Easter versus Passover

How did the Passover controversy arise?

Throughout Yeshua’s life He and His family celebrated Passover on the fourteenth of Nissan because that is its Biblical date. Yeshua observed all the Levitical holy days on the days when YHVH (God) decreed and designed them to be observed.

On the fourteenth of Nissan, Yeshua was crucified at the same time the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover. He became our Passover lamb, the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. 

The Apostles and the first-century Church celebrated Passover and all YHVH’s feast days. Paul continued to celebrate them thirty years after the death of Yeshua. At first the two groups celebrated the feasts together on the same day, Nissan fourteen as required by YHVH.

“New Day” For the Church

Easter Sunday Vs. Passover (Nissan 14th)

Sometime in the second century, some churches in the west among the Gentiles (people of mixed background) began to celebrate Passover/Easter in a new way, choosing for their commemoration of YHVH’s resurrection to always take place on a Sunday regardless of the Biblical calendar and YHVH’s Word. 

Toward the end of the second century, western churches, led by the Gentile bishops of Rome, Caesarea, and Jerusalem (where there were no longer Jewish bishops), began to campaign for all the churches to keep the Passover on their fixed Sunday, rather than on the fourteenth of Nissan. 

Believers, along with the rest of society, were already accustomed to using the Roman calendar (like the one we have today), rather than God’s Biblical calendar.  Churches who wanted to follow God’s Word and keep the Biblical celebration of Passover on the fourteenth of Nissan were threatened with excommunication.

The Council of Nicea in 325 CE finally settled the issue. There it was decided that all the churches should celebrate the Passover, or actually Easter, on the ecclesiastically chosen Sunday rather than the Biblical date!  All the churches were thus informed, or rather, ordered, as Constantine did so under the threat of death if anyone should resist unifying with his decision.

A breakaway from the Word of YHVH, called Torah, and an institution of man’s word became the new law.  Constantine said that “the most holy feast” of Easter should be celebrated on one and the same day. This was the new divine will of Constantine. The letter sent to the churches officially established an anti-Biblical foundation for the doctrine and practice of the Church, and declared contempt for the Jews, and separation from them as the only proper Christian attitude. 

An excerpt from the Council of Nicea states,

“…it seemed to everyone a most unworthy thing that we should follow the custom of the Jews in the celebration of this most holy solemnity, who, - polluted wretches! - having stained their hands with a nefarious crime, are justly blinded in their minds. It is fit, therefore, that rejecting the practice of this people, we should perpetuate to all future ages the celebration of this rite, Easter in a more legitimate order…Let us then have nothing in common with the most hostile rabble of the Jews…In pursuing this course with a unanimous consent, let us withdraw ourselves…from that most odious fellowship.”

It was Eusebius who provided the new calendar for determining the day to be celebrated so that no believer could celebrate Passover on the Biblically ordained day of Nissan the fourteenth. Thus Rome axed God’s feast of Passover regardless of God’s word in the Scriptures. God’s remaining feast days would shortly follow, as it was soon heresy to practice celebrating them upon threat of death.

Church Religion Versus God’s Religion

The Church made their own religion to suit their political purposes. This was mainly due to the lack of the public’s ability to obtain the Word of God and read about the Truth for themselves. Due to lack of knowledge, the people plunged into this Roman system. Today there are more Bibles in the world than ever before. Some families have more than one, but even with this evidence in their homes few realize they are missing God’s appointed feasts.  With the beginning of this new allegiance to Constantine and his belief system came great compromise, which has distorted the nature of the Church to this day.

Constantine saw himself as the incarnate sun god, following the example of his father and earlier 3rd-century emperors. Constantine in his early life was a solar henotheist, believing that the Roman sun god, Sol, was the visible manifestation of an invisible Highest God, who was the principle power behind the universe. This god was thought to be the companion of the Roman emperor.  They saw the rebirth of life in the spring after the death of winter as a spiritual and holy phenomenon, and invariably connected the rebirth of life with the resurrection of a deity, the archetypal symbolism once again readily apparent.

The Origin of Easter

The name Easter is derived from the mythological pagan fertility goddess or the Moon goddess (either Semiramis, Eastre or Eostre) that the Saxons of Northern Europe held a festival to at the vernal equinox in order to celebrate the "resurrection" of life in the spring. Other names for her and Nimrod (the sun god)  were - in Assyria: Semiramis and Ninus; in Babylon: Ishtar and Nimrod; in Egypt: Isis and Osiris; in Syria: Astarte and Bel or Baal (Marduk) (later Venus and Adonis); in Greece: Aphrodite and Adonis; and in Rome: Cybele and Attis. In time, Ishtar, whose name can be pronounced "Easter," was honored in the Sumerian civilization on a day commemorating the resurrection of a god who died and was reborn, named Tammuz.  He was believed to be the only begotten son of the moon goddess and the sun god. (Reference: Article: Pagan Origin of Easter.)

Of pre-Christian origin, the Teutonic Dawn-goddess, Ishtar, is called "the queen of heaven." Sunrise services began with ancient peoples who wanted to worship the sun as it came up to celebrate this "cross" of the heavenly bodies; it was and still is a pagan holiday. On this day the temple prostitutes would hold wild orgies and get pregnant and  three-month-old babies would be sacrificed to her by fire on an altar.

Eggs, symbols of fertility from the supposed egg laying rabbits, would be dipped in the blood of the infants who were sacrificed up to the goddess, and then hidden.Later on during the day, the children of the Canaanite parents would often go and hunt for the eggs, which were symbolic of sex, fertility and new life. It was believed that these eggs came from rabbits, which in the pagan world were symbolic of lust, sexual prowess and reproduction.  The modern Easter egg hunt, decorating eggs and eating candy eggs has become an accepted tradition for Easter celebration today, yet many who celebrate this, even Christians, are not aware of its origin.

The underlying scientific explanation is that at the vernal equinox the sun is directly over the equator, apparently moving northward from an earth based vantage point, and will soon be "born again" into the northern hemisphere as the light increasingly floods the earth with longer days, more warmth, and the return of vegetation from its dormant or "dead" state, a clear connection of journeys to, and return from, the underworld. Again, the dominant idea is the link to the sun as the giver and protector of life, the "savior" of the world.

Constantine  “The Sun God”

Passover is always celebrated biblically in the first month (Nissan) on the fourteenth day according to God’s calendar, a day which falls on different days of the week each year on the Roman calendar.

YHVH’s people celebrated Passover at God’s appointed time for thousands of years until man intervened in 325 CE. Constantine wanted unity among the churches, which was really control of the people under threat of the sword, so when he called the Council of Nicea in 325 CE, the date of Easter was finally firmly established. This was called the "Easter rule", and the festival has always been celebrated on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25 according to the equinox ever since.