Easter — from where did it come?

Extracts from Alexander Hislop: The Two Babylons or The Papal Worship Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife

"And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the Lord. And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast of unleavened bread--seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten" (Num. 28:16,17; see also Mark 14:12; 1 Cor. 5:7,8, etc.).

In the following we find that Christianity becomes subsumed by paganism: taking on its form and adding a few bible thoughts to make it look worthy of glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ – it doesn’t. If Christians need to celebrate anything more than the Lord’s Supper, let it be Passover, where Christ becomes the Passover lamb.

Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover [πάσχα: pasha], was sacrificed for us. (1 Corinthians 5:7)

Hislop answers the question

What means the term Easter itself? It is not a Christian name. It bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven, whose name, as pronounced by the people Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country. That name, as found by Layard on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar. The worship of Bel and Astarte was very early introduced into Britain, along with the Druids, "the priests of the groves."

The festival, of which we read in Church history, under the name of Easter, in the third or fourth centuries, was quite a different festival from that now observed in the Romish Church, and at that time was not known by any such name as Easter. It was called Pasch, or the Passover, and though not of Apostolic institution, * was very early observed by many professing Christians, in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Christ.

That festival agreed originally with the time of the Jewish Passover, when Christ was crucified, a period which, in the days of Tertullian, at the end of the second century, was believed to have been the 23rd of March. That festival was not idolatrous, and it was preceded by no Lent. "It ought to be known," said Cassianus, the monk of Marseilles, writing in the fifth century, and contrasting the primitive Church with the Church in his day, "that the observance of the forty days had no existence, so long as the perfection of that primitive Church remained inviolate."

The forty days' abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess. Such a Lent of forty days, "in the spring of the year," is still observed by the Yezidis or Pagan Devil-worshippers of Koordistan, who have inherited it from their early masters, the Babylonians. Such a Lent of forty days was held in spring by the Pagan Mexicans, for thus we read in Humboldt, where he gives account of Mexican observances: "Three days after the vernal equinox...began a solemn fast of forty days in honour of the sun." Such a Lent of forty days was observed in Egypt…

Hot Cross Buns and Eggs

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 by that identical name, were used in the worship of the queen of heaven, the goddess Easter, as early as the days of Cecrops, the founder of Athens--that is, 1500 years before the Christian era.

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. The Hindu fables celebrate their mundane egg as of a golden colour. The people of Japan make their sacred egg to have been brazen. In China, at this hour, dyed or painted eggs are used on sacred festivals, even as in this country. In ancient times eggs were used in the religious rites of the Egyptians and the Greeks, and were hung up for mystic purposes in their temples. From Egypt these sacred eggs can be distinctly traced to the banks of the Euphrates.

Smith on Passover for Christians (Smith’s Bible Dictionary)

(1) Passover is a type of deliverance from the slavery of sin.

(2) It is the passing over of the doom we deserve for your sins, because the blood of Christ has been applied to us by faith.

(3) The sprinkling of the blood upon the door-posts was a symbol of open confession

(4) The Passover was useless unless eaten; so we live upon the Lord Jesus Christ – the flesh needs to be consumed (See John 6).

(5) It was eaten with bitter herbs, as we must eat our Passover with the bitter herbs of repentance and confession, which yet, like the bitter herbs of the Passover, are a fitting and natural accompaniment.

(6) As the Israelites ate the Passover all prepared for the journey, so do we with a readiness and desire to enter the active service of Christ

 

David L Simon (April 2012; edited March 2021)
\Notes\Easter - notes from Hislop

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