DID EASTER COME FROM?
is a time for bunny rabbits, colored eggs, hot cross buns, and
springtime apparel. Where did Easter come from? Here is the fascinating
story of how it originated. Few people realize that 'Easter' is not the
resurrection of Christ; in fact, the only time the word is found in the
Bible (in Acts 12:4), it is only 'Easter' by mistranslation. The word in
the original Greek is 'Passover.'
died at the time of the Passover feast. But the Passover is not Easter,
and Jesus did not die at Easter time. Here is information you will want
to know. It comes from a publication entitled, 'Easter: Where It Came
From,' printed many years ago, by Southern Publishing Association. An
old man is speaking:
children had gathered around the huge, open fireplace. The lights were
turned out and the shooting flames of the great wood fire lit their
faces. Farther back, in a huge rocker, sat the Wise Man. In the daytime
a very prosaic figure known as grandpa. On the special nights, when
the children were allowed to 'stay up,' the fire light played on what
seemed like the very soul of the old man, his face, and he became a
mystic form, infinitely removed and yet very close to them. They called
him the Wise Man then.
Easter night the children begged for the story of Easter. They did not
understand the first part of what he told, but afterward they understood
nearly all of it. Here is what they learned.:
was held sacred centuries before Sinai. December 25 was highly honored;
the time of Easter was religiously observed; and Lent was a time for
healing-all thousands of years before the coming of the Babe to
the Flood, the Garden of Eden was no longer on the earth. You remember
the Lord had placed angels with flaming swords at its gates. As the
people came to the gates to worship God, their faces were toward the
west, for the gates were on the east side of the Garden. When Eden was
taken up to God's dwelling place, and no one knows just when that was,
Satan had so confused some that they worshiped the things that God had
made instead of God himself. The next brightest thing men saw was the
sun, and they began to worship it. God at creation had given them the
Sabbath, to remind them every week that He had made everything, but
Satan has always tried to make men forget the Sabbath, so they would
forget the true God.
of Noah's great grandsons was called Nimrod. Nimrod was a great leader,
and was the first empire builder. His wife, history says, was named
Semiramis, and she was a very great queen. Satan was working to
counterfeit God's plan of salvation; and, when Nimrod died, the people
said he was a god. Semiramis told them that he was indeed the sun god,
and that his spirit was still living, dwelling, in the sun.
order that the people should love her as queen as long as she lived,
Semiramis told them that hers was the spirit of the moon; and. when she
died, she would dwell in the moon as Nimrod already dwelt in the sun.
was laying the foundation for every system of falsehood and error the
world has ever known. The sun god, under different names, was worshiped
in Babylon. Egypt, Greece, and Rome, as conquering nations were
conquered by the religion of their captives.
year when the cold season began, the people believed their sun god was
leaving them. They came to learn that his lowest dip on the horizon,
about December 21, was followed by his gradual return, until in midsummer
he was directly overhead at noonday. It was on the 25th of December that
they noticed, each year, the coming back, a little, of their god. This
day they called the birthday of the sun. It was this belief in the
annual journey of their god that Elijah alluded to in his conflict with
the priests of Baal, the Syro-Phoenician sun god [1 Kings 15:27].
the death of Nimrod, Semiramis never married again indeed how could
the queen of heaven marry an ordinary man?but some years later she
gave birth to a son. His name was Tammuz, and he was born on the 25th
day of December! There was wild rejoicing in the nation over which
Semiramis was queen. She told the people that the spirit of the sun, her
husband Nimrod, was the father of Tammuz, and thus through her sin,
Satan persuaded the people of the counterfeit of the birth of Jesus; for
Jesus was really born of a virgin.
was hailed as the Son of the Sun, and the first letter of his name
became in time the symbol of sun worship. Human sacrifices to the sun
god were offered on this initial letter, made of wood, known as the
cross. His birthday, December 25, was honored more and more, and the
first day of the week was called the Sun's day, or Sunday. The people
forgot God's Sabbath, and honored the day of the sun. To honor Semiramis
they set aside a time in honor of the moon. This was the first full moon
after the vernal equinox, or the twenty-first of March. The first Sunday
after this full moon was indeed a gala day.
yet a young man, Tammuz, a hunter like his supposed father, was killed
by a wild boar. What weeping there was in the kingdom! And the forty
days before the time of the celebration for the moon were set apart as
days of weeping for Tammuz.
people were constantly being tempted to follow this religion instead of
that of the Bible. Often Satan succeeded in his purpose. In the eighth
chapter of Ezekiel we read of the women's weeping for Tammuz and the
people's turning their backs on the temple of God and worshiping the sun
toward the east. They also worshiped the moon goddess, making cakes to
the queen of heaven (Jer. 7:19). These were round cakes on which had
been cut a cross.
great distinguishing mark of the heathen was Sunday and the mark of
God's people was the Sabbath (Ezek. 20:12-20J. Side by side through the
centuries were God's people worshiping Him, obeying His commandments,
keeping His Sabbath; and the heathen were worshiping the sun, keeping
Sunday, offering their children in the fire as a sacrifice to the sun,
or crucifying their human victims to turn away his supposed anger.
writer in a noted periodical says that 'Sunday was the wild, solar
holiday of all pagan times.' It was on this day that the worst features
of sun worship were practiced. Too often Israel did these things too,
but God constantly sent them messages to obey Him.
Christ, the Son of God, was born. The exact day of His birth no one
knows, but it was probably in October. He was just thirty-three and a
half years old when He was crucified, in April, at the time of the
Passover. How Jesus loved His people! He loved them so much that He was
willing to suffer abuse and mocking, scourging and death. Remember that
Tammuz was exalted by Satan to be the great rival of Jesus, and the
symbol of the cross was the sign of sun worship. Through all the years
it had seemed that the sun god was greater than the true God, for Israel
alone followed God, but often even Israel followed the sun god.
yes, Jesus loved His people! He came into a world that had forgotten
Him, its Creator, suffered every insult at its hands, and finally died
upon the symbol of sun worship, 'even,' says Paul, 'the death of the
cross' (Phil. 2:8).
rejoicing then by the demons! The Son of God, delivered by His own
people and crucified by the sun-worshiping Romans on the symbol of sun
worship! Oh the condescending Jesus! How He must have loved His
people!" The old man's face softened, and the children saw tears in
his eyes. After a time he went on. His eyes were shining now.
God honored that sacrifice! On the third day after His crucifixion, the
first day for sun worship, while the spirits of demons were in the
wildest orgy of celebration over their victory; for, through many men,
Satan's angels all rejoiced in the victory of false worship on that very
day set aside and honored by the name of the sun,God raised His Son
from the grave a conqueror! As after Creation He had rested, so after
redemption He rested in the tomb on His Sabbath; and now, on the day of
the sun, He was raised, eternal victor over the sun worship and all
false systems of worship. That was why God raised Him on Sunday. Once
more the Sabbath is God's sign between Him and His people. His disciples
kept it while they lived.
Satan was not yet through with the world. First, he persecuted God's
people, and then he tempted them again. The heathen were still keeping
Sunday; and, as the Christians were scattered throughout the world,
Satan whispered in the ears of God's people that they should try to gain
favor by being more like the heathen. Was not Christ born toward the end
of the year? The exact date was uncertain. Why not call it the same date
as the birth of Tammuz? So December 25 became Christmas.
Christ was crucified and resurrected in the spring, near the time of
the moon festival. Why not have the same time as the heathen, and even
do as they did, but call it in honor of Christ's resurrection. The cakes
to the queen of heaven became the hot cross buns. The forty days of
'weeping for Tammuz' became Lent; and at the close of Lent came Easter
Sunday, a counterfeit masterpiece.
voice was silent for a time. The old man's face darkened as he seemed to
see, in the embers of the fire, a sinister event against which he would
cry out. Suddenly there rang out in the stillness the trumpet-like tones
that had called to the men on the battlefield, when as a drummer boy,
he had snatched up the colors where a dying bearer had fallen, and
rallied a regiment that had nearly broken.
the cowards! The cowards! They allowed the flag of God, His holy
Sabbath, to trail in the dust. They trampled it under their feet; they
exalted the sun's day; they broke the command of God, and all in the
name of the One who had given His life to save His people from that very
how Jesus in heaven must have wept when His so-called followers, to gain
influence, set up the mark of rebellion against heaven, Sunday. And
how He must weep today when people profess to honor His resurrection by
trampling on His day and honoring the flag of the defeated foe. God
forgive our nation if she ever passes a law to do that, if she ever
passes a national Sunday law.
'Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are
written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.' 1
Corinthians 10:11-12 . .
requires of His people now as great a distinction from the world, in
customs, habits, and principles, as He required of Israel anciently. If
they faithfully follow the teachings of His Word, this distinction will
exist; it cannot be otherwise. The warnings given to the Hebrews against
assimilating with the heathen were not more direct or explicit than are
those forbidding Christians to conform to the spirit and customs of the
ungodly." -Patriarchs and Prophets, 457-458