Graceful Perseverance: God's Seasons and Festivals - 04/12
Updated: Apr 13
Welcome to this week’s blog. Today I am writing about God’s biblical appointed festivals, and holy convocations, in which we shall proclaim in their seasons; precisely to this Holy week (Passover and First Fruits). “This a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance.” – Exodus 12:14 (NIV).
I would guess that many of you are unaware of the knowledge I am about to share in this blog. Unfortunately for many of us, holiday traditions have been so much more powerful in our lives while growing up, then the Biblical truths of God’s appointed holidays, festivals and celebrations. Man, for many generations, has relied more on the “traditions” they were raised with, rather than seeking the truth and validity of those traditions. Do your homework, and seek the truth that can only be found in God’s holy word, the Bible.
So, what is the true meaning of this pagan holiday most call Easter? Let me be forthright with you. This past week is not about worshiping Ishtar, an Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex. Historical records compared side-by-side with biblical records have made it clear to all of us that - Easter-the pagan/Babylonian holiday, has absolutely nothing to do with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Tradition has misconstrued the true meaning of God’s appointed festivals – Passover and First Fruits. So, what is the true meaning, and the biblical name for this week’s appointed holiday man denotes as Easter, but God denotes as “Passover and First Fruits?”
The pagan/Babylonian festival called Easter was originally the celebration of Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex. Her symbols (like the egg and bunny) were, and still are fertility and sex symbols. During the time of Constantine and the Roman Emperor, the word Easter represented a pagan holiday celebrating, and worshiping the Teutonic goddess of fertility and spring – Eostre. This solar festival was celebrated when the length of the day, and the length of the night are equal, which occurs twice a year at the spring, and fall Equinox.
Do you realize this week, in your underlying celebrations, you are honoring and worshiping Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess when you celebrate Easter, symbolizing eggs and bunnies? Do you actually think eggs and bunnies have anything to do with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ? And if you happen to be an atheist, agnostic, cynic, hypocrite, blasphemy, skeptic or nonbeliever of the biblical account of Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, who was truly crucified, died, buried and rose again; what exactly are you celebrating this week?
The main point I am making here is there is NO WHERE in the Bible, and the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection that involves or symbolizes Easter eggs or an Easter bunny. So, what tradition is the world really celebrating this week? Everyone should do their homework, and research and compare what tradition has taught us (eggs and bunnies); against biblical truths (the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ). The answer is clear, the true holiday, festival and celebrations this week should be centered around Jesus Christ, the Risen One!
In the first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), each of them describes in their own words the horrific and brutal crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. I chose scripture according to the Book of Luke - Jesus’ last hours and events that took place from the Passover (Last Supper), then leading up to His death and resurrection (ascension into Heaven):
The Last Supper: Luke 22:7-20 (NIV)
Jesus Prays on Mount Olives: Luke 22:7-20 (NIV)
Jesus Arrested: Luke 22:39-46 (NIV)
The Roman Guards Mock Jesus: Luke 22:63-65 (NIV)
Jesus Before Pilate and Herod: Luke 22:66-71 (NIV)
The Crucifixion of Jesus: Luke 23:26-43 (NIV)
The Death of Jesus: Luke 23:44-49 (NIV)
The Burial of Jesus: Luke 50-56 (NIV)
The First Fruits:
Jesus Has Risen: Luke 24:1-12 (NIV)
The Passover (the Last Supper) supporting scripture according to Luke:
The Last Supper – Luke 22:7-20 (NIV)
7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” 9 “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked. 10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.” 13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So, they prepared the Passover. 14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” 16 "For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you.18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
Jesus Prays on Mount of Olives supporting scripture according to Luke:
Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives – Luke 22:39-46 (NIV)
39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. 45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Jesus Arrested supporting scripture according to Luke:
Jesus Arrested – Luke 22:47-53 (NIV)
47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”
The Roman Guards Mock Jesus supporting scripture according to Luke:
The Roman Guards Mock Jesus – Luke 22:63-65 (NIV)
63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65 And they said many other insulting things to him.
Jesus Before Pilate and Herod supporting scripture according to Luke:
Jesus Before Pilate and Herod – Luke 22:66-71 (NIV)
66 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. 67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68 and if I asked you, you would not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” 70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You say that I am.” 71 Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”
The Crucifixion of Jesus supporting scripture according to Luke:
The Crucifixion of Jesus – Luke 23:26-43 (NIV)
26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!" 30 Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” 31 For if people do
these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” 32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” 38 There was a written
notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 39 One of the criminals who hung their hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The Death of Jesus supporting scripture according to Luke:
The Death of Jesus – Luke 23:44-49 (NIV)
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. 47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
The Burial of Jesus supporting scripture according to Luke:
The Burial of Jesus – Luke 50-56 (NIV)
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
Jesus Has Risen supporting scripture according to Luke:
Jesus Has Risen – Luke 24:1-12 (NIV)
1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The
Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again. 8 Then they remembered his words. 9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
Passover, the Last Supper, is the last meal Jesus had with His disciples. The bread and wine served at the Last Supper has had historic, lasting memorials of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Jesus asked His disciples to eat the broken bread, and drink of the wine and “Do this in remembrance of me.” Just as He wanted them to remember His sacrifice, He also asked that
every future generation remember His sacrifice: the basis of forgiveness of sins, and also His friendship."This to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.” - Leviticus 23:14 (NIV).
Even today, Jesus continues to remind us (Jews and Gentiles) to enjoy the holy communion of bread and wine, and the work of the Holy Spirit. All because Jesus knew this Last Supper was a foreshadow of His work on the cross.
He silently took the beatings, the crown of thorns pierced on His head, and the swords that stabbed His side. He surrendered His soul to glory. It was about noon, and darkness came over the entire land, approximately 3:00 pm in the afternoon. After six hours of Jesus of Nazareth nailed to a cross in a place called Golgotha (a place meaning Skull). The sun had stopped shinning. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, and this is when Jesus called out with a loud voice “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” - Luke 23:34 (NIV).
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. – John 19-28-30 (ESV).
A crown of thorns placed on His head, He knew that He would soon be dead
He said, “Did you forget me, Father did you?”
They nailed Him to a Wooden cross,
Soon all the world would feel the loss
Of Christ the King before us, Halleluiah
Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah,
He hung His head and prepared to die,
Then lifted His face up to the sky
Said, “I am coming home now, Father to you”
A need which held His final sip,
Was gently lifted to His lips
He drank His last and gave His soul to glory
Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah
The solder who had used his sword,
To pierce the body of our Lord
Said “Truly this was Jesus Christ out Savior,”
He looked with fear upon his sword
Then turned to face his Christ and Lord,
Fell to his knees crying “Halleluiah”
Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah
Took from His head the thorny crown,
And wrapped Him in a line gown
Then laid Him down to rest inside the tomb,
The holes in His hands, His feet and side
Now in our hearts we know He died,
To save us from ourselves Oh, Halleluiah
Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah
Three days went by again they came,
To move the stone to bless the slain
With oil and spice anointing, Halleluiah
Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah
But as they went to move the stone,
They saw that they were not alone
For Jesus Christ has risen, Halleluiah
Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah - Reason for Hope* Jesus YouTube – March 16, 2018
Halleluiah, Halleluiah, Halleluiah - For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. – John 3:16 (ESV).
Blessings until next week, Debra Pauli Unstoppable Believer
Scripture Quotes: Holy Bible – New International Version (NIV) / English Standard Version (ESV)
Easter Version of Leonard Cohen’s Halleluiah Lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC1Nvn4Bk0Y, Reason for Hope* Jesus YouTube – March 16, 2018
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