Thursday, March 20, 2008


The traditions of Easter that Christendom celebrates in this day and age are by and large the traditions of men. The ordinance given in Scripture for believers to commemorate the work of Christ on the cross is the Lord's Supper.

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. (1 Cor 11:23-26 RSV)

Central to the gospel is the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ, who knew no sin became sin for us, while we in turn receive the righteousness of God through Him. The Lord's Supper, which is a celebration symbolizing this new covenant and a remembrance of His death and resurrection most adequately pictures this. Our contemporary Easter celebrations which take place only once a year are a rather poor alternative to Christ's original pattern, as given to us in Scripture. The Easter our contemporary culture celebrates today has Roman Catholic origins and often includes many pagan elements that reflect the traditions of those who worship the goddess Ishtar, from which Easter derives its name. The eggs, bunnies, and symbols of new life and Spring are some of these which represent the element of fertility so important to worshipers of this goddess. The Roman Catholic church allowed this in order to gain converts, allowing paganism alongside the Roman Catholic traditions.

I do not condemn those who choose to celebrate the festival we now call Easter by attending Good Friday and Easter Sunday services, as many do not understand the origins of the celebration and its many associations with paganism. I prefer to call these days the Day of Atonement and Resurrection Sunday myself, as the term Easter is a derivative of the word Astarte or Ishtar, the pagan goddess. I continue to enjoy many of the traditional hymns associated with Christ's death and resurrection, and I will still be attending the services in our local church. My focus will be on the ongoing commemoration of His death in the Lord's supper and its meaning for me as I partake with our small congregation and sing the hymns associated with these events. I have chosen however, not to participate in the traditions that have pagan origins. It is my hope and desire that the Lord's Supper will take place more frequently within our congregation (which currently takes place approximately once a month), as it is central to my faith. I think its importance has been minimized in many churches in North America and that it does not take place often enough. I think of it as a joyous occasion, with the understanding that I have been allowed to be free from the bondage of sin and its eternal consequences, while soberly remembering what it cost Christ to pay for that freedom. It is a time to examine myself as to whether I am living a life worthy of the calling I have received. In other words, is my life lining up with what I believe, and are there areas that I need to place before the Lord in submission to Him. Am I cooperating with the Holy Spirit as He is working in my life through the process of sanctification, which is to be done with utmost care and diligence on my part.

For those who have chosen to commemorate Christ's death and resurrection during this time of the year, here is a reminder of the true meaning of the events. This is one of my favorite hymns. Although this video is made by an amateur, I admire the fact that this is a father and his sons, joining together to sing this song of praise, and it is being sung from the heart; not for the purpose of entertainment, but for worship and in gratitude. May God bless you as you listen and reflect on God's mercy.


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