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What Does the Bible Say About..Easter?

Why do Christians celebrate Easter? The Easter bunny and colored eggs are all based on pagan rituals. Why has it gotten confused with the Resurrection of Jesus?

If Jesus was supposed to have died on Good Friday then Sunday is not 3 days.

So many pagan rituals have been introduced into the church and people believe that they are Christian. The Holy Spirit keeps impressing upon me that we must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Please explain about the Sunrise services a lot of churches have also.


You raise some very valid questions. We should worship "in spirit and in truth," and so we should examine our practices, all our practices, to see if they are done that way.

You ask why Christians celebrate Easter. You may be surprised to find that there are many who do not celebrate Easter as a particular, religious holiday. Many congregations of what are known as the churches of Christ and some other Christian groups object to celebrating Easter any differently than any other Sunday. It is their contention that they celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ every Sunday in the weekly observance of the Lord's Supper and do not need a special Sunday to celebrate those events. Some particularly object to Easter as it falls on the calendar because the Catholic Church specifically designated Easter so it would not fall during or near Passover in most years. (2002 is an exception.) The Orthodox Church celebrates Easter on an even different Sunday than do the Catholics and most Protestant groups that grew out of the Catholic tradition. So while some Christians choose one special day to remember the resurrection of Christ others do so every week.

The Easter bunny and Easter eggs may have their origin in pagan, or at least non-Christian, rituals. As you point out, so do many other things in modern Christian practice. This would include most Christmas customs including the date thereof, many wedding customs including the honeymoon, and even saying "bless you" when someone sneezes. The Easter bunny and Easter eggs have become a part of the celebration because they represent the rebirth of spring, a time in which Jesus was resurrected to a renewal of life. As I said in answer to another question most people don't even know of these origins, so the practice itself would only be objectionable if they knew, and insisted on doing it for its original religious reasons. If the customs are followed as customs and not as religious practices then the Bible says nothing to forbid them. In fact it specifically forbids people from judging others based on such customs. "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days." (Col 2:16)

You say that "Good Friday" to Sunday is not three days. Some people say Jesus was crucified on Thursday rather than Friday. Even if it was on Friday, though, in the Jewish counting of time it would be three days. To the Jew any part of a day counted as a whole day. Thus the crucifixion counts as one day, the Saturday a second, and the part of Sunday (which started at sundown Saturday) in which Jesus was in the grave would be the third day. "From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day." (Matt 16:21) If he was to be raised "on" the third day that would be any time on Sunday.

Finally, you ask about sunrise services on Easter. I suspect that many churches began the practice because it was about sunrise that the women came to the tomb and found that Jesus' resurrection had occurred. "The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre." (Jn 20:1) "Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared." (Lk 24:1) "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre." (Matt 28:1) Since they came and found the empty tomb at about sunrise, many churches find that an appropriate time to remember or reenact the scene that gives them hope of their own resurrection.