Shadows of Messiah – Easter

Shadows of Messiah - Easter

 

easter shadow 4

Easter is a celebration/remembrance of the resurrection of our “great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). It is the most important holiday of the Christian calendar. The doctrine of the Resurrection of Christ is one of the most important doctrines of Christianity; without the Resurrection, we have no hope of salvation from our sins (1 Corinthians 15:12–18).

1Co 15:12  Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1Co 15:13  But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
1Co 15:14  And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
1Co 15:15  Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
1Co 15:16  For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
1Co 15:17  And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18  Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
1Co 15:19  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
1Co 15:20  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
1Co 15:21  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
1Co 15:24  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
1Co 15:25  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
1Co 15:27  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
1Co 15:28  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

“Reflecting, the other day, on the sad state of the churches at the present time, I was led to look back to apostolic times and to consider where in the preaching of the present-day different from the preaching of the apostles. I remarked the vast difference in their style from the set and formal oratory of the present age. I remarked that the apostles did not take a text when they preached, nor did they confine themselves to one subject, much less to any place of worship. But I find that they stood up in any place and declared from the fullness of their hearts what they knew of Jesus Christ. But the main difference I observed was in the subject of their preaching. I was surprised when I discovered that the very staple of the preaching of the apostles was the resurrection of the dead! I found myself to have been… leading the people of God as well as I was in able, into the deep things of His Word.

 

But I was surprised to find that I had not been copying the apostolic fashion half as nearly as I might have done. The apostles, when they preached, always testified concerning the resurrection of Jesus and the consequent resurrection of the dead. It appears that the Alpha and the Omega of their gospel was the testimony that Jesus Christ died and rose again from the dead according to the Scriptures.”  – Charles Spurgeon

The Greatest Event In History

The Gospel is always those three things together. Paul continues, “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!”

Other passages make it very clear that the resurrection is of utmost importance and always the central part of the Gospel. Matt Slick from CARM.org compliled this helpful list of  resurrection passages.

Matthew
Matt. 12:39-40 – Sign of Jonah
Matt. 16:4 – Sign of Jonah
Matt. 16:21 – Killed and raised
Matt. 17:9 – Do not tell information until risen from the dead
Matt. 17:12 – Son to suffer
Matt. 17:22-23 – Delivered, killed and raised
Matt. 20:22 – Drink of cup and be baptized
Matt. 20:28 – Give life a ransom for many
Matt. 21:37-39 – Parable of the husbandman-gives son-killed by workers
Matt. 22:7 – Small correlation*
Matt. 23:34 – Vague correlation*
Matt. 26:2, 24 – To be crucified
Matt. 26:28 – Drink of blood shed
Matt. 26:54 – Scriptures must be fulfilled
Mark
Mark 8:31 – Suffer, die and arise
Mark 8:34-35 – Deny, take up cross and follow
Mark 9:9 – Don’t tell until Jesus arisen
Mark 9:30-32 – Son will be killed and arise from dead
Mark 10:32-34 – Same
Mark 10:38 – Drink of cup, be baptized
Mark 10:45 – Give life a ransom for many
Mark 12:6-8 – Son killed by vineyard workers
Mark 14:8 – Anoint body for burying
Mark 14:22-24 – This is my body
Luke
Lk. 9:22 – Rejected, killed and arise
Lk. 9:23 – Take up cross
Lk. 9:36 – Do not tell what was seen until after resurrection
Lk. 11:29-32 – Sign of Jonah
Lk. 12:50 – Baptism to be baptized with
Lk. 13:32 – Third day perfected
Lk. 16:30-31 – Not persuaded though one rise from the dead
Lk. 18:31-33 – Mocked, killed and rise again
Lk. 20:14-15 – Son killed by vineyard workers
Lk. 22:15 – Eat Passover before suffering
Lk. 22:19-20 – Bread and wine-body and blood symbolism
Lk. 22:37 – Allusion to death
Lk. 22:42 – Agony in Gethsemane-let cup pass
John
John 1:29, 36 – Lamb of God
John 2:18-22 – Destroy temple and raise it in three days
John 3:14 – Son must be lifted up
John 3:32 – Meat to eat that you know not of
John 6:27 – Labor for meat of life-son of man shall give
John 6:51-58 – Bread given-flesh of Jesus
John 8:28 – Lifted up the Son of man
John 10:15 – Lay down life for sheep
John 10:17-18 – Lay down life and take it
John 11:50-51 – Caiaphas prophesied Jesus’ death
John 12:7 – Ointment used for Jesus’ burying
John 12:23-25 – Son of man to be glorified-possibly means death
John 12:32-33 – Lifted up
John 13:11, 21 – Knew who would betray him*
John 13:33 – Only with them a little while
John 13:36 – Cannot follow now, but later
John 16:16 – Little while and will not see Jesus
John 16:32 – Disciples to forsake Jesus*
Acts
Acts 1:3 – Alive after passion
Acts 1 – Jesus’ words after the resurrection
Acts 1:22 – Witness of resurrection
Acts 1:16-22 – Peter’s statement
Acts 2:14 – Peter’s Pentecostal sermon
Acts 2:23-24 – Jesus crucified and raised
Acts 2:27 – Not leave soul in hell
Acts 2:31 – Resurrection of Christ
Acts 2:32 – Witnesses of the resurrection
Acts 2:36 – Jesus crucified: Lord and Christ
Acts 3:13-16, 18 – Jesus killed and raised
Acts 3:26 – God raised Jesus
Acts 4:2 – Through Jesus the resurrection of the dead
Acts 4:10 – Jesus crucified and raised
Acts 4:33 – Great power gave apostles witness of the resurrection
Acts 5:28 – Bring man’s blood upon us
Acts 5:30-32 – Death and resurrection-apostles and Holy Spirit are witnesses
Acts 7:52 – Murderers of Jesus
Acts 10:39-43 – Death and resurrection witnesses, commission to preach
Acts 13:29-31 – Paul preached: death, burial, empty tomb, appearances, witnesses
Acts 13:33-37 – Resurrection
Acts 17:3 – Suffer and rise again
Acts 17:18 – Jesus and resurrection
Acts 17:31-32 – Assurance by raising Jesus from the dead
Acts 20:28 – Flock purchased with Jesus’ blood
Acts 22:15 – Witness of Jesus-was the risen Lord-(also see Acts 9, 26)
Acts 23:6-8 – Resurrection of the dead-24:15, 21, 26:8
Acts 25:19 – Jesus dead-Paul said alive
Acts 26:14-18 – Appearance of Jesus
Acts 26:23 – Jesus suffer and rise first
Romans
Rom. 1:4 – Declared Son of God by resurrection from the dead
Rom. 3:24-25 – Faith in His blood
Rom. 4:24 – Jesus raised
Rom. 4:25 – Delivered and raised
Rom. 5:6-11 – Christ died for the ungodly-justified by His blood-saved by His life.
*Rom. 5:15 – Offense-death-free gift
Rom. 6:3-14 – Baptism: parallels death, burial and resurrection
Rom. 7:4 – Dead to Christ: married to Him who was raised
Rom. 8:11 – Spirit raised Jesus
*Rom. 8:17-18 – Suffered and glorified with Christ
Rom. 8:32 – God delivered Jesus for us all
Rom. 8:34 – Jesus died and arose
Rom. 10:6-7 – Jesus died and rose (implied)-up from the dead
Rom. 10:9 – God raised Jesus
Rom. 14:9 – Death, resurrection and revived-Lord of dead and living
Rom. 14:15 – Destroy not a person for whom Christ died
1 Corinthians
1 Cor. 1:13 – Paul crucified for you?
1 Cor. 1:17-18 – Cross of Christ
1 Cor. 1:23 – Christ crucified
1 Cor. 2:2 – Know Jesus Christ and Him crucified
1 Cor. 2:8 – Crucified Lord of glory
1 Cor. 5:7 – Christ Passover sacrificed for us
1 Cor. 6:14 – God raised up the Lord
*1 Cor. 6:19-20 – Bought with price
1 Cor. 8:11 – Weak brother perish for whom Christ died?
1 Cor. 10:16 – Body and blood-bread and wine
1 Cor. 11:23-29 – Received/delivered: body/blood
1 Cor. 15:1-8 – Creedal material on death and resurrection that Paul received
1 Cor. 15 – Resurrection – the importance of the resurrection
2 Corinthians
2 Cor. 1:9 – Trust God which raiseth the dead
*2 Cor. 2:12 – Preach Christ’s gospel-4:3-4, 10:14, 11:4
2 Cor. 4:10 – Dying of Lord Jesus
*2 Cor. 4:11 – Life of Jesus
2 Cor. 4:14 – Jesus raised: so will we
2 Cor. 5:14-15 – Jesus’ death and resurrection
*2 Cor. 5:21 – Jesus made sin for us
2 Cor. 13:4 – Crucified by weakness: lives by the power of God
Galatians
Gal. 1:1 – God raised Jesus
Gal. 1:4 – Jesus gave himself for our sins
Gal. 1:6-10 – Another gospel
Gal. 1:11-12 – Taught gospel by revelation
Gal. 1-2 – Conversion and gospel; Possible location where Paul received the 1 Cor. 15:3-8creed?
Gal. 2:2 – Communicated gospel-doubt in Paul’s mind?
Gal. 2:20 – Crucified with Christ-Christ gave Himself for me
Gal. 2:21 – Christ died to free us from the law
Gal. 3:1 – Jesus crucified among them
Gal. 3:13 – Christ redeemed us from the law by being hanged on a tree
Gal. 5:11 – Offense of the cross
Gal. 6:12 – Persecution for the cross of Christ
Gal. 6:14 – Glory only in the cross
*Gal. 6:17 – Marks of the Lord Jesus
Ephesians
Eph. 1:7 – Redemption through blood
Eph. 1:20 – Christ raised and set in heavenly places-above all-Jesus exalted
Eph. 2:6 – Raised us up to sit with Christ
Eph. 2:13 – Made nigh by blood of Christ
Eph. 2:16 – Reconcile by cross
Eph. 5:25 – Christ gave Himself for the Church
Philippians
*Phil. 1:7 – Defense and confirmation of the gospel (cf. 1:17)
*Phil. 1:29 – Suffer for His sake
Phil. 2:5-11 – Jesus humbled, died, exalted and glorified. This is considered a hymn by many scholars which has an early date.
Phil. 2:10-11 – Know Him and the power of His resurrection-conformed to his death and sufferings
Phil. 3:18 – Enemies of the cross of Christ
Colossians
Col. 1:14 – Redemption though blood
Col. 1:20 – Peace through blood of cross
Col. 1:21-22 – Reconciled through His death
Col. 2:11-13 – Put off sins by circumcision of Christ-buried and raised by baptism
Col. 2:14 – Nailed it to the cross
Col. 2:20 – Dead with Christ
Col. 3:1 – Risen with Christ
Col. 3:3 – Dead: life hid with Christ
1 Thessalonians
1 Thess. 1:10 – Jesus raised from the dead
1 Thess. 2:15 – Killed Jesus
1 Thess. 4:14 – Believe Jesus died and rose again
1 Thess. 5:10 – Jesus died for us
2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy
1 Tim. 2:6 – Gave Himself a ransom for all
1 Tim. 3:16 – Manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit
2 Timothy
2 Tim. 1:10 – Jesus abolished death: brought life and immortality to light through gospel
2 Tim. 2:8 – Jesus raised from dead according to the gospel
2 Tim. 2:11-12 – Suffer and live with Christ
2 Tim. 2:18 – Resurrection past – claim of heretics
Hebrews
Heb. 1:3 – Purged sins-set down in heaven
Heb. 2:9 – Jesus made lower for suffering of death
Heb. 2:14 – Death-destroyed him who had power over death
Heb. 5:3 – Offer for sins
Heb. 6:2 – Resurrection of dead
Heb. 6:6 – Crucify Son of God afresh
Heb. 7:16 – Power of an endless life
Heb. 9:7-28 – Blood, death
Heb. 9-10 – Blood and death
Heb. 10:12 – Blood
Heb. 10:28 – Sacrifice for sins
Heb. 10:29 – Blood of [New] Covenant
Heb. 11:35 – Better resurrection
Heb. 12:2 – Endured cross-throne of God now
Heb. 12:24 – Jesus mediator of New Covenant with blood
Heb. 13:12 – Jesus suffered, blood sanctifies us
Heb. 13:20 – God brought Jesus back from dead, blood of covenant
James
1 Peter
1 Pet. 1:2 – Sprinkling of blood of Jesus Christ
1 Pet. 1:3 – Resurrection of Jesus from dead
1 Pet. 1:19 – Redeemed with blood of Christ
1 Pet. 1:21 – God raised Jesus
1 Pet. 2:21 – Christ suffered for us leaving an example
1 Pet. 2:24 – Bore sins, tree, healed
1 Pet. 3:18 – Put to death in the flesh, quickened by Spirit
1 Pet. 3:18-20 – Death, hell, resurrection, exalted
1 Pet. 4:1 – Suffered in flesh
1 Pet. 4:13 – Christ’s sufferings
1 Pet. 5:1 – Witness of Jesus’ suffering
2 Peter
*2 Pet. 1:16 – Witnesses of His majesty-transfiguration
1 John
*1 John 1:2-3 – Witnesses
1 John 1:7 – Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin
1 John 2:2 – Jesus is the propitiation for our sins
1 John 3:16 – Jesus laid down His life for us
1 John 4:10 – Son payment for our sins
1 John 5:6, 8 – Came by water and blood-bears witness
2 John
3 John
Jude
Revelation
Rev. 1:5 – First begotten of dead, washed us in His blood
Rev. 1:7 – Pierced-Zech 12:10
Rev. 1:18 – Lived, died and arose
Rev. 5:6 – Lamb slain
Rev. 5:9 – Redeemed by blood
Rev. 5:12 – Lamb slain
Rev. 7:14 – Washed robes, white by blood of Lamb
Rev. 11:8 – Lord crucified
*Rev. 11 – Witnesses raised
Rev. 12:11 – Overcame by blood of Lamb
Rev. 13:8 – Book of Lamb slain from foundation of the world-Lamb reference
*Rev. 16:6 – Blood to drink
Rev. 19:13 – Vesture dipped in blood-Jesus
*Rev. 20:5-6 – First resurrection

The Resurrection of Christ – The Best-Proved Fact in History

“The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity. Everything else that was said or done by Christ and the apostles is secondary in importance to the resurrection. If the resurrection did not take place then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth.”  – Henry Morris

Another article worth reading:

Defending Christ’s Resurrection

In the 40 days between his resurrection and Ascension, Christ made several appearances, providing many convincing proofs and expounding Old Testament prophecies concerning Himself:

He appeared first to Mary Magdalene [Mark 16:9-11; John 20-11-18]
Then to the women who had seen the Empty Tomb [Matt 28:9-10]
Then to Simon Peter, called Cephas, as related by Cleopas and another disciple [Luke 24:33-35; I Cor.15:5]
Then to Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus. [Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-32]
Then to 10 disciples [Thomas absent] [John 20:19-23]
Then to all 11 disciples [Mark 16:14;Luke 24:36-43;John 20:24-31; 1 Cor 15:5]
Then to 7 disciples by the Sea of Galilee as they were fishing [John 21]
Then to His brother, James [1 Cor. 15:7]
Then to about above 500 on an appointed mountain in Galilee. [Mark 16:15-20; Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:3-12; 1 Cor. 15:6-7
Then the appearance to Paul “as one born out of time,” which explains his sudden conversion from a determined persecutor of Christians to spreading the gospel of Jesus’ resurrection throughout the Roman Empire. [Acts 7:58; 8:1-3; 9:1-22; 22:1-21; 26:8-23; 1 Cor 15:8]

One a deeper level..

Light Emitting Resurrected Bodies and the Science of Bio-photons – Douglas Hamp

Easter 3

Rom 1:1  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
Rom 1:2  (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
Rom 1:3  Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Rom 1:4  And declared {ὁρίζω ‘horizō’} to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

ὁρίζω ‘horizō’ is the source of the English word ‘horizon.’

G3724
ὁρίζω
horizō
Thayer Definition:
1) to define
1a) to mark out the boundaries or limits (of any place or thing)
1b1) that which has been determined, acc. to appointment, decree
1b2) to ordain, determine, appoint
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G3725

Murdock Aramaic Translation

Rom 1:4  and was made known as the Son of God, by power, and by the Holy Spirit,) who arose from the dead, Jesus Messiah, our Lord,



ואתידע  ‘vayteedah’ corresponds to the Hebrew ידע ‘yada’ – “to make known.”  The purpose of Easter is to declare, to make known, Jesus Christ through proclaiming His resurrection from the dead.

 

Easter & Passover

Easter comes forth from Passover which is פסח ‘pesach’ in Hebrew and Πάσχα ‘Pascha’ in Greek.  The Holy Scriptures declare that Jesus Christ is our Passover.

1Co 5:7  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover {πασχα ‘pascha’} is sacrificed for us:

1Co 5:7  εκκαθαρατε ουν την παλαιαν ζυμην ινα ητε νεον φυραμα καθως εστε αζυμοι και γαρ το πασχα ημων υπερ ημων εθυθη χριστος

Latin Vulgate

1Co 5:7  expurgate vetus fermentum ut sitis nova consparsio sicut estis azymi etenim pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus

Wycliffe
1Co 5:7 Clense ye out the old sourdow, that ye be new sprengyng togidere, as ye ben therf. For Crist offrid is oure pask.

Tyndale
1Co 5:6  Pourge therfore the olde leven that ye maye be newe dowe as ye are swete breed. For Christ oure esterlambe {πάσχα ‘pascha’} is offered vp for vs.

In many languages of the world today, the Easter – Pascha connection is still seen.  In Spanish, Easter is Pascua, in Italian and Catalan Pasqua, in Portuguese Páscoa and in Romanian Paşti.
The names for Easter in various languages

In most of the remaining languages in countries with a Christian heritage, the name for Easter is derived from “Pesach” (“פסחא” in Hebrew) the name for Passover:  These include:

Afrikaans: Paasfees
Albanian: Pashkët
Amharic: (Fasika)
Arabic: عيد الفصح (Aīd ul-Figh)
Azeri Pasxa: Fish (pronounced fis`h)
Berber: tafaska (nowadays it is the name of the Muslim “Festival of sacrifice”)
Catalan: Pasqua
Danish: Pهke
Dutch: Pasen or paasfeest
Esperanto: Pasko
Faroese: Pلkir (plural, no singular exists)
Finnish: Pننsiنnen
French: Pâues
Greek: ذـَ÷ل (Pascha)
Hebrew: פסחא (Pascha)
Icelandic: Pلkar
Indonesian: Paskah
Irish: Cلisc
Italian: Pasqua
Japanese: Seidai Pasuha, “Holy and Great Pascha”, used by Eastern Orthodox members
Latin: Pascha or Festa Paschalia
Lower Rhine: German Paisken
Malayalam: പെശഹ (Pæsacha/Pæsaha)
Northern Ndebele: Pasika
Norwegian: Påske
Persian: Pas`h
Polish: Pascha
Portuguese: Páscoa
Romanian: Pa؛te
Russian: Пасха (Paskha)
Scottish Gaelic: Casca
Spanish: Pascua
Swedish: Pهsk
Tagalog: (Philippines) Pasko ng Muling Pagkabuhay (literally “the Pasch of the Resurrection”)
Turkish Paskalya
Welsh: Pasg

Based on “Great Day” or “Great Night:” This is used in most Slavic languages:
Bulgarian: Великден (Vىlikdىn’)
Czech: Velikonoce
Latvian Lieldienas (Plural; no singular exists)
Lithuanian Velykos (Plural; no singular exists)
Polish: Wielkanoc
Slovak: Ve¾kل Noc
Slovenian: Velika no
Ukrainian: Вялікдзень (Vjalikdzىn’)

Based on “Resurrection”
Bosnian: Uskrs or Vaskrs (literally “resurrection”)
Chinese: Fùhuَ Jié (literally “Resurrection Festival”)
Croatian: “Uskrs,” meaning ‘Resurrection’.”
Korean: Buhwalchol, literally “Resurrection Festival”
Lakota Woekicetuanpetu (literally “Resurrection Day”)
Serbian Ускрс (Uskrs) or Васкрс (Vaskrs, literally “resurrection”)
Vietnamese Lễ Phục Sinh (literally, “Festival of Resurrection”)

Based on multiple names:
Armenian: Զատիկ (Zatik or Zadik, literally “separation”) or Սուրբ Հարություն (Sourb Haroutiwn, literally “holy resurrection”)
Belarusian: Вялікдзень or (Vialikdzen’, literally “the Great Day”)
Bulgarian: Великден (Velikden, literally “the Great Day”) or Възкресение Христово (Vazkresenie Hristovo, literally “Resurrection of Christ”)
Japanese: Iisutaa, pronunciation of Easter in Japanese katakana or Fukkatsusai, literally “Resurrection Festival”
Macedonian Велигден (Veligden, literally “the Great Day”) or, rarely Воскрес (Voskres, literally “resurrection”)
Ukrainian: Великдень (Velykden) or Паска (Paska)

Other bases:
Estonian: Lihavُtted (literally “meat taking”)
Georgian: აღდგომა (Aĝdgoma, literally “rising”)
Hungarian Hْsvét: (literally “taking, or buying meat”)
Maltese L-Għid il-Kbir (means, “the Great Feast”)
Ossetic куадзوh, means “end of fasting”
Persian عيد پاك (literally “Chaste Feast”)
Tongan (South-pacific) Pekia (literally “death (of a lord)”)

 

Scripture declares that the person that thinks he stands needs to take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).  I take this warning seriously so I am constantly re-examining my understanding of the Word/God’s will.  In recent years I have been applying this re-examining process to my understanding of holidays such as Easter.   In the past I had researched and found many “pagan-connections” to the holiday and as a result left off celebrating and consequently ‘condemned’ the holiday as an abomination to the Lord.  However, in recent years I have found that in my zeal I had thrown out the proverbial ‘baby with the bathwater.’

Many, if not most, of the claims of Easter having “pagan origins” are erroneous.  Some are outright lies, some are half-truths but the result of bearing false witness is still seen. These lies are dividing the body of Christ and are abominable in the eyes of God.

Pro 6:16  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Pro 6:17  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Pro 6:18  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Pro 6:19  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Zeal is linked to leaven….In Greek, the word for leaven is ζυμόω ‘zumoō’ which comes from the root word ζέω ‘zeo’ which means to boil with heat, fervency in the spirit or zeal.  For those who celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, this is important to note.  In my zeal to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread and get rid of the leaven in my life (which I associated with Easter), I was in reality adding more ‘leaven‘ to my life.

We don’t stand by our works or knowledge, we stand only by faith (2 Corinthians 1:24) in the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1) which is given by the grace of God (Romans 5:2). As a result, we are not to judge each other and the perceived failings of each other as we are all servants of God and He is the Master who makes us stand or fall (Romans 14:4).  We are called to bear the infirmities (weakness of mind) of our brothers, edifying them in love as Messiah did (Romans 15:1-7).

If we think we are standing by our works or knowledge and that we are somehow better than our fellow believer because we do something or think something that they don’t, we are walking in pride and we will fall and be humbled (Proverbs 16:18).

Musings – Pride

A lot of believers in Christ Jesus believe in keeping the Biblical feasts which is great….but, if these feasts are being done in a prideful way and the finger of condemnation is being pointed at other believers who don’t keep them because they are not convicted to do so, then these “works” of holy day keeping are an abomination to the Lord because they are being done by one with a prideful heart (Proverbs 16:5; Isaiah 1:14; Amos 5:21) and not out of love for which these feasts/holydays were designed.

Those of who have quit celebrating Easter because they believe they are following God’s will in celebrating Passover/Unleavened Bread must remember that part of getting rid of the leaven in our lives is humbling ourselves and getting rid of the pride in our hearts.

To humble oneself before the Lord is to put on the mind of Messiah, allowing God to work through you according to His will, working out one’s own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:1-16).  Humbling oneself before the Lord is bowing the knee before Him and seeking His will in our lives, not standing over others and demanding they bow the knee to us, submitting to our will (Romans 14:11-13).

Humbling oneself before the Lord leads one to subject oneself to others (1 Peter 5:5-6), seeking to serve them in love (Galatians 5:13-14).  At the Last Supper, Christ said that the world would know we are His disciples by our love (John 13:35).  He did not say they would know us by our understanding of doctrine or celebrating of the feasts/holydays.

When the Lord returns, He will separate the goats and the sheep according to our service in love (Matthew 25:31-46), not on whether or not we celebrated Passover or Easter.  Serving in love is the true path to ‘theology’ or knowing God (Jeremiah 22:16).   Scripture declares that love of one’s fellow man is equated with love of God (1 John 4:11-12, 20-21) and is the fulfillment and purpose of His Word (Matthew 22:39-40; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 6:2).  It does not say love of one’s fellow religious counterpart, but of one’s fellow MAN (Galatians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 3 John 1:11), even our enemies (Luke 6:35).  This love is manifested in service to one another (Galatians 5:13-14; 6:2; John 13:35; 1 John 3:16-19), in particular the poor and weak amongst us.

Unleavened Bread

Leaven

The Biblical feasts were designed to be shadow pictures of the Messiah (Colossians 2:17) who is the manifestation of God’s love (John 3:16). They were yearly rehearsals for God’s people to keep them walking in His cycles of righteousness. The feasts were designed to be outward signs of His Word to the world. The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us, He is the fulfillment/purpose of these sabbaths and feasts.

The Word is the character/name of God (Revelation 19:13; Matthew 12:18-21 – Isaiah 42:1-4; Revelation 14:1; 22:4; Deuteronomy 6:6-8), which is love (1 John 4:8). Built into the feasts/sabbaths is the will of God, the plan of salvation for mankind, not their condemnation (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4).  The message of these feasts/holydays is God’s love, forgiveness and plan of redemption.  They are not designed to portray righteousness of God’s people, they are meant to portray God’s righteousness which comes only through Christ Jesus.  In other words, the feasts were not designed to make believers righteous.  They were designed to be shadows of Christ, who alone is our righteousness.

Rom 3:21  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Musings – Saved by Grace Through Faith

Again, the Biblical Feasts are shadow pictures which are designed to reveal Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 10:1-17).  He is the Image of God (Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; Colossians 1:15-16) who is love (1 John 4:8).  Therefore all of the feasts are designed to reveal the love of God.  From the Spring feasts which reveal the sacrifice of the Lord to redeem mankind to the Fall feasts which reveal the future gathering of the redeemed.  They are all about the love of God for mankind and despite of our wickedness, He still offers the path of reconciliation.  It doesn’t come by our religious works (Ephesians 2:1-10) or our understanding of His will (1 Corinthians 2:16), it comes by our faith in the work of Messiah (Romans 3:25-31; 8:3-3; 10:3-13; Colossians 2:16-17; Matthew 10:32-33; 1 Peter 1:21).

Passover & the Feast of Unleavened Bread is all about this love as they point to the death and resurrection of Messiah Jesus, the manifestation of God’s love (John 3:16).

A lot of religious denominations/movements go down the wrong path when they take their eyes off of Jesus and get focused on other things (even if they are Biblically based).  The focus of celebrating Passover & Unleavened Bread should be on the Messiah (His death and resurrection), the manifestation of God’s love.  The focus shouldn’t be on why those who don’t celebrate Passover/Unleavened Bread are “wicked” as most of these believers are celebrating Easter which is also a proclamation of Messiah’s death and resurrection, revealing the love of God for mankind.

Our celebrations should help the Seed/Word (who is Messiah) grow in our hearts otherwise they are worthless/dung.  The purpose of celebrating the Biblical feasts is all about proclaiming the Name/Character of God to the world.  The purpose is not to puff up those who celebrate those feasts and make them ‘better’ than their brothers who aren’t convicted to do so.

The Hebrew word for dung is פרש ‘parash’ which is the root of the word פרשה ‘parsha’ (as in the Torah parshot/portions) as a פרשה ‘parsha’ is a “spreading” out of an event/Scripture portion as dung is spread in a field.  Scripture alludes to the meeting together of believers whose focus is not on Messiah {ie. the Name/Character of God} (Malachi 2:3) and calls these feasts dung.  The purpose of the feasts/sabbaths is to reveal Messiah (Colossians 2:17), if He is not the focus then these celebrations are dung which He won’t “smell” (Amos 5:21; Isaiah 1:13-14).

If our meetings on the feasts/sabbaths are not done bringing forth God’s image of love…they are worthless, they are dung (Malachi 2:2-3).  If our interpretations and discussions of the Word don’t draw one closer to Messiah (the Word made flesh) then they are fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil which is the origin of idolatry.  Interestingly, in Deuteronomy 29:17, the word idol has a footnote in the 1611 Authorized Versions (KJV) of “dungy gods”. This is because the word in Hebrew is גללול ‘gillul’ which is speaking of dung. Perhaps this is why in 2 Kings 10:27 we see the house of Baal being made into a “draught house” by Jehu.

Further connecting this dung-idolatry-tree of knowledge concept is the Hebrew word צפוע ‘tsephua’ which means dung. The root of this word is צפע ‘tsepha’ which is translated as ‘cockatrice/adder’ in Scripture as the tongue “issues” out of the mouth of a serpent as dung “issues” out via excretion. In the beginning the “issue” out of the mouth of the serpent was to lead man away from their Creator, who is Messiah (Ephesians 3:9; 1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:12-17; Hebrews 1:1-12). When we meet to celebrate are we bringing forth the poison of the serpent (Psalm 58:3-4; 140:3; Romans 3:13; James 3:8) or are we issuing forth the life giving oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11)?

1Pe 4:11  If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

When we meet to discuss the Scriptures are we using the Word to bring forth accusations and condemnations of our fellow man or are we using the Word to edify one another, speaking the truth in love?  Are we meeting together to divide His house or are we meeting together to stand in His grace, mercy and forgiveness?

Musings – United We Stand Divided We Fall

The Lord Jesus warned believers of those who did not bring forth fruit after their “field” was given dung that their “tree” would be cut down (Luke 13:8-9). The “vineyard” that rejects Messiah Jesus and does not bring forth the fruit of His Word/Spirit will be destroyed (Matthew 21:33-43). This was also the warning of John the Baptist (Luke 3:8-9) {“Elijah message“}.  Yet, if we seek His Face at all times (1 Chronicles 16:11) we will see Jesus (Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6) and we will not be unfruitful (2 Peter 1:4-9).

Musings – Seek His Face & The Golden Rule

When we gather together in holy convocations {קדשׁ  מקראי ‘miqrey qodesh}, the purpose is to declare His Word (Messiah Jesus) to the world.  The word מקראי ‘miqrey’ comes from the root קרא ‘qara’ which means to call out or proclaim the Word….to bring forth His image of love to the world.   These concepts are linked together as the name of God is His Word (Revelation 19:13; Matthew 12:18-21 – Isaiah 42:1-4; Revelation 14:1; 22:4; Deuteronomy 6:6-8).

The Word of God is His “physical manifestation” on earth.  When God “qara’d” He physically manifested Himself, and proclaimed who/what He is.  This is what the reading of the Word does.  The Word proclaims the Name of the Holy One, as it is said in Revelation 19:13, His Name (שם ‘shem’- character) is the Word.  This is what the purpose of the feasts is, to proclaim the name of the Most High.

Calling on His Name brings salvation and is associated with the physical manifestation of the Most High (Matthew 26:53; Jeremiah 29:10-14; Psalm 91:14-16; 86:7-9; 50:15, 23; 18:3; 55:16; Romans 10:12; Acts 2:21; 22:14-16; Joel 2:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2).  Jesus is THE image of God  (Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; Colossians 1:15-16) who is love (1 John 4:8).  He revealed God’s name/character to mankind (John 17:6).

Joh 17:6  I revealed Your name to the men whom You gave to Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me; and they have kept Your Word.

Both Passover & Easter are designed to proclaim the name of God.  This is not to say that all of the customs associated with these celebrations are perfect but the message of the death and resurrection of Messiah is.

The Word of God was committed to Israel, who was called to bring forth God’s glory/love to the world.  Instead, Israel fell into idolatry and was cast into the nations.  Judah was cast into Babylon but by God’s grace was allowed to return to the land with another opportunity to bring forth God’s message of love to the nations.  Instead, Judah chose to form a religion which corrupted the message of God’s Word and instead of man being formed into His image, they were to be formed into the image of Judaism.

Today, most Christians celebrate Easter but have mixed in some customs which are similar in nature to the idolatry which ancient Israel fell into.  Today, more and more Christians are returning to celebrating a form of Passover, but sadly, are falling into the same trap of ‘Phariseeism’ that Judah did in 2nd Temple times.  Both sides need to repent and seek to glorify God in their celebrations, not continue to feed their carnal natures whether that be focusing on chocolate Easter bunnies as opposed to Christ or the pride and elitism found in those who think they are “better” because they don’t do such things.

The fruit which Israel was called to produce was the ‘goodly’ fruit of His Word (Jeremiah 11:16).  However, Israel did not produce this fruit but brought forth wicked fruit (Jeremiah 24:2-8).  As a result, God brought fire upon this olive tree, breaking the branches thereof (Jeremiah 11:16-17).

The Hebrew word for ‘goodly’ in Jeremiah 11:16 is תאר ‘toar’ which means a shape, form, outline or figure of a thing.   תאר ‘toar’ is a cognate of the word תורה ‘torah’ which literally means instruction which defines the border of a people or the ‘image’ of a people. תורה ‘torah’ is most commonly translated as ‘law.’  Here we see that Israel was to produce the fruit of His Law which would bring forth His image to the world.  His Image is that of love (1John 4:8, 16; Matthew 22:35-40).

Israel did not bring forth this image of love (Luke 7:36-47; 10:27-37; 18:9-14).  Although they were zealous for the law (Acts 21:20; 22:3), in their zealousness they corrupted its true meaning (Romans 10:2). They were outwardly religious, yet inwardly full of wickedness (Luke 11:39; 16:15; 20:47; Matthew 6:2-5, 16; 23:5, 25-27). They separated themselves from the peoples of the world, declaring anyone who didn’t worship God according to their traditions was an unclean heathen (John 4:9; 8:48; Acts 10:28).  Recall that zealousness is linked to leaven.

By their traditions they had put up a dividing wall between themselves and others (Acts 21:28; Ephesians 2:14-15), preventing them from drawing nearer to God (Luke 11:52) as Israel was the custodians of His Word (Romans 3:2; John 4:22) which reveals His nature to mankind.  It was their traditions which corrupted the Word of God (Matthew 15:2-9; Mark 7:3-13; Colossians 2:8) and perverted the message of His love to mankind, which led Jesus Christ to declare them as lawless (Matthew 23:28; John 7:19).  It is because of this lack of love (Matthew 5:22; John 15:25) that the Lord was sent to Israel to separate the good trees from the bad (Malachi 3:2-3; 4:1; Matthew 3:10-12; Luke 3:9; John 15:2).

The inheritance was taken away from the bad trees and given to a nation that would produce the fruit of love which the Lord desires (Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; 1 Peter 2:4-9; Galatians 3:1-29).   Believers in Messiah became a ‘reformed’ Olive tree and were given the call to abide in Him (Hebrews 3:1-6), being formed into His image (Philippians 3:14-15; Ephesians 1:1-6; 1:17-23), bearing forth His fruit (2 Peter 1:5-9), called to bring forth God’s Gospel of love to the world (2 Timothy 1:9-11), revealing His image (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).

The Greek word for ‘calling is κλῆσις ‘klēsis’ which is used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word קרא ‘qara’ which, as mentioned above, is associated with manifesting God’s name/image on earth.

Will we fall into the same trap of 2nd Temple Jews and become fruitless/barren, walking in the letter of the law that brings death to the world, or will we walk in the Name/character of Messiah…bringing forth His love and salvation to the world?

easter shadow 3

Just as with Christmas and New Years, Easter  has some customs  which we are similar to customs of the heathen which Scripture warns us not to partake of (Jeremiah 10:2).  However, tracing these customs back to their source reveals they are founded upon the Truth of the Word, albeit some in a corrupted form.  In this study, I hope to share how the numerous “non-Biblical” elements of Easter are shadows which point to Christ Jesus.

Shadows of Messiah are seen in all creation which includes man and his holidays.  Man was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).  Hence, more than any other part of creation, shadow pictures of Messiah are seen in relation to mankind.  One aspect of man is his religions and religious ceremonies and holidays.

 

All holidays have some truth which is a gift of grace to all of mankind to draw us back to the Most High (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4; 4:10), for He is the God of all.

 

The LORD our God uses the natural world to teach us spiritual principles.  This is why Passover & Easter are celebrated in the Spring where the earth comes back to life after the ‘death’ of winter.  The heathens perverted this truth, just as they have perverted many truths of Scripture.

 

If one takes a cursory glance of the myths of the heathen it appears as if the ancient pagans believed in fairy tales and were simpletons whom modern man can scoff and mock.  However, the more one looks into their beliefs the more one sees that their religion was based on the truth that the Holy Scriptures teach but became perverted throughout time and by the carnal mind.  The perversions of the truth seen in the mystery religions trace back to the Truth of the Word.  Whether you were born in modern times with the celebration of Easter being celebrated throughout the world or in ancient times where spring fertility rites and myths of dying and rising savior figures, all mankind has had the opportunity to see the concept of the death and resurrection of Messiah Jesus.

The LORD our God allowed this so that people would be able to come to the truth no matter what culture they grew up in {Deuteronomy 4:10}.  It is written in the heavens, it is seen in the cycles of the earth, it is written in the cellular structure of our bodies…all things point to the Messiah.

 

communion

In Catholic belief, the mass originates from the Last Supper held between Messiah and His disciples which is said to have occurred on Good Friday.  In reality, this was a Passover meal but it is interesting to note that the word ‘mass’ traces back to the Hebrew word מצה ‘matsa’ which means unleavened bread.

The mass is called the Eucharist which comes from the Greek word εὐχαριστία ‘eucharistia’ which means to give thanks.  This is linked to the Lamb.

Rev 7:9  After these things I saw, and behold, a great crowd which no one was able to number them, out of every nation, even tribes and peoples and tongues, standing in front of the throne, and before the Lamb, having been clothed with white robes, and in their hands palm branches.
Rev 7:10  And they cry with a great voice, saying, Salvation to our God sitting on the throne, and to the Lamb.
Rev 7:11  And all the angels and of the elders and of the four living creatures stood around the throne. And they fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God,
Rev 7:12  saying, Amen. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength to our God forever and ever. Amen.

 

The word ἀρνίον ‘arnion’ (lamb) is used 30 times in Scripture.  This corresponds to the letter ל ‘lamed’ in Hebrew which speaking of the goad or staff of the Shepherd.  ל ‘lamed’ is also the 12th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, linking to the twelve tribes of Israel, His flock.

 

It is interesting to note that the original name of the letter was לם ‘lam’ which is also speaking of the relationship between a Shepherd and His sheep.  It is no surprise that the origin of the English word ‘lamb’ would then come from this Hebrew word.  The word למד ‘lamed’ comes from this root and means to teach or make disciples.

 

The Hebrew word יהודה ‘yehudah’ or Jew also has the numerical value of 30.

 

Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew that is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that outwardly in flesh;
Rom 2:29  but he is a Jew that is one inwardly, and circumcision is of heart, in spirit, not in letter; of whom the praise is not from men, but from God.

 

יהודה ‘yehudah’ comes from the Hebrew root ידה ‘yadah’ which means to raise the hands in confession, giving thanks or praise.

 

1Jn 4:2  By this know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.

 

1Jn 4:15  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

 

In Greek ‘confession’ comes from the word  means ὁμολογέω ‘homologeō’ which literally means ‘joined to the Word.’  To ‘cleave’ to Him.  One of the Hebrew words for flock is דבר ‘davar’ which also means ‘word’ in Hebrew.  This is speaking of the ordering of the sheep by the Shepherd (Micah 2:12).

 

Going back to the mass, מצה ‘matsa’ connection.  Recall, the mass is called the Eucharist.  The eucharist is also known as ‘communion.’  The word communion in Greek is κοινωνία ‘koinōnia’ which means fellowship or union.  Unity comes only through Christ and the New Covenant in Him (Psalm 50:5; Isaiah 49:3-9; Hebrews 2:11; 13:20-21; Jeremiah 50:5; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 1:20; 2:1-11) and walking with Him (1 John 1:3-7).

 

1Co 10:16  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion {κοινωνία ‘koinōnia’} of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
1Co 10:17  For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

 

The Hebrew counterpart of κοινωνία ‘koinonia’ is the word חבר ‘chabar’ which is the word used for the joining together of the Tabernacle.  Communion then is the fellowship that believers have which makes them one.  חבר ‘chabar’ has the meaning of something that is bound together.  Even more interesting is that the word for stripes is חבורה  ‘chaburah,’ as in the stripes on מצה ‘matsa’ and on back of Messiah comes from this root חבר ‘chabar.’

 

Isa 53:5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes {חבורה  ‘chaburah’} we are healed.

 

 

Php 2:1  If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship {κοινωνία ‘koinōnia’} of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Php 2:2  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

 

Luk 24:30  And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
Luk 24:35  And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

 

Joh 17:21  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Joh 17:22  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Joh 17:23  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

 

Communion/unity comes through the New Covenant in Messiah and unites those who celebrate Passover with those who celebrate Easter if both sides are doing these things in ‘remembrance’ of Him (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25).

Musings – Easter & Passover

As believers, the main objective in our walks is to grow in maturity as a body until the days that we meet the Lord at His return.  This maturation or perfecting process is intimately linked to unity.  In fact, the main goal of unity is the preparation unto perfection of the bride of Christ to meet the Bridegroom (Matthew 5:48; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 13:9-13; Ephesians 4:11-13; Philippians 3:14-15; Colossians 1:28; 3:14; 4:12; Romans 10:4; Psalm 119:1; Luke 1:17; Revelation 19:7-8; Ephesians 5:25-27).  This is done through love (Colossians 3:14; 1 Corinthians 13:9-13; Romans 13:10; 1 John 4:10, 12, 16; 5:3).

 

The primary theme of Easter is resurrection and life which point to Christ.  This is seen in the etymology and symbology of Easter, easter eggs and rabbits etc.

 

The East

 

 

Some believe Easter comes from the word ‘Eostre’ which is believed to have been the name of the goddess of the rising sun in the Spring.  This claim has very little legitimacy but the connection between “Easter” and the “east” is valid.

The etymology of the word Easter points to the the sun rising in the East which is a picture of the resurrection of Christ.

Easter has connections to the German language.  Some even call German the “Mother Tongue” of English.  The German word for “Easter” is “Ostern” which goes back to the German words ‘Osten’/’Ost’ which mean “east”.   ‘Oster’ comes from the old Teutonic form of ‘auferstehen/auferstehung,’ which mean resurrection, which in the older Teutonic form comes from two words, ‘Ester’ meaning first, and ‘stehen’ meaning to stand.  These two words combine to form ‘erstehen’ which is an old German form of ‘auferstehen,’ the modern day German word for resurrection.

Douglas Harper (The Online Etymology Dictionary) connects Easter to the Proto-Germanic word is ‘austron’ which means the dawn or to shine.  The root of ‘austron’ is ‘aust’ which means East.  The English word ‘east’ connects back to this same word ‘aust.’  Going back further is the Latin word for dawn which is ‘aurora’ and the Greek word αὔριον ‘aurion’ which means morning.  All of these words trace back to the Hebrew word אור ‘ohr’ which means light.

The English word ‘east’ also traces back to the Hebrew word אש ‘esh’ which means fire or a strong pressing.  It is in the East that the sun (fire) rises each day which is a picture of the resurrection.

Others believe Easter traces back to the goddess Ishtar.  This claim has even less legitimacy but for the purpose of understanding we will look at the name Ishtar.

Ishtar comes from the Hebrew word עשתרת ‘ashtaroth’ which means a star from the word עשתרה ‘ashterah’ which means a flock.  These two concepts are connected.  If one looks at the names of the pagan gods one will find they almost always connect back to concrete meanings found in the Hebrew language.

Lamb Star connection

Psa 8:1  To the chief musician, on the harp. A Psalm of David. O Jehovah, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth; You have set Your glory above (על ‘al’ – above/on/upon) the heavens!

His Glory is seen in the heavens…What is the Glory of the LORD?  The Lamb of God (Revelation 21:23).  The Hebrew word for Glory is כבוד ‘kavod’ which comes from the root כב ‘kab’ which means a star:


עשתרה ‘ashterah’ also traces back to the root אש ‘esh’ which means fire as mentioned above and is the source of the English word East.

 

April

 

The entire month of April was formerly called “easter-monadh.”  The English word ‘April’ comes from the Latin ‘mensis Aprilis’ which means month of Venus.  In Old English the month was called ‘Eastermonao’ which means Easter month.  From the Old French ‘avril’ which traces back to the Latin ‘Aprilis’ which means Venus.

 

The Hebrew word for Venus is נגה ‘nagah ‘which means to shine and is the source of the Latin word ‘ignis’ which means to ignite or fire, which connects to the East.  The word ‘East’ comes from the Hebrew word אש ‘esh’  which means fire.  Venus is known as the morning star from its appearing in the eastern sky just before sunrise.

 

Each day when the sun rises it is a picture of the resurrection (Malachi 4:2). In Hebrew the word for dawn is שחר ‘shachar’ from the root שח ‘shach’ which means the pit.  When the sun sets it is a picture of death/going into the pit, when it arises it is a picture of resurrection.

 

Venus is the bright and morning star.

 

Isaac Mozeson traces the etymology of Venus back to the Hebrew word לבן ‘lavan’ which means white or shining.  White is associated with beauty and pureness as well as the resurrection of the righteous.  לבן ‘lavan’  is also the Hebrew word for the moon.  It is no surprise then that Venus is pictured with moon iconography.

 

Who is the true bright and morning star?  Christ Jesus.

 

Rev 22:16  I, Jesus, sent My angel to testify these things to you over the assemblies. I am the Root and Offspring of David, the bright and morning Star.

 

The Greek word for morning is ὀρθρινός ‘orthrinos’ which is used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word שכם ‘shakam’ which means the shoulder, but also to arise early (Genesis 22:3).   This word is linked to the resurrection.

The Hebrew word for shoulder is שכם ‘shekhem’ is linked to the resurrection as the word literally means to rise early and place a load on the shoulders in order to depart.

 

Isa 22:22  And the key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder, so that he opens, and no one shuts; and he shuts, and no one opens.

Rev 3:7  And to the angel of the assembly in Philadelphia, write: These things says the Holy One, the True One, the One having “the key of David,” “the One opening, and no one shuts; and shuts, and no one opens:” Isa. 22:22

 

Luk 1:78  Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

Luk 1:79  To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Luk 1:80  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

 

In Luke 1:78 the dayspring/daystar is translated from the Greek word ἀνατολή ‘anatolē’which also is translated as East (Matthew 2:1-2,9; 8:11; 24:24; Luke 13:29; Revelation 7:2; 21:12-13).

 

ἀνατολή ‘anatolē’ is also used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew words מזרח ‘mizrach’ and קדם ‘qedem’ which mean the rising sun in the East as well as נגה ‘nogah’ which means shining and also is the Hebrew word for Venus.  Interestingly, ἀνατολή  is also used to translate the Hebrew word צמח ‘tsemach’ which means a branch, used specifically in reference to Messiah.

 

It is interesting to note that the BRANCH is used 5 times in Scripture {Isaiah 4:2; Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15-16; Zechariah 3:8-10; 6:12-13}.  Venus is linked to the number five as its rotation through the skies makes a pentagon shape.  From a fixed location over an eight year period (8 is the number of resurrection), the planet Venus travels a unique celestial pathway that exactly portrays a pentagram.

 

“As the orbi of Venus is closer to the sun than the earth’s position, she is never seen more than 48 degrees from the sun.  During a period of 247 days, Venus is visible as the Evening star that is, withing 48 degrees or less of the sun after the sun has set.  Then Venus comes too close to the sun for us to see her.  She remains invisible for 14 days, then reappears as the Morning star (or Eastern star) immediately before the sun rises in the east….Only Venus possesses the five-pointed star sign.”  {Carl Ljungman- Dictionary of Symbols}

 

Astronomy Explained Upon Sir Isaac Newton’s Principles – James Ferguson

 

The pentagram mathematically depicts the Fibonacci pattern which is intimately linked with life.

The Greek word for five is πέντε ‘pente’ from whence comes the word pentagram.  The pentagram mathematically depicts the Fibonacci pattern.

 

Take a pentagon with 5 equal sides and connect all the points to form a 5-pointed star.  The ratios of the lengths of the resulting line segments are all based on phi.

 

 

5 is the 5th Fibonacci number

5 is also the 5th of the Fibonacci numbers, including 0, 1, 2, 3, and 5.

5 appears in the human body, which has proportions based on phi

Another interesting aspect of phi and five is in relation to the design of the human body, which in addition to being based on phi relationships in its proportions, has:

* 5 appendages from the torso, in the two arms, two legs and a head,

* 5 appendages on each of legs and arms in the five fingers and five toes,

* 5 openings on the face, and

* 5 senses in sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.

 

The Gospel is connected with flesh. Where is the first reference to flesh? The union of Adam and Eve…a picture of Jesus and His Bride becoming one is  the fulfillment of the Good News.

 

Gen 2:21  And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh underneath.

Gen 2:22  And Jehovah God formed the rib which He had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man.

Gen 2:23  And the man said, This now at last is bone from my bones, and flesh from my flesh. For this shall be called Woman, because this has been taken out of man.

Gen 2:24  Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh

Eph 5:30  For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.

Eph 5:31  “For this, a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.” Gen. 2:24

 

Eph 5:32  The mystery is great, but I speak as to Christ and as to the assembly.

 

The rib of Adam from whence his bride came out is linked to the number 5 which connects to the 5th day of creation and life.

 

חמשׁ ‘chamesh’ is used to translate multiple terms in Hebrew.  It is used for the number five/fifty, the hand, to be armed and the side of the body (fifth rib).

 

The ‘fifth rib’

 

H2570

חמשׁ

chômesh

 

This word is used in the following verses: 2Samuel 2:23; 3:27; 4:6; 20:10

 

Messiah was wounded in the side (‘the fifth rib’).

 

Joh 19:34  But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a lance, and at once blood and water came out.

 

Adam’s bride came forth from his rib/side (Genesis 2:22) which is a picture of Messiah’s bride ‘coming forth’ when He offered Himself as an atonement to bring us back to God.  Interestingly, the year of Jubilee, which occurs every 50 (חמשים ‘chamashim’) years (Leviticus 25:10-13) began on the Day of Atonement.  The great trumpet (Isaiah 27:13) will be blown and those resurrected in the 1st resurrection will receive their inheritance in the land.  This is interesting because the shofar is in the Fibonacci sequence which the pattern the Most High uses in His creation of life.  The Fibonacci sequence is encoded with the number 5.

 

“For millennia, people have enjoyed the sight of the “evening star” shining brightly in the western sky shortly after sunset. Outshining all other stars, this remarkable beacon seems to brighten to unbelievable glory as twilight fades to night. It rises higher night after night and then stops and begins to sink lower each evening until it vanishes below the horizon. Sometime later, it reappears just before sunrise in the eastern sky as the bright “morning star.” {The Solar System: Venus – Jason Lisle}

 

The word for ‘spiral’ (as in Fibonacci spiral) traces back to the Latin word ‘spira’ which means a spiral or coil which comes from the Greek word ‘speira’ which traces further back to the Hebrew word צפירה ‘tsephiyrah’ which has the meaning of the morning sunrise as well as the turning of a wreath. צפירה ‘tsephiyrah’ comes from the root word צפר ‘tsaphar’ which means a bird, in particular the song of the birds in the morning.

 

There are numerous words in Hebrew for birds and the different types thereof, the most common is צפר ‘tsaphar’ which is referring to the early morning appearance of birds.

 

Morning is a time of praise (הלל ‘halel’). This is interesting to note as Scripture speaks of Venus as Helel {הילל ‘Heylel’} the “son of the morning” {שחר ‘shachar’}.

 

This word הילל ‘Heylel’ is translated as ‘lucifer’ in the Latin Vulgate. The only other place ‘lucifer’ is seen in the Vulgate is in 2 Peter 1:19, speaking of the day star, the Messiah.  Lucifer has become synonymous with satan as a counterfeiter which is seen in the Mystery religion symbology of the planet Venus and pentagram symbol.

 

2Pe_1:19 et habemus firmiorem propheticum sermonem cui bene facitis adtendentes quasi lucernae lucenti in caliginoso loco donec dies inlucescat et lucifer oriatur in cordibus vestris

 

בן שחר ‘ben shachar’ – son of the morning

 

Psa 108:2  Awake, harp and lyre! I will awake early {שחר ‘shachar’– dawn}

 

This is the period of time that the sun is at the horizon, the time when birds sing their songs of praise to their Creator. At evening, when the sun is at the horizon again, the birds sing their songs as well.

 

 

Psa 65:8  They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.

 

The morning and evening is a period of time when light and darkness are separating. This points back to Genesis 1:2-5. It is no surprise then that birds are intimately linked to this time. The Spirit of God hovering over the waters in the beginning is likened to a bird hovering over her brood.  The Spirit of God hovering over the waters is also connected to the Voice of God over the waters which brought forth light from darkness. It is interesting to note that the numerical value of “voice of God” {קול יהוה ‘qol Yahweh’} is 182, which is the mathematical value of the Fibonacci pattern.

 

The English word ‘sound,’ which began at this time, comes from the Old English word ‘swan’ meaning a sounding bird.

 

Morning and evening our Creator is calling us to Him.  Calling us to the shadow of His wings.  Calling us back to Him through the Messiah under His outstretched arms.

 

The meaning of ὁρίζω ‘horizo’ is linked with the above definition of ‘mark.’  It means to mark out a boundary.  The English word horizon comes from this Greek word.

 

This word obviously links to the sun as it is the horizon where the sun rises and sets.  It further linked to ‘predestination’ as we are chosen before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).  In Hebrew this is the concept of עלם ‘olam’ which is usually translated as forever or eternity but in concrete thought means ‘beyond the horizon.’

 

The word for time in Hebrew, עת ‘et,’ means to ‘see the mark.’

 

What is this ‘mark’?  It is the sun setting (death) and rising (resurrection) above the horizon.

It is no surprise then that the pentagram symbol is linked to the mark of the beast.

 

Easter Eggs

The origins of Christianity and the original customs thereof come not from pagans. They come from the Holy Bible and ancient Hebrew thought.

Easter comes not from pagan worship but from ancient Jewish thought and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures by the early Church.  The claims that Easter is founded in paganism are based upon either outright lies or applying pagan parallels which can be done to virtually everything in the Scriptures, including the Old Testament.  Many are well-meaning in their desire to discard “pagan” elements of Christianity but in so doing are inadvertently attacking the entire Christian faith and the Holy Bible at the same time.

On one side, Easter eggs and bunnies can be linked to pagans as these things (rabbits & eggs) were symbolically used in various ways by various cultures but on the other side they can be traced back to the Bible and shadows of Messiah embedded in nature.  In order to see how these things became incorporated into the ancient celebration of Easter one must look at the writings (source documents) of the Church.  We cannot assume that these customs were adopted by Christians from their pagan neighbors if there is not legitimate evidence (multiple witnesses – Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19) of this.

If we are convicted not to celebrate Christian holidays or participate in customs such as Easter eggs we shouldn’t condemn our brothers in Messiah who do so as “pagans” when there isn’t good evidence that the origin of these customs come from paganism. We should receive them as brothers as God does as Romans 14 talks about. If they are doing it unto the Lord then they are glorifying Him and we shouldn’t speak against them and slander them (Psalm 59:19-23).

It’s up to each one of us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12), being fully persuaded in our own minds (Romans 14:5-6), seeking to not put a stumbling block before our brothers (Romans 14:13-14). We are all going to stand before the judgment seat of Christ and He will judge whether or not someone was doing a custom unto Him or not (Romans 14:10).
Let each person be convinced in his or her own mind and follow the Lord wholeheartedly in that conviction (Romans 14:5-6). We all have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling so we ought not to point the finger of condemnation at others as each one of us falls or stands according to the Lord, not man (Romans 14:4).  Regardless of what ‘side’ one chooses, we are to receive each other as the Lord has received us (Romans 14:1-4), bearing one another in love (Romans 15:1-3; 1 Corinthians 13:7).

Pagan origin of Easter eggs?

“We have no record of any pagan worshipping “Ostara/Eostre.” We have no record of any rituals associated with her, and that includes no rituals that make use of rabbits and eggs, contrary to what some of the anti-Easter crowd say.”

“Eggs were traditions among the Orthodox since who knows when and weren’t introduced in the Latin west perhaps until after 1,000 A.D. They don’t even factor in. Even if they were pagan fertility symbols to remote cultures, we have no evidence these things came from the Germans, or that they were adopted into Christianity from pagans.”  {Easter is Pagan And Other Fables – J.P. Holding: Tekton Apologetics Ministries}

Great Lent and Holy Week

“There’s no historical evidence that coloring Easter eggs comes from the blood of sacrificed infants, that is a “myth” of Alexander Hislop. However, there is ancient tradition as to how this custom originated.”

“Many popular Easter customs originated in the Christian East.

The coloring of “Easter eggs” originated from the pious legend that Mary Magdala was bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Christ – This remains the tradition among observant Jews even in our own time – When Mary Magdala saw the Lord, the eggs in her basket turned brilliant red. Thus, the true meaning of dyeing Easter eggs is to show forth the miraculous transformation and re-creation of the whole world by the victorious resurrection of Christ.

The origin of the “Easter basket” The faithful, having fasted and abstained from meats, eggs, and dairy products throughout all of Great Lent, would bring baskets of these festive foods to church on Easter Sunday. There the priests would bless the baskets after Divine liturgy and the people would share their foods with one another and the poor in a true “break-fast.”

Even Spring cleaning is found in the tradition of the Eastern Churches. During the great week before Pascha the faithful would clean their homes with special care and attention so that no imperfection however slight would mar the purity of the Resurrection. In Eastern Europe all the contents of the house would be brought outside and the building would be scrubbed from top to bottom inside and out.”

The Orthodox Christian Tradition of Exchanging Red Eggs at Pascha

“It is an ancient Orthodox Christian tradition to have red eggs at Pascha. Many people are surprised to find out that this tradition dates to the Apostolic era. The custom of presenting each other with a red egg at Pascha reflects an interchange between Mary Magdalene and Tiberius Caesar.

After the resurrection, Mary Magdalene became a strong witness and traveling preacher of the Gospel, and for this she is referred to as an “equal to the Apostles.”

Her travels eventually took Mary Magdalene to Rome, where because of her family’s standing she was able to obtain an audience with the Roman Emperor, Tiberius Caesar. Her purpose was to protest to him that his governor in Judea, Pontius Pilate, and the two high priests, Annas and Caiaphas, had conspired and executed an innocent man, namely our Lord Jesus Christ.

She presented him with a red egg (representing the stone which had been rolled away), saying: “Christ is risen!” She told Caesar of Pilate’s injustice toward Jesus. He responded by moving Pilate to Gaul, where he died under imperial displeasure after a prolonged illness. She then assisted St. John the Theologian in Ephesus. She preached boldly the gospel of the Risen Lord whom she loved.

According to the tradition, everyone visiting the Emperor was supposed to bring him a gift. Rich and influential people, of course, brought expensive gifts whereas the poor offered whatever they could afford. Mary Magdalene took an egg to the Emperor’s palace and handed it to Tiberius Caesar with the greeting: “Christ is risen!”

Tiberius Caesar, naturally, could not believe what he heard and responded to her: “How could anyone ever rise from the dead? It is as impossible as that white egg to turn red.” While Tiberius was speaking these words, the egg in the hand of Mary Magdalene began changing color until it finally became bright red.

Thus the Pascha greeting — in universal Christendom, both East and West — has ever since remained “Christ is risen!” and it became traditional for Christians throughout the world to color eggs in red.

Mary Magdalene then went on to explain to Tiberius Caesar that the now-red egg symbolized life rising from a sealed chamber, a symbol that would have been understandable to a pagan Roman.”

The Hebrew word for egg is ביצה ‘beytsah’ which comes from the root בץ ‘bets’ meaning mud.

Mud is mixture of water and earth, pointing back to Genesis 1:9-13 and the earth ‘rising’ out of the waters which is a picture of the resurrection.

 

The dividing of water and dirt and it’s connection to the resurrection is also seen in mud.

 

 

Deliverance is linked to being pulled up out of the mire.

 

Psa 40:2  And He drew me up from the pit of tumult, out of the miry clay; He lifted my feet on a rock; He directed my steps.

 

Interestingly, one of the Hebrew words for fine linen (Revelation 19:8, 14) comes from this root.

 

 

White/resurrection connection

egg white

Job 6:6  Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?

 

The word here for white is ריר ‘riyr’ which means the flowing of a liquid as in the yolk of an egg.

The word for egg  in Job 6:6 is חלמות ‘chalamut’ which comes from the root חלם ‘chalam’ which means to dream from the parent root חל ‘chal’ which means to pass through or change.  This is what the purpose of the egg is, a transitional home for the chick.

 

White is the color of resurrection

 

The garments designed for the priests were a shadow picture of the resurrected believers who are clothed in white, likened unto snow.  Being clothed with His righteousness is linked with the earth springing forth plants.

 

Isa 61:10  Rejoicing I will rejoice in Jehovah. My soul shall be joyful in my God. For He clothed me with garments of salvation; He put on me the robe of righteousness, even as a bridegroom dons as a priest his head-dress, and as a bride wears her ornaments.

Isa 61:11  For as the earth comes out with her buds, and as a garden causes that which is sown to grow, so the Lord Jehovah will make righteousness and praise to grow before all the nations.

Psa 132:9  Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Your saints shout for joy.

Psa 132:16  And I will clothe her priests with salvation; and her saints shall surely shout.

 

The fine linen that the priests wore (Exodus 28:5, 8, 15 etc.) is from the following Hebrew word {שש ‘shesh’} which means white & the number 6:

 

The garments of the priest were worn to display that iniquity was not upon them (Exodus 28:43).  The white linen is the righteousness of the saints (Revelation 19:7-9).  What is Righteousness?  It is the Word/Messiah.

It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word for winter, חרף ‘charaph,’ comes from the same root as egg (חלמות ‘chalamut’), חל ‘chal.’   The egg is linked to Spring, which is a picture of passing from death to life.  Winter is a picture of death, Spring a picture of life & resurrection.

egg coloring

Coloring an egg is a picture of death & resurrection.   Baptism is a picture of a woman taking linen and dipping it into a colored dye where the linen or cloth becomes that new color after being dipped into the water.  Baptism is the act of dipping something into water so that it becomes new.

 

H2881

טבל

ṭâbal

BDB Definition:

1) to dip, dip into, plunge

1a) (Qal)

1a1) to dip in or into

1a2) to dip oneself

1b) (Niphal) to be dipped

Part of Speech: verb

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: a primitive root 

 

Interestingly, the word for color in Hebrew is צבע ‘tseva,’ which has a similar meaning as טבל ‘tebel.’  צבע ‘tseva’ means to dip the finger (especially in blood) to color something.

 

צבע ‘tseva’ (color) and טבל ‘tebel’ (baptism/dipping) are connected through the idea of “dyeing” something as both have this meaning.  It is interesting to note that חמץ ‘chamets’ is translated as “dye” in the Scriptures.  חמץ ‘chamets’ is also translated as leaven.  As mentioned before, Easter came forth from the Feast of Unleaveaned Bread when leaven was to be removed from our dwellings (Exodus 12:15).  The custom of hiding and retrieving Easter eggs has parallels in Judaism with the אפיקומן ‘afikoman’ tradition and dipping of the unleavened bread into the  חֲרֽוֹסֶת ‘charoset’ done during Passover seders.  Some believe that the Last Supper was a Passover Seder due to a number of parallels and is remembered by Christians on “Maundy Thursday” or “Covenant Thursday”.

easter egg matsa

חרוסת ‘charoset’ is a symbol of Israel’s slavery in Egypt, building bricks of clay/mud (חרס ‘cheres’) for Pharaoh.  As mentioned before, the Hebrew word for egg is ביצה ‘beytsah’ which comes from the root בץ ‘bets’ meaning mud.  Israel’s slavery to Pharaoh in Egypt was a picture of mankind’s slavery to sin (John 8:34).  When we are slaves to sin, we are “free from righteousness” (Romans 6:19-20).  We can only become righteous through faith in Christ where we die to ourselves that we might live unto Christ (Galatians 2:19-21).  It is only then that we can become free from sin (Romans 6:6).  It is then that we are born again from above (1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18-21) as a chick inside of a shell waiting to break forth into new life (Romans 8:21).

Coloring of the egg is linked to leaven {חמץ ‘chamets’} and the the filthy righteousness we cover ourselves in which must be broken in order for true life to spring forth.  Jesus said the leaven of the Pharisees was hypocrisy (Luke 12:1).  ὑποκρισις  ‘hupokrisis’ (hypocrite) is a an actor, one who hides the their true self with a false exterior.  Whitewashed tombs (Matthew 23:27-28).  ὑποκρισις  ‘hupokrisis’ is used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word חנף ‘chaneph’ which means filthy, as in our righteousness with are filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
The Hebrew word for unleavened bread is מצצה ‘matsah’ which is related to the word מצא ‘matsa’ which means to find, “in the sense of squeezing out of a hidden place”.
The Hebrew word for unleavened bread is מצצה ‘matsah’ which is related to the word מצא ‘matsa’ which means to find, “in the sense of squeezing out of a hidden place”.
matsa find
The chick coming forth out of an egg is a perfect depiction of “squeezing out” of a hidden place.  The root of מצצה ‘matsah’ (unleaved bread) and מצא ‘matsa’ is מץ ‘mats’ which means a strong internal pressure.  Again, this points to the chick inside of the egg.  Further connecting the chick and egg to Easter is the word פרח ‘parach’ which means “spring” and the blossoming and budding of flowers and trees.  The Hebrew word for chick is אפר ‘ephroach’ which comes from this word פרח ‘parach’ as the chick bursts forth from the egg in the same way that buds and blossoms spring forth from plants during the Spring season.  Passover/Easter, of course, are celebrated during the season of Spring.
passover plate
Another connection to Easter eggs and the Passover Seder are the roasted eggs which are a part of the Passover seder meal.  These eggs are said to symbolize the passover sacrifice that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem.  In other words, after the Temple was destroyed, Jews replaced the lamb with an egg.  Jesus was THE passover lamb who took away the sins of the world on the cross (John 1:29, 36; 1 Corinthians 5:7).  This further connects the aforementioned symbolism of the Easter egg.
afikoman
The custom of hiding the אפיקומן ‘afikoman’ during the Passover seder points to the burial of Christ in the tomb and parallels the hiding of Easter eggs done by Christians today.  The retrieval of the אפיקומן ‘afikoman’ and the finding of Easter eggs pictures Christ rising from the dead, leaving an empty tomb.
One of the traditions of the Eastern Orthodox church is that of Mary Magdalene bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women who would be at the tomb of Jesus.  It is said that the eggs miraculously turned red when she saw the empty tomb.
Easter egg cros
Coloring Easter eggs pictures the sin or “leaven” which was put upon Christ on the cross resulting in His death (2 Corinthians 5:21).  In Christian tradition, Easter eggs are used to picture the death and resurrection of Jesus.  The egg symbolizes the tomb of Jesus as it looks like a “white sepulchre”.  As the bird hatches from the egg leaving an empty shell so too did Jesus resurrect from the dead and left an empty tomb.  Orthodox Christians have long dyed eggs red to represent the blood of Christ which was shed for the sins of the world.
Baptism (dipping into water) is a symbol that Christians have “died and risen” with Jesus.  This is pictured by the egg being dipped and colored.Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
It is through baptism that we are given the garments of salvation, we put on Christ.
Gal 3:27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Isa 61:10  I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation {ישע ‘yesha’ – source of the name Jesus}, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
Isa 61:11  For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
As mentioned before, these garments are white as in the color of an egg and point to the “fine linen” of the saints.
Psa 132:9  Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Your saints shout for joy.
Psa 132:16  And I will clothe her priests with salvation; and her saints shall surely shout.
The fine linen that the priests wore (Exodus 28:5, 8, 15 etc.) is from the following Hebrew word which means white & the number 6:
shesh
Christians are His priesthood, clothed in the garments of salvation {ישועה ‘yeshuah’ – source of the name Jesus}/His righteousness (Psalm 132:16; Isaiah 61:10; Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:27))

This word שש ‘shesh’ (white, linen, six) is the root of the word שושן ‘shoshan’ which means lily, another Easter symbol.  More on the lily below

Great Lent and Holy Week“There’s no historical evidence that coloring Easter eggs comes from the blood of sacrificed infants, that is a “myth” of Alexander Hislop. However, there is ancient tradition as to how this custom originated.”“Many popular Easter customs originated in the Christian East.The coloring of “Easter eggs” originated from the pious legend that Mary Magdala was bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Christ – This remains the tradition among observant Jews even in our own time – When Mary Magdala saw the Lord, the eggs in her basket turned brilliant red. Thus, the true meaning of dyeing Easter eggs is to show forth the miraculous transformation and re-creation of the whole world by the victorious resurrection of Christ.

The origin of the “Easter basket” The faithful, having fasted and abstained from meats, eggs, and dairy products throughout all of Great Lent, would bring baskets of these festive foods to church on Easter Sunday. There the priests would bless the baskets after Divine liturgy and the people would share their foods with one another and the poor in a true “break-fast.”

Even Spring cleaning is found in the tradition of the Eastern Churches. During the great week before Pascha the faithful would clean their homes with special care and attention so that no imperfection however slight would mar the purity of the Resurrection. In Eastern Europe all the contents of the house would be brought outside and the building would be scrubbed from top to bottom inside and out.”

 

 

Easter basket

easter basket

The blessing upon Easter eggs brought to the priest in a basket traces back to the bringing forth of one’s firstfruits to the priest in a basket.  Easter (resurrection) comes forth from the feast of firstfruits (1 Corinthians 15:20-23; Leviticus 23:10-11).  More on this below.

Deu 26:2  That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there.
Deu 26:3  And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the LORD thy God, that I am come unto the country which the LORD sware unto our fathers for to give us.
Deu 26:4  And the priest shall take the basket out of thine hand, and set it down before the altar of the LORD thy God.
Deu 26:5  And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:
Deu 26:6  And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage:
Deu 26:7  And when we cried unto the LORD God of our fathers, the LORD heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression:
Deu 26:8  And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders:
Deu 26:9  And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey.
Deu 26:10  And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God:

 

The Orthodox Christian Tradition of Exchanging Red Eggs at Pascha

“It is an ancient Orthodox Christian tradition to have red eggs at Pascha. Many people are surprised to find out that this tradition dates to the Apostolic era. The custom of presenting each other with a red egg at Pascha reflects an interchange between Mary Magdalene and Tiberius Caesar.

After the resurrection, Mary Magdalene became a strong witness and traveling preacher of the Gospel, and for this she is referred to as an “equal to the Apostles.”

Her travels eventually took Mary Magdalene to Rome, where because of her family’s standing she was able to obtain an audience with the Roman Emperor, Tiberius Caesar. Her purpose was to protest to him that his governor in Judea, Pontius Pilate, and the two high priests, Annas and Caiaphas, had conspired and executed an innocent man, namely our Lord Jesus Christ.

She presented him with a red egg (representing the stone which had been rolled away), saying: “Christ is risen!” She told Caesar of Pilate’s injustice toward Jesus. He responded by moving Pilate to Gaul, where he died under imperial displeasure after a prolonged illness. She then assisted St. John the Theologian in Ephesus. She preached boldly the gospel of the Risen Lord whom she loved.

According to the tradition, everyone visiting the Emperor was supposed to bring him a gift. Rich and influential people, of course, brought expensive gifts whereas the poor offered whatever they could afford. Mary Magdalene took an egg to the Emperor’s palace and handed it to Tiberius Caesar with the greeting: “Christ is risen!”

Tiberius Caesar, naturally, could not believe what he heard and responded to her: “How could anyone ever rise from the dead? It is as impossible as that white egg to turn red.” While Tiberius was speaking these words, the egg in the hand of Mary Magdalene began changing color until it finally became bright red.

Thus the Pascha greeting — in universal Christendom, both East and West — has ever since remained “Christ is risen!” and it became traditional for Christians throughout the world to color eggs in red.

Mary Magdalene then went on to explain to Tiberius Caesar that the now-red egg symbolized life rising from a sealed chamber, a symbol that would have been understandable to a pagan Roman.”

Mary Magdalene is painted in iconography holding the red egg once presented to Tiberius Caesar, which she used to explain the mystery of Christ rising from a sealed tomb.
Mary Magdalene is painted in iconography holding the red egg once presented to Tiberius Caesar, which she used to explain the mystery of Christ rising from a sealed tomb.

Jewish Holy Days: The Making of a Baby
By J. R. Church

Jewish Holydays making a baby

“Zola Levitt discovered an amazing correlation between Jewish Holy Days and the gestation of a human baby, from conception to birth. While preparing for writing a book for new parents, Zola contacted a gynecologist for some help in understanding gestation. During that session, the gynecologist showed him a series of pictures, pointed to the first one (an egg and a sperm) and said, “On the fourteenth day of the first month, the egg appears.” The statement struck a chord in his Jewish mind because that was the date of Passover. He remembered the roasted egg on his family table every Passover. Now, for the first time, he knew what it meant! Not wanting to lead the gynecologist off from the subject at hand, he didn’t say anything, but continued to listen.

The gynecologist continued: “The egg must be fertilized within 24 hours, or it will pass on.” This reminded Zola of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the seed or grain that “fell into the ground and died” in order to produce a harvest, the firstfruits of which was presented to God. Next, the gynecologist said, “Within two to six days, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the womb and begins to grow.” And, sure enough, the Jewish evangelist thought, “The Feast of Firstfruits is observed anywhere from two to six days after Passover!”

Next, he was shown a photo of an embryo showing arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, a head, eyes, etc. The caption said, “Fifty days.” The gynecologist continued, “Around the fiftieth day, the embryo takes on the form of a human being. Until then, we don’t know if we have a duck or a tadpole.” Zola thought, “That’s Pentecost!”

The next picture showed the embryo at seven months. The gynecologist said, “On the first day of the seventh month, the baby’s hearing is developed. For the first time, it can hear and distinguish sounds outside the womb.” Zola knew that was the date for the Jewish Festival of Trumpets.

The gynecologist continued, “On the tenth day of the seventh month, the hemoglobin of the blood changes from that of the mother, to a self-sustaining baby.” Zola thought, “That’s the Day of Atonement, when the blood was taken into the Holy of holies!”

Next, the gynecologist said, “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, the lungs become fully developed. If born before then, the baby would have a hard time breathing.” And Zola thought, “That’s the festival of Tabernacles, a time of celebrating the Temple, home of the Shekinah glory or Spirit of God.” In the New Testament, the Greek term pneuma, normally translated as “breath,” is applied to the “Holy Spirit.”

Birth takes place on the tenth day of the ninth month. Eight days after birth, in Jewish families, a son is circumcised. Zola noted that the eight days of Hanukkah are celebrated right on schedule, nine months and ten days after Passover.

No human being could have understood the gestation period 3,500 years ago. The establishment of the Jewish Holy Days was given to Moses by Jehovah, Himself. Its correlation with the human gestation period is not only remarkable; it proves “Intelligent Design.” It proves the existence of an intelligence beyond this world. It proves that there is a Creator God that guides the affairs of man.

Promoted to the Home Office

On Wednesday, April 19, 2006, Zola Levitt went home to be with the Lord after a battle with lung cancer. The announcement on his website added: “What a soldier’s testimonial — to stay at his post until called away by Yeshua! Happy is the man whose work is his play.”

In giving his testimony, Zola wrote:

“I came to the Lord on March 14, 1971, through the urgings of Campus Crusaders at Indiana University. They challenged me to read the Scriptures, particularly the Book of John. I went by night, like Nicodemus, to the campus director’s home and brought a New Testament bound by itself (what Dr. McCall, our ministry senior theologian refers to as ‘The Amputated Bible’).

“When I read John’s cosmic views of the Lord and the plan of salvation, I realized that I was reading Jewish writing about a Jewish Messiah, and a Jewish way to God. All the Campus Crusaders might have been Gentiles, but I knew Jewish thought when I read it. My prayer of 28 years ago was extremely simple. I said to God, ‘If You’re there, show me.’ An open-minded look at the life I have led since that moment would have to conclude that He has indeed shown me wonders.”

The correlation between the Jewish festivals and the birthing of a baby was just one of those “wonders.”

Easter Lily

lily 2

The lily points to Messiah Jesus and His love for His bride.

Son 2:1  I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
Son 2:2  As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
Son 2:3  As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
Son 2:4  He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
Son 2:5  Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.
Son 2:6  His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.

The Hebrew word for lily is שושן ‘shoshan’ as it has six petals.  The root of שושן ‘shoshan’ is שש ‘shesh’ which means six.  שש ‘shesh’ also means white as in linen and marble.  Lilies come in numerous colors but the word lily points to the white variety.

Lily comes from the Latin word ‘lilium’ which comes from the Greek word λείριον ‘leírion’ which is used in reference to white lilies, such as the “Madonna Lily” and “Easter Lily”.  The Greek word for non-white lilies is κρῖνον ‘krīnon.’

shesh lily

 

There are four Psalms in the Scriptures which are entitled “lilies” (Psalm 45; ; 60; 69; 80).  All four Psalms point strongly to Messiah Jesus.  Psalm 45 pictures King Messiah, the Beloved.

Psa 45:1  To the Chief Musician, Concerning the Lilies. For the sons of Korah. A Poem; a Song of the Beloved. My heart is overflowing with a good matter. I am speaking of my works to the King; my tongue is the pen of a rapid writer.
Psa 45:2  You are the fairest of the sons of man; grace has poured into Your lips; on this account God has blessed You forever.
Psa 45:3  Gird Your sword on Your thigh, Mighty One; with Your glory and Your majesty.
Psa 45:4  And ride prosperously in Your majesty, on the matter of truth and meekness and right, and Your right hand shall teach You fearful things.
Psa 45:5  Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies; peoples fall under You.
Psa 45:6  Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; the scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness.
Psa 45:7  You love righteousness and hate wickedness; on account of this God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your fellows.
Psa 45:8  All Your garments smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of ivory palaces; by strings of a harp they make You glad.
Psa 45:9  King’s daughters are among Your precious ones; the queen stands at Your right hand in gold of Ophir.
Psa 45:10  Listen, O daughter, and look, and incline your ear, and forget your people and your father’s house.
Psa 45:11  And the King will desire your beauty, for He is your Lord, and you shall worship Him.
Psa 45:12  And the daughter of Tyre will stroke Your face with a gift, the rich among the peoples.
Psa 45:13  The king’s daughter is all glorious within, her clothing braided gold.
Psa 45:14  She shall be led to the King in embroidered work; her companions, the virgins, shall be brought to You after her.
Psa 45:15  They shall be led with gladness and rejoicing; they shall go in to the King’s palace.
Psa 45:16  Your sons shall be in the place of your fathers; You will make them for rulers in all the earth.
Psa 45:17  I will make remembered Your name in every generation and generation; on this account people shall thank You forever and ever.

Psalm 60 points to Messiah Jesus, the Right Arm of God who saves His people.
Psa 60:1  To the chief musician. On the Lily of Testimony. A secret treasure of David, to teach; when he struggled with Aram-naharaim, and with Aram-zobah; when Joab returned, and struck twelve thousand of Edom in the Valley of Salt. O God! You cast us off; You broke us; You who were angry; take us back.
Psa 60:2  You made the earth tremble; You tore it; heal its breaks, for it is shaking.
Psa 60:3  You have shown Your people hardship; You made us drink the wine of trembling.
Psa 60:4  You have given a banner to those who fear You, to lift it up because of the truth. Selah.
Psa 60:5  Save with Your right hand and answer me, that Your beloved may be delivered.
Psa 60:6  God has spoken in His holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and measure out the valley of Succoth.
Psa 60:7  Gilead is Mine, and Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim is the strength of My head; Judah is My lawgiver;
Psa 60:8  Moab is My washpot; over Edom I will cast out My shoe; Philistia, shout in triumph.
Psa 60:9  Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me into Edom?
Psa 60:10  Have not You, O God, cast us aside? And will You not go forth with our armies, O God?
Psa 60:11  Give us help against our oppressor, for vain is the deliverance of man.
Psa 60:12  Through God we shall do mighty things; for He shall tread on our oppressors.

Psalm 69 also points to Messiah Jesus as the Deliverer, with numerous references to the crucifixion, the means by which He delivers.

Psa 69:1  To the chief musician. Concerning the Lilies. Of David. Save me, O God, for the waters have come in to my soul.
Psa 69:2  I sink in deep mire, and there is no standing; I have come into deep waters where the floods overflow me.
Psa 69:3  I am weary from my crying, my throat is scorched; my eyes fail while I wait for my God.
Psa 69:4  They who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; they who would destroy me are mighty, my lying enemies; then I give back what I did not take away.
Psa 69:5  O God, You know my foolishness, and my guiltiness is not hidden from You.
Psa 69:6  O Jehovah of Hosts, do not let those who wait on You be ashamed for my sake; let not the ones who seek You be ashamed for my sake, O God of Israel.
Psa 69:7  Because I suffered reproach for Your sake, shame has covered My face.
Psa 69:8  I have become a stranger to My brothers and a foreigner to My mother’s children.
Psa 69:9  For the zeal of Your house has consumed Me; and the reproaches of the ones who reproach You have fallen on Me.
Psa 69:10  When I humbled my soul with fasting, it also was to my reproach;
Psa 69:11  I also made sackcloth my clothing, and I became a mockery to them.
Psa 69:12  They who sit in the gate spoke of me; and I was the song of drunkards.
Psa 69:13  But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Jehovah, at a time of favor, O God! in the plentitude of Your mercy answer me, in the truth of Your salvation.
Psa 69:14  Deliver me out of the mire, that I may not sink; let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters.
Psa 69:15  Let not the flood waters overflow me, nor let the deep swallow me up; and let not the pit shut its mouth on me.
Psa 69:16  Hear me, O Jehovah, for Your mercy is good; in the plentitude of Your tender mercies, turn toward me.
Psa 69:17  And do not hide Your face from Your servant; for it is distressing to Me; answer Me quickly;
Psa 69:18  draw near My soul; redeem it; ransom Me because of My enemies.
Psa 69:19  You have known My reproach, and My shame, and My dishonor; those vexing Me are all before You.
Psa 69:20  Reproach has broken My heart, and I am faint; and I waited for one to show pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
Psa 69:21  They also gave Me gall in My food; and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink.
Psa 69:22  Let their table be a trap before them, and to those at ease a snare.
Psa 69:23  Let their eyes be darkened from seeing, and cause their loins to quiver continually.
Psa 69:24  Pour out Your wrath on them; and let the glow of Your anger overtake them.
Psa 69:25  Let their home be made desolate; let no one dwell in their tents.
Psa 69:26  For whom You have stricken, they have persecuted; and they gossip to the pain of those You pierced.
Psa 69:27  Put iniquity to their iniquity, and do not let them enter into Your righteousness.
Psa 69:28  Blot them out from the Book of Life; yea, let them not be written with the righteous.
Psa 69:29  But I am poor and in pain; O God, Your salvation shall set me on high.
Psa 69:30  I will praise God’s name in a song; and I will magnify Him with thanks.
Psa 69:31  And it shall please Jehovah more than an ox, horned or hoofed bull.
Psa 69:32  The humble have seen and are glad; you who seek God, your heart shall live.
Psa 69:33  For Jehovah hears the needy, and He does not despise His prisoners.
Psa 69:34  Let the heavens and the earth praise Him, the seas, and everything that moves in them.
Psa 69:35  For God will save Zion; and He will build the cities of Judah, and they shall live there and possess it.
Psa 69:36  And His servants’ seed shall inherit; and they who love His name shall live in it.

Psalm 80 pictures King Jesus, the Deliverer who shall return to earth shining like the sun in glory.

Psa 80:1  To the chief musician. A Testimony. Concerning the Lilies. A Psalm of Asaph. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You leading Joseph like a flock; shine forth, You dwelling between the cherubs.
Psa 80:2  Stir up Your might before Ephraim, and Benjamin, and Manasseh, and come for salvation.
Psa 80:3  O God, turn us again, and make Your face shine, and we will be saved!
Psa 80:4  O Jehovah God of Hosts, until when will You smoke against the prayer of Your people?
Psa 80:5  You made them eat with the bread of tears; yea, You made them drink with tears a third time.
Psa 80:6  You make us a strife for our neighbors, and our enemies laugh to themselves.
Psa 80:7  O God of Hosts, turn us again, and cause Your face to shine, and we will be saved.
Psa 80:8  You have led a vine out of Egypt; You have cast out the nations, and have planted it.
Psa 80:9  You cleared before it, and You have rooted its roots, and it has filled the land.
Psa 80:10  The hills were covered with its shadow, and its boughs were as the cedars of God.
Psa 80:11  It was sending its boughs out to the sea, and its branches to the River.
Psa 80:12  Why have You broken down its walls, so that it is plucked by all who pass by the way?
Psa 80:13  A boar out of the forest wastes it, and the beast of the field feeds on it.
Psa 80:14  O God of Hosts, we beg You, return! Look down from Heaven and see and visit this vine,
Psa 80:15  and the vineyard which Your right hand has planted, and on the son You made strong for Yourself.
Psa 80:16  It is burned with fire, cut down; they perish at the rebuke of Your face.
Psa 80:17  Let Your hand be on the man of Your right hand; on the son of man whom You have made strong for Yourself.
Psa 80:18  So we will not backslide from You; make us live, and we will call on Your name.
Psa 80:19  O Jehovah, God of Hosts, turn us again! Cause Your face to shine, and we will be saved.

 

lily 3
In the book Song of Songs, the lily is used to represent the love of Solomon and the Shulamite, a picture of Messiah and His bride (Song of Songs 2:1, 16; 4:5; 5:13; 6:3).

Son_2:2  As the lily among thorns, so is my love {רעיה ‘ra‛yâh’} among the daughters.
Son 2:16  My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth {רעה ‘ra`ah’} among the lilies.

Both רעיה ‘ra‛yâh’ (love) and רעה ‘ra`ah’ (feedeth) come from the same Hebrew root word רע ‘rah’ which pictures a shepherd watching over his flock.

Messiah Jesus is the Good Shepherd who loves His sheep and gave His life for them.

Joh 10:1  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
Joh 10:2  But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3  To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
Joh 10:4  And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5  And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
Joh 10:6  This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
Joh 10:7  Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
Joh 10:8  All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
Joh 10:9  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Joh 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Joh 10:11  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Joh 10:12  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
Joh 10:13  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
Joh 10:14  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Joh 10:17  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
Joh 10:18  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

The love of God was revealed through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

The Hebrew word for love is אהב ‘ahav’ which is consists of the letters  אב ‘av’ which means father and the middle letter ה ‘heh’ which has the meaning of revelation.  The Father revealed.  In ancient Hebrew, the letter ה ‘heh’ was depicted as a man with outstretched arms, like unto Messiah on the cross. How was the love of the Father revealed?  Through the giving of His only begotten Son on the cross as an atonement for the sins of mankind (John 3:16).

Easter lily 3

The Easter Lily displays the love of God as it gets its name from the holiday of Easter which remembers the death and resurrection of Messiah.

The six white petals of the Easter lily point to the resurrection.

White is the color of resurrection.  Recall that שש ‘shesh’ means the number six as well as the color white and is the root of the Hebrew word for lily, שושן ‘shoshan.’

The linen garments {שש ‘shesh’} designed for the priests were a shadow picture of the resurrected believers who are clothed in white, likened unto snow (hexagonal formation).  Being clothed with His righteousness is linked with the earth springing forth plants.

Isa 61:10  Rejoicing I will rejoice in Jehovah. My soul shall be joyful in my God. For He clothed me with garments of salvation; He put on me the robe of righteousness, even as a bridegroom dons as a priest his head-dress, and as a bride wears her ornaments.
Isa 61:11  For as the earth comes out with her buds, and as a garden causes that which is sown to grow, so the Lord Jehovah will make righteousness and praise to grow before all the nations.
Psa 132:9  Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Your saints shout for joy.
Psa 132:16  And I will clothe her priests with salvation; and her saints shall surely shout.

The Hebrew word for fine linen that the priests wore (Exodus 28:5, 8, 15 etc.) is שש ‘shesh’ which also means six and white.

The garments of the priest were worn to display that iniquity was not upon them (Exodus 28:43).  The white linen is the righteousness of the saints (Revelation 19:7-9).  What is Righteousness?  It is the Word/Messiah.  Righteousness came forth from Messiah’s work on the cross (Daniel 9:24; Romans 5:19; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Rom 5:17  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Rom 5:18  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
Rom 5:19  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
2Co 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

His body is clothed in garments of righteousness

Isa 61:10  I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
Rom 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Gal 3:27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Rev 19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Messiah connects righteousness  to the lily.

Mat 6:28  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
Mat 6:29  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Mat 6:30  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Mat 6:31  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Mat 6:32  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Mat 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 

Lily pic

Hos 14:4  I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
Hos 14:5  I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow {פּרח ‘parach’} as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
Hos 14:6  His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.
Hos 14:7  They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.

פרח ‘parach’ pictures the blooming of a flower as well as the bursting of a bud or the breaking out of a chick from the egg.  These all picture the resurrection, or being raised up.

The English word Spring comes from the Old English ‘springan’ which means to leap, burst forth of fly up, speaking of the time when plants spring up.  This traces back to the Hebrew word פרח ‘parach.’  פרח ‘parach’ means the bursting of a bud as in a flower or tree and is linked to the resurrection of the dead, a primary theme associated with Spring.

Isa 27:6  Those coming in shall take root; Jacob shall blossom (צוץ ‘tsuts’) and Israel shall bud (פרח ‘parach’), and they will fill the face of the world with fruit.

Isaiah 27:6 is an amazing prophecy of Israel coming together as one in the Messiah when He comes to earth to judge the wicked.

Scripture likens the coming of Messiah, which is the time of the resurrection of the dead, to dew and rain falling upon the earth.

Hos 14:5  I will be as the dew to Israel; he shall blossom (פרח ‘parach) as the lily and cast out his roots like Lebanon.
Psa 72:6  He shall descend like rain on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
Psa 72:7  In His days the righteous shall flourish (פרח ‘parach), and plenty of peace, till the moon is not.

Literally “when there is no moon”, this is speaking of the new moon, the twinkling of an eye.  The twinkling of an eye points to the resurrection.

1Co 15:52 In a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet; for a trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.

lilies

One of the Hebrew words for joy is ששון ‘sason’ which is a cognate of שושן ‘shoshan’ (lily).

Being clothed with His righteousness is linked with the earth springing forth plants.

Isa 61:10  Rejoicing {שוש ‘sus’} I will rejoice {שוש ‘sus’} in Jehovah. My soul shall be joyful in my God. For He clothed me with garments of salvation; He put on me the robe of righteousness, even as a bridegroom dons as a priest his head-dress, and as a bride wears her ornaments.
Isa 61:11  For as the earth comes out with her buds, and as a garden causes that which is sown to grow, so the Lord Jehovah will make righteousness and praise to grow before all the nations.
Psa 132:9  Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Your saints shout for joy.
Psa 132:16  And I will clothe her priests with salvation; and her saints shall surely shout.

Spring is a time of joy.  The earth comes alive with birds and frogs singing their songs of joyful praise and life springs forth from the earth.  These joyful things in the natural point to the joy of life in the Messiah in the spiritual.  The Scriptures link the joy of the resurrection with the time of Spring.

Isa 61:10  Rejoicing I will rejoice in Jehovah. My soul shall be joyful in my God. For He clothed me with garments of salvation; He put on me the robe of righteousness, even as a bridegroom dons as a priest his head-dress, and as a bride wears her ornaments.

Isa 61:11  For as the earth comes out with her buds, and as a garden causes that which is sown to grow, so the Lord Jehovah will make righteousness and praise to grow before all the nations.
Scripture declares that believers find pleasure/joy in their King, the Son.

Psa 149:2  Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Zec 9:9  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Isa 12:3  Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
Isa 25:9  And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation {ישׁוּעה ‘yeshuah’}
Psa 21:1  <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation {ישׁוּעה ‘yeshuah’} how greatly shall he rejoice!
Psa 51:12  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation
{ישׁוּעה ‘yeshuah’}; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

1Jo 1:1  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
1Jo 1:2  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
1Jo 1:3  That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1Jo 1:4  And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
1Jo 1:5  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
1Jo 1:6  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
1Jo 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Isa 12:2  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Jah Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
Isa 12:3  Therefore with joy {שׂשׂון ‘sason’} shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

Pomegranates and lilies, both symbols of Easter, were carved on the pillars of the Temple which faced East (1 Kings 7:15-22).  The name ‘Ishtar’ which some associate with Easter comes from אשרה ‘asherah’ which means upright as a pillar.  אשרה ‘asherah’ is a cognate of אשׁר ‘esher’ which means blessed or happy as in an upright person.

Psa 1:1  Blessed {אשׁר ‘esher’} is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Psa 119:1  ALEPH. Blessed  {אשׁר ‘esher’} are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
Psa 119:2  Blessed  {אשׁר ‘esher’} are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
Psa 119:3  They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
Psa 2:12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed  {אשׁר ‘esher’} are all they that put their trust in him.

Psa 32:1  A Psalm of David, Maschil. Blessed {אשׁר ‘esher’} is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Psa 32:2  Blessed {אשׁר ‘esher’} is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

Rom 4:5  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Rom 4:6  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Rom 4:7  Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Rom 4:8  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Psa 89:15  Blessed {אשׁר ‘esher’} is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.
Psa 89:16  In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted.
Psa 89:17  For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted.
Psa 89:18  For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.

The joyful sound in Hebrew is תּרוּעה ‘teru`ah’ which points to the sounding of the shofars on the Feast of Trumpets, a foreshadowing of the resurrection of the dead.

Psa 98:5  Sing praise to Jehovah with the lyre; with the lyre and the voice of a song.

Psa 98:6  With trumpets and the sound of a horn, make a joyful noise before Jehovah the King.

 

Psa 84:11  For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Psa 84:12  O LORD of hosts, blessed {אשׁר ‘esher’} is the man that trusteth in thee.

Deu 33:29  Happy {אשׁר ‘esher’}  art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.

The Hebrew word for shield or defense is מגן ‘magen’ which comes from the root גן ‘gan.’

gan protect

Gen 15:1  After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield {מגן ‘magen’}, and thy exceeding great reward.
Deu 33:29  Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you? A people saved by Jehovah, the Shield {מגן ‘magen’} of your help, and He who is the Sword of your excellency! And your enemies shall be found liars before you, and you shall tread on their high places.
Psa 3:3  But You, O Jehovah, are a shield {מגן ‘magen’} around me; my glory, and He who lifts up my head.

Psa 18:2  The Jehovah is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler {מגן ‘magen’}, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Psa 18:30  As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler {מגן ‘magen’} to all those that trust in him.

Psa 7:10  My defence {מגן ‘magen’} is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.

Psa 89:18  For the LORD is our defence {מגן ‘magen’}; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.

Psa 18:35  You have also given me the shield {מגן ‘magen’} of Your salvation; and Your right hand holds me up; and Your condescension has made me great.

Psa 28:7  Jehovah is my strength and my shield {מגן ‘magen’}; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; yea, my heart greatly rejoices; and I will thank Him with my song.
Psa 59:11  Do not kill them, lest my people forget; scatter them by Your power and bring them down, O Jehovah our shield {מגן ‘magen’}.

 

As mentioned before, Pomegranates and lilies, both symbols of Easter, were carved on the pillars of the Temple which faced East.

 temple pomegranate

 

1Ki 7:15  And he formed the two pillars of bronze; eighteen cubits was the height of the one pillar, and a line of twelve cubits went around the second pillar.

1Ki 7:16  And he made two capitals to put on the tops of the pillars, cast in bronze; five cubits was the height of the one capital, and five cubits the height of the second capital.

1Ki 7:17  He made gratings of network with twisted threads of chain-work, for the capitals on the top of the pillars; seven for the one capital, and seven for the other capital.

1Ki 7:18  And he made the pillars. And two rows were all around on the one grating, to cover the capitals on the top with the pomegranates. And so he did for the other capital.

1Ki 7:19  And the capitals on the top of the pillars in the porch were lily-work, four cubits.

1Ki 7:20  And the capitals were on the two pillars, also above, over against the belly which was by the grating; and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows all around on the other capital.

1Ki 7:21  And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple. And he set up the right pillar and called its name Jachin. And he set up the left pillar, and called its name of Boaz.

1Ki 7:22  And on the top of the pillars was lily-work. So the work of the pillars was finished.

 

The Hebrew word for lily is שושן ‘shoshan’ which is referring to its white color, as well as 6 petals. Pomegranates also have a six sided ‘crown.’  As seen above, this word שש ‘shesh (6), is linked to the resurrection.

 

 

The lily is a picture of Messiah & His body/house

 

Son 2:1  I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.

Hos 14:4  I will heal their backslidings; I will love them freely; for My anger has turned away from him.

Hos 14:5  I will be as the dew to Israel; he shall blossom as the lily and cast out his roots like Lebanon.

Hos 14:6  His branches shall go out, and his beauty shall be like the olive tree, and his scent as Lebanon to him.

Hos 14:7  They who live under his shadow shall return; they shall live like the grain, and blossom like the vine; their memorial shall be as the wine of Lebanon.

 

Exo 23:24  You shall not bow down to their gods, and you shall not serve them. And you shall not do according to their works. But tearing you shall tear them down, and smashing you shall smash their pillars.

 

The word for pillar in Exodus 23:24 is מצבה ‘matsevah’ which can mean a pillar, monument or stock/stump of a tree.  This is the word used in Genesis referring to the stone that Jacob anointed and proclaimed as Bethel.

 

Gen 28:18  And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar{מצבה ‘matsevah’}, and poured oil upon the top of it.

Gen 28:19  And he called the name of that place Bethel:: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

Gen 35:14  And Jacob set up a pillar (מצבה ‘matsevah’) in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon {This is a strong reference to the Messiah, which means anointed one.}.

Gen 35:15  And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel  {בּית־אל ‘beytḣ’el’  – house of God}

 

Messiah is the image of God

 

2Co 4:4  in whom the god of this age has blinded the thoughts of the unbelieving, so that the brightness of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God, should not dawn on them.

 

The congregation of believers are to be the “image” of Messiah

 

Rom 8:29  because whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be the First-born among many brothers.

2Co 3:18  But we all with our face having been unveiled, having beheld the glory of the Lord in a mirror, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord Spirit.

 

His body = the Temple

 

Joh 2:19  Jesus said to them, Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.

Joh 2:20  Then the Jews said, This sanctuary was forty six years being built, and do You raise it up in three days?

Joh 2:21  But He spoke about the sanctuary of His body.

 

The Temple/Tabernacle = the Body

 

Exo 25:8  And let them make a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell in their midst.

2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

 

The Holy of Holies contained the ark of the covenant which had the Word within.  Our cells contain our DNA which is a physical picture of that Word.

 

The Olive tree = His Body = the Pillar/Bethel

 

Romans 11:16 the Root of the Olive Tree = Messiah

 

Rom 11:16  Now if the firstfruit is holy, so also the lump. And if the root is holy, so also the branches.

Isa 6:13  But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance{מצבת ‘matstsebeth’ – a monumental stone; also the stock of a tree: – pillar, substance.} is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed(Gal 3:16) shall be the substance (מצבת ‘matstsebeth’) thereof.

 

ROOT = מצבת ‘matstsebeth’ = PILLAR

 

Gen 28:10  And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.

Gen 28:11  And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.

Gen 28:12  And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

Gen 28:16  And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.

Gen 28:17  And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

Gen 28:18  And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.

Gen 28:19  And he called the name of that place Bethel:: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

Gen 28:20  And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,

Gen 28:21  So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:

Gen 28:22  And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth {Isaiah 6:13} unto thee.

Gen 35:14  And Jacob set up a pillarin the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.

Gen 35:15  And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.

 

Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

1Ti 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Eph 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Eph 2:20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Eph 2:21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

Eph 2:22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

 

This is interesting to note.  Jacob’s pillar is connected with the ladder to Heaven.  Messiah applies this to Himself.  The ladder also points to DNA within our bodies which is the ‘word’ that creates our bodies.  Messiah is the Word made flesh who is the olive tree/tree of life which we can be grafted into through faith.  He is the body, we are members of that body through faith.  He is the Temple, we are the stones of the building by faith.

 

Here we see that the pillar that Jacob anointed is to be the house of God .  His house are His people (Hebrews 3:6).  His body, the Church.

1Ti 3:15  But if I delay, that you may know how to behave in the house of God, which is the assembly of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

 

 

The Bunny Rabbit

Pagan origins of the Easter Bunny?

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies-Easter 2

“The typical image used to demonstrate that that the Easter Bunny was the consort of Ostara/Eostra is this:

easter bunny maya

…Ostara/Eostra didn’t really exist. And since she didn’t exist she couldn’t have had a bunny as a consort. But where do they get this ancient looking, archaeological type statue of Ostara and the Rabbit?

The problem with the image is that it is of a Mayan goddess (Guatemalen Ixchel). This false goddess can only be dated back to the 1600s A.D. Wrong continent. Wrong hemisphere. Wrong epoch.

All those websites, videos, and well meaning people who try to argue that Easter is pagan and use this picture to do so have a basic problem with honesty.

There is an interesting doubling up of the Easter bunny with the fictional goddess Ostara. The modern ‘histories” of Easter tend to claim 1) that Easter was originally a pagan fertility holiday 2) of devotion to the goddess Ostara (Eastre, however spelled), 3) she used eggs as a symbol of fertility, and 4) she always carried a pet bunny because it was so fertile. Now, all of these 4 claims are fiction.

What is interesting about the rabbit or hare is that it has been used by all kinds of religions around the world as a symbol. Each religion fitting its own teaching on the symbol of the rabbit. But in most cases the symbol refers to new life. In the ancient eastern Church the rabbit was used on tombstones and as a symbol of Christ. One author points out that some early Christians viewed the rabbit’s hole as a symbol of the tomb of Christ….”

“Christian art has several examples from the early times through the renaissance of rabbits as a symbol of Christ.”  {Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies-Easter 2}

Easter is Pagan and Other Fables – J.P. Holding: Tekton Apologetics Ministries

“We have no record of any pagan worshipping “Ostara/Eostre.” We have no record of any rituals associated with her, and that includes no rituals that make use of rabbits and eggs, contrary to what some of the anti-Easter crowd say. Because of this, some scholars think Bede just made this story up. Others think Bede had some real goods, but we just don’t know (e.g., comments by Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England, 98).

Some say the use of Easter eggs has some connection to the idea that the Easter hare (not rabbit, as we’ll explain later) lays eggs. Others say that it came from early Christians in Mesopotamia who dyed eggs red to symbolize the blood of Christ. I can trace this last explanation as far back as around 1700, with the other going a little further back to the 16th century. As I’ve said before, when you have multiple explanations like this it’s often a sign that no one actually knows what the true story is, or if one ever existed in the first place.

One thing we can say for sure, though, is that there’s no evidence connecting Easter eggs to any particular pagan practice. No one is able to draw a line from pagan practice “X” to show that Christians saw it, knew about it, and/or copied it. But even if they did, what’s the problem? Like I said, God owns it all, and that includes eggs. And, if He doesn’t, then you’re going to hell for ordering that farmer’s omelet down at the greasy spoon this morning!”

Holding addresses another common claim in his book “Easter is Pagan And Other Fables”:

“The use of rabbits in Easter themes comes from pagan sources! Tammuz was fond of rabbits, and they became sacred in his religion! And Ishtar’s holidays were celebrated with rabbits, too!”

If you think Elmer Fudd hates rabbits, you haven’t seen how angry the anti-Easter crowd gets over the Easter Bunny. But how much truth is there to this tracing of rabbit tracks back to these two pagan deities?
As we’ve already seen, Ishtar has nothing to do with Easter, so that’s out. I also cannot find one scrap of evidence that Tammuz was in any way “fond of rabbits.” He was a shepherd, and probably would have seen some in the pasture, but I find nothing in any scholarly source to suggest he had any special affinity towards rabbits. Only modern day popular sources make such claims and after checking dozens I am yet to find a reliable source or any original text showing that Tammuz was “fond of rabbits” (except maybe other anti-Easter books by non-scholars).

Okay, well, if the idea of rabbits at Easter didn’t come from Tammuz or Ishtar, it came from Eastre, the Teutonic goddess of spring! Rabbits were her “familiar” animal, and were part of her celebrations!

I’ve seen anti-Easter folks quote encyclopedias in support of this claim, which is at least a step in the right direction. You can also find such claims repeated in sources like Rabbits: the Animal Answer Guide (though without any documentation). There’s even a story around that Eastre had a pet rabbit who laid colored eggs, but what do serious scholars say about this?

As we pointed out earlier, the pagan goddess Eastre is unknown, other than a single reference to her in the work of the 8th century church writer Bede. Based on that, you’d be right to suppose we don’t know a lot about any stories or customs associated with her.

We complicate matters a bit when we find out that the Easter “bunny” was formerly an Easter hare. Although Bugs Bunny has been called both rabbit and hare, the two animals are not the same. Hares are larger than rabbits and live above ground, rather than underground.

Before the 20th century you can find the “Easter hare” referred to in an 1887 book titled, How to Amuse Yourselves and Others, which was a guide for keeping girls busy with activities. It refers to the “Easter hare” as laying Easter eggs.

Curiously, an 1800 edition of Atlantic Monthly contains a story – with no documentation – claiming that the “Easter hare” was derived not from the goddess Eastre and her traditions, but from Asian mythology that connects hares to the moon. It also refers to hares as a symbol for Easter as though it were a relatively recent phenomenon. The article goes on to claim that hares were called “un” by Egyptians, or “openers,” because they are born with their eyes open, which goes on to strangely draw a connection to the hare as a symbol of new life, and hence to be connected to eggs.

The strangeness of these claims is understandable when we find out that the author of this piece was one Katharine Hillard, who was a major name in the Theosophical movement – a sort of religious cult that was known for simply making up strange things about history. You might say they were the New Age’s answer to Alexander Hislop.

Another version of the origin story of the Easter bunny is that they emerged from 16th century Germany in a mythology where children would build a nest for the Easter hare to lay eggs. (Stories Rabbits Tell by Davis and Demillo.) But the 16th century is deep in the Christian era, well away from any pagan influences, so, here again, we have an uncertain origin for an Easter tradition.

To close, I should mention a popular explanation that the Easter bunny is somehow connected to a Mayan goddess named Ixchel, who is depicted holding a rabbit. It’s a little absurd to suppose that the story of the Easter Bunny, which emerged first in Europe, can somehow be traced to a rabbit figure in Central America. So, this popular notion is probably also incorrect. Ixcehl was a goddess in charge of medical matters, and midwifery. Some also think she was a moon goddess, but some scholars think this is a mistake (see, Popular Controversies in World History, ed. Steven Danver, 296) and that the figure of a Mayan moon goddess with a rabbit”  {Easter is Pagan And Other Fables – J.P. Holding: Tekton Apologetics Ministries}

Easter FAQ (As Bereans Did)

Was Ostara’s consort a hare?
No, Eostra/Ostara’s consort was not a hare or a rabbit. None have yet found evidence of Eostra/Ostara. Period. If we cannot find this goddess, then it should go without saying that no one has ever found evidence of her consort. Until we do find some evidence to base this claim on, we can conclusively say no to it. Most people just assume Eostra/Ostara is another regional goddess, such as Freya, and run with that. But the stories conjured up don’t really match Freya either!
I cannot tell you how exceedingly many websites I have been to that parrot invented claims about Eostra/Ostara. I’m estimating some 9 out of 10 websites on the subject mention Eostra/Ostara. None are documented, some are quite elaborate in their claims, but few match each other. I have heard that Eostra/Ostara had a hare as a consort, had the head of a hare, had a rabbit following, was honored with rabbits and eggs, was the goddess of the dawn, was the goddess of fertility, was honored on Easter day, was honored for a full month… the claims go on and on and on.

Is Eostra/Ostara actually Ishtar?
No. There is no record of any goddess Eostra outside of Bede’s “The Reckoning of Time” and there is no evidence for Ostara outside of Grimm’s “German Mythology”, so there is no evidence at all for such a claim relating them to Ishtar. The claim is based on nothing but shady etymology. These names are an example of what is what etymologists call a “false cognate” or “false friend”.
The words sound alike and backstory is imagined from there. Easter does not get its name from Ishtar nor any other goddess related to Ishtar. Easter has as much to do with Ishtar as Australia has to do with the Norse god Austr.

Did Easter start in Nimrod’s day?
No. That is an outright lie built on terrible etymology and pseudo-history, and passed off as fact due to repetition. There is nothing remotely in the realm of reliable historical evidence to demonstrate this. All of these sorts of Nimrod, Ishtar, Tammuz, etc claims find their beginning with Alexander Hislop. He’s the one who made it all up in the late 1840’s. Maybe you didn’t know that Hislop is completely unreliable. I can hardly blame you for not knowing this. Among the people who promote his writings are Herbert Armstrong and thus the leaders of every one of the COG splinter churches, Dave Hunt, Chuck Missler, Richard Rives, the Christadelphians, the Jehovah’s Witnesses – the list goes on and on. But if you really want the truth about Hislop, then please send away for Mr. Ralph Woodrow’s book “The Babylon Connection”. It will give you the information that you need to know about Alexander Hislop.

Think about it… Some people, following Alexander Hislop, say Easter is an ancient Babylonian holiday that was kept continuously by the Catholic Church since Nimrod’s day. But if it was always being kept then it cannot be the result of the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. It cannot be both.
If it was the product of the Council of Nicaea then it cannot be the result of the Catholic Church which only sent two representatives to the Council. It cannot be both.
The first mention of Eostre is in the eighth century, not the first century, nor the fourth century, and certainly not 2,000+ BC. They can’t all be right.

Did Ishtar have rabbits and eggs as her symbols?
No. We have no evidence of this. Ishtar’s main symbols were an eight-pointed star (probably representing the planet Venus), a pair of lions, and snakes. Various other symbols were also connected to Ishtar, but hares and eggs weren’t among them. If at any point eggs and rabbits were associated with Ishtar, then they were completely inconsequential. It makes no sense whatsoever that symbols not even associated with Ishtar would be handed down in her honor for over 3,000 years while her main symbols were lost.

Where does the tradition of the Easter Bunny come from?
No one quite knows. Yes, rabbits have been fertility symbols for millennia – they have been symbols for a great many things for millennia – but that is not prima fasciae evidence that Christians stole rabbits from the pagans. We simply do not know. But we do know the tradition is relatively recent and should not be misused to poison the entire Easter holiday.

Hares were very popular symbols among Christians in Medieval Europe, especially after the Crusades. Because people in the Middle Ages were generally ignorant about the life cycle of hares, they became symbols for a number of things. George Ferguson in his book “Signs and Symbols in Christian Art” p.20 sums a very long story up nicely as so:

    “The hare, itself defenseless, is a symbol of men who put the hope of their salvation in the Christ and His Passion. It is also a well-known symbol of lust and fecundity. A white hare is sometimes placed at the feet of the Virgin Mary to indicate her triumph over lust.”

The trail of the Easter Bunny starts in Europe, most likely the Protestants in the Alsace region of Germany. Originally the animal was a hare, not a rabbit, and it was called “Ostern Hase” which translates to Easter Hare. The first mention comes from Georg Franck von Frankenau in his writing “De Ovis Paschalibus” [“On Easter Eggs”] in 1682. He said:

    “In Alsace and the neighboring regions those eggs are called hare-eggs because of the myth that is told to make the simple-minded and children believe that the Easter Hare was laying and hiding them in the grass of the gardens, so the children search them even more eagerly, for the delectation of the smiling adults.”

The Easter Hare eventually became much like Santa Claus, bringing treats to good children and orphans. The Pennsylvania Dutch brought this tradition to the Americas, and it has developed here ever since.
 “Peter Cottontail” comes from a song whose lyrics were written in 1949 by Jack Rollins (who also wrote Frosty the Snowman). Music written by Steve Nelson, performed by Gene Autry.

Claims of rank paganism are simply overstating the facts. It could be quite as innocent as the tale related by Doctor von Frankenau. Since the Easter Bunny traces its roots to the 1600’s, then I find it quite anachronistic to smear the entire Easter festival on its account.

Articles about the Eostre myth by Adrian Bott (“your friendly pagan sceptic”)

Rational blogs: No, it’s not all about Ishtar. Some mythbusting Easter facts from your friendly pagan sceptic

“No, Eostre’s symbol wasn’t a hare. That was an unsupported guess made by the folklorist Jacob Grimm in 1835. Grimm was baffled by the Easter Hare tradition, finding it ‘unintelligible’, and guessed that ‘the hare was probably the sacred animal of Ostara’. Later writers misrepresented his guess as a statement of fact.”

 The modern myth of the Easter bunny

“There is no definitive historical evidence that a goddess named Eostre and her hare companion was part of pagan folklore
Did you know that Easter was originally a pagan festival dedicated to Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, whose consort was a hare, the forerunner of our Easter bunny? Of course you did. Every year the fecund muck of the internet bursts forth afresh with cheery did-you-know explanations like this, setting modern practices in a context of ancient and tragically interrupted pagan belief.

The trouble is that they are wrong. The colourful myths of Eostre and her hare companion, who in some versions is a bird transformed into an egg-laying rabbit, aren’t historically pagan. They are modern fabrications, cludged together in an unresearched assumption of pagan precedence.”

Hunting the spurious Eostre Hare

“I’ve blogged extensively about Eostre in the past and don’t intend to repeat any of that here. The short version: there is only one reference to her anywhere, in Bede; he gives absolutely no information about her except for her name; and everything else that people claim about her, such as having a sacred hare companion, is wholly unsupported by evidence.

This is not even a controversial stance. On the contrary, it is exactly what the Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore states: ‘Nowadays, many writers claim that hares were sacred to the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre, but there is no shred of evidence for this; Bede, the only writer to mention Eostre, does not link her with any animal.'”

Rabbits are associated with Spring as they are symbols of fertility/life.  Rabbits reproduce according to the Fibonacci sequence which is connected with Spring & life.

 

 

The Hebrew word for rabbit is ארנבת ‘arnevet’ which comes from a combination of ארן ‘aron’ which means a tree of the forest (ash – Isaiah 44:14) and the word ניב ‘niyv’ from whence comes the word ‘nibble.’  Hence, the rabbit is the “forest nibbler”. In Hebrew, ניב ‘niyv’ means fruit/fruitful or to flourish and increase which rabbits are prolific in.

 

ארן ‘aron’ comes from the root word רן ‘ran’ which has the meaning of joyful rejoicing and singing.  Spring is the time of joyful rejoicing (Isaiah 61:10-11), when the rabbit is seen again ‘nibbling’ on the plants which have come back to life.

 

ארן ‘aron’ also has the meaning of an ark or box (from the root אר meaning light/order).   ארן ‘aron’ (ark) is from the root אר which is also the root of the word מאורה ‘me`orah’ which means a den, or literally a “lighted hole when viewed from inside”.  This also connects to the rabbit as they dwell in holes in the ground.

 

ניב ‘niyv’  comes from the root נב which means the ‘seed inside.’ This points to believers who are born again from above with the Seed of the Word of God.

Jas 1:18  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Jas 1:21  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
1Jn 3:9  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
1Pe 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
1Pe 1:24  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
1Pe 1:25  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

 

On a deeper level this “seed inside” concept pictures the Tabernacle/Temple where the seed/Word/Light dwelt inside the ark of the covenant.

Ark of the Covenant – DNA – Jacob’s Pillar

There are interesting connections between the ark of the covenant and Jacob’s pillar & DNA .

 

The ladder

Gen 28:11  And he came on a place and stayed the night there, for the sun had gone. And he took stones of the place and placed them at his head; and he lay down in that place.
Gen 28:12  And he dreamed. And, behold, a ladder was placed on the earth, its top reaching to the heavens. And, behold, the angels of God were going up and going down on it!

Gen 28:17  And he was afraid, and said, How fearful is this place! This is nothing except the house of God, and this is the door to Heaven.
Gen 28:18  And Jacob started up early in the morning and took the stone which he had placed at his head, and he placed it as a pillar; and he poured oil on the top of it.
Gen 28:19  And he called the name of that place, The House of God
{Bethel}. And yet the name of the city was at first Luz.

 

The ladder = Messiah

 

Joh 1:51  And He says to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, From now on you will see Heaven opened, and “the angels of God ascending and descending” on the Son of Man.

 

Messiah Jesus = the Word

 

Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

DNA Ladder

 



DNA & Language

Nucleotide    Character (Letter)

Codon        Letter

Gene        Word

Operon        Sentence

Regulon    Paragraph

DNA        Book

Simplified it could be said

Nucleotide bases    Letters

Codons            Words

Genes            Sentences

Book            DNA

 

DNA is a message from God.  The DNA molecule is just the carrier.  Similar to the Torah.  The Torah is the heart of God, His character/Image…the scrolls and books on which it is written is the carrier.
Speaking the Language of Recombinant DNA

As George Williams puts it: “The gene is a package of information, not an object. The pattern of base pairs in a DNA molecule specifies the gene. But the DNA molecule is the medium, it’s not the message”

 

The DNA molecule is the instruction manual for the forming of amino acids which are made are the structural elements of proteins that turn into the biochemical units that drive all biological processes.  There are only 22 amino acids found in proteins.  Certain proteins are called enzymes.  They are catalysts (agents that are necessary for a reaction to occur but are not themselves changed in the process); others are called structural proteins which help to build cells and tissues.

 

If DNA can be thought of as the language of life, then the four bases can be seen as letters and the codons as arrangements of letters, or words. But like English, DNA’s language is more than words. Some codons function as punctuation marks, containing instructions to stop or start manufacturing a protein. This chemically simple yet stunningly complex DNA molecule dictates not only what proteins the organism will be made of, but how these proteins are to be arranged.

 

We have seen that one codon contains the instructions for one amino acid, and that sequences of codons specify the production of proteins. Groups of codons that have been arranged in “grammatically” correct sentences to form specific proteins are called “genes”.

 

DNA contains all the information needed to perpetuate life. This information builds in complexity from nucleotides to codons to genes, ultimately giving the complete text to form the body.

 

His body = the Temple

 

Joh 2:19  Jesus said to them, Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.
Joh 2:20  Then the Jews said, This sanctuary was forty six years being built, and do You raise it up in three days?
Joh 2:21  But He spoke about the sanctuary of His body.

 

The Temple/Tabernacle = the Body

 

Exo 25:8  And let them make a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell in their midst.
2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Easter Bunny

easter bunny

Many believe that the Easter Bunny/Easter Hare came forth from Ishtar or Ostara/Eostra.  The problem is that this claim is not backed up with fact.

“There is no definitive historical evidence that a goddess named Eostre and her hare companion was part of pagan folklore”.  {The modern myth of the Easter bunny}

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies-Easter 2

“…Ostara/Eostra didn’t really exist. And since she didn’t exist she couldn’t have had a bunny as a consort….”
“The modern ‘histories” of Easter tend to claim 1) that Easter was originally a pagan fertility holiday 2) of devotion to the goddess Ostara (Eastre, however spelled), 3) she used eggs as a symbol of fertility, and 4) she always carried a pet bunny because it was so fertile. Now, all of these 4 claims are fiction.”

“In the ancient eastern Church the rabbit was used on tombstones and as a symbol of Christ. One author points out that some early Christians viewed the rabbit’s hole as a symbol of the tomb of Christ.”

“Christian art has several examples from the early times through the renaissance of rabbits as a symbol of Christ.”

Titian’s Madonna and Child
Titian’s Madonna and Child

“The idea of rabbits as a symbol of vitality, rebirth and resurrection derives from antiquity. This explains their role in connection with Easter, the resurrection of Christ. The unusual presentation in Christian iconography of a Madonna with the Infant Jesus playing with a white rabbit in Titian’s Parisian painting, can thus be interpreted christologically. Together with the basket of bread and wine, a symbol of the sacrificial death of Christ, the picture may be interpreted as the resurrection of Christ after death.”

“The phenomenon of superfetation, where embryos from different menstrual cycles are present in the uterus, results in hares and rabbits being able to give birth seemingly without having been impregnated, which caused them to be seen as symbols of virginity. Rabbits also live underground, an echo of the tomb of Christ.”    {Rabbits and hares in art}

 

Just as with the Easter egg, the Easter Bunny has connections back to Judaism.

 

“16th century German scholar Rabbi Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, saw the rabbits as a symbol of the Diaspora. The replica of the Chodorow Synagogue from Poland (on display at the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora in Tel Aviv) has a ceiling with a large central painting which depicts a double headed eagle holds two brown rabbits in its claws without harming them. The painting is surrounded by a citation from the end of Deuteronomy:

.כנשר יעיר קינו על גוזליו ירחף. יפרוש כנפיו יקחהו ישאהו על אברתו

—Deuteronomy 32:11, The Song of Moses

This may be translated: “As an eagle that stirreth up her nest, hovereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her pinions (…thus is G’d to the Jewish people).”  {Three Hares in Judaism}

 

Deu 32:11  As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
Deu 32:12  So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.

 

Medieval artists used the imagery of the rabbit to portray the concept of abiding under the shadow of God’s wings.

“The Physiologus, an inexhaustible resource for medieval artists, states that when in danger the rabbit seeks safety by climbing high up rocky cliffs, but when running back down, because of its short front legs, it is quickly caught by its predators.  Likewise, according to the teaching of St. Basil, men should seek his salvation in the rock of Christ, rather than descending to seek worldly things and falling into the hands of the devil.”  {Rabbits and hares in art}

The concept of hiding in the cleft of the rock is linked to abiding under the shadow of God’s wings.  See Little Guy in the Eye study.

Abiding in the cleft of the rock = abiding under the shelter of His wings

Psa 61:4 I will dwell in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah.

Abiding in the Tabernacle = abiding in the shelter of His wings

Rev 7:15  Because of this they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His sanctuary. And He sitting on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.

Psa 27:5  For in the day of evil He shall hide me in His shelter; in the secrecy of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me up on a rock.

Rock of Etam

Jdg 15:8  And he struck them hip on thigh, a great slaughter, and went down and lived in the cleft of the rock Etam.

H5862

עיטם

‛êyṭâm

BDB Definition:

Etam = “lair of wild beasts”

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H5861

 

H5861

עיט

‛ayiṭ

BDB Definition:

1) bird of prey, a swooper

Part of Speech: noun masculine

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H5860

 

Samson dwelling in the cleft of the Rock (Messiah) at Etam (Eagles wings).

 

The root word of עיטם ‘Etam’ is עט.

ayit

Here we see that the word Etam means an eagle’s wings in the sense of wrapping.  Samson dwelt in the cleft of the Rock (Rock = Messiah 1 Corinthians 10:4) in the city of Etam (wrapped in eagles wings).

It is also interesting that the word for pen/stylus comes from this same root word and is associated with the eagle’s/bird of prey’s talons. This is yet another association of the eagles wing’s with the Word.

ayit 2
Abiding under the shadow of His wings = abiding in the Word/Messiah.

Dwelling in the cleft of the Rock is also teaching about intimate relationship with the Almighty.

Exo 33:18  And he said, I pray, let me see Your glory.

 

Exo 33:19  And He said, I will cause all My goodness to pass before your face. And I will call out the name of Jehovah (calling upon/calling out the name of the LORD is associated with the physical manifestation of the LORD on the earth) before your face. And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.

Exo 33:20  And He said, You are not able to see My face; for no man can see Me and live.

Exo 33:21  And Jehovah said, Behold, a place by Me! And you shall stand on a rock.

Exo 33:22  And as My glory is passing it will be that I will put you in a cleft of the rock; and I will cover My hand over you during My passing.

Exo 33:23  And I will remove My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face cannot be seen.

The chicken and her chicks (easter egg connection) also displays this “shadow of the wings” imagery.

Originally, the word “chicken” referred to chicks and not the species itself as it does today.  The chicken as a species was simply called the fowl.  The word ‘chicken’ further displays this as the etymology traces back to the Old English ‘cicen’ which meant “young fowl”.  The picture displayed in this aspect of the chicken shadow picture is that of chicks abiding under the wings of their mother, of being born again and converted as children (Matthew 18:3-4) abiding under the wings of Messiah as the “little guy in His Eye” (Psalm 17:8).

chicks under wing

Mat_23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

The word for chickens in Matthew 23:37 is νοσσίον ‘nossion’ which comes from the root νεοσσός ‘neossos’ which means a “young creature”.  νοσσίον ‘nossion’ is used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word אפרה ‘ephroach’ which means both chicken and young/youth.

ephroach

The word for fowl in Hebrew is עוף ‘oph’ which means a winged creature from the root עף ‘aph’ which literally means the covering of the wings.

oph chicken
The hen is known for its incredible motherly instincts, known to sacrifice its life for the sake of its chicks.

Bravest Silkie in the World

The Sacrifice of the White Hen

These stories of hens sacrificing their lives for the sake of the brood are excellent examples of the love of God for mankind.

The Hebrew word for כיפור ‘kippur,’ as in atonement (Romans 5:11), comes from the root word חף ‘chaph’ which means to cover.

Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rom 5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Rom 5:11  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

חף ‘chaph’ – ‘one who enters a tent and is protected by the owner.’  A place of protection.  One who is innocent, as in one whose actions are covered.

Messiah is the Door that we enter in order to abide in His ‘House’ (John 10:7) it is through Him that we are covered/hidden.  This is the definition of who the Israel of God is (Galatians 6:16)…His hidden ones (Psalm 83:3).  It is by the covenant cut in Messiah (Daniel 9:26; Isaiah 42:6), by His sacrifice on the cross that we are covered (1 John 1:7).

On the cross, Messiah gathered all mankind unto Him under His outstretched Arms as a hen gathers her chicks (John 12:32; Matthew 23:37).  Amazingly, the Hebrew word for this spreading forth of the wings of a hen to gather her chicks or an eagle gathering her chicks under her wings is רחף ‘rachaph’ which also comes form the root word חף ‘chaph.’

It is through His Outstretched Arms (wings) that Messiah is calling us (John 3:14; 12:32) and gathering us together as a Shepherd does His flock (John 10:14-16).  This is how we enter the Door into the House, this is how we are declared innocent and pure in His eyes.  This is how we become His friends and enter into His tents in an intimate relationship.

When one has an intimate relationship with another, they appear as a ‘little guy in the eye‘ or as the ‘apple of the eye.’

Deu 32:10  He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
Deu 32:11  As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:

Abiding in the Shadow of His wings means we are protected from adversity.

Psa 91:1  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psa 91:2  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Psa 91:3  Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
Psa 91:4  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Psa 91:14  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
Psa 91:15  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
Psa 91:16  With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. 

The Hebrew word for salvation in Psalm 91:16 is ישועה ‘yeshuah’ from whence comes the Jesus.

This intimate relationship of appearing as a little guy in the Eye of the Creator, and abiding under the shadow of His Wings is accomplished in the work of Messiah on the cross.

John Gill commentary on Matthew 23:37
How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Christ here speaks as a man, and the minister of the circumcision, and expresses an human affection for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and an human wish, and will for their temporal good; which he very aptly signifies by the hen, which is a very affectionate creature to its young, and which it endeavours to screen from danger, by covering with its wings. So the “Shekinah” with the Jews is called, צפרא קדישא, “the holy bird” (m); and that phrase, לחסות תחת כנפי השכינח, “to betake one’s self, or to come to trust under the wings of the Shekinah”, is often used (n) for to become a proselyte to the true religion, and worship of God, as Jethro, and Ruth the Moabitess did. An expression much like to this here is used by an apocryphal writer of 2 Esdras:

“I gathered you together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings: but now, what shall I do unto you? I will cast you out from my face.” (2 Esdras 1:30).

Luk 13:34  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood {νοσσιά ‘nossia’} under her wings, and ye would not!

The Greek word for brood in Luke 13:34 is νοσσιά ‘nossia’ which means a nest or brood of birds.  The Hebrew equivalent is קן ‘qen.’  This word pictures the nest of a bird where the eggs are gathered and protected by the hen.

 

qen

The Hebrew word for zeal displays a beautiful picture of the Most High, who is zealous over His people (Zion…His House).  The Hebrew word for zealous is קנא ‘qana’ which is pictured in the natural in a parent bird guarding and protecting its nest and eggs from predators.  A bird protecting, overshadowing, its brood is one of the most beautiful pictures of God’s love for His people.

Mankind is at enmity with God, we can only enter His ‘nest’ through the sacrifice of Messiah (Ephesians 2:1-22).  It was the zealous love of God for mankind that He sent His only begotten Son (John 3:16).

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Isa 59:16  And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.
Isa 59:17  For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.

Zeal for His house sent Messiah to the cross to bear the sins/reproaches of mankind.

Psa 69:9  For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.

Psa 89:50  Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people;
Psa 89:51  Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, O LORD; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed.

Rom 15:3  For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

 

Three Hares

Dreihasenfenster (Window of Three Hares) in Paderborn Cathedral
Dreihasenfenster (Window of Three Hares) in Paderborn Cathedral

“Christian art has several examples from the early times through the renaissance of rabbits as a symbol of Christ.”

“To name just a few The three hare window in Paderborn, Germany and also in the monastery Muottatal in Switzerland, where three rabbits are together in a triangle with only one ear each showing, symbolizing the Trinity.”  {Three Hares}

Three hares in Judaism

Three Hares motif in the replica of the Gwozdziec synagogue ceiling.
Three Hares motif in the replica of the Gwozdziec synagogue ceiling.

“Not only do they appear among floral and animal ornaments, but they are often in a distinguished location, directly above the Torah ark, the place where the holy scriptures repose.”

“Some Jewish thinkers, such as 16th century German scholar Rabbi Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, saw the rabbits as a symbol for Jews in the Diaspora. 1 In an Augsburg Haggadah dated from 1534, he described an illustration of dogs hunting hares as the hares escaping as follows:  “The hare is representative of the Jewish people and the dogs their enemies and … (they are) an allegory of the persecution and salvation of the Jewish people.”

“Indeed, depictions of hare hunts are found in numerous Passover prayer books. One example can be found in the Prague Haggadah of 1526.”

Intriguingly, the hare hunt depictions in Hagadot also provide as a mnemonic tools. The Yiddish expression “YakNeHaz” – literally “hunt a hare”, is an abbreviation meant to help remember the complicated order of blessings when the Pessach Seder and Motzei Shabbat coincide, as it is the case this year (2008): Y = Yain (wine) K= kidush (blessing), N= ner (candlelight) H = havdalah (Shabbat ceremony) Z = zeman (blessing related to time).”  {How do the rabbits get into the synagogue?}

The Hare-Hunting Haggadot

“There is a mnemonic to help remember the sequence of events when the Pesach Seder is held on Saturday night: YaKNeHaZ

    Yayin (wine)
    Kiddush (sanctification)
    Ner (light the candles by transferring from an existing flame, such as from a yahrzeit candle, and say l’hadlik ner shel yom tov)
    Havdalah (In this case, one does not repeat the blessing over wine, which was said in Kiddush, nor the blessing over spices, because the chag continues, but only over the fire. There is a special version of the Havdalah berachah, which ends ha-mavdil bein kodesh l’kodesh.)
    Z’man (Shehecheyanu)

The mnemonic YaKNeHaZ sounds somewhat similar to a German expression (jag den Has) which means “hunt the hare” and for this reason, some medieval haggadot were decorated with a picture of a rabbit-hunting scene.

Here is an example from a haggadah published in Prague in 1526:

hare hunt

 

Lepus

Lepus 2

This imagery of the the hounds and rabbits in connection with redemption traces back to the the constellation of Gemini and its three decan constellations, Canis Major & Canis Minor (dogs) and Lepus (rabbit).

lepus under orion

Lepus is located beneath the head of Orion who pictures “light breaking forth in the Redeemer”.  The picture is that of the ancient prophecy in the Garden where God promises that the Seed of the woman would crush the head of the enemy.  Gemini depicts the Messiah as the ruler or judge who comes to suffer in order to defeat His enemy, harkening back to this ancient prophecy as well.

Gen 3:15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Canis Major depics the “coming glorious Prince of Princes”, Canis Minor the “exalted Redeemer”.  It is interesting to note that in the Egyptian Denderah zodiac, Canis Major is depicted as a hawk and Canis Minor as a man with a staff (a shepherd).  Could this be where the connection between eagles and rabbits comes from in Jewish tradition?  The Shepherd pictures salvation and defeat of one’s enemies. The word salvation, ישועה ‘yeshuah’ (the source of the name Jesus) comes from the Hebrew word שע ‘sha’ which has the meaning of a shepherd who watches over his sheep, destroying any enemy of the flock.

The stars in the constellation of Lepus tell the story of the enemy who is defeated by the Redeemer.  Arnebo comes from the Hebrew word ער ‘ar’ which means enemy (Psalm 139:20).  Nibal means “mad” or “foolish” from the Hebrew word נבל ‘nabal’ (1 Samuel 25:25).  This word is also translated as “viol” as in the noise of Lucifer (Isaiah 14:11).  Rakis means to bind with a chain from the Hebrew word רכס ‘rakas’ (Exodus 28:28) pointing to the binding of the devil (Revelation 20:2).  רכס ‘rakas’ also has the meaning of “pride” (Psalm 31:20), one of the character traits of the adversary (Ezekiel 28:5).  Sugia means the deceiver (Revelation 12:9) from the Hebrew word שגה ‘shagah’ which also means to “wander” (Job 1:7; 2:2).  Arnebeth means an hare but also to pluck, as in the plucking of those who persecute God’s people (Psalm 80:12).

Hopping

hopping bunny

The English word hope comes from the Old English ‘hopian’ which means to wish, expect or look forward to something.  It is related to the word ‘hop’ as in one who leaps for expectation.  This is related to the Hebrew word פסח ‘pasach’ (passover) which means to hop or limp.

Hope in the Resurrection (Easter)

1Pe 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, He according to His great mercy having regenerated us to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

 1Pe 1:18  knowing that not with corruptible things, silver or gold, were you redeemed from your worthless way of life handed down from your fathers,
1Pe 1:19  but with precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot,
1Pe 1:20  indeed having been foreknown before the foundation of the world, but revealed in the last times because of you,
1Pe 1:21  the ones believing in God through Him, He raising Him from the dead, and giving glory to Him so that your faith and hope may be in God.
1Pe 1:22  Having purified your souls in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit to unpretended brotherly love, love one another fervently out of a pure heart,
1Pe 1:23  being regenerated, not by corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the living Word of God, and remaining forever.
1Pe 1:24  Because “all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of men as the flower of grass; the grass was dried, and its flower fell out,
1Pe 1:25  but the Word of the Lord remains forever.” And this is the Word announced as gospel to you. Isaiah 40:6-8

Pomegranate

As mentioned before, the pomegranate is another symbol of Easter which was also carved on the pillars of the Temple which faced East.  When cut in half, the pomegranate looks like a human heart.

 

 

The Word of God is His ‘heart.’ The Hebrew word תורה ‘torah’ is commonly translated as ‘law’ but is more properly defined as God’s will or heart/mind, His message to mankind…His ‘love letter.’ תורה ‘torah’ is Genesis – Revelation.

 

In ancient tradition, the pomegranate is said to contain 613 seeds, corresponding with the 613 commandments of the Law.  This is just a tradition as  each pomegranate contains a different amount of seeds and it can be argued that the Law contains more or less than 613 commandments but it is an interesting connection made which links the pomegranate to His Word and in particular His commandments.

 

Easter sprung forth from the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread which further links to the heart.  Unleavened bread מצות ‘matsot’ is spelled exactly the same as the Hebrew word for commandments מצות ‘mitsvot.’

 

This word מצות ‘mitsvot’ is used 37 times in the Scriptures which corresponds to the word הלב ‘halev’ which means “the heart.”  37 is also the ordinal value {order of letters in sequence} of חכמה ‘chokhmah’ which means wisdom.  Wisdom is a tree of life (Proverbs 3:18).  This tree of life, heart, wisdom connection is further seen in parable form in our bodies.

 

The eternal organs in our bodies are a shadow picture of the Kingdom of heaven.  Our bodies are His Temple (Ephesians 2:21-22; 5:30; 1 Corinthians 6:19).   In the book of Revelation (Chapter 4) John is shown a vision of the Throne of God.  When our hearts are circumcised (Deuteronomy 10:15; 30:6; Jeremiah 32:39-40; Ezekiel 11:19-20, Colossians 2:11-13; Hebrews 4:11-14; Luke 24:31-32)  God is enthroned (Romans 10:8-10).  Around His throne are 4 living creatures (Revelation 4:6) which represents the 4 chambers of the human heart.  Around the throne and the 4 living creatures are 24 elders (Revelation 4:4) representing the 24 ribs surrounding the human heart.

From the heart blood is pumped to the Lungs. The etymology of the English word ‘Lung’ traces back to the meaning of Light.  In our bodies our lungs have 7 vascular bundles called nodes.  These represent the 7 Spirits of God (Revelation 4:5; Isaiah 11:1-3).  These 7 Spirits are pictured in the earthly Tabernacle/Temple by the Menorah.  The Menorah is a picture of the Tree of Life.  The Light of the world.

 

Rev 4:5  And out of the throne come forth lightnings and thunders and voices. And seven lamps of fire are burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;

 

The lightning corresponds to the electrical activity of the heart.  The thunderings are the ‘Lub Dub‘ of the heart.

 

Scripture speaks of the throne of God being in heaven (Revelation 4:2-3).  The color blue, connects blood to heaven.  Blood is blue until it receives oxygen from the lungs.  The sky is blue except for the times of dawn and dusk.

 

The human heartbeat is linked to the movement of the sun through the heavens. At sunrise the sky appears red which links to the blood of the heart.

 

 

This word comes from דם ‘dam’ meaning blood.

 

 

דם ‘dam’ literally means waters from the door, as in the living waters that come forth from the Temple, or the living waters of blood that come forth from the heart.  The sun moving through the zodiac is also a picture of this.  Psalm 19 speaks of the sun following the path of the zodiac and coming forth from ‘his canopy’ representing the Temple.  A healthy heart pumps on average 72 times a minute, the sun moves a degree through the ecliptic every 72 years. Amazingly, some believe that the Human Heartbeat is based on the Fibonacci pattern.  Even more astonishing, it seems that the beating of the human heart corresponds with the movement of the sun through the ecliptic.

 

Patterns in Nature

“The ‘circle’ traced by the earth’s axis around the north ecliptic pole is not smooth but wavy, as the moon’s gravitational pull causes the earth to ‘nod’ about once every 18 years (currently 18.6 years), a movement known as nutation. The circle therefore contains about 1440 waves, since 18 x 1440 = 25,920. Note that the average human heartbeat is equal to 72 beats a minute, and on average we breathe about 18 times a minute. 72 years (= 6+60+6 or 6×12) is said to be the ‘ideal’ lifespan of a human being, during which time the sun moves through one degree of the zodiac in the precessional cycle. A human breathes 72 times in 4 minutes, the time required for the earth to turn 1 degree on its axis. In 24 hours (86,400 seconds) we breathe 18 x 1440 = 25,920 times, equal to the number of years in the precessional cycle.

Each human heartbeat takes about 8 tenths of a second. The time-periods occupied by each of the five cardiac phases, reckoned on the basis of one hour, are as follows: auricular systole, 432 seconds; ventricular systole, 1296 seconds; repose of the entire heart, 1728 seconds; diastole, 3024 seconds; and ventricular diastole, 2160 seconds. There are on average 4320 heartbeats in one hour, 8640 beats in 2 hours, 12,960 beats in 3 hours, 17,280 beats in 4 hours, 21,600 beats in 5 hours, and 25,920 beats in 6 hours.”

 

 

The beating of the heart is seen in the Hebrew word פעם ‘pa`am.’

 

 

 

פעם ‘pa`am’ is also translated as bell, as in the bells which were worn on the hem of the robe of the High Priest.  Beside each bell was a pomegranate…

 

Exo_28:34  A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about.
Exo_39:26  A bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, round about the hem of the robe to minister in; as the LORD commanded Moses.

 

According to the National Geographic’s ‘Incredible Human Machine’ it takes 72 muscles for man to speak.  The Hebrew word for time, עת ‘et,’ means to see the mark.  What is the mark?  It is when the sun rises directly east (קדם ‘qedem’ ‘sun of blood’) at the time of the תקופה ‘tequphah’ which literally means the ‘sun speaks.’  The תקופה ‘tequphah’ points to Spring.

 

According to Ecclesiastes 1:5-6, the sun moves upon the wind/spirit again linking to the blood which flows through the human body and the living waters which flow forth from the throne of God.

The path of the sun through the zodiac comes from the following Hebrew word:

 

 

According to the Revelation 22:1-2, the river of life that comes forth from the throne of God, is linked to 12 fruits of the tree of life.

 

The word for the constellations/zodiac in Hebrew is מזרות ‘mazzaroth’ which traces back to the Hebrew word נזר ‘nazar.’

 

 

What was on the crown of the High Priest?  The sacred name of God (Exodus 29:6; 39:30)  According to Josephus (Wars of the Jews Book 5 Chapter 5 Section 7) the sacred name consisted of 4 vowels which are pronounced with our breath.  The Hebrew word for ‘name,’ is שם ‘shem’ which means breath/wind.  It is the root for the word שמים ‘shamayim’ which means heaven.  שם ‘shem’ is also the root of the word שמש ‘shemesh’ which means the sun.  Every breath we take we are proclaiming His Name.  Each breath we take brings oxygen into our lungs which brings life to our blood and to our cells.

 

Blood/DNA is further linked to the sun through the equinoxes.  The word for ‘equinox’ in Hebrew is תקופה ‘tequphah.’  It literally means the mark/cross of the sun.  At the Spring תקופה ‘tequfah’ the sun is at 23 degrees in the Tropic of Cancer.  At the Autumn תקופה ‘tequfah’ the sun is at 23 degrees in the Tropic of Capricorn.  23 +23 = 46.  46 is the number of chromosomes in the human body that stores our DNA.  The chromosome is also in the shape of a cross/ת ‘tav.’

 

 

As mentioned before, the word for ‘equinox’ in Hebrew is תקופה ‘tequfah’ which has the following pictograph meaning.  The cross (ת) reveals (ה) the sun on the horizon (קוף).  The letter ק ‘qof’ spelled קוף ‘qof’ in Hebrew is pictographically displayed as the sun rising on the horizon.  So then the word תקופה ‘tequfah’ has embedded within itself the point of the equinox.  It is at the cross of the horizon which is exactly East.  As the sun moves through its course in the sky it will rise directly East at the spring and fall equinoxes, making a cross in the sky each year.

 

 

 

The Hebrew word for time further displays this “cross” imagery as the Hebrew word for time which is עת ‘et.’ Pictographically עת ‘et’ means to see ע the cross ת ‘tav.’

1Co 1:18  For the Word of the cross is foolishness to those being lost, but to us being saved, it is the power of God.

The Hebrew word כח ‘koach’ which means power has a numerical value of 28.  28 is also linked to the cross.  The letter ת ‘tav’ is a picture of the cross.  ת ‘tav’ is spelled as תו which consists of ת ‘tav’ the 22nd letter of the Hebrew alphabet and ו ‘vav’ the 6th letter giving the total of 28.

The Greek word for Passover, πάσχα ‘pascha,’ is translated as Passover 28 times in the New Testament.  Messiah became our Passover on the cross (1 Corinthians 5:7; Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 5:6, 12).

The תו ‘tav’ – Passover connection is further seen in Ezekiel 9.

Eze 9:4  And Jehovah said to him, Pass through in the midst of the city, in the midst of Jerusalem, and mark a mark {תו ‘tav’} on the foreheads of the men who are groaning and are mourning over all the abominations that are done in her midst.
Eze 9:5  And He said to those in my hearing, Pass over in the city after him and strike. Do not let your eye spare, and do not have pity.

The Hebrew word for ‘pass over’ in verse 5 is עבר ‘avar,’ which literally means to “cross”.

avar pass

As mentioned before, the movement of the sun throughout the year is a ‘macrocosm’ of the daily movement of the sun.  This daily and yearly movement of the sun portrays the “Word of the Cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18).  The morning rising of the sun which corresponds with Spring portrays the birth and re-birth of the Messiah from the dead.  The mid-day sun which corresponds with Summer portrays the lifting up of the Messiah on the cross (John 3:14; 12:32) and later His exaltation (Philippians 2:7-9).  The setting of the sun corresponds with Autumn in which the light of the world (John 9:4-5; 11:9) fades away into darkness which is displayed by nighttime and Winter portraying the Savior’s death.

 

Going back to the number 72 is the time in which Messiah was in the grave.  Jesus was in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights, 72 hours.


Mat 12:40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

 

Further connecting the 72 beats of the heart to the 72 hours of Messiah in the grave is the physical cause of His death, which was a broken heart.

broken heart

Psalm 69 alludes to the crucifixion of Christ Jesus and speaks of the sins of mankind “breaking His heart”.

Psa 69:20  Reproach {חרפּה ‘cherpâh’} hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness {נוּשׁ ‘nûsh’}: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
Psa 69:21  They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

חרפּה ‘cherpâh’ comes from the root word חרף ‘charaph’ which is the Hebrew word for winter, a shadow picture of the death of Christ.  חרף ‘charaph’ has the meaning of piercing, as in the piercing cold winds of this time of year.  This word is linked to the promise in the Garden of the LORD to Eve that her Seed would defeat the serpent.

The Promised Seed

Gen 3:15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Psalm 89 links this prophecy with the Messiah, in specific verse 51.

Psa 89:19  Then You spoke in a vision to Your holy one; and You said, I have laid help on a mighty one. I have exalted a chosen one from the people.
Psa 89:20  I have found My servant David; I have anointed him with My holy oil.

Psa 89:22  An enemy will not exact against him; nor the son of iniquity afflict him.
Psa 89:23  And I will beat down his foes before him, and plague those hating him.
Psa 89:24  But My faithfulness and My mercy is with him; and his horn shall be exalted in My name.
Psa 89:25  And I will set his hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers.
Psa 89:26  He shall cry to Me, My Father, You are my God, and the rock of my salvation.
Psa 89:27  And I will make Him My first-born, higher than the kings of the earth.
Psa 89:28  I will keep My mercy for him forever, and My covenant shall hold fast with him.
Psa 89:29  And I have established his Seed forever, and His throne as the days of the heavens.

Psa 89:35  Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David.
Psa 89:36  His Seed shall be forever, and his throne as the sun before Me.
Psa 89:37  Like the moon, it shall be forever; and a faithful witness in the sky. Selah.

Psa 89:50  Remember, O Lord, the reproach of Your servants, my bearing in my bosom the insults of the many peoples (This is in reference to Messiah carrying the sins of mankind Isaiah 53; Romans 15:3)
Psa 89:51  with which Your enemies have cursed (חרף ‘charaph’), O Jehovah; with which they have cursed (חרף ‘charaph’- pierced) the footsteps (עקב ‘aqav’ – heel) of Your anointed ( משיח ‘mashiyach’ – Messiah/Christ/Anointed).

The word translated ‘cursed’ above is from the Hebrew חרף ‘charaph’ which means to pierce, referring back to Genesis 3 and the piercing of the heel of the Seed of the woman.

The word חרף ‘charaph’ comes from the root word חל ‘chal’ which means a twisting in pain.  This word is used in reference to the piercing of Messiah in Isaiah 53.

Isa 53:5  But He was wounded ( חלל ‘chalal’) for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His wounds we ourselves are healed.

At the last supper Messiah offered the cup of the covenant which was offered to the bride and also spoke of His death (Matthew 26:68; 1 Corinthians 11:25-26).  Amazingly, חרף ‘charaph’
‘winter’, the time of darkness and death and a picture of the piercing of Messiah is also the word in Hebrew for betrothal.

Going back to Psalm 69…
Psa 69:20  Reproach {חרפּה ‘cherpâh’} hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness {נוּשׁ ‘nûsh’}: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
Psa 69:21  They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

nush loan debt

נש means debt, deception or beguile.  The important lesson to learn from this word is that we are all in debt due to sin (Colossians 2:14).  This sin came about due to the deception of the serpent at the beginning when he beguiled {נשא ‘nasha’} Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:13).

In Colossians 2:14, James Murdock translates the verse from the Aramaic Peshitta as such:

Col 2:14  and, by his mandates, he blotted out the handwriting of our debts, which [handwriting] existed against us, and took [it] from the midst, and affixed [it] to his cross.

Christ Jesus paid the debt off our debts on the cross.  Forgiving of debts is rendered in Hebrew as נסא ‘nasa’ which means to bear something or lift it up.  The root of נסא ‘nasa’ is נס ‘nes’ which means the lifting up of a flag on a pole.  Messiah took upon Himself the debt of sin which came about in the beginning due to a serpent in a tree by becoming a “serpent on a tree” (John 3:14-15).

Jesus being full of “heaviness” {נוש ‘nush’} is depicting Him being full of the sin/debt of mankind

Psa 69:20  Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
Psa 69:21  They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Psa 69:4  They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.

Psa 69:7  Because for thy sake I have borne reproach {רפּה ‘cherpâh’}; shame hath covered my face.

Isa 53:1  Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
Isa 53:2  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
Isa 53:3  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isa 53:4  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

 

Unleavened bread מצות ‘matsot’ is spelled exactly the same as the Hebrew word for commandments מצות ‘mitsvot.’

This word מצות ‘mitsvot’ is used 37 times in the Scriptures which corresponds to the word הלב ‘halev’ which means ‘the heart.’

Pro 10:8  The wise in heart accepts commands {מצות ‘mitsvot’}, but the foolish of lips shall be thrust away.

His Word is His ‘heart.’ The Hebrew word תורה ‘torah’ is commonly translated as ‘law’ but is more properly defined as God’s will or heart/mind, His message to mankind…His ‘love letter.’

The Word of God, Messiah Jesus became sin and was broken that we might become His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Unleavened bread pictures the body of Messiah which was broken for us (Matthew 26:12)…the Messiah died of a broken heart…

Medical Aspects of The Crucifixion: The Agony of Love

 

“With the knees flexed at about 45 degrees, the victim must bear his weight with the muscles of the thigh. However, this is an almost impossible task-try to stand with your knees flexed at 45 degrees for 5 minutes. As the strength of the legs gives out, the weight of the body must now be borne by the arms and shoulders. The result is that within a few minutes of being placed on the cross, the shoulders will become dislocated. Minutes later the elbows and wrists become dislocated. The result of these dislocations is that the arms are as much as 6-9 inches longer than normal.

With the arms dislocated, considerable body weight is transferred to the chest, causing the rib cage to be elevated in a state of perpetual inhalation. Consequently, in order to exhale the victim must push down on his feet to allow the rib muscles to relax. The problem is that the victim cannot push very long because the legs are extremely fatigued. As time goes on, the victim is less and less able to bear weight on the legs, causing further dislocation of the arms and further raising of the chest wall, making breathing more and more difficult.

The result of this process is a series of catastrophic physiological effects. Because the victim cannot maintain adequate ventilation of the lungs, the blood oxygen level begins to diminish and the blood carbon dioxide (CO2) level begins to rise. This rising CO2 level stimulates the heart to beat faster in order to increase the delivery of oxygen and the removal of CO2.

However, due to the pinning of the victim and the limitations of oxygen delivery, the victim cannot deliver more oxygen and the rising heart rate only increases oxygen demand. So this process sets up a vicious cycle of increasing oxygen demand-which cannot be met-followed by an ever increasing heart rate. After several hours the heart begins to fail, the lungs collapse and fill up with fluid, which further decreases oxygen delivery to the tissues. The blood loss and hyperventilation combines to cause severe dehydration. That’s why Jesus said, “I thirst.”

Over a period of several hours the combination of collapsing lungs, a failing heart, dehydration, and the inability to get adequate oxygen supplies to the tissues cause the eventual death of the victim. The victim, in effect, cannot breath properly and slowly suffocates to death. In cases of severe cardiac stress, such as crucifixion, a victim’s heart can even burst. This process is called “Cardiac Rupture.” Therefore it could be said that Jesus died of a “broken heart!”

 

Crucifixion (Video based on Dr. C Truman Davis’ research)

 

Rom 1:1  Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, a called apostle, separated to the gospel of God,
Rom 1:2  which He promised before through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,
Rom 1:3  concerning His Son who came of the seed of David according to flesh,
Rom 1:4  who was marked
{ὁρίζω ‘ horizō’} out the Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord;

 

G3724

ὁρίζω

horizō

Thayer Definition:

1) to define

1a) to mark out the boundaries or limits (of any place or thing)

1b1) that which has been determined, acc. to appointment, decree

1b2) to ordain, determine, appoint

Part of Speech: verb

A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G3725

 

ὁρίζω ‘horizō’ is the source of the English word ‘horizon.’  This connection to the horizon is seen in the equinox/’tequfah’ of the Spring which displays the image of the cross.

 

The meaning of this word corresponds to the Hebrew word תור ‘tor.’  It is only through the resurrection that we will be formed into His image.

 

1Jn 3:1  See what manner of love the Father has given us, that we may be called children of God. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it was not yet revealed what we shall be. But we know that if He is revealed, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.
1Co 1:18  For the Word of the cross is foolishness to those being lost, but to us being saved, it is the power of God.

 

Believers look to the Word of the cross.  The Word of the covenant.  Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

 

לב ‘lev’ literally means the “authority inside”.  The issue of authority is a primary theme in Unleavened Bread.  A corruption of God’s authority is linked to leaven.

 

 


It is during the season of unleavened bread that we are to seek to rid ourselves of hypocrisy/leaven and the false teachings/false religious authority that we have allowed to dominate our lives.  Jesus the Christ alone is our righteousness.  He alone is our salvation.  He alone is our hope.   He alone is what unites us through the covenant.  Not man.  Not religion.  Not doctrine.

 

The word for leaven {שאר ‘se`ar’} comes from the root word סר ‘sar.’  The word means to turn something to another direction as a ruler does his people, and a teacher or parent his student or son.  It is connected to binding, as in a yoke put to the neck of oxen to drive then in the direction which you wish them to go.  Leaven in the Scripture is a picture of teaching and doctrine.  It is used to drive men in the direction to which the doctrine teaches.

 

The Kingdom of Heaven is to be kneaded into the hearts of men leading them to turn into the right direction and be yoked with Messiah.

 

Mat 13:33  He spoke another parable to them: The kingdom of Heaven is compared to leaven, which taking, a woman hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened.

 

Some religious leaders, by their doctrine, yoke men to themselves and attempt to lead them to their ways…usually away from the Kingdom.

 

Mat 16:6  And Jesus said to them, Watch and take heed from the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Mat 16:7  And they reasoned among themselves, saying, Because we did not take loaves.

Mat 16:8  And knowing, Jesus said to them, Why do you reason among yourselves because you took no loaves, little-faiths?

Mat 16:9  Do you not perceive nor recall the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many hand baskets you took up?

Mat 16:10  Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many lunch baskets you took up?

Mat 16:11  How do you not perceive that it was not about loaves that I said to you to take heed from the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees?

Mat 16:12  Then they knew that He did not say to take heed from the leaven of bread, but from the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Luk 12:1  At which time the myriads of the crowd being gathered together, so as to trample on one another, He began to say to His disciples first, Take heed to yourselves of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Mat 23:4  For they bind heavy and hard to bear burdens, and lay them on the shoulders of men, but they do not desire to move them with their finger.

Luk 11:52  Woe to you, lawyers! Because you took the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you kept out the ones entering.

Gal 5:7  You were running well; who held you back that you do not obey the truth?

Gal 5:8  The persuasion is not from Him calling you.

Gal 5:9  A little leaven leavens all the lump.

 

Believers are to be without the leaven of the religious and worldly systems.

 

1Co 5:6  Your boast is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens all the lump?

1Co 5:7  Then purge out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For also Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us.

1Co 5:8  So let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with leaven of malice and of evil, but with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 

This is what the New Covenant is all about.  Being born again (new lump), with God’s Word written in your heart where He can work through you as you work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

 

Jer 31:31  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

Jer 31:32  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

Jer 31:33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Jer 31:34  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Heb 10:12  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Heb 10:13  From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

Heb 10:14  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Heb 10:15  Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,

Heb 10:16  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

Heb 10:17  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

 

Messiah Jesus is the Authority of His covenant people (1 Corinthians 11:3; 15:24-28; Ephesians 4:15; 5:23; Colossians 1:18-19).  He guides them through His Spirit (John 14:16, 24-26; 15:26; 16:13; 1 Peter 1:2; Ezekiel 11:19-20; 36:26-28; 1 John 2:20, 27)….this is the “leaven” doctrine of the Kingdom (Matthew 13:33).

 

The Hebrew word סר ‘sar,’ (the root of שאר ‘se`ar’} also means one who is in authority.  Israel (the people of God) are those who rule {סרה ‘sarah’} with God….They are born again, a new lump, “leavened” with the Holy Spirit/Word of God/Kingdom.

 

This is the ‘leaven’ that is ‘baked’ into the two wave loaves offered on Shavuot/Pentecost.

 

Lev 23:16  Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.

Lev 23:17  Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven {חמץ ‘chamets’}; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.

 

Unleavened bread pictures the body of Messiah which was broken for us (Matthew 26:12)…Recall that Unleavened bread מצות ‘matsot’ is spelled exactly the same as the Hebrew word for commandments מצות ‘mitsvot.’

 

This word מצות ‘mitsvot’ is used 37 times in the Scriptures which corresponds to the word הלב ‘halev’ which means ‘the heart.’

 

Pro 10:8  The wise in heart accepts commands {מצות ‘mitsvot’}, but the foolish of lips shall be thrust away.

 

His Word is His ‘heart.’ The Hebrew word תורה ‘torah’ is commonly translated as ‘law’ but is more properly defined as God’s will or heart/mind, His message to mankind…His ‘love letter.’

 

The Word of God, Messiah Jesus became sin and was broken that we might become His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

 

Rising of the Sun

 

Rom 1:1  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
Rom 1:2  (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
Rom 1:3  Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Rom 1:4  And declared {ὁρίζω ‘horizō’} to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

ὁρίζω ‘horizō’ is the source of the English word ‘horizon.’

G3724
ὁρίζω
horizō
Thayer Definition:
1) to define
1a) to mark out the boundaries or limits (of any place or thing)
1b1) that which has been determined, acc. to appointment, decree
1b2) to ordain, determine, appoint
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G3725

 

Murdock Aramaic Translation

Rom 1:4  and was made known as the Son of God, by power, and by the Holy Spirit,) who arose from the dead, Jesus Messiah, our Lord,



ואתידע  ‘vayteedah’ corresponds to the Hebrew ידע ‘yada’ – to make known.

The rising of the sun each day at dawn is a picture of the resurrection of Messiah.  There are multiple Hebrew words speaking of dawn.  The first is זרח ‘zarach’ which comes from the root רח ‘rach’ which means breath or Spirit.  The word מזרח ‘mizrach’ which means East also comes from this root רח ‘rach.’

 

1Pe 3:18  Because even Christ once suffered concerning sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God; indeed being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit;

Rom 8:11  But if the Spirit of the One having raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One having raised the Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies live through the indwelling of His Spirit in you.

 

The next word for dawn is שחר ‘shachar’ which comes from the root שח ‘shach’ which means a dark place or the pit.  This is speaking of the sun rising from the ‘pit’ which again is a picture of Messiah rising from the dead.

 

It is interesting to note that the English word ‘spring’ also traces back to the Hebrew word שפר ‘shofar’ as the word shofar literally means a bright sound, related to spring as the time when the sun begins to brighten the earth after the darkness of winter.  The shofar is the sound of the voice of Messiah which raises the dead.

 

Rev 1:10  I came to be in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Rev 1:11  saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last; also, What you see, write in a scroll, and send to the seven assemblies of Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.

Joh 5:25  Truly, truly, I say to you that an hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and the ones hearing will live.
Joh 5:28  Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming in which all those in the tombs will hear His voice.
Joh 5:29  And they will come out, the ones having done good into a resurrection of life; and the ones having practiced evil into a resurrection of judgment.
1Th 4:16  Because the Lord Himself shall come down from Heaven with a commanding shout of an archangel’s voice, and with God’s trumpet. And the dead in Christ will rise again first.
Mat 24:31  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the heavens to their ends.
1Co 15:52  In a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet; for a trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.

Firstfruits



Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of the Messiah, which traces back to the shadow picture which was rehearsed for over a thousand years by the wave sheaf offering the day after the sabbath during the week of Passover/Unleavened Bread.

Lev 23:10  Speak to the sons of Israel, and you shall say to them, When you come in to the land which I am giving to you, and have reaped its harvest, and have brought in the sheaf, or the beginning of your harvest, to the priest,
Lev 23:11  then he shall wave the sheaf before Jehovah for your acceptance; on the morrow of the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
Lev 23:12  And you shall prepare a lamb in the day you wave the sheaf, one without blemish, a son of a year, for a burnt offering to Jehovah.
Lev 23:13  And its food offering shall be two tenths part of flour mixed with oil, a fire offering to Jehovah, a sweet fragrance; and its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine.
Lev 23:14  And you shall not eat bread, nor roasted grain, nor fresh ears, until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God; it is a never ending statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

Wave Sheaf Offering

Ronald Dart of Christian Education Ministries noted that there was a Jewish/Christian observance on the Sunday after the Passover crucifixion:

“On the evening after the Sabbath was over, the very first sheaf of grain of the early harvest was cut from the ground. It was prepared that night by threshing the barley from the chaff and then parching it over a fire. The next morning, the priest lifted an omer of the grain to God as the presentation of the firstfruits of the harvest. Now, compare this to Christian theology of the resurrection.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

It is clear enough that, in referring to “Christ the firstfruits, Paul is referring directly to that first sheaf offered on the morning after the Sabbath by the priest. His wording leaves no room for doubt. James will refer to this as well: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:18). What we see here is Christ as the first of the firstfruits in the resurrection, with the remainder of the firstfruits to follow at his coming.

So this particular Sunday was important to both Jews and Christians. To Jews, it was the day of the offering of the firstfruits, the first day of the seven weeks to the Feast of Firstfruits. To Christians, it was the morning of Jesus’ presentation to the Father and of his first appearances to his disciples after his resurrection from the dead. And it was the first day of the seven weeks to Pentecost.

For the first Christians, the symbolism of the Jewish observance was seen to point directly to Christ. The connection was clear and strong from the start. The early church had not adopted a calendar different from that of the Jewish majority in the first century, the calendar was crucial, because it defined the time of observance of the feasts. There is not a word in the New Testament to suggest any change from the Jewish observance…so the comparison between liturgy and events was, to them, even more apparent.

Now consider this carefully. This Sunday was celebrated early on as the day of Christ’s first appearances after his resurrection. It was an anniversary that appeared on the Jewish calendar on the first Sunday after Passover every year. As explained in the last chapter, every place in the New Testament where you see the expression “The first day of the week” it is referring, not to a Sunday, but to a singular day of the year. The first day of the seven Sabbaths or weeks leading up to Pentecost. It is an annual, not a weekly observance. It was, for want of a better term, “wave sheaf Sunday” (Ronald Dart From Passover to Easter. April 12, 2006).

Deu 16:9  You shall number to yourself seven weeks. When the sickle begins to reap in the standing grain, you shall begin to number seven weeks.
Deu 16:10  And you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to Jehovah your God according to the measure of the freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give according as Jehovah your God blesses you.
1Co 15:20  But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He became the firstfruit of those having fallen asleep.
1Co 15:21  For since death is through man, also through a Man is a resurrection of the dead;
1Co 15:22  for as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
1Co 15:23  But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruit; afterward those of Christ at His coming.
Lev 23:10  Speak to the sons of Israel, and you shall say to them, When you come in to the land which I am giving to you, and have reaped its harvest, and have brought in the sheaf, or the beginning of your harvest, to the priest,
Lev 23:11  then he shall wave the sheaf before Jehovah for your acceptance; on the morrow of the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
Lev 23:12  And you shall prepare a lamb in the day you wave the sheaf, one without blemish, a son of a year, for a burnt offering to Jehovah.
Lev 23:13  And its food offering shall be two tenths part of flour mixed with oil, a fire offering to Jehovah, a sweet fragrance; and its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine.
Lev 23:14  And you shall not eat bread, nor roasted grain, nor fresh ears, until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God; it is a never ending statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
Lev 23:15  And you shall number to you from the next day after the sabbath, from the day you bring in the sheaf of the wave offering; they shall be seven complete sabbaths;
Lev 23:16  the next day after the seventh sabbath, you shall number fifty days; and you shall bring near a new food offering to Jehovah;
Lev 23:17  you shall bring in bread out of your dwellings for a wave offering, two loaves; they shall be of two tenth ephah of flour; they shall be baked with leaven; firstfruits to Jehovah.
Lev 23:18  And besides the bread, you shall offer seven lambs, without blemish, sons of a year, and one bull, a son of the herd, and two rams; they are a burnt offering to Jehovah, with their food offering and their drink offerings, a fire offering of soothing fragrance to Jehovah.
Lev 23:19  And you shall offer one he-goat for a sin offering, and two lambs, sons of a year, for a sacrifice of peace offerings.
Lev 23:20  And the priest shall wave them, besides the bread of the firstfruits, a wave offering before Jehovah, besides the two lambs; they are holy to Jehovah for the priest.
Lev 23:21  And you shall make a proclamation on this same day; it is a holy gathering to you. You shall do no work of service. It is a never ending statute in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

According to the Talmud, Menachot 10:4, after the wave sheaf was reaped the priests would parch it with fire and beat it with reeds and stems of the plants so that the grains would not be crushed.  Here is a picture of the sufferings of Messiah (Isaiah 53) who was beaten and ‘parched with fire’ yet without a bone being broken (John 19:36).

Firstfruits – Firstborn

In Hebrew, the firstfruits and the first born are the same, from the word בכר ‘bakar’ which means the choicest one.

Exo 13:12  you shall set apart to Jehovah every one opening the womb, and every firstling, the offspring of animals which are yours; the males are Jehovah‘s.
Exo 13:13  And every firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a flock animal. And if you do not redeem, you shall break its neck. And every first-born of men among your sons you shall redeem.
Exo 13:14  And it shall be when your son asks you in the future, saying, What is this? You shall say to him, Jehovah brought us out from Egypt by the might of His hand, from the house of slaves.
Exo 13:15  And it happened when Pharaoh hardened himself against sending us away, Jehovah killed every first-born one in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of men even to the first-born of animals. On account of this I sacrifice to Jehovah every one of the males opening the womb, and I redeem every first-born of my sons.
Exo 13:16  And it shall be for a sign on your hand, and frontlets between your eyes. For Jehovah brought us out from Egypt by the might of His hand.

The 1st born had to have No blemishes

Deu 15:19  The firstling males that are born of your herd and of your flock, you shall sanctify to Jehovah your God. You shall do no work with the firstling of your ox, nor shear the firstling of your flock.
Deu 15:20  You shall eat it before Jehovah your God year by year in the place which Jehovah shall choose, you and your household.
Deu 15:21  And if there is any blemish in it, lameness, or blindness, or any evil blemish whatever, you shall not sacrifice it to Jehovah your God.

Jesus had no blemishes

Col 1:18  And He is the Head of the body, the assembly, who is the Beginning, the First-born out of the dead, that He be preeminent in all things;
1Pe 1:18  knowing that not with corruptible things, silver or gold, were you redeemed from your worthless way of life handed down from your fathers,
1Pe 1:19  but with precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot,

We are without blemish in Him

Jud 1:24  Now to Him being able to keep you without stumbling, and to set you before His glory without blemish, with unspeakable joy;
Rom 8:29  because whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be the First-born among many brothers.

1st born connected w/ passing over (Ivrim)

Exo 13:12  you shall set apart (עבר ‘avar’ pass over) to Jehovah every one opening the womb, and every firstling, the offspring of animals which are yours; the males are Jehovah‘s.

Israel is the “beginning” ראשׁית ‘reshiyt’

Jer 2:3  Israel was holy to Jehovah, the first fruits {ראשׁית ‘reshiyt’}  of His increase. All that devour him become guilty; evil shall come on them, declares Jehovah.
Isa 63:19  We are of old (מעולם ‘me’olam’); You never ruled over them. Your name was never called on them.
Rev 17:8  The beast which you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss, and goes to perdition. And those dwelling on the earth will marvel, the ones whose names have not been written on the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, seeing the beast, that it was a thing, and is not, yet now is.
Mat 25:34  Then the King will say to those on His right, Come, the blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Eph 1:4  even as He elected us in Him before the foundation of the world, for us to be holy and without blemish before Him in love,
Tit 1:1  Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ according to the faith of the elect of God and full knowledge of the truth according to godliness,
Tit 1:2  on hope of eternal life which the God who does not lie promised before the eternal times,
Tit 1:3  but revealed in its own times in a proclamation of His Word, with which I was entrusted by the command of our Savior God;
1Pe 1:17  And if you call on the Father, the One judging according to the work of each one without respect of faces pass the time of your sojourning in fear,
1Pe 1:18  knowing that not with corruptible things, silver or gold, were you redeemed from your worthless way of life handed down from your fathers,
1Pe 1:19  but with precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot,
1Pe 1:20  indeed having been foreknown before the foundation of the world, but revealed in the last times because of you,
1Pe 1:21  the ones believing in God through Him, He raising Him from the dead, and giving glory to Him so that your faith and hope may be in God.

The resurrection

1Co 15:20  But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He became the firstfruit of those having fallen asleep.
1Co 15:21  For since death is through man, also through a Man is a resurrection of the dead;
1Co 15:22  for as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
1Co 15:23  But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruit; afterward those of Christ at His coming.
1Co 15:24  Then is the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God, even the Father, when He makes to cease all rule and all authority and power.
Rom 8:28  But we know that to the ones loving God all things work together for good, to those being called according to purpose;
Rom 8:29  because whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be the First-born among many brothers.
Rom 8:30  But whom He predestinated, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Rom 11:16  Now if the firstfruit is holy, so also the lump. And if the root is holy, so also the branches.

RESURRECTED BELIEVERS

Heb 12:22  But you have drawn near Mount Zion (Isaiah 2, Psalm 87) even the city of the living God, to a heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,
Heb 12:23  and to a gathering, an assembly of the first-born ones having been enrolled in Heaven; and to God the Judge of all, and to spirits of just ones who have been perfected;
Jas 1:18  Having purposed, He brought us forth by the Word of truth, for us to be a certain firstfruit of His creatures.
Jer 2:3  Israel was holy to Jehovah, the firstfruits of His increase. All that devour him become guilty; evil shall come on them, declares Jehovah.

144,000… again recall that 144 is a Fibonacci number.

Rev 14:3  And they sing as a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one was able to learn the song except the hundred and forty four thousands, those having been redeemed from the earth.
Rev 14:4  These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones following the Lamb wherever He may go. These were redeemed from among men as a firstfruit to God and to the Lamb.

The 1st resurrection

Rev 20:4  And I saw thrones, and they sat on them. And judgment was given to them, and the souls of the ones having been beheaded because of the witness of Jesus, and because of the Word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast nor its image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand. And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Rev 20:5  But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death has no authority over these, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him a thousand years.

The seed that the LORD has blessed

Isa 65:22  They shall not build, and another live in them; they shall not plant, and another eat. For like the days of the tree are the days of My people; and My elect shall grow old to the work of their hands.
Isa 65:23  They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for terror. For they are the seed of the beloved ones of Jehovah, and their offspring with them.
Rom 11:16  Now if the firstfruit is holy, so also the lump. And if the root is holy, so also the branches.
Isa 6:13  But yet a tenth shall be in it, and it shall return and be consumed like the terebinth and like the oak that in being felled yet has its stump (the holy seed is its stump).

The Priesthood originally was the 1stborn

Exo 4:22  And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:
Jer 2:3  Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.
Exo 13:2  Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.
Exo 24:4  And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.
Exo 24:5  And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD.
Then transferred to the Levites
Num 3:12  And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine;
Num 3:13  Because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the LORD.
Num 3:41  And thou shalt take the Levites for me (I am the LORD) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel.
Num 18:6  And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
 
Transferred back to the 1st born/Melchizedek priesthood

Isa 61:6  But you shall be called, Priests of Jehovah; it will be said of you, Ministers of our God. You shall eat the wealth of the nations, and you shall revel in their glory.
Isa 61:9  And their seed shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed that Jehovah has blessed.
Isa 61:10  Rejoicing I will rejoice in Jehovah. My soul shall be joyful in my God. For He clothed me with garments of salvation; He put on me the robe of righteousness, even as a bridegroom dons as a priest his head-dress, and as a bride wears her ornaments.
Isa 61:9  And their seed shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed that Jehovah has blessed.
Isa 61:10  Rejoicing I will rejoice in Jehovah. My soul shall be joyful in my God. For He clothed me with garments of salvation; He put on me the robe of righteousness, even as a bridegroom dons as a priest his head-dress, and as a bride wears her ornaments.

Priests covered in the garments of salvation (ישועה ‘yeshuah,’ the source of the name Jesus)

Psa 132:9  Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Your saints shout for joy.
Psa 132:16  And I will clothe her priests with salvation; and her saints shall surely shout.
Rev 6:10  And they cried with a great voice, saying, Until when, holy and true Master, do You not judge and take vengeance for our blood, from those dwelling on the earth?
Rev 6:11  And there was given to each one a white robe. And it was said to them that they should rest yet a little time, until might be fulfilled also the number of their fellow-slaves and their brothers, those being about to be killed, even as they.
Rev 7:9  After these things I saw, and behold, a great crowd which no one was able to number them, out of every nation, even tribes and peoples and tongues, standing in front of the throne, and before the Lamb, having been clothed with white robes, and in their hands palm branches.
Rev 7:13  And one of the elders answered, saying to me, These, the ones having been clothed in the white robes, who are they, and from where did they come?
Rev 7:14  And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are those coming out of the great tribulation; and they washed their robes and whitened them in the blood of the Lamb.
Rev 7:15  Because of this they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His sanctuary. And He sitting on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.
Rev 7:16  And they will not hunger still, nor will they thirst still, nor at all shall fall on them the sun, nor any kind of heat.
Rev 7:17  Because the Lamb in the midst of the throne will shepherd them, and will lead them on living springs of waters; and God will wipe off every tear from their eyes.
Rev 19:6  And I heard as a sound of a numerous crowd, and as a sound of many waters, and as a sound of strong thunders, saying, Hallelujah! Because the Lord God Almighty reigned.
Rev 19:7  Let us rejoice and let us exult, and we will give glory to Him, because the marriage of the Lamb came, and His wife prepared herself.
Rev 19:8  And it was given to her that she be clothed in fine linen, pure and bright; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.
Rev 19:9  And he says to me, Write: Blessed are the ones having been called to the supper of the marriage of the Lamb. And he says to me, These Words of God are true.
Rev 1:5  even from Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness, the First-born out of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him loving us and washing us from our sins by His blood,
Rev 1:6  and made us kings and priests to God, even His Father. To Him is the glory and the might forever and ever. Amen.
Rev 5:9  And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy are You to receive the scroll, and to open its seals, because You were slain, and by Your blood purchased us to God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
Rev 5:10  and made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign over the earth.
Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Israel to be kings and priests

Exo 19:5  Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

1st born=1st fruit

Deu 21:17  But he shall acknowledge the first-born, the son of the hated one, by giving him a double portion of all that he has; for he is the firstfruit of his strength, the right of the first-born is his.
Exo 4:22  And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:
Jer 2:3  Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.
Exo 13:2  Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.
Exo 24:4  And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.
Exo 24:5  And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD.
Num 3:12  And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine;
Jas 1:18  Having purposed, He brought us forth by the Word of truth, for us to be a certain firstfruit of His creatures.
Jer 2:3  Israel was holy to Jehovah, the firstfruits (ראשׁית) of His increase. All that devour him become guilty; evil shall come on them, declares Jehovah.
Amo 6:1  Woe to those at ease in Zion, and those trusting in the mountain of Samaria, those noted as the leader (ראשׁית ‘reshiyt’) of the nations! And the house of Israel came to them.
Rev 14:3  And they sing as a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one was able to learn the song except the hundred and forty four thousands, those having been redeemed from the earth.
Rev 14:4  These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones following the Lamb wherever He may go. These were redeemed from among men as a firstfruit to God and to the Lamb.

In Hebrew the word for redemption is פדת ‘padut’ which means to bring back to an original state.


פד ‘pad’ means to bring back to an original state.  When the letter ת ‘tav’ is added it means that redemption comes through the cross/covenant of Messiah Jesus.

This is what redemption is, to bring back man to the state of Adam before he fell.  This can only be done through Christ Jesus.  The sons of God are those who are adopted and redeemed through Messiah Jesus (Romans 8:11-39).

Redemption of the 1st born…pointing back to Passover and especially referring to Messiah Jesus.

Exo 13:15  And it happened when Pharaoh hardened himself against sending us away, Jehovah killed every first-born one in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of men even to the first-born of animals. On account of this I sacrifice to Jehovah every one of the males opening the womb, and I redeem every first-born of my sons.
Exo 13:16  And it shall be for a sign on your hand, and frontlets between your eyes. For
Jehovah brought us out from Egypt by the might of His hand.

Rev 14:1  And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion! And with Him were a hundred and forty four thousands, with the name of His Father having been written on their foreheads.
Rev 22:4  And they will see His face; and His name will be on their foreheads.

 
His Name is the Word

Rev 19:13  and having been clothed in a garment which had been dipped in blood. And His name is called The Word of God. 

We are marked by the Name/Torah/Jesus

Rev 7:3  Do not harm the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, until we seal the slaves of our God on their foreheads.
Rev 7:4  And I heard the number of those having been sealed: one hundred forty four thousands, having been sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel:
Rev 14:1  And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion! And with Him were a hundred and forty four thousands, with the name of His Father having been written on their foreheads.
Rev 14:2  And I heard a sound out of Heaven, as a sound of many waters, and as a sound of great thunder. Also I heard a sound of harpers harping on their harps.
Rev 14:3  And they sing as a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one was able to learn the song except the hundred and forty four thousands, those having been redeemed from the earth.
Rev 14:4  These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones following the Lamb wherever He may go. These were redeemed from among men as a firstfruit to God and to the Lamb.
Rev 14:5  And no guile was found in their mouth, for they are without blemish before the throne of God.

Exodus 8:23 Distinction=redemption=sign=ephod=mark of God?

Exo 8:23  And I will put redemption (KJV distinction) between My people and your people. This miracle shall be for tomorrow.
 

Brought back to an original state.  A sinless state.  Like the Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45).

1Jn 3:1  See what manner of love the Father has given us, that we may be called children of God. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it was not yet revealed what we shall be. But we know that if He is revealed, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.

We shall be in His image.   The Sons of God (Romans 8) will be clothed in the garments of righteousness and salvation (ישועה ‘yeshuah’).

The 144,00 are the firstborn, the priests…redeemed from the earth.

The “distinction” is seen in the end

Mal 3:16  Then those fearing Jehovah spoke together, each man to his neighbor. And Jehovah gave attention and heard. And a Book of Remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Jehovah, and for those esteeming His name.
Mal 3:17  And they shall be Mine, says
Jehovah of Hosts, for the day that I will make up My treasure. And I will pity them as a man has pity on his son who serves him.
Mal 3:18  Then you shall again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God and him who does not serve Him.

 

Resurrection Celebration

Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Messiah.  There is reason to be concerned about some of the modern traditions associated with the holiday which have turned people away from Christ, but the primary message of the celebration is the resurrection of Christ Jesus which is beyond reproach.  Whether one celebrates Easter or Passover is a matter of conviction.  The important matter is that the resurrection of Messiah, the most important aspect of our faith (1 Corinthians 15:13-20), is being proclaimed yearly by His people.

 

Let each believer be convinced in his or her own mind and follow the Lord wholeheartedly in that conviction (Romans 14:5-6).  We all have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling so we ought not to point the finger of condemnation at others as each one of us falls or stands according to the Lord, not man (Romans 14:4).  Regardless of what ‘side’ one chooses, we are to receive each other (προσλαμβάνω ‘proslambanō’ – take by the hand) as the Lord has received us (Romans 14:1-4), bearing one another in love (Romans 15:1-3; 1 Corinthians 13:7).

 

Is the Date of Easter of Pagan Origin?

 

The above link is to a good article for the “pro-Easter” side.  In the past I saw Easter as having “pagan” origins but the more I’ve studied the more I found that to be false.  Pagan accoutrements may have been added later but the origin was a celebration of the resurrection of Christ.

 

“Pascha is the feast of universal redemption. Our earliest sources for the an­nual celebration of the Christian Pascha come to us from the second century…The feast, however, must have originated in the apostolic period…According to the earliest documents, Pascha is described as a nocturnal celebration…”  {The Origins of Pascha and Great Week – Part I}

 

“Direct evidence for the Easter festival begins to appear in the mid-2nd century. Perhaps the earliest extant primary source referencing Easter is a mid-2nd-century Paschal homily attributed to Melito of Sardis, which characterizes the celebration as a well-established one.” {wikipedia.org}

The Quartodeciman controversy displays that Pascha (the remembrance of the death & resurrection of Christ) was being celebrated by the early Church.

Melito was a Quartodeciman, celebrating ‘Pascha’ on the 14th of Nisan/Aviv, in other words he celebrated Passover but did so in remembrance of the resurrection of Messiah.  Pascha later ‘evolved’ into Easter.

 

Is the Name “Easter” of Pagan Origin?

Why We Should Not Passover Easter

 

The confusion and arguments over dates comes from the differences in calendars.  Part of the body of Messiah came from a background of following the Biblical calendar, part of the body came from a background of following the Julian calendar.  Today, the same dynamic is seen.  This difference became known as the ‘Quartodeciman Controversy’ which was spoken of by the Church Father Irenaeus.

 

“For the controversy is not merely as regards the day, but also as regards the form itself of the fast. For some consider themselves bound to fast one day, others two days, others still more, while others [do so during] forty: the diurnal and the nocturnal hours they measure out together as their [fasting] day. And this variety among the observers [of the fasts] had not its origin in our time, but long before in that of our predecessors. . . . And yet nevertheless all these lived in peace one with another, and we also keep peace together. . . . For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp to forego the observance [in his own way], inasmuch as these things had been always [so] observed by John the disciple of our Lord, and by other apostles with whom he had been conversant; nor, on the other hand, could Polycarp succeed in persuading Anicetus to keep [the observance in his way], for he maintained that he was bound to adhere to the usage of the presbyters who preceded him. And in this state of affairs they held fellowship with each other.” {Irenaeus of Lyons, from a letter to Bishop Victor of Rome, in Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1}

 

This quote of Irenaeus is a great example of believers who have differences, yet still abiding in unity/fellowship through the Love of God.  There is no need to point the finger in condemnation at a fellow believer because their convictions are different than yours.  If they have been convicted by the Most High then our fingers of condemnation point not at the person, but at the Convictor (James 4:11).  Personally, I’d rather be on my face before Him as opposed to pointing my finger at Him…

 

The Father is over all (the Head of all), the authority of all (John 14:28). The Head of the Messiah is the Father, the Messiah is the Head of mankind (1 Corinthians 11:3; 15:24-28). The Holy Spirit guides believers into walking according to the will of God (John 14:16, 24-26; 15:26; 16:13; 1 Peter 1:2; Ezekiel 11:19-20; 36:26-28; 1 John 2:20, 27). Therefore, if by the Holy Spirit a believer is convicted of a doctrine, that believer should follow this.

 

As believers we are all brethren, our only Head is Messiah (Matthew 23:8-10; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Galatians 5:13-14; Philippians 2:3). Binding and loosing (interpretation and application of Scripture) applies to all believers (Matthew 16:19; 18:18). This is a part of working out one’s own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13).

 

Elders/church leaders are not the head or authority of the body of Messiah (Matthew 20:25-28; 23:8-12; Mark 10:42-45). They are servants who oversee groups of believers (Acts 20:28; Luke 22:26; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13), laboring in the Word (1 Timothy 5:17) to feed the flock but are not the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:1-6). If a group agrees on a doctrine, believers in that group should respect that agreement but do not have to follow if convicted otherwise by the Lord.  In other words, whether one celebrates Easter or Passover is an individual choice based upon their understanding of God’s will.  We should follow our convictions but at the same time respect the understanding of our brethren.

 

Unity comes only through Messiah, the New Covenant in Him (Psalm 50:5; Isaiah 49:3-9; Hebrews 2:11; 13:20-21; Jeremiah 50:5; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 1:20; 2:1-11) and walking with Him (1John 1:3-7).

 

“Unity in the body of Christ does not rest on uniformity, but on our common ‘blood,’ which is the blood of Christ.  We are now members of one family, and that identity cannot be taken from us, no matter how much we disagree or quarrel.” (The Gospel in Human Contexts – Paul Hiebert pg 193)

 

So while we may have disagreements about doctrine such as the celebration of Easter or Passover, this ought not to be a source of division amongst His people (Philippians 2:3; James 3:16).  Whether you celebrate Easter or Passover or are under the conviction that the feasts don’t apply today we can all be in agreement that we are still in unity through Him, not our agreements on doctrine.  Let each person be convinced in his or her own mind and follow the Lord wholeheartedly in that conviction (Romans 14:5-6).  We all have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling so we ought not to point the finger of condemnation at others as each one of us falls or stands according to the Lord, not man (Romans 14:4).

 

We should put our focus on working out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) for it is He that is working in us according to His own pleasure (Philippians 2:13).  We should focus on obeying the voice of the Lord (John 10:16, 27) and being faithful to that which His Holy Spirit has convicted us of (John 16:8).  We should be prepared to give an answer for this hope in us in meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15), not in condemning and finger pointing which comes not from the spirit of meekness but of pride .

 

Conviction (in Greek {ἐλέγχω ‘elegchō’} is following the guidance of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), the rebuke/correction of Messiah (Revelation 3:19; Hebrews 12:5) not following one’s own heart.  Those who have not the light (Messiah) love the darkness and do not come to the light lest their deeds be ‘reproved’ (convicted) {ἐλέγχω ‘elegchō’}.  Following the conviction of the Lord is humbling oneself before Him, subjecting oneself to Him…the opposite of pride.  One who consents not to the words of Messiah is in the state of pride (1 Timothy 6:3-4), not one who submits to the convictions of the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2:5-16).  One who has their hearts circumcised by Messiah are in a state of humbleness (Leviticus 26:41; Deuteronomy 10:12-16; Colossians 2:10-12) and are not be judged in respect of the calendar (Colossians 2:16-17).  It is those who have an uncircumcised heart that are considered prideful  (Psalm 119:69-70; 17:8-12; Zechariah 7:12; Acts 28:27; Matthew 13:15; John 8:43-44; Luke 18:9-14).

 

Christ in us is our hope of glory (Colossians 1:27; 1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Peter 1:3), not our works or knowledge (1 Peter 1:18-21). Christ in us (Colossians 1:27) is His Word in us (Psalm 119:49-50, 81, 144; 52:9; Colossians 3:16; 1 John 2:14; Hebrews 8:10), His Spirit in us (Ezekiel 36:26; Romans 8:9-11; John 15:26; 14:16-18).  It is Christ dwelling in us that gives us hope, it is this hope that purifies us (1 John 3:2-3), and saves us (Romans 8:24) not our works or knowledge (Psalm 143:2; 146:3; Jeremiah 17:5; Romans 3:20, 28; Titus 3:5; Acts 13:39; Galatians 2:16; 3:10-11).  Good works are the effect of salvation (Christ/Word dwelling in us), Him dwelling in us is the cause (John 15:1-10; 1 John 3:9-10; Hosea 14:8; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:11).  Why then do we judge and condemn others who are standing in the same hope?

 

It is God working through us, according to His will that brings us to where we are (Philippians 2:13).  If we judge our fellow believer in whom God is working through, we are judging Him (James 4:11-12).  Rebuke/correction/admonishment should be done to edify in peace (Romans 14:19) and love (1 Corinthians 8:1), not condemn and cut off others (James 3:14-18).  We are to be faithful to Him, following what the Spirit has taught us and convicted us of (John 16:8).  We can’t force our convictions on others but must be tolerant of their understanding (1 Corinthians 13:7) as the Lord has been patient and tolerant with us.

 

Toleration is from the Latin ‘tolerationem’ which is a “noun of action from past participle stem of tolerare” which means forbearance.  We must recall that while we were yet sinners and enemies of God (Romans 5:8-10; Ephesians 2:1-6; Colossians 1:20-21) He showed us His great forbearance in sending His Son to bring reconciliation between Himself and us (Romans 2:4; 3:25).  As a result, we are also to be “tolerant” to others who are overtaken in sin and extend His goodness to them (Romans 2:1-4).  We are to seek to restore one overtaken in a fault, bearing one another’s burdens and so fulfilling the law of Christ (Galatians 6:1-3).

 

We must never tolerate sin (Psalm 97:10; Proverbs 8:13; Amos 5:15), yet we must never be intolerant to the sinner (Leviticus 19:17; 1 John 2:9-29).  Tolerance comes from the Latin word ‘tolerantia’ which means to “bear” which compares with the Greek word στέγω ‘stego’ (bears) of which love performs (1 Corinthians 13:7).  Love “beareth” all things, yet love does not rejoice in iniquity (1 Corinthians 13:6).

 

‘Tolerantia’ traces back to the Hebrew word תלה ‘talah’ which means to lift up and hang as in the Messiah being lifted up (Deuteronomy 21:23; Galatians 3:13) that mankind might be reconciled to the Father while we were yet in our sins (Romans 5:8).  Messiah is the epitome of toleration.  He who was without sin (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5) tolerated the presence of sinners and bear our burdens/sins that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).  As a result, we are to carry this same “toleration”, the ministry of reconciliation , hating the sin of the world, yet never hating the sinner (1 John 2:9-29).

 

We are saved by His grace through faith where we become His workmanship that He can work through us performing  good works (Ephesians 2:8-10).  These good works are light  (Matthew 5:16), His Word  (Psalm 119:105), the Spirit of His Torah  (Proverbs 6:23; Isaiah 8:20) shining through us (Psalm 27:1; John 8:12; Isaiah 60:1-2). These good works are performed by Him, through us (Philippians 2:13).  We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) as He works through us, convicting us by His Spirit (John 16:8) on how we are to walk in His Word.  It is The Most High who works through us, causing us to grow in maturity in His Word (Psalm 57:2; 18:32; 138:8).  As a result, we are not to judge one another on how we walk, for we are all His servants and stand by His power, not our knowledge or works (Romans 14:4-5).  We must remember that if a believer is sincerely following the Lord, it is He that is guiding them.  This is true regardless of the failings we perceive in them.

 

Php 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

 

We have all fallen short (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8-10) and see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12) so we can’t judge fellow believers for their shortcomings (James 4:11-12; Romans 14:4, 13). Our understanding of the Word and our success in following this understanding is not what makes us His people, it is our faith in the Messiah (Romans 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:14). What justifies us and saves us before the Father is faith in Messiah, not “obedience” to the Torah (Galatians 2:16; 3:11; Romans 3:28; 5:1). We receive the Spirit, who guides us on how we are to walk, by faith not works of the law (Galatians 3:2, 5).

 

When asked why we do what we do, we should be prepared to give an answer for the hope in us in meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15), not in condemning and finger pointing which comes not from the spirit of meekness but of pride.  Each of us should be fully persuaded in our minds as to how we are to walk with the Lord (Romans 14:5), letting His Spirit guide (John 16:13), convict (John 16:8) and teach us (1 John 2:20, 27).

 

If we can remember that we are all saved by His grace through faith and stand therein (Romans 5:1-2; 2 Corinthians 1:24), we will be able to better abide in His “first love” (Revelation 2:4) and extend His mercy and grace to others even when we disagree with them.  If we remember that we all see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12) we can better abide in His faith, hope and love.

 

The Lord is transforming us from glory to glory by His own power (2 Corinthians 3:18), not by our religious doctrines and movements.  It is His job to perfect us and recreate us in His image, not ours (Psalm 57:2; 18:32; 138:8; Ephesians 4:4-13).  It is not our job to overcome the flesh by our own power.  Our job is to yield unto Him that He might work through us (Romans 6:7-19).  Hence, all praise and glory and honor belongs unto Him (Romans 6:17; Revelation 5:12-13; 7:12; Isaiah 42:8).

 

When we come to faith, our job is to yield ourselves to the Lord that He might work through us (Romans 6:13-19; Philippians 3:21).  We are to present ourselves as living sacrifices unto Him (Romans 12:1) that the body of sin might be destroyed (Romans 6:6-12).  Sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4), dying to the sinful flesh that we might walk by faith does not nullify the law, it establishes it (Romans 3:31).  We must put the law in its proper perspective.  It is not our means to salvation and righteousness (Romans 10:3-4), if we walk according to this we frustrate the grace of God and demean Christ’s sacrifice (Galatians 2:21).  The law convicts us as sinners (Galatians 3:22) that we might come to faith in Messiah (Galatians 3:24-25) as new creatures in Him (Galatians 3:26-29).  He is the Word/Torah made flesh (John 1:1, 14) and is forming us into His image (1 John 3:1-5) from glory to glory by His Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

We can yield/submit to Him that we might become His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 10:3-4; Philippians 3:9) or we can attempt to establish our own righteousness by our own power (works of the law/religion) and fall into condemnation (Isaiah 64:6; 57:12; Galatians 2:16; 3:10).

 

If a fellow believer has a different understanding of doctrine or is even clearly walking in error, this doesn’t mean they aren’t our brethren or that they are worshiping a different Jesus.  This doesn’t mean they have a different Spirit.  This doesn’t mean they believe in a different Gospel.  This means they, like all of us, still have a carnal nature which prevents them from walking in the fullness of His Truth (Romans 7:14-25).  They, like all of us, fall short of perfection (James 3:1-2).  They, like all of us, see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12).  Our only hope of defeating this carnal nature is Him (Romans 7:24-24), not ourselves.

 

Works of the law/religion does not bring Messiah into our hearts (Galatians 3:2-5), faith does (Galatians 2:16).  The law was designed to lead us to Him (Hebrews 10:1), revealing our sins (Romans 7:7) and condemning us (Romans 7:5-23; 1 Corinthians 15:56) that we might turn to Him by faith and receive His gift of grace unto salvation (Romans 5:20; 7:24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:57).  Through faith in Him, we receive His Spirit (Galatians 3:5, 14) to work through us (Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 3:20; Hebrews 13:21) and guide us (John 16:13; 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13) that we might walk by the Spirit of the law unto life, becoming His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9).  If we walk in the letter of the law by our own power (works of the law) we will die (Galatians 3:10; 2:16).

 

Our understanding of Jesus is a gift from above, it is not given to us that we might point the finger at those who haven’t come to the same understanding (Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22).  If we abide in His doctrine, we abide in Him (2 John 1:9; Hebrews 6:1).  Hebrews 6:1 declares the foundational doctrine of Messiah is repentance, faith towards God, baptism, laying on of hands, the resurrection and eternal judgment.  Hebrews 6 does not say the doctrine of Christ is pronunciation of His name, holiday beliefs, sabbaths, kosher etc.

 

Messiah declared if we continue in His Word then we are His disciples (John 8:31-32).  He did not say if we understand His Word perfectly and walk in perfection we would be His disciples.  If a believer is seeking to walk in His Word, regardless of their understanding or misunderstanding they are His disciples.  If a believer eats unclean food and celebrates some unbiblical customs associated with Easter [add any other pet doctrine] this does not mean they are following another Jesus.  This means they have errors in understanding, this doesn’t mean they have errors in faith (Romans 3:1-7).

 

His desire is for us to abide in Him and bear fruit  (John 15:1-8) continuing in His love  (John 15:1-17).  Bearing fruit doesn’t mean one has to have perfect knowledge of His Word.  Bearing fruit is done by abiding in Messiah (Philippians 1:11; 1 Corinthians 3:7; 2 Corinthians 9:10; Ephesians 5:9), Him working through us by His Spirit and growing us unto maturity (2 Peter 1:5-8; Colossians 1:10; Galatians 5:22-23).  We abide in Him by faith, not by our works.  It is the fruit that is being produced which will display if one is abiding in Messiah or not (Matthew 7:16-20).  The greatest fruit that will display one’s abiding in Messiah is love (John 15:9-12).  Love defends, love doesn’t condemn (Proverbs 10:12; 17:9; 1 Corinthians 13:4; 1 Peter 4:8).  Love does not seek to cut off other believers because they don’t measure up to our expectations and deem them as idolaters worshiping another Jesus (Galatians 5:14-15).

 

If knowledge causes contention and strife and leads us to point the finger of accusation and condemnation at our fellow man, we better examine ourselves because this is more than likely devilish knowledge (James 3:14-16).  Knowledge or doctrine should not cause us to divide from our brethren, this is carnal (1 Corinthians 3:3-4; Jude 1:19; Philippians 2:3; Galatians 5:19-20).  Those who walk in this manner cannot please God (Romans 8:6-8).  Messiah is not divided (1 Corinthians 1:12-13), His body is to be unified  (John 17:11, 21-22; Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 6:15-17; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 4:5; Philippians 1:27; 2:2) not divided into carnal cliques.

 

Division comes as a result of man’s carnal nature inherited from the first Adam when he partook of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Adam was given dominion over the earth, or headship (Genesis 1:26) but when he allowed the serpent to creep into the garden and partook of the fruit of which he was commanded not to, he forfeited this dominion (Luke 4:6).  Messiah Jesus overcame the dominion of the enemy (Colossians 2:15; Acts 2:23-36) and is now the only Head on this earth (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23; Psalm 18:43).  Today we see division amongst men because they put other men as their heads.   We must not submit to other men as Jesus alone is our head and we are all brethren (Matthew 23:8) called to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13).

 

We must stop appointing men as our heads and dividing into little cliques based upon the knowledge and doctrine of men.  We must stop accusing one another over doctrine and cutting off other members of the body of Messiah because they don’t agree with us in every doctrine.  We must stop accusing other members of the body of Messiah of worshiping a different Yeshua/Jesus because they don’t agree with us in doctrine.  For those who celebrate Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, this is a part of getting rid of the leaven in our lives.

 

1Co 1:12  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
1Co 1:13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

 

The word for “envying” in 1 Corinthians 3:3 is ζῆλος ‘zēlos’ which also means zealousness.  Zealousness for God’s truth is great (Revelation 3:19; Titus 2:14), but we must be careful that this zealousness does not turn into carnal envy.  Although we have been given God’s Spirit, we still have sin dwelling in our carnal flesh (Romans 7:11, 17-18).  Carnality is carnality whether or not it is disguised as religion or not.  Sadly, many times our zealousness for God can be used by satan to lead us into persecution of one another in the guise of religious zeal (Acts 22:3-4; Philippians 3:6; Romans 10:2-4).

 

Jas 3:13  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Jas 3:14  But if ye have bitter envying {ζῆλος ‘zēlos’} and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15  This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Jas 3:17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

 

Love envies not

1Co 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

When we walk in God’s love we realize that we do not have the corner market on truth.  As a result we must be patient with one another focusing on faith, hope and love.  Recall that these three things constitute the armor of God, in specific His breastplate of righteousness (1 Thessalonians 5:8-9).  It is in this love that we can stand (Ephesians 6:11-18; Romans 5:1-2).

 

Knowledge puffs us up and leads to division.  Love does not puff us up, love edifies (1 Corinthians 4:4-7; 13:4; Colossians 2:18-19).  Love bears up the weak, not seeking to please the self but seeking to edify the other (Romans 15:1-3; 1 Corinthians 13:7).

 

1Co 8:1  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge.  Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

1Co 8:2  And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
1Co 8:3  But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

Eph 6:23  Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 6:24  Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

1Co 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

 

Scripture declares that he that thinks he stands needs to take heed lest he fall.  We don’t stand by our works or knowledge, we stand only by faith (2 Corinthians 1:24) in the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1) which is given by the grace of God (Romans 5:2).  As a result, we are not to judge each other and the perceived failings of each other as we are all servants of God and He is the Master who makes us stand or fall (Romans 14:4).

 

What do we stand in?

 

Rom 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


Rom 14:4  Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

1Co 15:1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2Co 1:24  Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

 

We are unified  by our hope  in Him (Ephesians 4:4-6), regardless of our differences (denominations, movements etc).  We are unified  by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4), Christ dwelling in us (Romans 8:9).  The saved are unified by the Savior (Hebrews 2:11), not by their works or their perceived superiority to others.

 

When it comes to doctrines, Biblical controversies and the like, we are to be faithful to the guidance of His Spirit (John 16:8, 13), but are not to condemn and cut off those who do not see as we do (Romans 8:1; Luke 6:37).  We are to edify in love (Romans 14:19; 1 Corinthians 8:1) and accept when another does not want that edification.  Messiah came as a Physician to those who knew they were sick but did not force His healing upon those who thought they were well (Matthew 9:12; Mark 2:17; John 9:39-41).

 

We perform His will by Him working through us, not by our power/works (Philippians 2:13; Hebrews 13:21; Mark 16:20; Ephesians 1:11; 2:9-10; 3:20; Hebrews 13:21; 1 Corinthians 12:6).  Did we receive His Spirit by faith or by works (Galatians 3:2-7)?  Through faith we have an unction/anointing of His Spirit (1 John 2:20), Christ’s Spirit dwells in us (Romans 8:9-10) and we are guided by Him (John 16:13).  If we don’t have His Spirit then we don’t belong to Him (Romans 8:9).  If we are not doing our works by His Spirit, then we are doing them by our own power (Galatians 3:5) and we are walking in the works of the law, we are denying Him (Romans 9:32-33; 10:3-10; Galatians 2:16-21) and going down the path of destruction (Galatians 3:10).

 

We are to take up our crosses (Mark 10:21; Luke 14:26-33), dying to the self (Philippians 3:10; Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthians 15:31; Galatians 2:20; 5:24; 6:14-15) that He might live through us (John 11:25; Romans 6:7-18).  If we refuse to die to ourselves and continue to walk by our own power, we will die (Romans 8:13).  If Christ dwells in us, sin is dead and we are new creatures (Romans 6:7-18; Galatians 6:14-15).  Sin is the transgression of the law/Word (1 John 3:4), hence if we walk in Him (the Word made flesh) we will not walk in sin (1 John 3:9-10; 5:18; 2 Timothy 2:19).  If we do sin, it is sin dwelling in us (Romans 7:17-25), not Him.  It is the old man which has already died with Him (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9).  If we do sin, we have and Advocate with God (1 John 2:1).  As believers, we should be walking in the footsteps of this Advocate (1 John 2:2-6), helping others out of sin while considering our own weakness in the flesh (Galatians 6:1-3).

 

As believers, our job is to walk with the Defender of the brethren, Messiah Jesus (Luke 22:31-32; Romans 8:31-34; Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:15-16; 1 John 2:2-2), not the accuser (Revelation 12:11).  Those who accuse others and slander others are walking in the footsteps of the adversary.  In the New Testament, the word for devils is διάβολος ‘diabolos’ which is translated as false accusers (2 Timothy 3:3) and slanderers (1 Timothy 3:11).

 

Believers are called to walk in the footsteps of Messiah (1 John 2:6; Ephesians 5:1-2).  Putting on the breastplate of righteousness that we might stand together against the devil.  Defending one another, loving one another as love covers all sins (Proverbs 10:12; 17:9; 1 Corinthians 13:4; 1 Peter 4:8).

 

A breastplate is a tool of defense.  The breastplate of God is righteousness, faith and love (Ephesians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:18).  We are children of light (1 Thessalonians 5:5), called to stand in His love, wearing His breastplate of love (1 Thessalonians 5:8).  We are not appointed to wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9) for Messiah took our sins upon us that we might live together with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:10).  The accusations of the devil are powerless against us (Romans 8:1, 33-39).  As a result, we are to edify one another in love (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Romans 14:19), not tear down each other in condemnation (Ephesians 4:1-32).  We are called to forgive one another in love, that the adversary not get an advantage on us (2 Corinthians 2:10-11).

 

The Lord is transforming us from glory to glory by His own power (2 Corinthians 3:18), not by our religious doctrines and movements.  It is His job to perfect us and recreate us in His image, not ours (Psalm 57:2; 18:32; 138:8; Ephesians 4:4-13).  It is not our job to overcome the flesh by our own power.  Our job is to yield unto Him that He might work through us (Romans 6:7-19).  Hence, all praise and glory and honor belongs unto Him (Romans 6:17; Revelation 5:12-13; 7:12; Isaiah 42:8).

 

Easter is Pagan?

ishtar owl
The Burney Relief

 

“Perhaps the most misinformed theory that rolls around the internet this time of year is that Easter was originally a celebration of the ancient Near Eastern fertility goddess…Ishtar…There’s no linguistic connection, however.  Ishtar is Akkadian and Easter is likely to be Anglo-Saxon…Just because words in different languages sound the same doesn’t mean they are related.  In Swedish, the word “kiss” means urine.”  {Did Christians really steal Easter – Dr. Candida Moss}

“Ishtar the goddess was worshipped a long, long, long time ago, in Babylon and Assyria.  We’re talking about the 600s BC here.  The word “Easter” is from the English language, which only started to develop, as such, around the fifth or seventh century AD.”

“That’s a gap of over a thousand years.  So don’t you suppose anyone who claims a connection needs to provide a little more documentation?  I mean, besides, “One sure sounds like the other to me?”  There are even some who claim that “Ishtar” is pronounced like “Easter,” though I have yet to hear a “sh” sound in “Easter.”  Nor do any of these people tell us how they got hold of Ancient Near Eastern pronunciation manuals.”

“We have no record of any pagan worshipping “Ostara/Eostre.” We have no record of any rituals associated with her, and that includes no rituals that make use of rabbits and eggs, contrary to what some of the anti-Easter crowd say. Because of this, some scholars think Bede just made this story up. Others think Bede had some real goods, but we just don’t know (e.g., comments by Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England, 98).

What we do know is that there’s some sort of etymological connection between the German language and English when it comes to the word “Easter.” The word “Easter” in German is “Ostern.” The word “east” in German is “Osten.” If you’re inclined to be charitable, you may think this has something to do with Jesus rising from the dead before sunrise (in the east). If you’re inclined to be suspicious, you’ll lean towards the theory that Ostara was a real pagan goddess from back in Bede’s time, but that’s something you’d have a hard time proving.

Given the etymology, it’s also possible that both ideas are true, in a way. It may be that both Easter and Ostara were named based on connections to the sunrise in the east, although for different reasons.

The bottom line is, we just don’t know. But it may not matter anyway. As we indicated earlier, Easter was originally observed under the name “Pascha,” hearkening back to the Passover. So, if “Easter” does come from the name of a pagan goddess, it’s a latecomer to the scene – and you also may as well be upset that people drive Saturn automobiles, eat Athena brand goat cheese, and drive with Midas mufflers. It’s just not that meaningful.”  {Easter is Pagan And Other Fables – J.P. Holding: Tekton Apologetics Ministries}

 

Easter History – part II

“Easter is an English word; and not by any means the original name of the feast. Passover is an English word too. Anyone who wants to make a huge deal about calling something by a different name should remember that the name of the celebration isn’t Passover. In Hebrew and Aramaic the name is Pesach. In Greek and Latin the name is Pascha. “Nisan”, as in the month of Nisan, is also a pagan name. It’s Babylonian. The Hebrews adopted it during the Exile. If names is your sticking point, then definitely you should avoid celebrating Passover on the 14th of Nissan.
BTW.. switch to “Abib” all you like; that’s a Canaanite name. (Pagan!)”

When the New Testament was being formed, the name of the Last Supper was “Pascha.” Pascha is used 29 times in the New Testament. When the KJV translates Acts 12: 4 into Easter, the original word is Pascha. When the Quartodecimans and the church in the West argued over timing, they argued over one and the same feast, which was Pascha. When we read the ancient histories, particularly by Eusebius who wrote about the infamous Council of Nicea, the word he used was Pascha. This is the name that was used for hundreds of years before English even became a language or the word Easter was ever uttered. To this very day the name of the Easter celebration throughout most of Christendom is Pascha (or some very similar derivitive), as it always had been.

The Catholic Encyclopedia lists a great number of the Paschal names:

“The Greek term for Easter, pascha, has nothing in common with the verb paschein, “to suffer,” although by the later symbolic writers it was connected with it; it is the Aramaic form of the Hebrew pesach (transitus, passover). The Greeks called Easter the pascha anastasimon; Good Friday the pascha staurosimon. The respective terms used by the Latins are Pascha resurrectionis and Pascha crucifixionis. In the Roman and Monastic Breviaries the feast bears the title Dominica Resurrectionis; in the Mozarabic Breviary, In Lætatione Diei Pasch Resurrectionis; in the Ambrosian Breviary, In Die Sancto Paschæ. The Romance languages have adopted the Hebrew-Greek term: Latin, Pascha; Italian, Pasqua; Spanish, Pascua; French, Pâques. Also some Celtic and Teutonic nations use it: Scottish, Pask; Dutch, Paschen; The correct word in Dutch is actually Pasen; Danish, Paaske; Swedish, Pask; even in the German provinces of the Lower Rhine the people call the feast Paisken not Ostern. The word is, principally in Spain and Italy, identified with the word “solemnity” and extended to other feasts, e.g. Sp., Pascua florida, Palm Sunday; Pascua de Pentecostes, Pentecost; Pascua de la Natividad, Christmas; Pascua de Epifania, Epiphany. In some parts of France also First Communion is called Pâques, whatever time of the year administered.”

-Holweck, Frederick. “Easter.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 19 Apr. 2010.

So, the origin of the Easter celebration is indeed the Jewish Passover; particularly the Last Supper which Jesus ate with His Apostles. As the article demonstrates, the celebration is still called Passover in all non-Germanic languages throughout Europe and west Asia. We can definitively conclude that the origin of Easter is not pagan, as some claim. Regardless of what it’s called.”

Is Easter a Pagan Festival?

Summary:
“From the evidence we have, we can be confident that the word Easter comes from the name of the month in which it fell, not from the name of a goddess. Eaosturmonath was likely shortened in the translation, as is common with long names, and eventually we get the English word Easter.”
Easter is Pascha. Pascha is Easter.
Easter is an English word that comes from the High German name for the month of April, Ostarmonath. It does not come from the name of a goddess.
Easter is not pagan in origin, but began as a matter of desiring a reliable, set timing for the Lord’s Supper and the end of the Lenten fast that went with it – that doesn’t rely on the Jews to determine the timing.

Eggs were traditions among the Orthodox since who knows when and weren’t introduced in the Latin west perhaps until after 1,000 A.D. They don’t even factor in. Even if they were pagan fertility symbols to remote cultures, we have no evidence these things came from the Germans, or that they were adopted into Christianity from pagans. They could have been innocent Spring symbols.”

Easter FAQ

“I am shocked at the statements being passed off as truth on the Internet these days. Here is very short a list of the some of the unsubstantiated claims that are out there:

• Sun-worshippers went to their temples weekly, on Sunday, to worship the Sun-god.
• Nimrod’s wife was Semiramis, who claimed to be the Virgin Queen of Heaven, and was the mother of Tammuz.
• Tammuz was killed by a wild boar when he was age 40; so 40 days of Lent were set aside to honor his death.
• The Babylonians wept for him on “Good Friday.” They worshipped a cross-the initial letter of his name.

These and similar claims, popular as they may be on the Internet, are patently ridiculous. They are unfounded and unverifiable. People who pass on these lies all claim to love the truth. I shudder for the truth! Just try to find proof for these claims in ancient documents and you cannot. Drill down and you will come to a dead end. Why? Because they’re made up! Wouldn’t you expect to be able to provide solid evidence for something if it’s is true? Yet well-intentioned people propagate these tales regardless.”

For more on this subject see:

Is the Name “Easter” of Pagan Origin?

Some studies for further research for those interested:

A look at the “pagan roots” of Easter – Are They Breaking God’s Law?

“It occurred to me that the “Christians” and HRM followers who make these claims are not adhering to what the Bible says. This is especially hypocritical of the HRM because by claiming that Christmas and Easter are pagan, they are breaking the Law that they claim to follow:

Matthew 18:15-17: 15 “If your brother sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. 16 If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.”

John 8:17: Even in your law it is written that the testimony of two men can be verified.

2 Corinthians 13:1: This third time I am coming to you. “On the testimony of two or three witnesses a fact shall be established.”

1 Timothy 5:19: Do not accept an accusation against a presbyter unless it is supported by two or three witnesses.

Therefore, those who claim that Easter is the festival of an ancient goddess base this claim on myth and only one historical witness in the writings of an 8th century Monk. This clearly goes against the Biblical prescription of having two or three witnesses on a matter.

It seems that anyone who observes the Law, as well as those who follow the New Testament would not make fictitious claims against other Christians without the witnesses as prescribed by the Bible to back their claims. Not only are they disregarding the Biblical instructions on such accusations, but they are breaking a commandment in bearing false witness against their neighbor/fellow believers in Jesus.”

Great Lent and Holy Week

“There’s no historical evidence that coloring Easter eggs comes from the blood of sacrificed infants, that is a “myth” of Alexander Hislop. However, there is ancient tradition as to how this custom originated.”

“Many popular Easter customs originated in the Christian East.

The coloring of “Easter eggs” originated from the pious legend that Mary Magdala was bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Christ – This remains the tradition among observant Jews even in our own time – When Mary Magdala saw the Lord, the eggs in her basket turned brilliant red. Thus, the true meaning of dyeing Easter eggs is to show forth the miraculous transformation and re-creation of the whole world by the victorious resurrection of Christ.

The origin of the “Easter basket” The faithful, having fasted and abstained from meats, eggs, and dairy products throughout all of Great Lent, would bring baskets of these festive foods to church on Easter Sunday. There the priests would bless the baskets after Divine liturgy and the people would share their foods with one another and the poor in a true “break-fast.”

Even Spring cleaning is found in the tradition of the Eastern Churches. During the great week before Pascha the faithful would clean their homes with special care and attention so that no imperfection however slight would mar the purity of the Resurrection. In Eastern Europe all the contents of the house would be brought outside and the building would be scrubbed from top to bottom inside and out.”

The Orthodox Christian Tradition of Exchanging Red Eggs at Pascha

“It is an ancient Orthodox Christian tradition to have red eggs at Pascha. Many people are surprised to find out that this tradition dates to the Apostolic era. The custom of presenting each other with a red egg at Pascha reflects an interchange between Mary Magdalene and Tiberius Caesar.

After the resurrection, Mary Magdalene became a strong witness and traveling preacher of the Gospel, and for this she is referred to as an “equal to the Apostles.”

Her travels eventually took Mary Magdalene to Rome, where because of her family’s standing she was able to obtain an audience with the Roman Emperor, Tiberius Caesar. Her purpose was to protest to him that his governor in Judea, Pontius Pilate, and the two high priests, Annas and Caiaphas, had conspired and executed an innocent man, namely our Lord Jesus Christ.

She presented him with a red egg (representing the stone which had been rolled away), saying: “Christ is risen!” She told Caesar of Pilate’s injustice toward Jesus. He responded by moving Pilate to Gaul, where he died under imperial displeasure after a prolonged illness. She then assisted St. John the Theologian in Ephesus. She preached boldly the gospel of the Risen Lord whom she loved.

According to the tradition, everyone visiting the Emperor was supposed to bring him a gift. Rich and influential people, of course, brought expensive gifts whereas the poor offered whatever they could afford. Mary Magdalene took an egg to the Emperor’s palace and handed it to Tiberius Caesar with the greeting: “Christ is risen!”

Tiberius Caesar, naturally, could not believe what he heard and responded to her: “How could anyone ever rise from the dead? It is as impossible as that white egg to turn red.” While Tiberius was speaking these words, the egg in the hand of Mary Magdalene began changing color until it finally became bright red.

Thus the Pascha greeting — in universal Christendom, both East and West — has ever since remained “Christ is risen!” and it became traditional for Christians throughout the world to color eggs in red.

Mary Magdalene then went on to explain to Tiberius Caesar that the now-red egg symbolized life rising from a sealed chamber, a symbol that would have been understandable to a pagan Roman.”

Mary Magdalene is painted in iconography holding the red egg once presented to Tiberius Caesar, which she used to explain the mystery of Christ rising from a sealed tomb.
Mary Magdalene is painted in iconography holding the red egg once presented to Tiberius Caesar, which she used to explain the mystery of Christ rising from a sealed tomb.

 

Easter, Ishtar and Tammuz – Examining the Sources of the United Church of God

Ishtar and Eostre- The True Origins of the Easter Connection

Was Easter Borrowed from a Pagan Holiday?

Easter was NOT based on a pagan holiday

 Eostre: The Making of a Myth

 Eostre: The Making of a Myth Part 2

 Hunting the spurious Eostre Hare

Why we should not Passover Easter

Are the Symbols and Customs of Easter of Pagan Origin?

Is the Date of Easter of Pagan Origin?

Eostre and Easter Customs

 The modern myth of the Easter bunny

 

 

Related Links:

Pagan Christianity Examined

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Easter & Paganism?

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Easter Eggs

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Easter Lily

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Easter Bunny

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Resurrection Celebration

Holidays

 

Psychology

 

Shadows of Messiah – Lent

Easter & the Resurrection

Musings – Easter & Passover

Shadows of Messiah – Spring

 

Daily Tidbits 4/12 – Resurrection

 

Daily Tidbits 4/1/14 – April

 

Shadows of Messiah book 3b

blessing 4

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