rises on the third day. The yearly celebration many Christians observe in remembrance of that moment is called Easter. But why do we celebrate Easter?
I have mixed feelings about Easter weekend. On the one hand, it’s very nice that a lot of spotlight is getting put on Jesus and Christianity during this time of year. A person who has yet to believe might see all this attention on Christ and be inspired to choose to believe perhaps. Or maybe a person who has never heard about Christ will hear about Christ for the first time. Many people who might already be Christians may re-dedicate themselves to faith if they’ve been not as dedicated to it recently. Those are all wonderful things. But personally, I don’t really celebrate Easter.
I know that might come as a shock to some, but I hope you’ll hear out the rest of my post. Unlike a lot of my other posts, I’m actually not going to be trying to convince you of my conclusion. Just sharing my thoughts. With all that said, we all believe in obeying God according to His Word. We all want to be followers of Jesus through His teachings that he passed down through the Apostles. So why do we celebrate a holiday that God never told us to celebrate? This question isn’t intended to be combative, it’s a genuine thought that I’m posing and one that I’ve pondered in the past.
Not all Christians celebrate Easter
You might be surprised to find that not all self-identified Christians celebrate Easter. As expressed in page 89 of the book, Puritans at Play: Leisure and Recreation in Colonial New England, “Other Protestant groups took a different attitude, with most Anabaptists, Quakers, Congregationalists and Presbyterian Puritans regarding such festivals as an abomination.” The festivals being referenced are the celebrations of Good Friday, Easter, and holy week in general that most major protestant groups still observe.
In the book The True Origin of Easter, it expresses, “Groups such as the Restored Church of God reject the celebration of Easter, seeing it as originating in a pagan spring festival taken over by the “Roman” Catholic Church.” Now with regards to Easter being of Pagan origin, admittedly from all the information I’ve searched, I’ve seen sides that contest the truth of that, so I’m not sure. But I don’t consider that the main basis of why I don’t really celebrate Easter. My choice not to celebrate is based on wanting to live for God according to His Word more than anything else.
If Jesus said in scripture, “I want all Christians to remember my resurrection once a year”, I would do it. If Apostle Peter or Paul instructed it in their letters, I would be celebrating Easter as much as the next Christian. But because I don’t see those things instructed, it just feels kind of weird to me to participate in this yearly ritual. I am however always thankful for Christ’s resurrection, which perhaps we can be everyday of the year.
I’m not trying to convince anyone who does celebrate Easter to stop. While some Christians groups may view celebration of Easter as a sin, for myself in my own scriptural knowledge, I’m not quite sure I could teach the same to someone else. I could certainly show you many verses where God seems to want us to stick to specifically what His Word states in our religious beliefs and practices, as I went into detail about in my post, “Does Scripture Reject Eisegesis?“. Whether you think that point goes as far as not celebrating something the Word of God never told you to celebrate in Easter, everyone has to make their own conclusions on that. The only thing I’m intending with this post is to throw out some alternative thoughts and ideas.
No matter if someone does or doesn’t celebrate Easter, perhaps we can all agree to what Romans 14:5-6 states. “One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.”
Peace to all those who are in Christ.