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Galatians 4:8-11. Shedding Light on EASTER: Where does the Christian stand?

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Presentation on theme: "Galatians 4:8-11. Shedding Light on EASTER: Where does the Christian stand?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Galatians 4:8-11

2 Shedding Light on EASTER: Where does the Christian stand?

3 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER and TRADITION Easter Sunday as a yearly holiday: Millions will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Passion plays – Passover meals – Lords Supper Some see it as the most holy of holidays! As with Christmas, may be only time some at church

4 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER and TRADITION Easter Sunday as a yearly holiday: NTchurch had no yearly celebration of resurrection Word Easter occurs but once – in KJV Acts 12:4 However… Gk is Pascha – Passover, as translated elsewhere

5 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER and TRADITION Easter Sunday as a yearly holiday: NTchurch had no yearly celebration of resurrection She was a Germanic goddess of spring and fertility However… The month of April was dedicated to her Easter is actually from Anglo-Saxon EASTRE Her festival was celebrated on the vernal equinox; and Easter, since the 4 th century, is on the 1 st Sunday following the 1 st full moon after the vernal equinox

6 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER and TRADITION Easter Sunday as a yearly holiday: NTchurch had no yearly celebration of resurrection The Easter Bunny has its origins in many legends involving Eastre: an appropriate symbol of fertility However… The Easter Egg comes from a custom of Egypt and Rome: a present to ensure a productive year Easter is actually from Anglo-Saxon EASTRE Many Easter customs reflect its pagan connections

7 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER and TRADITION Easter Sunday as a yearly holiday: How did a yearly observance of the resurrection start? Should the church be involved in promoting this? However…its origin is Pagan, not Christian How are pagan names and customs associated with a Christian holiday [the most holy holiday!]? How should this affect Christians today? These things should bring a few questions: Should individuals be involved in celebrating this?

8 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: an historical perspective A yearly observance of Christs resurrection A custom from early years – a Christian Passover Of course, Passover already significant to Jews - Instituted by God through Moses, Ex Lords Supper given by Jesus at Passover, Mt 26

9 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: an historical perspective A yearly observance of Christs resurrection A custom from early years – a Christian Passover Of course, Passover already significant to Jews - the apostle Paul himself: Acts 21:17-26; cp. 18:18 - Eusebius suggests that John and Philip kept the Passover every year Many Jews continued customs even after conversion - as seen, the customs [including Passover] were not bound on the Gentile converts [cp. Acts 21:25]

10 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: an historical perspective A yearly observance of Christs resurrection A custom from early years – a Christian Passover Of course, Passover already significant to Jews - So, Passover was associated with Christs death Many Jews continued customs even after conversion Slowly, Jewish festivals became Christian feasts Christ had been killed during Passover week Paul had called Him our Passover – 1 Cor. 5:7

11 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: an historical perspective A yearly observance of Christs resurrection A custom from early years – a Christian Passover Of course, Passover already significant to Jews - So, Passover was associated with Christs death Many Jews continued customs even after conversion Slowly, Jewish festivals became Christian feasts Despite Lords Supper given as memorial – Mt 26 Lords Supper a weekly practice – Acts 20:7; etc. - Eventually, this led to established yearly practice

12 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: an historical perspective A yearly observance of Christs resurrection A custom from early years – a Christian Passover Palm Sunday – Jesus entered Jerusalem [4 th cen.] Good Friday – day Jesus was crucified [2 nd cen.] Resurrection Sunday or Easter – [2 nd cen.] Christian Passover soon brought other practices

13 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: an historical perspective A yearly observance of Christs resurrection A custom from early years – a Christian Passover 2 nd and 3 rd century debates over proper dates: Christian Passover soon brought other practices All of these new feasts came with controversy - Asia Minor churches followed Jewish chronology Passover [now Christian] observed 14 Nisan a moveable feast because of lunar calendar feast days not according to day, but by date

14 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: an historical perspective A yearly observance of Christs resurrection A custom from early years – a Christian Passover 2 nd and 3 rd century debates over proper dates: Christian Passover soon brought other practices All of these new feasts came with controversy - Asia Minor churches followed Jewish chronology So, Christian Passover always fell on Thursday Death remembered Friday; resurrection, Sunday - Other groups followed day-of-the-week tradition

15 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: an historical perspective A yearly observance of Christs resurrection A custom from early years – a Christian Passover 2 nd and 3 rd century debates over proper dates: Christian Passover soon brought other practices All of these new feasts came with controversy - Asia Minor churches followed Jewish chronology - Other groups followed day-of-the-week tradition - Mix-ups, confusion and ill-will resulted in churches yearly observance traceable as man-made only!

16 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: an historical perspective A yearly observance of Christs resurrection Assimilation of pagan rituals into Christian feasts A common tactic when taking gospel to pagan areas - rather than dissuade pagan rituals, simply gave a Christian sense to them An interweaving of pagan customs

17 With the advent of Christianity, the egg, still taken as a symbol of life, was simply borrowed to be a symbol of the Christian holiday. USF Professor William Heim The earliest Easter eggs were dyed red to represent the blood shed by Christ. Many cultures celebrated the advent of spring down through history. When Christianity came along about 2000 years ago, there was already a number of pagan celebrations in place. People rarely discard a holiday. When a new system of beliefs comes along, you simply come up with a new mythic structure to explain why you were celebrating that holiday in the first place. -- Orlando Sentinel, April 15, 1984 Cited from Mark A. Copeland

18 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: an historical perspective A yearly observance of Christs resurrection Assimilation of pagan rituals into Christian feasts The pagan element becomes neutralized, forgotten - who remembers Easter as a Germanic goddess? - unless there is research, the meaning is obscure An interweaving of pagan customs End results of assimilation of pagan rituals:

19 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: an historical perspective A yearly observance of Christs resurrection Assimilation of pagan rituals into Christian feasts The pagan element becomes neutralized, forgotten - some think Jesus established yearly Easter feast - some think Jesus was actually born Dec. 25 th, etc. An interweaving of pagan customs End results of assimilation of pagan rituals: However, many are left with erroneous concepts

20 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: a Biblical perspective Pauls warnings concerning feast days His concern for the churches of Galatia – Gal. 4:8-11 Their practice was not sinful in and of itself - for salvation? If so, Pauls labor possibly in vain - if were doing these things as obligation under the law, then they were fallen from grace – Gal. 5:4 Paul was mostly concerned with the why of doing it

21 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: a Biblical perspective Pauls warnings concerning feast days His concern for the churches of Galatia – Gal. 4:8-11 They should let no one judge (condemn) them - some sought to bind Law on Gentiles [Ac 15:1, 5] - Gentile Christians reminded that salvation is not by keeping of religious feast days, but in Christ His admonishment of the Colossians – Col. 2:16-17

22 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: a Biblical perspective Pauls warnings concerning feast days His concern for the churches of Galatia – Gal. 4:8-11 kept Jewish customs when expedient – 1 Co 9: circ. Timothy, but not Titus – Ac 16:1-3; Gal 2:3 - took a vow – Acts 18:18 His admonishment of the Colossians – Col. 2:16-17 His own practice regarding customs – Acts 18: took part in purification rites, with animal sacrifices: Acts 21:17-26; cp. Numbers 6:13-20

23 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: a Biblical perspective Pauls warnings concerning feast days His concern for the churches of Galatia – Gal. 4:8-11 kept Jewish customs when expedient – 1 Co 9: feast days an individual choice – Rom. 14:5-6 His admonishment of the Colossians – Col. 2:16-17 His own practice regarding customs – Acts 18: customs not to be bound on others – Gal 2:3-5 however, taught clearly that Jewish law not binding - customs not related to justification – Gal 5:4-6

24 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: a Biblical perspective Pauls warnings concerning feast days His rebuke of scribes and Pharisees – Mark 7:1-13 They had bound their choice on all – Mark 7:7 Jesus warnings concerning human traditions Their custom was above Gods Law – Mark 7:8-9

25 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: a Biblical perspective Pauls warnings concerning feast days His rebuke of scribes and Pharisees – Mark 7:1-13 The custom is bound on all as necessary doctrine Jesus warnings concerning human traditions The custom takes the place of Gods command, laying aside the truth Keeping of customs is wrong when: Jewish feast days and modern holidays are similar: can be expedient, or can serve to be a stumbling block to us!

26 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: where to stand? Bible authorizes no yearly resurrection memorial God did not see it as necessary for the church cannot see it as doctrine, binding others to it cannot allow it to displace Gods truth in practice If kept, is based on human tradition, not Gods word As human tradition, requires careful consideration

27 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: where to stand? Bible authorizes no yearly resurrection memorial God did not see it as necessary for the church would encourage the mingling of Gods law with the traditions of men, causing problems – Mk 2:21-22 would have people observe what God didnt command If kept, is based on human tradition, not Gods word As human tradition, requires careful consideration As a church observance, not authorized

28 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: where to stand? Bible authorizes no yearly resurrection memorial God did not see it as necessary for the church Is between that person and the Lord – Rm. 14:5-6 If kept, is based on human tradition, not Gods word As human tradition, requires careful consideration As a church observance, not authorized As an individuals observance, not condemned Cannot condemn those who differ – Rm. 14:4, Be sensitive to convictions of others – Rm. 14:13-19

29 EASTER: Where does the Christian stand? EASTER: where to stand? Bible authorizes no yearly resurrection memorial God did not see it as necessary for the church If kept, is based on human tradition, not Gods word As human tradition, requires careful consideration As a church observance, not authorized As an individuals observance, not condemned Objects are not wrong of themselves: 1 Co. 10:23-31 Is it wrong to circumcise? For health? For salvation? But what of the pagan origins and symbols?

30 The REAL issue: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Are you ready to give a defense of this hope? This time of year affords perfect opportunity! If you are not a Christian, you do not have the hope that all the Easter hype is about – this is the day that you can obey the Lord at His word, laying hold on ETERNAL LIFE!


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