“Because He is risen, I don’t keep Easter” — plus a great chart contrasting Easter and Passover

Passover Lamb or Easter Bunny? Mr. Mike DeSimone has something worthwhile to say about that. (So does the Bible...)
Passover Lamb or Easter Bunny? Mr. Mike DeSimone has something worthwhile to say about that. (So does the Bible…)

It’s a busy day, today! As did the ancient, faithful Christian Polycrates, my family “observe(s) the day when the people put out the leaven.” With Passover last night and the Days of Unleavened Bread beginning tonight, we’ve got loose ends to tie up — really, final crumbs to throw out. And I can’t stay down here in my hovel typing on my blog while they are doing all the work upstairs. (Or, can I…)

Still, I do like to post something at this time of year — in particular, I like to mention why I, as a Christian, simply cannot keep Easter. So, I thought I would provide some reruns today in the event that some may not have seen them before.

The one post I’ve written on the topic that I like the most is “Because He is risen, I don’t keep Easter” — which was eventually cleaned up and turned into the Tomorrow’s World commentary, “Because He Is Risen, I Do Not Keep Easter.” It’s a rare example where I found the ability to be concise. 🙂

And the Tomorrow’s World website has a number of resources for anyone interested in why Christians should not keep Easter and why they should consider the biblical Holy Days, instead. (You’ll note that the statement presumes that Easter is not a biblical Holy Day. Not an accidental contrast there.)

Speaking (however parenthetically) of contrasts, the commentary published just today (I think) on the Tomorrow’s World website is excellent: “Easter or Passover” by Mr. Mike DeSimone. It includes a very good chart contrasting Easter and the Christian Passover that really nicely lays out points one should consider. I highly recommend it.

That’s all from me today. Those last stubborn crumbs await! For those who keep the biblical Holy Days, I pray that all of us have a meaningful and profitable Days of Unleavened Bread!

8 thoughts on ““Because He is risen, I don’t keep Easter” — plus a great chart contrasting Easter and Passover

  1. John from Australia

    Hi Mr Smith,

    Please bear with me in presenting this argument:

    1Co 5:7b Christ our passover is sacrificed for us
    1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits

    It appears that the ‘institutions’ of Israel provides types of Jesus Christ – Christ as “our passover” and “the firstfruits”.

    So as the Passover was sacrificed on the fourteenth Christ had to die on the fourteenth; as no bone of the Passover sacrifice was broken so no bone of Christ’s was broken.

    1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept

    In the above verse Paul associates the resurrection with the firstfruits.

    Lev 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
    Lev 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

    As the firstfruits ‘ceremony’ occurred on the morrow after the Sabbath and that Paul associates the firstfruits and resurrection wouldn’t it follow that the resurrection would also occur on the morrow after the Sabbath to fulfil typology?

    Lev 23:10 … then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest

    The bringing of the sheaf is associated with the harvest; and since harvesting was not done on the Sabbath but after the Sabbath, it would also follow that the harvest/resurrection of Jesus Christ would also not occur on the Sabbath, but on the morrow after the Sabbath; at least that is what typology suggests to me.

    For me to make the assumption that because a modern culture would understands that three days and three nights as literal so would an ancient culture is a big ask; especially when inclusive reckoning was known to be employed – cp. Lev 23:15-16, Acts 10:1-30.


  2. Thanks, John from Australia, for writing.

    The Feasts of God (not of Israel: Lev. 23:1) certainly do picture various aspects of salvation, including elements of Jesus Christ’s roles. But we cannot use that as a pretext for adopting pagan observances into the Church, in contradiction to the Word of God. And this would be true, regardless of some of the errors in your observations, which I’ll address here briefly.

    In 1 Cor. 15:20, Paul does not associate the resurrection with the firstfruits. He associates the resurrected Christ with the firstfruits. It’s a subtle distinction, but directly relevant for the point you seek to make. It implies that if there is an association to be made with the wave sheaf offering, it need not correspond to the resurrection, directly, but to the acceptance of the resurrected Christ by God, in more direct relation to the verse you cite: “He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.”

    Indeed, a careful reading of the gospel accounts indicates that Jesus did, in fact, apparently appear before the Father between His initial comments to the women at the tomb and his later meeting them along the road. This fulfills the typology of the wave sheaf.

    As for the three days and three nights, even were the possibility of “inclusive reckoning” granted (and I am not admitting is an actual possibility, by the way), there is no way to reconcile the gospel account to a Good Friday/Easter Sunday accounting. The scriptures are clear that He died before a High Day Sabbath and that one work day occurred before that High Day and the weekly Sabbath, on which the women bought and prepared the additional spices they needed. This is incompatible with a Good Friday/Easter Sunday scenario.

    And as for the inclusive reckoning hypothesis, neither of the biblical examples given never use the precise wording of Jesus’ comment, which corresponds to the tale of Jonah, by Jesus’ own testimony. (And this is being generous, given that Cornelius refers not only to his vision, but to his fasting until that hour, which easily accommodates a full four days.) The only circumstance that reconciles all accounts is the one that takes Jesus at His words: three days and three nights. In fact, given the other evidence in the gospels, even an “inclusive reckoning” would have meant a resurrection earlier than sundown on the Sabbath not later than sundown on the Sabbath. And it is Jesus the first century Jew, not we of the twenty-first, who said “Are there not twelve hours in the day?” (John 11:9)

    No one is asking anyone to make any assumptions — just to trust the words for what they say, in their own context, and to believe that God’s inspired Word is internally consistent (cf. John 10:35).

  3. John from Australia

    Hi Mr Smith

    Thanks for the response, though it does expose how inarticulate I am compared to yourself.

    Once again we will have to agree to disagree.

    But I would like to say I am not attempting to adopt pagan observances, but trying to square the typology of the beginning of the harvest and the wave [elevation] sheaf offering.

    Maybe I will see it differently in time.

    But for me typology suggests that as the physical harvest began on the morrow after the Sabbath then the spiritual harvest would also begin on the morrow after the Sabbath; just as another type of harvest – a harvest of conversions – began on the morrow after the Sabbath some fifty days later (inclusive reckoning).

    I am sorry, but I can’t square a Sabbath resurrection with firstfruits typology.

    For me, for Christ to be a true passover sacrifice He had to be sacrificed on the fourteenth and to be a true firstfruit He had to be resurrected on a Sunday.

    Mt 28:1 After the sabbaths [sabbatὀn], at the dawning into the first [mia] of the sabbaths [sabbatὀn], Mary Magdelene and the other Mary came to see the grave. (IHGEB).

    Or using Matthew’s terminology the resurrection would have to be on a “first of the Sabbaths”.

    Regards John

  4. Thanks, John, for your kind words. I have, however, never thought of you as inarticulate, at all. 🙂

    I do understand your point of view. I just believe that the greater need is to square the resurrection with Christ’s own words, rather than my assumptions about typology. Especially when even given the most generous assumptions toward the “on Sunday” view, Christ still rose before it was light according to the Scriptures, including the one you mention. (v.6 makes it plain: “He is not here” — He had risen sometime before that moment.) At dawn before the break of day it is noted that the tomb was already empty. He had, thus, risen before dawn.

    Again, rather than straining with the facts to fit a typology more closely than Scripture seems to demand, I have to stick with the straightforward meaning of the words of the Lord. Best that the resurrection’s fidelity to how I think things ought to work should suffer than its fidelity to the plain declarations of Jesus Christ.

    Thanks, again, for your thoughts!

  5. Greetings, Rick. Sorry for the delay in moderating! I haven’t attended to this blog very much since my move. Thanks for the link, but if you think it answers the outstanding questions about Easter, you are a bit mistaken. Jesus’ commands are pretty clear, and their implications for Easter are just as clear. In fact, since this was written we have another resource we’ve added: a 30-minute broadcast titled “Three Hard Questions about Easter” that aired earlier this year. Feel free to click through and check it out.

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