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Almost all the world acknowledges the death, burial, and resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, one time out of the year on Easter. Easter Sunday is the single biggest holiday for church attendance. While these stats are all good and well, and seemingly pleasing to God, here are 6 reasons why I encourage all Christians to quit celebrating Easter.
1) Easter is not found in the Bible.
I have not found the celebration or mention of Easter anywhere in the Bible. And if it was, it for sure would not be coupled with the Easter bunny. One may say that the Bible never tells us not to celebrate Easter. It also never tells us to celebrate Easter. The Bible often is not explicit about certain practices, though this does not by any means give us the go-ahead to engage in them. Proverbs 30:6 says, "Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar." I take this to mean that I am not to assume that Easter is okay just because God does not say "Don't celebrate Easter." There are other verses in the Bible that imply that Easter is not acceptable to God, which I will get to. Ultimately, God never authorized man to create any holiday celebrating His Son; I believe if he wanted one, he would have implemented it himself. What He authorized us to do was commemorate Jesus through communion.
2) We are commanded to commemorate Christ's death, burial, & resurrection every week.
Christ's death, burial, & resurrection are to be remembered every Sunday, and not once a year (as the secular world does). In 1 Corinthians 11, Christ is with his disciples, detailing the purpose of the Lord's supper/communion. They are to eat the bread and drink the cup in remembrance of Him. In verse 26, Jesus declares, "For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes." Acts 20:7 explains that the Christians in the early church met weekly to take the Lord's supper. It reads, "On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight." To sum these verses up, we are to take the Lord’s Supper every week on the first day of the week as the early church did, and in doing this we are acknowledging and proclaiming Christ’s sacrifice. This is what God intended. And upon reading these passages, I see it as a problem when many churches make a bigger deal about Easter service than a regular church service.
3) God does not appreciate occasional churchgoers.
I recently heard another argument in favor of Easter because it's a way for us to evangelize and bring people to church who would not otherwise step foot in church. This is complemented by the statement, "Attending church on Easter is better than nothing." While this is a valid argument, it somewhat concerns me, and here's why: While I would agree that Easter is a way to get people to attend church, and this is all good when said and done, I do not believe that this occasional worship is pleasing to God.
And I wonder, how many people who come to church on Easter Sunday are actually convicted enough to put Christ on in baptism for the forgiveness of their sins right then and there? What percent of people who come to church once or twice a year actually change their habits and decide to come back to church regularly because their heart was pricked on Easter Sunday? I may be wrong, but I doubt this number is high.
Regarding the second part of this argument, I would also have to disagree. In Revelations, God says that being lukewarm (noncommittal) is far worse than simply being a non-Christian. Chapter 3:15-16 states, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." It's pretty clear here that God is disgusted with lukewarm or uncommitted Christians. He says either be hot (trust me, be on fire for me, and do what I say) or be cold (ignore me and live however you want). God hates noncommittal religion. From this verse, I have interpreted this to mean that attending church simply because of a holiday that never even originated from God himself, would be worse than claiming that there is no God. God wants our very best. He wants sincere worship, whether or not it is Easter. Our worship to God should be based on our love for Him, and not a holiday because He’s disgusted with the worship of “Holiday Christians.” This is the level of seriousness with which God means what he says.
Put yourself in God’s shoes: If you were to make an enormous sacrifice for one of your loved ones – let’s say you risked your life to save theirs – and they hardly acknowledged or appreciated what you did, how would you feel? I’m thinking you’d be feeling hurt, used, angry, confused, and a whirlwind of other negative emotions towards them. It’s only natural to feel this way when we risk or give up something with little to no return. I presume that this is how God feels when he gets the short end of the stick from occasional churchgoers.
4) Christians are called to be different from the world.
To leave a mark on this world, one must be different. Romans 12:2 commands us, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." As Christians, we are called to be different. If we participate in the same religious rituals and holidays that the rest of the world participates in, how does that separate us from them? We are called to be different and renew our minds so we can understand and pay attention to what God’s will is. If we blend in with the world, how are we to understand what God’s will is, and what he intends? Why do Christians make a huge deal out of a holiday that God never wanted? In the first part of John 17, Jesus prays for his disciples that they live in the world but be not of the world. We should strive to be like this as well.
5) Easter has little to do with Jesus in the secular world.
Despite the fact that the secular world acknowledges Jesus, he’s not the focus. It seems to me that it’s more about marketing the sales of candy and other Easter related items to make money. Now Easter eggs and the Easter bunny specifically were originally meant to represent life and fertility, but they intrinsically having absolutely nothing to do with the death, burial, & resurrection of Jesus. Our God sent his son to be tortured for the salvation of those who are baptized into Christ’s death for the remission of their sins (John 3:5. Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38), and upon celebrating his resurrection alongside the promotion of Easter bunnies, egg hunts, and candy, I suggest that we rethink our participation in this holiday. As always, man corrupts what God has already made good. If God wanted more, he would have specified that and commanded us to do so.
Let me say this if you’re afraid to quit participating in Easter because other people may dub you a “fake Christian” or because other people may not see eye to eye with you: Just because other people may not be paying attention to the things God wants them to see, does not mean you should let their opinions hinder you. Jesus, himself was hated by his own people, so it shouldn’t surprise you if other Christians take issue with your conviction that Easter is not what God ever intended. I’d say if this is the case, you’re on the right track. As Christians, we were never supposed to be liked for our decisions (not even by other Christians) because Jesus wasn’t.
6) God is not to be worshipped in any kind of way.
Think about King Saul for a minute. In 1 Samuel 15, God commanded him to attack the Amalekites and utterly destroy them and their possessions. He was not to leave anything. Yet, Saul decided in his own accord to spare the king and keep the best animals to sacrifice to God. God never asked Saul for a sacrifice; he asked for his obedience in destroying everything. This makes me wonder how often Christians today are like Saul, where God never gives us the go-ahead to do something or participate in certain rituals, yet we find a way to justify how it would be pleasing to God. He desires obedience over sacrifice. How we worship God is determined by what HE says, and not what our preachers, elders, ministers, teachers, friends, family, and/or society think is acceptable.
Keep in mind, we are dealing with the same God who destroyed people on the spot for disobeying Him. This is the same God who defeated and destroyed nations and armies. And He doesn't really need you or your praise at all, but if you're going to give it to Him, you ought to make sure it's done right. We can have good intentions, yet still not please God. Intentions are not what pleases God; obedience is.
I am not telling you not to celebrate Easter, and I don’t mean to sound so negative. I just felt that upon my own study, I ought to share my conviction with you. What I am encouraging you to do is to go back and study this topic in the Scriptures so you can reach your own conclusion; we all have to make our own decisions. Remember, come Judgment Day, God is going to judge us based on what He actually said in the Bible, and not the things we believed from other people, which is why studying the scriptures often is so important. This is something very few people do, and it’s the reason why there’s so much confusion among Christians.
I have one last question for you: Why do you celebrate Easter? Is it because everyone else is doing it, and not participating would make you seem odd, especially as a Christian? Is it because you love Jesus? Is it for the candy?
Let me know what you think in the comments section. Thanks for reading!