As many of you know, I’ve been busy finishing up the last edits to The Tomb, the last book in The Living Water Series. Thus, I’ve been remiss on posting my Biblical research and historical tidbits. Today, I’m happy to welcome Caryl McAdoo as a guest blogger. She has graciously agreed to tell us about the Jewish feasts as we approach the holiest time of the year in both the Christian and Jewish calendars.
First, a little bit about Caryl: Caryl and her husband Ron—high school sweethearts—live with four grandsons in the woods south of Clarksville, the county seat of Red River County in Northeast Texas. She enjoys four wheeling over the 916-acre McAdoo Ranch, horseback riding, and singing the new songs God gives her. For every blessing in her life, including ten children (counting in-loves) and fourteen grandsugars, Caryl credits her relationship with the Lord, and her heart’s desire is to glorify Him.
Caryl’s debut novel, Vow Unbroken, released last month from Howard Books: Desperate widow Susannah Baylor recruits ne’er-do-well Henry Buckmeyer to help transport her cotton from the Red River Valley to market in Jefferson, Texas. Dangers arise on the trace—but none more difficult than the trial her heart faces. Will Sue’s love for the handsome and gentle man be her downfall?
GOD’S FEASTS and EASTER
I’m all musically oriented, and when I think Easter, I hear in a chorus of low bass voices singing, “Up from the grave He arose!” The holiday Christians around the world celebrate as ‘Easter’ is upon us. As a little girl, I remember thinking, ‘What do rabbits, chicks, and colored eggs have to do with celebrating Jesus dying then rising up from the grave? But I never really asked anyone that I know of.
Many years ago (close to forty!), I heard my first anointed teaching by the Holy Spirit on the Feasts; how they applied to my life, and how they paralleled the life of Christ. The study thrilled me and caused me to dig for more Truth. As Christ followers, we all know about Passover – that’s when back in the day, all the Jews went to Jerusalem, and Jesus came into town riding a baby donkey and the Jewish people hailed Him and fanned him and lay palm fronds in front of Him. Right?
But Passover, or Pesach, is so much more. In the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus, you can read all about (vs.2) … the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. I’ll be referring to that book and chapter throughout this post with verses given unless otherwise stated.
Father God is speaking to Moses and setting His feasts in place for the children of Israel. I love how there are so many layers to everything He does! You can dig deeper and deeper into a study of these Holy Feasts and keep seeing His wonderful plan as it is shared again and again through the Bible – His Living Word – our Yahushua HaMashiach – Jesus the Messiah.
Because we believe in Him, we have been “grafted in” (see Romans 11:16-23) to the good olive tree, the chosen children of God – Israel. And so, these feasts are for us as well as the Jews if we only have eyes to see and ears to hear. Not so much as a matter of “law” but of “love.” John 14:5 If you love me, keep my commandments and Romans 13:8 …for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
The Lord said to His children (vs. 4) : “These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.” The SPRING FEASTS fall close together, all in the first month of Nissan. They are:
PESACH or PASSOVER (vs. 5) on the 14th day, of course represents the Death Angel ‘passing over’ the Jewish homes in Egypt that had the lamb’s blood on their doorposts which ‘coincidentally’ also occurred on the 14th day of Nissan. Then on that same very day in 32 A.D., the Lamb of God fulfilled this feast by shedding His Blood at Calvary so whosoever believed in Him would never perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16) Beginning at twilight, as the 14th ends – remember, God’s days start at even, not in the morning – the Passover lambs are slain.
Then sunset begins the first day of the Feast of UNLEAVENED BREAD (vs. 6) on the 15th. It’s a Jewish ‘high day’ or a non-Saturday Sabbath – no work is to be done on that first day. The people eat unleavened bread for seven days (vs. 7 & 8), and all leaven (representing sin) is removed from their homes. Traditionally, Jewish fathers hide the ‘unleavened bread’ (the Bread without sin) under the table. Christ fulfilled this feast when, at sunset on the 15th day of Nissan, 32 A.D., the Bread of Heaven was buried.
FIRST FRUITS (vs. 10-14) falls three days later on the 17th day when the first fruits of the barley harvest is gathered and waved in celebration before the Lord. On that very same day, the 17th of Nissan in 32 A.D, isn’t it amazing that our Living Lord was resurrected from the grave? As the first fruit of the dead, Yahshuah or Jesus fulfilled the last of His Father’s Spring Feasts.
So why is the Holy celebration of Christ’s resurrection called Easter and what about the rabbits, chicks, and colored eggs?
I know you don’t want to hear this, but just read through it real quick and then pray, do your own studies. Ask God to reveal His own Blessed Holy Truth to you personally! In the days of long ago, the pagans–those who did not worship the one true God of Moses and Abraham—had their own Spring celebrations. At the time of God’s Passover, they worshipped a pagan goddess of fertility named Ishtar. She’s known by many like names whether you’re looking at the Hittites, Ammorites, Jebusites, Moabites, or others, but they all ‘sound’ like ‘Easter.’ And what do they use to celebrate her? You’ve guessed it, rabbits, chicks, and eggs.
Elijah took drastic measures to prevent Baal worship from completely eradicating the worship of the true God (I Kings 18:20-40). Some of Judah’s kings spent years tearing down shrines and high places to foreign, pagan gods. (II Chronicles 34:1-7). Christ warned the Pharisees: “For laying aside the commandments of God, you hold the traditions of men” (Mark 7:8). The celebration of Easter is a tradition of men laden with lies.
What happens if a person, trying to establish a religion, mixes falsehood with God’s truth? Recall God’s wrath when Aaron made a golden calf at the Israelite’s urging and proclaimed a feast to the Lord (Exodus 32:1-5). The observance of Easter in the name of Christ is no different. Blending the lies of this world with the truth of God produces a foul mixture called ‘syncretism’ which means a fusion of differing systems of belief.
“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” (James 3:10-13).
“You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your domestic animals breed with a different kind [of animal]; you shall not sow your field with mixed seed, neither wear a garment of linen mixed with wool” (Lev 19:19)
We shouldn’t mix God’s Holy with unholy – He didn’t like Aaron’s golden calf, and He doesn’t like His children ‘mixing’ a Holy event with pagan practices. Christians aren’t even willing to learn the Truth through personal research and prayer because they love their traditions (of MEN, not God) too much. It breaks my heart… and our Holy Fathers.
God Blessing to you from Texas!
What do you think? Should we forgo the pagan-rooted practices of Easter? Or can we have a Christ-centered Easter while still celebrating with eggs and Easter baskets?