“And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: / For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
Round about this time of year, like Christmas, the thorny question raises it's head like the perennial weed it is: Should we, as Christians, even be celebrating this? Christians of both persuasions arm themselves with ammunition & lob their missiles at each other. What does it matter, so long as Christ is preached?
I have been thinking about that question because I know certain things matter very much indeed to our Lord & saviour. I am merely thinking aloud here. You are not required to agree, or even to read along unless you like.
There are a couple of things that immediately come to my mind. Granted it is a peculiar mind. The first is the Leviticus principle that was is unholy cannot be made holy. Someone said to me recently that God can make anything holy. That is true ~ but he has already declared certain things holy; it is what we do with them that defiles them. Just because we can justify something in our own minds does not make it okay with God.
So the question then becomes: What has God already declared holy? I will come back to that question.
The next thing that sort of slammed into me is that God hates a liar & when it comes to Easter the whole thing is built upon a massive lie ~ & it is a scary lie because if you follow the bunny trail through the old testament of Israel's apostacy it returns again & again, like a boomerang, to Ishtar, Ashtoreth, Eostre. The name changes but the principle remains the same. Apostacy & infidility are inextricably linked together & every time God swept through Israel & cleansed the nation what did He do? He threw down the high altars. He got rid of the little cakes made for the queen of heaven. He reiterated, one man, one woman, get rid of the temple prostitutes!
Oh, but no~one is worshipping Eostre anymore; it's just harmless fun. If it doesn't mean anything then there is no need to do it. I suspect that's not the case anyway. I suspect it means what it has always meant because the early church did not celebrate Easter. It celebrated the Passover, as Christ did. This is a sticking point for me. Those who worship God must worship Him in Spirit & in Truth. The truth is that Easter has nothing to do with God & an awful lot to do with a Babylonian fertility goddess. All the symbols we associate with Easter belong to a pagan deity. Do you really think God's impressed with that?
Now, on pain of making myself even more unpopular, consider what God put in place & how it lines up scriptually. The Hebrew word moed means Festivals, or appointed times. These were the special times God put in place for His people to meet specially with Him. Here we go. I can hear you, you know! She's off on that Jewish thing again! Bear with me because there is an Old Testament application & there is a New Testament application. God put these festivals in place. Now see how the O.T transfers into the N.T!
In Exodus we see the Passover established & the edict goes forth that it is to be remembered & celebrated every year. Why? Because it foretells the coming, suffering, death & resurrection of the Messiah! And guess when Jesus suffered & died. At Passover. When you study it certain things come down even to the hour. The Paschal lamb was slain at 3 in the afternoon. When did Jesus die?
When did Jesus rise from the dead? During the Festival of the First Fruits, 3 days later! From this point on the Jews count 50 days to the festival of Shavout. It was during Shavout the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples as they waited in Jerusalem. Scripture isn't random. Events don't occur willy~nilly. They are structured in such a way as to help us remember & celebrate them the way God desires.
Christianity is being grafted by God into the root & branch of Israel. Israel is not being grafted into us! So does it matter that the church remembers the death & resurrection of Christ with bunnies & eggs & hot cross buns? After all, Christ is being preached. Whose Christ? Exactly what message are we sending to the world? At the best it is a compromise. At worst it is a downright lie. God has not blessed these things. He has not ordained them. The church has. Oh, yes the church has, amongst controversy & charges of blasphemy & heresy. Why are we so eager to accept the ordinances of man & so reluctant to walk in the way God Himself ordained?
I am not saying God can't use & bless these things if that's all He's got to work with but would the blessing be greater if the church actually walked in obedience? Why should the world listen to us when we are just like the world? Why has the world managed so successfully to commercialize both Christmas & Easter? Could it possibly be that at the heart the world knows these things really have nothing at all to do with God?
We haven't been in church for quite a few Easters now. The first one I was distressed to not be worshipping with a body of believers but then God took us on this wild journey that we are still trying to ride out but this year is different. This year we are part of a church & I am not happy. They celebrate with a large picnic ~ with eggs ~ for the wider community. We did not contribute any eggs. We will not attend the picnic. We will do a seder at home & go to church as usual on Sunday. Where conscience will allow we wioll aligne ourselves with the wider body of believers but there are some things that just stick in my craw these days. Like eggs. And I love my chocolate; just not more than I love Christ.