Easter holds a significant place in Christian churches. Hundreds, sometimes Thousands, of dollars are spent preparing a church for the influx of “Easter Bunny” church goers. Most hold several services from Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, to Easter Sunday. Palm branches, lilies, crosses, crowns of thorns, and purple sashes adorn many, you may even find an empty tomb scene here and there.
Palm or Passion Sunday, the day our Savior and King, יהושע/Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem and people shouted “Hosanna! Hosanna!” It was His triumphant entry, foretold in Zech 9:9. We know it was not listed as a feast commanded by ‘יהוה/God. We are not told anywhere in Scripture about the Christ Followers celebrating it. So where did it come from?
Historians tell us, it was first celebrated sometime in the late 3rd or 4th Century. Some 250-350 years after יהושע/Jesus rode into Jerusalem. Yet, today, almost every Christian church has one entire Sunday designed around it. Even so, here are a few questions about it to consider: Do you know why the spontaneous movement in the crowd was to shout ‘Hosanna! Hosanna!’? Do you know what the significant to the donkey was? Do you know it’s relation to a verses found in Genesis? If not, why not? The answers are all significant to the true meaning of what we now call Palm Sunday.
Good Friday, the day our Lord and Savior was crucified. The day He suffered and died for payment of our sins. Good Friday is not a national holiday in the US, but many places of business are closed. It has sparked a few controversy’s over the yeas. Up until the 4th Century, there was not a Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, it was all in one – the night before Easter. Even today, there are questions as to whether He was crucified on Friday as Friday seems it does not actually line up with Scriptures if He rose on Sunday. Scripture states it was Preparation Day, the day before the Sabbaths (plural), so early celebrations took place in relation to Passover and not based on the day of the week. What we do know, is Good Friday was not commanded by ‘יהוה/God. We are not told anywhere in Scripture about the Christ Followers celebrating it. So where did it come from?
Some say it was celebrated back to the 1st Century, some say the 4th, so we could safely say it was celebrated sometime after 100 AD. Here are a few questions about it: Do you know why He was “sacrificed” when He was? Do you know why the timing is significant?
Easter Sunday, the day our Lord and Savior rose from the grave. Once again, we know it was not listed as a feast commanded by ‘יהוה/God. We are not told anywhere in Scripture about the Christ Followers celebrating it. So where did it come from?
The first ‘Easter’ was celebrated in the 2nd Century. Christians used to celebrate Good Friday on the same day the Jews celebrated Passover and then Easter was two days later. That was changed in 325 AD when the date of Easter was moved to be the Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. Interestingly, the King James version of the Bible actually changed the word ‘Passover’ to ‘Easter‘. There are many pagan symbols used for Easter. But it didn’t become well established until the 4th Century.
So all these “celebrations” and observances were not commanded by ‘יהוה/God. Nor were we told anywhere in Scripture about the Christ Followers celebrating it. All of these traditions were established after the last New Testament book was written (~150 AD), and were established to commemorate the Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. But as Christians, aka the Christ Followers, wouldn’t we want to follow the Christ and some of the celebrations He celebrated?
יהושע/Jesus kept all the feast days established by ‘יהוה/God in the Torah.
The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.
The Sabbath, the day of rest, reflecting on all that ‘יהוה/God has done. “This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.” “It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’” There can be debates on whether we have to follow it because as Christians we are “not under the law.” There can be debates about whether we should have ‘church’ on Saturday or Sunday. There can be debates about exactly what it looks like to have a Sabbath day, a day of rest. But what can not be debated is it was commanded by ‘יהוה/God for all generations, forever. The Christ Followers in the New Testament followed it. And יהושע/Jesus kept it. Think of it like this, ‘יהוה/God established how He wanted us to remember Him each week, long before man did. And He told us how to celebrate it. Do we follow man’s ways? Or ‘יהוה/God ways?
The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread, initially celebrated by the Israelites in remembrance of their delivery from Egyptian bondage. It was actually a foreshadowing of how יהושע/Jesus would release all from bondage. And it was fulfilled by יהושע/Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrections.
The Passover lamb’s blood was placed over the thresholds IN PLACE OF the first born son’s blood. יהושע/Jesus’s blood was placed over us IN PLACE OF our own blood. This is the significance of WHEN יהושע/Jesus’s crucifixion took place.
Think of it like this, ‘יהוה/God established Good Friday long before man did. And He told us how to celebrate it. Do we follow ‘יהוה/God ways? Or man’s ways?
The next day was the Festival of Unleavened Bread, initially the celebration of removing the leaven representing LEAVING BONDAGE. It foreshadowed the Christ’s coming and how He would lead all out of bondage. יהושע/Jesus’s death, signified by the tomb is our representation of LEAVING BONDAGE.
Think of it like this, ‘יהוה/God established Holy Saturday long before man did. And He told us how to celebrate it. Do we follow ‘יהוה/God ways? Or man’s ways?
Feast of First Fruits, celebrated ‘יהוה/God’s PROVISION IN HARVEST. It was a foreshadowing of His harvest to come. יהושע/Jesus was ‘יהוה/God’s PROVISION IN HARVEST. If you look more into all that goes into the Feast of First Fruits, you will see that יהושע/Jesus was the First Fruit.
Think of it like this, ‘יהוה/God established Easter long before man did. And He told us how to celebrate it. Do we follow ‘יהוה/God ways? Or man’s ways?
Pentecost, was the feast of thanksgiving. It was after the harvest ended. It was a foreshadowing to the day of Pentecost which occurred in the New Testament. Think of it like this, ‘יהוה/God established Thanksgiving long before man did. And He told us how to celebrate it. Do we follow ‘יהוה/God ways? Or man’s ways?
Feast of Trumpets, the sounding of the trumpets signaled the preparation for the Day of Atonement. It was about the anticipation of what was to come. The trumpet is a sign of a call to action. It is about people coming to repentance. It foreshadowed יהושע/Jesus’s going away to prepare a place for us and His return signified by the sounding of the Trumpets.
The fulfillment of this is yet to come, we are in the in-between. It can however, show us about what we are to be doing today as we anticipate His return. We are called to action, we are called to repentance. Seeking ‘יהוה/God to remember His established covenant.
יהושע/Jesus gave us a commission before He left. It seems to line up with very well. He said while traveling (in anticipation of His return), immerse people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (preparing them for what is to come), and teach them the commandments (calling them to repentance).
Think of it like this, ‘יהוה/God established what we are to be doing until the Christ’s return, long before man did. And He told us what to do. Do we follow ‘יהוה/God ways? Or man’s ways?
There are two more feasts, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. Might be worth some time to investigate those. If you understood all the symbolism found in the Feasts, you would easily see a picture of the Messiah and the significant to each minute detail from the donkey to the resurrection.
Jews have been keeping the Feasts for thousands of years, waiting for their Messiah to come. Christians have thrown out the feasts because their Messiah has come. However, each of these feast came with a forever message. Each of them gave cause for reflection on what ‘יהוה/God, did in the past, what He is doing today, and what He will do in the future. Each of them pointed forward to what the Messiahs would do while He was here, what He represent today, and to His 2nd coming. It almost seems like both the Jews and the Christians have missed the point to them, doesn’t it?
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times, well, thousands of times. Christians say the satan can not create anything, but instead takes what ‘יהוה/God has created and distorts it. If we look at the history of “the Holy Week,” and the Feast days established by ‘יהוה/God, we can clearly see this distortion at work.
Even if we set aside all the pagan symbols and ritualism’s found in these man established holidays, we can’t over look how we have tossed aside a request from ‘יהוה/God. Why? Simply because we have been told we are no longer under God’s Law? Yet we have fully embraced the ways of man, is that because we see ourselves under Man’s Law?
It is between ‘יהוה/God and each individual to figure the answer to that question. But at the very least, should we as the Christ Followers, Follow the Christ? It should be a no brainer, shouldn’t it?
Do we follow ‘יהוה/God ways? Or man’s ways? Welcome to the Fall.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, …