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Bible Study Aid - Easter: The Rest of the Story

Bible Study Aid - Easter: The Rest of the Story

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Many believing Christians celebrate Easter as a way to honor Jesus Christ's resurrection. But Easter is a day with very different

roots—stretching long ago into pre-Christian paganism. The Bible alone has the truth of Jesus' life, death and resurrection, and it shows a

different set of celebrations—the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread—that give us the real story that Easter doesn't tell us.
Inside this Bible study aid:
-- The resurrection of Christ: Hope for the ages
-- Easter vs. the Bible
-- How Easter replaced the biblical Passover
-- Three days and three nights
-- We need a Savior
-- What's the rest of the story about Easter?
-- http://www.ucg.org/booklets/
Many believing Christians celebrate Easter as a way to honor Jesus Christ's resurrection. But Easter is a day with very different

roots—stretching long ago into pre-Christian paganism. The Bible alone has the truth of Jesus' life, death and resurrection, and it shows a

different set of celebrations—the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread—that give us the real story that Easter doesn't tell us.
Inside this Bible study aid:
-- The resurrection of Christ: Hope for the ages
-- Easter vs. the Bible
-- How Easter replaced the biblical Passover
-- Three days and three nights
-- We need a Savior
-- What's the rest of the story about Easter?
-- http://www.ucg.org/booklets/

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Published by: United Church of God on Mar 12, 2014
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Easter
The Rest of the Story 
A Bible study aidpresented by BeyondToday.tv
®®
 
 3
 
Easter: The Rest of the Story
2
Cover photo: limpido/iStock/Thinkstock
The Resurrection of Christ: Hope for the Ages
The resurrection of Christ:
he lie, death and resurrection o Jesus Christ is
the
 key historical and spiritual reality or a Christian. Without His resurrection, “your aith is utile” (1 Corinthians 15:17). Christ’s resurrec-tion is the culmination o the most important series o events o all time.For a believer, the ocus on Christ’s resurrection is a central tenet o aith. What the disciples saw afer three days and three nights was a tomb without a body and the risen Christ in recognizable bodily orm. Tey saw and touched Him. Teir mourning was indeed turned to joy. Christ was raised rom the realm o the dead and appeared multiple times over the coming days beore finally ascending to heaven. Because o this, Christians have the opportunity to receive eternal lie.It’s surprising then, that the day most people cel-ebrate to remember this most important o events actually
obscures
 the truth o Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. As we’ll see, Easter customs not only have non-Christian origins, they actually
change
 the story and keep Christians rom ully understand-ing the truth o salvation.ruly understanding the history and lie-chang-ing significance o Jesus’ lie, death and resurrection requires us to place this event within the proper con-text o God’s estivals. Tese are the same estivals God gave to Israel and that Christ and His disciples were observing when He died.We’ll also see that instead o observing the alse tra-ditions associated today with Easter, the early Church observed the Passover and the Days o Unleavened Bread. Tese estivals and their meaning have the same relevance or Christians today that they had during the first century. Te modern world has not moved beyond the need or the power o the resur-rected Christ. When we observe the holy occasions God ordained, it helps us understand and appreciate Christ’s atoning sacrifice. We become sensitive to
His
 lie in us and begin to live by His Word and Spirit. Not only is this a key to understanding the salvation process but it is the oundation or building a success-ul Christian lie today.oday there are many attacks on our aith and basic truths o the Bible. You can prove Christ’s lie, death and resurrection and in doing so gain insight into the most basic and essential needs o lie. You can also prove the origins o the alse traditions o Easter and see that God’s biblical estivals hold the true meaning o salvation.
Hope for the ages
© 2014 United Church of God,
an International Association
 — www.ucg.org
 
 5
But i you look more closely at this holiday you’ll see that, despite its Christian veneer, it has done much damage in obscuring the truth o Jesus’ lie, death and resurrection. It’s a day built on a lie, not on the great truth o Jesus’ atoning sacrifice. Tere are two main problems with the Easter celebra-tion. Te first is that its customs and practices are based in ancient paganism, not in the Word o God.
A day with unchristian origins
As with Christmas, we find that the popular customs associated with the Easter celebration—rabbits, Easter-egg hunts and sunrise services—have noth-ing to do with the biblical record o Jesus Christ’s lie, in this case His rising rom the dead.Where, then, did these practices orig-inate?Te
Encyclopaedia Britannica
tells us, “As at Christmas, so also at Easter, popular customs reflect many ancient pagan survivals—in this instance, con-nected with spring ertility rites, such as the symbols o the Easter egg and the Easter hare or rabbit” (15th edition,
 Macropaedia,
 Vol. 4, p. 605, “Church Year”).Te word Easter appears once in the King James Version o the Bible, in Acts 12:4, where it is a mistransla-tion. Reputable scholars and reerence works point out that the Greek word rendered “Easter” in this verse is actu-ally
 pascha,
meaning Passover. Modern translations correctly translate this word “Passover”—as even the King James Version does in other verses (see Matthew 26:2, 17-19; Mark 14:12; 1 Corinthians 5:7).Notice what Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary o Old and New estament Words says about the term Easter here: “Pascha...mistranslated ‘Easter’ in Acts 12:4, KJV, denotes the Passover...Te term ‘Easter’ is not o Christian origin. It is another orm o Astarte, one o the titles o the Chaldean goddess, the queen o heaven. Te estival o Pasch [Passover] held by Christians in post-apostolic times was a continuation o the Jewish east...From this Pasch the pagan estival o ‘Easter’ was quite distinct and was introduced into the apostate Western religion, as part o the attempt to adapt pagan estivals to Christianity” (1985, p. 192, “Easter”).
Easter’s ancient history
Te Chaldean deity Astarte is in act mentioned in the Bible. She is reerred to as “Ashtoreth the abomina-tion o the Sidonians” (2 Kings 23:13) and, as Vine’s mentions, “the Queen o Heaven,” whose worship God con-demned (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:24-28).Francis Weiser, proessor o philoso-phy at Boston College, provides these acts: “Te origin o the Easter egg is based on the ertility lore o the Indo-European races...Te Easter bunny had its origin in pre-Christian ertility lore.
Easter vs. the Bible
F
or millions of professing Christians Easter is the most important day of the calendar year because it commemorates Jesus’ resurrection. Easter sunrise services are considered the holiest
assembly of the year—a time when Christians reafrm that Jesus is risen
and their hope in Him is true.
Easter: The Rest of the Story
4
A Bible study aid presented by
Beyond Today
television
Photo: Martin Poole/Photodisc/Thinkstock.

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