Easter - A Religious Counterfeit!
Each spring millions of people worldwide buy their new clothes and Easter bonnets, decorate eggs for the children to hunt, and attend Easter sunrise services. They believe they are worshipping the resurrection of their Messiah. Some even look at it as a melding of the resurrection with the Jewish Passover. Is this the truth? Is any of it true? Or are some of these items a counterfeit for the truth?
Based on the premise that Scripture is the source of truth, let's see what it says first. Then we'll look at the observances of today.
The Old Testament
The first Passover is found in Exodus 12. The Israelites had been in slavery in Egypt for a long time. Using Moses as their leader, Yahweh was going to free them and develop His nation.
Yahweh laid out instructions for Moses to pass on to the people. They were to set aside an unblemished lamb, slaughter it on the fourteenth in the evening, and put the blood on the door posts so that the death angel would pass over them and not kill their firstborn as it did the Egyptians. That night they were to eat the roasted lamb, along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The instructions went on to say in Exodus 12:14, "And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and you shall keep it a feast to Yahweh throughout your generations: you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever."
Verse 49 of the same chapter says, "One law shall be to him that is home born, and unto the stranger than sojourns among you." Those who were added to the nation or were later "grafted in" to Yahweh's people were expected to observe this memorial as well.
The Israelites did observe this, though a few points were altered. The people did not prepare to flee Egypt every year, but they did continue to kill and partake of the lamb and the unleavened bread, looking back at how Yahweh freed their ancestors. They also looked forward to the Messiah who was to come later.
The New Testament
When Yahshua Messiah walked on earth as a human, He also observed this command. Luke 2:41 - "Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover." Verse 42 - "And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast."
On the last evening of His life, Yahshua was still continuing to follow these instructions. Luke 22:8 - "And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat." Notice that it says "we", not "you". He was planning to join them in the meal. Verse 15 of the same chapter says, "And he said unto them, With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." Also in Mark 14:18 - "And as they sat and did eat, Yahshua said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eats with me shall betray me." The key words are "with me". He was eating, too.
As they ate, He made other preparations and instituted a change in the symbols of the evening. Luke 22:17 - "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:" Verse 18 - "For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of Yahweh shall come." Verse 19 - "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." Verse 20 - "Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."
Some have tried to say that Yahshua did this a day early, but this says "after supper" - the same meal the people traditionally ate. If it were not the correct night, wouldn't the apostles have objected or at least questioned Him when He told them to prepare? But most importantly, we know that Yahshua was without sin; was totally obedient. If He observed the Passover on any other night than what Yahweh stated, He would have broken the law and sinned.
Modern Christianity tells us that the Messiah died on Good Friday and was resurrected on Sunday morning. How is that possible? He said in Matthew 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." Friday afternoon to Sunday morning is not three days and three nights. A grade school child can figure that out.
The idea that He died on Friday comes from the rush to get the bodies buried due to the approaching sabbath. But check John 19:30 - "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath was an high day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away." A high day did not necessarily mean it was a weekly sabbath - a high day can fall on any day of the week.
Was He resurrected at sunrise? Matthew 28:1 - "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre." When did the sabbath end? At sunset at the end of the seventh day of the week. Mark 16:2 - "And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun." Before the sun was fully risen. John 20:1 - "The first day of the week comes Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and sees the stone taken away from the sepulchre." If she came there very early, still dark, just before sunrise and He was already gone, He could not have been resurrected at sunrise on Sunday!
He would have been in the tomb seventy-two hours (three days and three nights). If He were buried late afternoon, seventy-two hours later would be late afternoon. No way could it be at sunrise. Since He was already out of the tomb before sunrise on the first day of the week, the earliest He could have been raised was late sabbath afternoon. Let's work backwards. Friday the women would have been busy preparing for the weekly sabbath and would not have gone to the tomb. Thursday was the high day. Wednesday would have been the day He died. Late Wednesday afternoon to late Thursday afternoon is day one. Late Thursday afternoon to late Friday afternoon is day two. Late Friday afternoon to late sabbath afternoon is day three. The women found the empty tomb early the next morning.
In I Corinthians 11:23-26, the Apostle Paul reiterates the change of the Passover symbols and that tells us that we are to do these things in remembrance of Yahshua. But where in scripture is Easter? It only appears once. In The Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer, Sr, editor, it says - "The only appearance of the word Easter (KJV) is a mistranslation of pascha, the ordinary Greek word for 'Passover' (Acts 12:4). Where are the instructions in Scripture to commemorate and celebrate the resurrection of Yahshua? They simply are not there.
So where did Easter originate? We have to go way back in history to find that.
Mixing In Paganism
From The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop, page 103 -
"Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven, whose name, as pronounced by the people of Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country. That name, as found by Layard (Nineveh and Babylon, page 629) on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar. The worship of Beltis and Astarte was very early introduced into Britain, along with the Druids, 'the priests of the groves'."
From page 104 -
"Astarte was also adored by our ancestors, and that from Astarte, whose name in Nineveh was Ishtar, the religious solemnities of April, as now practiced, are called by the name of Easter - that month, among our Pagan ancestors, having been called Easter-monath."
From Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, 1973, pages 268-269 -
"Easter, a Christian festival, embodies many pre-Christian traditions. The origin of its name is unknown. Scholars, however, accepting the derivation proposed by the eighth-century English scholar Saint Bede, believe it probably comes from Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon name of a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility, to whom was dedicated a month corresponding to April. Her festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox; traditions associated with the festival survive in the Easter rabbit, a symbol of fertility, in colored Easter eggs, originally painted with gay hues to represent the sunlight of spring, and used in Easter-egg rolling contests or given as gifts.
"Such festivals, and the myths and legends that explain their origin, were common in ancient religions. A Greek myth tells of the return of Persephone, daughter of Demeter, goddess of the earth, from the underworld to the light of day; her return symbolic to the ancient Greeks the resurrection of life in the spring after the desolation of winter. Many ancient peoples shared similar legends. The Phrygians believed that their omnipotent deity went to sleep at the time of the winter solstice, and they performed ceremonies with music and dancing at the spring equinox to awaken him. The Christian festival of Easter probably embodies a number of converging traditions; most scholars emphasize the original relationship of Easter to the Jewish festival of Passover, or Pesach, from which is derived Pasch, another name of Easter. The early Christians, many of whom were of Jewish origin, were brought up in the Hebrew traditions and regarded Easter as a new feature of the Passover festival, a commemoration of the advent of the Messiah as foretold by the prophets."
From Nelson's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Facts, J. I. Packer, Merrill C. Tenney, William White, Jr., editors, pages 334-335 -
Easter is "The Christian festival commemorating the resurrection of Christ, synchronized with the Jewish Pesach, and blended since the earliest days of Christianity with pagan European rites for the renewed season. In all countries Easter falls on the Sunday after the first full moon or following March 21. It is preceded by a period of riotous vegetation rites and by a period of abstinence, Lent, and by the special rites of Holy Week.
"Everywhere Easter Sunday is welcomed with rejoicing, singing, candle processionals, flowers in abundance, and ringing of church bells. Many pagan customs survive, such as the lighting of new fires at dawn, among the Mayan as well as in Europe, for sure, renewed life, and protection of the crops. The German Osterwasser (Easter water) is water dipped against the stream and imbued with curative properties. Ostermarchen are told in order to produce laughter (risus paschalis). The Easter lamb is perennially sacrificed. Children roll pasch eggs in England. Everywhere they hunt the many-colored Easter eggs, brought by the Easter rabbit. This is not mere child's play, but the vestige of a fertility rite, the eggs and the rabbit both symbols of fertility. Furthermore, the rabbit was the escort of the German goddess Ostara who gave the name to the festival by was of the German Ostern.
"That the sun dances as it rises on Easter morning is quite common folk belief in the British Isles, and people rise early and go to the hilltops to see it."
From pages 52-53 -
"Though the church has decreed that Easter is the greatest of all her festivals, the very name is pagan; and so doubtless is the origin of this festival of Spring. The word Easter comes from Eastre or Ostara, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring, and it is probable that when the heathen Saxons became Christian, their festival of the Spring goddess became the Christian Easter. There is reason to think that this is what happened elsewhere, so that Easter is a Christian adaptation of former pagan Spring festivals."
From The Oxford Companion to the Bible, Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Cougan, editors, pages 204-205 -
"How did a raucous pagan ritual evolve into a solemn Christian service? Second-century Christian missionaries, spreading out among Teutonic tribes north of Rome, encountered numerous 'heathen' religious observances. Whenever possible, the missionaries tried not to interfere too strongly with entrenched and popular customs. Rather, quietly - and often ingeniously - they attempted to transform pagan practices into ceremonies that harmonized with Christian doctrine.
"There was a very special reason for this. Converts publicly partaking in a Christian ceremony, and on a day when no one else of their own clan was celebrating, stood out like the proverbial sore thumb, easy targets for persecution. But if a Christian rite was staged on the same day as a long-observed pagan celebration, and if the two modes of worship were not glaringly different, then the new converts might live to make other converts.
"The Christian missionaries astutely observed that the centuries-old festival to Eastre, commemorating at the start of spring, coincided with the time of year of their own observance of the miracle of Christ's Resurrection. Thus, the Resurrection was subsumed under the protective rubric Eastre - later spelled Easter - saving the lives of countless Christians.
"At the feast to Eastre, an ox was sacrificed and the image of his horns carved into ritual bread - which evolved into the twice-scored Easter biscuits we call hot cross buns. In fact, the word 'bun' derives from the Saxon for 'sacred ox', boun.
"The high significance of Easter as the feast of Christ's Resurrections led early Christians to believe that the celebration could not be undertaken without spiritual preparation. Their souls needed conditioning through days - eventually, forty days - of fasting, penance and prayer. That became the function of Lent.
"It is interesting that the holiest day of the liturgical Christian year, Easter Sunday, bears the name of the pagan sex goddess Eastre and the pagan sun god Solis."
From The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1936, volume 2, page 570 -
"Astarte - a Semitic goddess whose name appears in the Bible as Ashtoreth. She is everywhere the great female principle, answering to the Baal of the Canaanites and Phoenicians and to the Dagon of the Philistines.
"As the great nature-goddess, the attributes of fertility and reproduction are characteristically hers, as also the accompanying immortality which originally, perhaps, was nothing more than primitive magic."
From The Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible, page 316-317 -
Easter is "A feast or festival of the Christian church that commemorates the resurrection of Christ. It is observed and celebrated on the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or after March 21 - or one week later if the full moon falls on Sunday. In other words, Easter falls between March 22 and April 25. Easter was originally a pagan festival honoring Eostre, a Teutonic (Germanic) goddess of light and spring. At the time of the vernal equinox (the day in the spring when the sun crosses the equinox and day and night are of equal length), sacrifices were offered in her honor. As early as the eighth century, the name was used to designate the annual Christian celebration of the resurrection of Christ."
From The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, James Orr, gen. Ed., Volume 2, page 889 -
"The English word comes from the Anglo-Saxon Eastre or Estera, a Teutonic goddess to whom sacrifice was offered in April, so the name was transferred to the paschal feast.
"There is no trace of Easter celebration in the New Testament, though some would see an intimation of it in I Corinthians 5:7. The Jewish Christians in the early church continued to celebrate the Passover, regarding Christ as the true paschal lamb, and this naturally passed over into a commemoration of the death and resurrection of Our Lord, or an Easter feast.
"Differences arose as to the time of the Easter celebration, the Jewish Christians naturally fixing it at the time of the Passover feast which was regulated by the paschal moon. According to this reckoning it began on the eve of the fourteenth day of the moon of the month of Nisan without regard to the day of the week, while the gentile Christians identified it with the first day of the week, i.e. the Sunday of the resurrection, irrespective of the day of the month. The latter practice finally prevailed in the church, and those who followed the other reckoning were stigmatized as heretics. But differences arose as to the proper Sunday for the Easter celebration, which led to long and bitter controversies. The Council of Nicea, 324 AD, decreed that it should be on Sunday, but did not fix the particular Sunday. It was left to the bishop of Alexandria to determine, since that city was regarded as the authority in astrological matters and he was to communicate the result of his determination to the other bishops.
"The rule was finally adopted, in the seventh century, to celebrate Easter on the Sunday following the fourteenth day of the calendar moon which comes on, or after, the vernal equinox which was fixed for March 21. This is not always the astrological moon, but near enough for practical purposes, and is determined without astrological calculation by certain intricate rules adopted by ecclesiastical authority.
"The Easter feast has been and still is regarded as the greatest in the Christian church, since it commemorates the most important event in the life of its Founder."
From The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1936, volume 10, page 859 -
"There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the apostolic Fathers. The sanctity of special times was an idea absent from the minds of the first Christians, who continued to observe the Jewish festival, though in a new spirit, as commemoration of events which those festivals had foreshadowed. Thus the Passover, with a new conception added to it of Christ as the true Paschal Lamb, and the first fruit from the dead, continued to be observed, and became the Christian Easter."
From The World Book Encyclopedia, 1975, volume 6, page 26 -
"Christians in many parts of the world celebrate before the Easter season with carnivals, masquerades, and feasts. These celebrations reach a peak of gaiety on Shrove Tuesday, more than six weeks before Easter. On Ash Wednesday, the day after Shrove Tuesday, many Christians start a solemn forty-day period of fast and prayer called Lent. It recalls Christ's forty-day fast in the wilderness.
"The last week of Lent, called Holy Week, honors the events of the last week of Christ's life on earth. It begins on Palm Sunday, named for the palms that people spread before Jesus as He entered Jerusalem in triumph. On the Thursday of the last week of Lent, Maundy Thursday, Christians recall Jesus' Last Supper and the time He washed His disciples' feet. They observe Good Friday, the day of Christ's crucifixion, in a somber manner, and spend Holy Saturday in anticipation. On Easter Sunday, millions of Christians in all parts of the world unite in their feelings of joy in the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
From Sacred Origins of Profound Things, by Charles Pannati, page 206 -
"As the church moved away from the fervor of apostolic times, people's piety began to wan, and bishops cast about for some celebration that would deepen the devotional approach to Easter, climax of the spiritual year.
"Many Christians had already reserved a period prior to Easter for fasting, confession, and schooling candidates for baptism on Easter Eve. But the time frame was never fixed, rules never formalized. Different groups of Christians followed different customs - some fasted several days, others several weeks. Some observed a total fast for exactly forty days (minus the Lord's day, Sunday), a feast called Quadragesima, which would evolve into Lent.
"Thus, by mid-fourth century, the duration of Lent - the word itself means 'lengthening spring days,' from the Indo-European langat-tin, 'long' + 'day' - became more or less fixed at forty days, less Sundays; the time frame did not become official, though, till the eighth century.
"What constituted a fast varied: no meat for forty days; no milk and eggs; or only one light meal a day."
Supposedly the idea behind the fast was spiritual. But many do not take it seriously; it's just a period of time they have to get through. They may give up at least one item for forty days, but it may be something that is totally out of season, like watermelon, or something ridiculous, like bubble-gum.
From The Two Babylons, pages 106-107 -
"The words of Socrates, writing on this very subject, about A.D. 450, are these: 'Those who inhabit the princely city of Rome fast together before Easter three weeks, excepting the Saturday and Lord's day.' But, at last, when the worship of Astarte was rising into the ascendant, steps were taken to get the whole Chaldean Lent of six weeks, or forty days, made imperative on all within the Roman empire of the West. The way was prepared for this by a Council held at Aurelia in the time of Hormisdas, Bishop of Rome, about the year 519, which decreed that Lent should be solemnly kept before Easter. It was with the view, no doubt, of carrying out this decree that the calendar was, a few days after, readjusted by Dionysius."
From Sacred Origins of Profound Things, page 206-207 -
"The first day of Lent, a Wednesday, was always special, and it came to be called Ash Wednesday from a custom involving ashes, long a symbol for repentance. Early Christians approached the church altar to have the ashes of blessed palm leaves scored on their forehead in the shape of a cross - which more often than not resembled a smudge.
"Today, as then, the priest applies the ashes and intones, 'Thou art dust and unto dust shalt thou return' (Genesis 3:19). A worshiper wears the mark on his forehead throughout the day as a symbol of his sorrow for his sins. The blessed palm leaves that are burned to make the ashes are, in fact, 'leftovers' from the previous year's Palm Sunday. This Lenten custom originated in the sixth century, during the papacy of Gregory the Great.
"The astrological origin of the word Wednesday is revealed in its Latin name, Mercurii dies, literally, 'Mercury's day.' It entered English through the Anglo-Saxon equivalent, Wodnes daeg. Mercury, in Roman mythology, was the messenger of the gods, usually depicted with winged feet; he is not unlike a Christian angel. Woden was the Saxon god of war and victory."
From The World Book Encyclopedia, 1975, volume 6, page 26 -
"Many children believe that an Easter bunny brings their Easter eggs. This belief probably comes from Germany. One legend says that a poor woman dyed some eggs during a famine, and hid them in a nest for an Easter gift for her children. Just as the children discovered the nest, a big rabbit leaped away. The story spread that the rabbit had brought the Easter eggs.
"In ancient Egypt, the rabbit symbolized birth and new life. Some ancient peoples considered it a symbol of the moon."
From Sacred Origins of Profound Things, page 204 -
"It just so happened that Eastre, a fertility goddess (the ancient word eastre means 'spring'), had as her earthly symbol the prolific hare, or rabbit. Hence, the origin of the Easter bunny."
From Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, volume 6, page 25 -
"Eggs represent the new life that returns to nature about Easter time. The custom of exchanging eggs began in ancient times. The ancient Egyptians and Persians often dyed eggs in spring colors and gave them to their friends as gifts. The Persians believed that the earth had hatched from a giant egg.
"Early Christians of Mesopotamia were the first to use colored eggs for Easter. In some European countries, people coloured eggs red to represent the joy of the resurrection."
From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, revised by Ivor H. Evans, page 361 -
"The egg as a symbol of fertility and renewal of life derives from the ancient world, as did the practice of colouring and eating eggs at the spring festival. The custom of eating eggs on Easter Sunday and of making gifts of Easter eggs to children probably derives from the Easter payment of eggs by the villein to his overlord. The idea of the egg as a symbol of new life was adopted to symbolize the Resurrection. Pasch eggs or pace eggs, hard-boiled and coloured, were rolled down slopes as one of the Easter games, a practice surviving in the yearly egg rolling held on the lawn of the White House in Washington."
From The Folklore Calendar, by George Long, page 58-59 -
In England "the old town of Preston has a long corporate history and is proud of its adherence to old customs. One of them is still carried on and can be seen on Easter Monday. This is the old Egg-rolling game. Large numbers of people assemble to watch it or take part. The eggs are brightly coloured, in many different hues, and are rolled down a hillside. In medieval times, this was said to be symbolical of the resurrection, as rolling the egg represented rolling away the stone from the tomb of Our Lord. There can be little doubt, however, that the rite is older than Christianity and was originally connected with the Spring Fest. This was found in nearly all lands, and was connected with the fertilization idea; the egg is an obvious symbol of the life force."
From The Two Babylons, page 109-110 -
"The origin of the Pasch eggs is just as clear. The ancient Druids bore an egg, as the sacred emblem of their order. In the Dionysiaca, or mysteries of Bacchus, as celebrated in Athens, one part of the nocturnal ceremony consisted in the consecration of an egg.
"In ancient times eggs were used in the religious rites of the Egg by the Greeks and were hung up for mystic purposes in their temples.
"The egg became one of the symbols of Astarte or Easter; and accordingly, in Cyprus, one of the chosen seat of the worship of Venus, or Astarte, the egg of wondrous size was represented on a grand scale.
"The occult meaning of this mystic egg of Astarte, in one of its aspects had reference to the ark during the time of the flood, in which the whole race were shut up, as the chick is enclosed in the egg before it is hatched.
"The Romish Church adopted this mystic egg of Astarte, and consecrated it as a symbol of Christ's resurrection."
From Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, volume 6, page 25 -
"Lights, candles, and bonfires mark Easter celebrations in some lands. Roman Catholics in some countries put out all the lights of their churches on Good Friday. On Easter Eve, they make a new fire to light the main paschal candle, or Easter candle. They use this candle to relight all the candles in the church. Then they light their own candles from the great paschal candle, and carry them home where they can be used on special occasions.
"In many parts of northern and eastern Europe, people burn bonfires on the hilltops. Then they gather around the bonfires and sing Easter hymns."
From The World Book Encyclopedia, volume 6, page 29 -
The Easter lily, "a flower that has become a sign of Easter, is a tall plant with long, pointed leaves. The large, fragrant flowers are a waxy white color, and are shaped like a trumpet."
From page 27 -
"Masses of white lilies, symbolizing purity, decorate the altars of churches throughout the country."
Hot Cross Buns
From The Two Babylons, page 107-108 -
"The popular observances that still attend the period of Easter celebration amply confirm the testimony of history as to its Babylonian character. The hot cross buns of Good Friday, and the dyed eggs of Pasch or Easter Sunday, figured in the Chaldean rites just as they do now. The 'buns,' known too by that identical name, were used in the worship of Cecrops, the founder of Athens - that is, 1500 years before the Christian era.
"The prophet Jeremiah takes notice of this kind of offering when he said, 'The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven.' The hot cross buns are not now offered, but eaten, on the festival of Astarte, but this leaves no doubt as to whence they have been derived."
The scripture referred to here is found in Jeremiah 7:18, but the entire verse was not quoted. As it stands, it doesn't sound so bad, does it? The complete verse says, "The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger."
And what is His response to that? Verse 20 says, "Therefore thus says Yahweh Elohim; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched." Meaning that no one will quench the fire, but it will continue to burn as long as there is physical matter to consume.
Yahweh spoke to Ezekiel in Ezekiel 8:15: "Then said he unto me, Have you seen this, O son of man? Turn you yet again, and you shall see greater abominations than these." Verse 16 - "And he brought me into the inner court of Yahweh's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of Yahweh, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east."
Now what are the people doing on Easter? Facing the east, looking for that same rising sun! And Yahweh isn't pleased with that. He wants the attention on Himself, not on the sun. He repeatedly told His people not to worship the sun, the moon, or any of the host of heaven.
Yahweh gives His instructions in His Scriptures regarding how He wants to be worshiped. He expects His people to follow His directions. In Deuteronomy 12:20, He says, "Take heed to yourself that you be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before you; and that you inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise." Verse 31 - "You shall not do so unto Yahweh your Elohim: for every abomination to Yahweh, which he hates, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters have they burnt in the fire to their gods." Verse 32 - "What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it."
Yahweh's instructions for His special days and observances are all listed in Leviticus 23. He wants us to observe them all. We use the new symbols of the Passover that Yahshua instituted, but the Congregation of Yahweh observes all those days Yahweh has set aside. Why not? Yahshua did. And if you look closely at the scriptures, you will find numerous references to these days throughout the book of Acts - after Yahshua had ascended to heaven. There is no place in scripture where Yahweh or Yahshua have removed the days or changed them otherwise.
With the sources quoted here, we have seen Yahweh's way and the ways of the world. What Yahweh expects is Passover. Has the world made a counterfeit, using Easter in its place, to hide the truth? In the observance of Easter, it is plain that every one of the things attached to it - Lent, Easter eggs, Easter rabbit, etc. - were all used in the worship of gods hundreds of years ago. And Yahweh said not to do that to worship Him. Look at the facts and determine what needs to be done - Yahweh's days or the counterfeit?