Let me ask the question this way, “Why do SOME Christians celebrate Easter and OTHERS don’t?” There are two views as to why we should or shouldn’t celebrate it.

  1. Those who DO celebrate Easter say that it is actually “a celebration of the Resurrection of Christ.” They base this view partially on the rendering of Acts 12:4 in the King James Version which reads, “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after EASTER to bring him forth to the people.” The word “Easter” is rightly translated “Passover” in every other translation of the Bible. The apostle Peter was imprisoned by King Herod who wanted to execute him, but in order to appease the Jews who were against killing a man on their sacred feast of Passover, he was willing to wait until AFTER the Passover. Of course it was during the Passover (one year before this) that Jesus was crucified and then raised from the dead on the “first day of the week.” So, many believe Christians should celebrate His glorious resurrection on “Passover/Easter Sunday.”
  2. Those who DO NOT celebrate Easter say that it has no scriptural basis, for as we have seen the word “Easter” is actually not found in the Bible. In addition to this, they point to the fact that the Easter holiday (as celebrated by the world at large) has more to do with the “Easter Bunny” and “Easter egg hunts” than it does with the resurrection of Christ. Because there is absolutely no connection whatsoever between the two, many believers refuse to “mix the two together” in any way by “celebrating Easter.”

Perhaps we should ask the question, “Would the Lord have us to celebrate His resurrection?” I believe the answer is a definite YES! We owe every spiritual blessing we have to the resurrection of our blessed Lord and Savior. The early church held His resurrection in such regard that they came together every “first day of the week” (the DAY that He rose from the grave…Matthew 28:1, 6; Mark 16:9; Luke 24:1, 6; John 20:1, 19) to break bread. Acts 20:7 states, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread…” One may be thinking, “But wasn’t the ‘breaking of bread’ a time to ‘remember the Lord Jesus in His death,’ which took place three days earlier? It surely was, for when Jesus instituted this Memorial Feast we read, “And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of Me.” But how can we think of His death on Calvary and not also think of His glorious resurrection three days later? If He had NOT risen from the dead there would be no forgiveness, as we see in 1st Corinthians 15:17, “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” The resurrection proves that God was satisfied with His Son’s work on the cross to put away our sins and it gives God the right to justify the believing sinner. Romans 4:24-25 confirms this: “It (righteousness) shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was RAISED BECAUSE OF OUR JUSTIFICATION.”

We have clearly seen that every believer should celebrate the resurrection of Christ, but should it be confined to once a year (on “Passover Sunday”) and should we refer to it as Easter? Personally I believe we should avoid using the word Easter because of its connection with a holiday that in many respects has nothing to do with the resurrection of Christ. And as far as celebrating it ANNUALLY, we saw from Scripture that early believers celebrated His death and resurrection WEEKLY. In fact, the Lord’s death and resurrection was so fresh in their minds that initially they celebrated it DAILY, as we see in Acts 2:46, “So continuing DAILY with one accord…breaking bread from house to house.” (270.5) (DO)