To Free Grace Believers, Sunday is Not “Easter”

By Jack Weaver

This coming Sunday, March 31, 2013, is not “Easter.” We who place our faith in Jesus Christ alone for our eternal salvation do not worship Ostara, one of the Nordic or Germanic pagan goddesses of fertility for whom “Easter” was named. It is not a day to celebrate with eggs and bunnies.

I must admit, before I trusted Christ as my Savior and even some time after, we celebrated the world wide pagan tradition of Easter — with bunnies, eggs and such gifts for the children. But now — it is clear:

Our celebration is the remembrance of the RESURRECTION of our Savior, Jesus Christ who showed Himself alive after He gave Himself to be crucified for the sins of the world (to pay the death penalty we owe). The crucifixion was three days and three nights earlier, just as Jesus predicted. (Matthew 12:40)

John 3:16-18

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten [born] Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name [JESUS] of the only begotten [born] Son of God.”

As a child of about six or seven I memorized the 1st verse in that series but never understood or believed it until age 35 when it was fully explained. Until I trusted Christ as my Savior, I had no idea that what we called “Easter” was actually a celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead.

It is important that we put those verses in context with these:

1 Corinthians 15:1-5

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if [forasmuch as] ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ [The Messiah, Savior] died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:” [and factually witnessed by many]

The Resurrection (not “Easter) is a fact and is vital to the Gospel of our salvation:

1 Corinthians 15:17
“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”

The Gospel of our salvation is only by believing it is God’s Gift of eternal life by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. His Salvation is eternal – it is NOT probation!!

Let us be thankful and remember — this Sunday is not Easter! It is the remembrance of the Resurrection of our Dear Savior.

If you are not absolutely sure of Heaven, please read the next verse from the Bible, click below, read, and believe the link below and trust in Jesus Christ as your only Savior.

Titus 3:5
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; “

Have the peace and Joy of KNOWING:  Eternal Life is FREE << Click

30 responses to “To Free Grace Believers, Sunday is Not “Easter”

  1. Rob Ramcharan

    Well, okay. Strictly speaking, it’s true, and in a perfect world everybody would know the difference and frame their words accordingly. But I’m not willing to go down the road that leads to “for Christians, today isn’t Thursday” because we don’t worship the Norse gods whose names ended up on our calendar. My experience suggests that that only serves to annoy people whose theological sensibilities are less developed than those of people who can tell the difference.
    There are a lot of things that we’re just stuck with because of the way language turned out, things that happened a thousand years ago that are in comparison with being salt and light in a fallen and corrupt world are really pretty small potatoes.

  2. Rob,

    Of course you may call the day we celebrate the glorious Resurrection of our Savior anything you wish. As you know, the word “Easter” is not a Biblical word, yet Resurrection is. The word “Thursday” is neither Biblical nor does it have any eternal significance.

    I think you missed my point — We let the world and religion dictate our vocabulary. The average person has no idea of the Resurrection and its significance. I choose to use and talk about the Resurrection in its proper Biblical context. It is important to the Gospel of God’s Grace and I went 35 years of my life not understanding. There may be others in the same state of ignorance.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  3. Jack, thank you for your clear explanation of the Gospel!

    Like you, I learned John 3:16 early in life, but I didn’t understand what it meant until much more recently.

    I am a “whosoever”! I became one when I quit trusting in Christ plus my good intentions and trusted in Christ alone.

    Not as well known are John 3:14-15:

    “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

    Notice that Jesus used the terms “eternal” and “everlasting” in the same discussion, lest anyone misunderstand.

    Jesus promises eternal life to anyone who will believe the Gospel, which is set forth in 1 Corinthians 15:1-5.

  4. Rob Ramcharan

    I’m sorry if I came across as downplaying the significance of Easter versus Resurrection Sunday. That was not my intent. My response was based on the tendency many believers have to take perfectly legitimate, Biblical concepts, and run them right into the ground, and the equally pernicious habit of non-believers to assign the worst possible construction to w expressions of faith. Going from an objection to saying “Easter” to raising a similar complaint about “Thursday” might not occur to a discerning Christian, but it is an easy step for a non-believer to make. I believe that we have an obligation to make sure what we say is said not only in love, but in the clearest way possible.

  5. Hi Jack,

    Thanks for focusing our thoughts this wonderful season on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and how that salvation comes by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. I look forward to Resurrection Sunday, to worshiping the Lord and to singing the great hymns like “He Arose.”

    Blessings!

  6. John Clendenon

    I sometimes use this phrase below to describe the Gospel and I’m curious if you think it is accurate, fair, and complete.

    It gets my point across to both believers and unbelievers and intentionally provokes “Faith plus C.O.P” adherents which always leads to a discussion about what the Gospel really is (and isn’t).

    You can see what part of this phrase they find disturbing.

    “No-strings-attached Gospel of Grace through believing in Jesus for Eternal Life.”

    John Clendenon

  7. Hi John C,

    I like your phrase, “No-strings-attached Gospel of Grace . . . .”

    Pardon my ignorance, but what do you mean by “Faith plus C.O.P.”?

  8. That’s right, Jack; the name “Easter” is a derivative of the very ancient Babylonian goddess called “Ishtar” (aka “queen of heaven” in the old testament, if I recall) and never was about Jesus Christ’s resurrection.

    Really kinda “funny” when you think about it, how the same ol’ ridiculous stories passing as news designed to offend Christians crop up each and every year of atheists offended by these terms w/all its symbols, threaten to legislate it from existence. I say, knock yourself out! It means nothing to me, and doesn’t begin to touch the confidence I have in my risen Saviour.

    Love that triumphant hymn, too, Bruce!

    “Up from the grave he arose;
    with a mighty triumph o’er his foes;
    he arose a victor from the dark domain,
    and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
    He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!”

  9. Pearl,

    Yep, history continues with any and all kinds of schemes to remove any vestige of Biblical Truth from our vocabulary. Stand strong in the Faith.

    I agree with Bruce’s hymn selection. He Arose!! Thanks Bruce.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  10. Rob,

    OK… but I am a tad confused by a couple of statements — if you would be so kind as to elaborate:

    1. “many believers have to take perfectly legitimate, Biblical concepts, and run them right into the ground.”

    I assume you are speaking of discerning Grace Bible believers (that is my concern here) taking these concepts … Which legitimate Biblical concepts do “they” run into the ground?

    2. “complaint about “Thursday” might not occur to a discerning Christian, but it is an easy step for a non-believer to make.”

    That seems irrelevant — since our main concern and effort is sharing the Gospel, getting the unbeliever to understand that, then believe and pass from death to life in Jesus alone. We must avoid foolish questions and stick with the relevant issues. The Resurrection IS relevant.
    2 Timothy 2:23

    “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  11. John,

    You are right.. The correct Gospel message and a clear and an honest expression of that message conveyed are vital to an unbeliever’s trusting Christ.

    I have often wondered what would be different had I trusted Christ as my Savior as a child — when none of my family seemed to care nor understand about salvation.

    But I am thankful that I now understand, have trusted Christ alone as my only Savior — and am Heaven bound!! Not looking back!!!

    Lookin’ UP^^^

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  12. Rob Ramcharan

    I’l admit that I could have expressed myself more effectively. The point I was trying to make was, making an issue of the use of the word Easter is one end of a continuum that ends in places we probably don’t want to go. I make no comment on Grace Bible believers or their theology. I just got here, so how would I know? I am a big fan of using words carefully, but there is such a thing as being careful beyond the point of necessity. I don’t know how how much could be said if Christians avoided all references to pagan practices in everday conversation, but I suspect it would not go well.
    There are people who object not only to Christmas trees as pagan symbols of the winter solstice, but also the to word “Christmas” as harking back to the ritual of the Roman Church. I’m reasonably sure that’s not where you intended to go.

  13. Following is the question that everyone must answer:

    John 11:25-26:

    “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”

    If you answer “yes”, then the resurrection of Christ is something you can celebrate continuously.

  14. Aaron David Wallace

    So what’s everyone’s understanding on Acts 12:4 then?

    12 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
    2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
    3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
    4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

    Just curious.

    Answers in Genesis just shared an article on their facebook page pertaining to this subject. I would share the link but I’m not sure if that’s allowed on here.

  15. Hello Aaron,

    Regarding Acts 12:4, this topic has been widely discussed and debated in the commentaries. The Greek word in question is pasche. Many Bible versions translate it “Passover.” Others have determined that “Easter” is an appropriate rendering as it is shown in the KJV. Commentators state that since the passage is referring to the actions of the pagan King Herod, who was a puppet of Rome, it would be altogether expected that he (Herod) would refer to the Roman pagan celebration as a marker of time, and not to the Jewish holiday of Passover.

  16. Hello Aaron.

    Thanks for your comment — Good research on your part — and sloppy writing on my part.

    I should have done better and qualified my statement.. because clearly, as Bruce wrote, the word “Easter” is in Acts, but also clearly it is not speaking of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Thanks Bruce for that clear, in depth explanation.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  17. Excellent question, Aaron.

    And Jack, though you may have forgotten that Acts mentions Easter, your post is still correct. When my blog was up and running, I ran a post from a King James defender who studied the passage together with the old testament passages detailing how Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were to be observed. His conclusion was that no mistake was made in the KJ. Peter was arrested during the days of unleavened bread which begins the day after the Passover meal.

    His contention was that since the Jews had Jesus crucified during the Jewish holy days, then the pagans would have their day of fun too and reserve Peter’s execution to take place during the pagan celebration of Easter.

  18. Thanks Pearl,

    Good explanation. I appreciate it.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  19. Expected Imminently

    Hello Jack

    It’s me – Sue from the U.K. Bruce requested that I make a change to my name as it was causing problems – what else is new!

    I have had lots of flack under Expected Imminently, but repent of nothing other than to be more gracious in my telling it like it is when contending; I repeat, CONTENDING, for THE Faith against L.S., Rick Warren’s purple drivel and the encroachment of fake ‘spiritual warfare’ and fake ‘healing ministries’ and general end times lying signs and wonders and those who do the devils work by denying the blessed hope that is in Eternal Salvation by God’s Grace through Faith alone in Christ alone.

    Love and many blessings to all at ExP.
    Sue
    x

  20. Hi Sue, great handle!

    It’s always a blessing to hear from you.

  21. Hi Sue,

    We are indeed happy to see you again.. and I agree with Bruce– What a great new handle!!

    We pray everything is OK with you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  22. John Clendenon

    Is Henry Blackaby Lordship or Free Grace?

    John Clendenon

  23. John C,

    I know very little about Henry Blackburg and his clan/ministries. His web site does not give any indication of a Statement of Faith or beliefs.

    However, one can often glean some inkling of a person’s theology (or lack thereof) by the organizations which he supports and with which he is affiliated.

    According to his web site, Blackburg is a long-time member and Pastor of Southern Baptist churches and was an official in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The SBC is widely known for their LS statement of beliefs which states:

    A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

    Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.


    From SBC Statement of Beliefs:
    http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfm2000.asp

    This of course is false Lordship “salvation” teaching. A person does not “turn from sin” nor does he commit “the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour” to trust Jesus as Savior.

    Salvation is only by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone!!! No turning from sin — no commitment of one’s personality, etc. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

    So if we discern by Blackburg’s lifelong affiliations, Pastorates and memberships what his beliefs are (SBC), then we could assume he is a victim and teacher of Lordship “salvation.”

    I pray this answers your question.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  24. Welcome, JohnC~

    Blackaby’s book “Experiencing God” promotes mysticism (contemplative prayer). Dangerous stuff. He, and other authors who recommend him, ought to be avoided.

  25. Do you all think it is a mandate in the Bible to be part of a church? I mean, it seems like many free gracers on this site, including myself, are not part of one. Is it a sin to not be part of one? Is it outside of God’s will?

    Thanks

  26. Hi Joe,

    Good question. Hebrews 10:24-25 applies: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

    According to the passage, one of the main reasons that we are told to meet together is to provide encouragement and exhortation to one another to serve God through helping others. That is being accomplished here, at Expreacherman.com, as we encourage and teach one another to better serve the Lord. I, personally, have learned a great deal about the Sciptures and theology through interacting with others here. Also, I have found blessing and encouragement on many occasions. Perhaps I have brought a bit to others as well.

    Regarding the issue of meeting physically in a local church, it is certainly beneficial IF it is practical to do so. Some of the fellowship, here, have physical limitations or health issues that prevent them from attending a local church. For others, there is a geographical problem of living in places in which there are simply no grace churches anywhere reasonably close by. I and my family have been blessed to find a local church in which the grace gospel is being preached. And we have found many opportunities there for fellowship and serving God. Some are not so blessed. I see no issue of sin whatsoever in this discussion.

  27. “Perhaps I have brought a bit to others as well.”

    You are a continual blessing, Bruce. Thank you for all you do. I honestly don’t know where I’d be today (theologically speaking) had I not found ExP. It’s been an amazing journey, one of learning and undoing. So thankful.

    “I see no issue of sin whatsoever in this discussion.”

    I agree.

    Good question, Joe!

  28. Hi Pearl,

    Thanks for your kind words and friendship. I’m nearing completion of reading the McNeely book. Thanks for the alerts; I’ll try to post my findings in the coming weeks as I have some time.

  29. Expected Imminently

    Hello Bruce
    This is to agree with Pearl on how much you are appreciated along with dear Jack and Shirley.

    Joe
    An ‘assembly’ is wherever two or three are gathered together in The Lord’s name – HE is in the midst as we communicate by this end time provision for the ‘called out one’s’ who are void of physical fellowship. It is quality that counts and many a ‘mega-church’ is filled to the rafters with quantity lacking ANY quality whatsoever.

    IF, it is a sin (and it isn’t) not to attend a ‘church’ – then even that sin Jesus died for. Belief, trust, obedience… these are essential for fellowship with our Father God, but ALL sin has been paid for IN FULL. There is therefore NOW NO condemnation…

    God bless
    Sue
    x

  30. Sue,

    Thanks for your kind words. You are such a blessing to me and to many others at Expreacherman.com.

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