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Old 04-04-2009, 10:32 PM
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Default How To Conduct A Passover Seder Like Yeshua Did

ELEMENTS OF THE MEAL

Lamb The word 'pesach' (pasch, passover) applies to the Lamb of sacrifice as well as to the deliverance from Egypt and to the feast itself.

Unleavened bread (Matzoh) called "bread of affliction" because it recalls the unleavened bread prepared for the hasty flight by night from Egypt. Three large matzohs are broken and consumed during the ceremony.

Bitter herbs (Moror) is a reminder of the bitterness of slavery and suffering in Egypt.

Green herbs to be dipped in salt water. Salt water represents tears of sorrow shed during the captivity of the Lord's people.

Haroseth (or 'haroses') represents the mortar used by Jews in building palaces and pyramids of Egypt during their slavery. (It is a mixture of chopped apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine.)

Wine is dipped from a common bowl. The 'Four Cups,' Thanksgiving, Hagadah ('telling'), Blessing, and Melchisedek ('righteousness'), are "four different words for redemption, spoken by God to Moses."



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PREPARING THE SEDER


The suggested menu is purposely very simple with a vaguely Middle-Eastern flavor. Some of the ceremonial foods can be part of the meal. You could, of course, make substitutions and additions, so long as the main elements (above) are included. Christians are not bound by Jewish dietary rules or customs. It would be wise to read through the entire ritual before you begin.

Menu Suggestions for Seder Meal
Roast lamb (or chicken or turkey)
Spinach or other dark green vegetable
Green salad, with dressing; or celery
Rice seasoned with herbs
Ratatouille (eggplant and zucchini with garlic & tomato)
Matzoh (bread)
Haroseth (dessert)

Foods needed for seder ceremony
Green herbs (parsley or celery); Bitter herb (horseradish); salt water; 3 matzohs, wrapped separately in napkins on a plate; red wine.

Other items for the ceremony:
Candles (one or more); bowl and dipper or carafe for wine; small pitcher containing water, a bowl and a hand towel. Traditionally, the mother's head is covered with a white cloth.

You will also need Hakishut or a china dinner plate or platter with the following ceremonial foods arranged on it: Green herbs (parsley or lettuce); Bitter herb (horseradish); a boiled egg; Haroseth. (A Hakishut is a ceremonial plate made especially for seders, available from a Jewish religious goods store.)

Each person should have these items already on a plate in front of them before the ceremonial meal begins: Parsley sprig; small amounts of horseradish and haroseth; and a small dish containing salt water (tiny oriental sauce dishes are perfect and inexpensive.)

Everyone should have a copy of the ritual, as the prayers and Psalms are read by all.

The table should be set as for any other important meal with these inclusions:

The four large matzohs (unleavened bread), each wrapped in a napkin are on a plate placed near the father's place.
The pitcher of water, bowl and a small towel, for the ritual washing of hands, should be near the father's place.
The bowl or carafe of red wine should be in front of the father.
The candle (or candles) should be in front of the mother for her to light.
Everyone should have a glass or cup for the wine.

To make unleavened bread (matzoh):
Mix together 1 cup whole wheat (graham) flour, 3 tablespoons oil, a pinch of salt and enough water to make a pliable but not sticky dough. Knead about 10 or 15 times, adding a little flour to pastry board, if necessary, to keep the dough from sticking. Divide the dough into four pieces, and roll out each piece on a sheet of waxed paper about 9" in diameter (or until bread is about 1/8" thick.) Prick the bread with a fork; then peel off the paper, placing bread on cookie sheets. Bake bread at 400 until crisp but not brown (approximately 8-10 minutes).

To make haroseth:
Partially peel and chop or finely dice 6 to 8 apples, leaving some skin on. Add coarsely ground walnuts or pecans (about a third as many as apples) and an equal amount of raisins. Season with cinnamon, honey and a little sweet red wine.



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READERS IN THE CEREMONY

Father: (or priest) leads the service.

Mother: lights candles, blesses the light.

Youngest Child: asks "the four questions" about the meaning of Passover.


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THE PASCHAL MEAL

I - Kindling of the festival lights
Symbolizes the coming of the Messiah, the Light of the World

The mother lights the candles. All stand.

MOTHER'S PRAYER:

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe,
Who hast sanctified us by Thy commandments and commanded us to kindle the festival lights.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe,
Who hast kept us alive and sustained us and brought us to this season.
May our home be consecrated, O God, by the Light of Thy countenance, shining upon us in blessing and bringing us peace.

ALL: AMEN


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II - Kiddush
The Cup of Thanksgiving - Blessing of the Feast

On a plate before each person is a dish of salt-water, some horseradish, green herb (e.g. parsley) and haroseth. A bowl of wine is set at the father's place.

FATHER'S PRAYER:

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who hast chosen us above all peoples, and hast exalted us above all tongues, and hast hallowed us with Thy commandments.
In love hast Thou given us, O Lord our God, seasons for gladness, holy-days, and times for rejoicing, this day of the feast of the unleavened bread, the time of our freedom, an assembly day of holiness, a memorial to the Exodus from Egypt.
For Thou hast chosen us and hast sanctified us above all peoples, and Thou hast given us Thy sacred seasons for our inheritance.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, Who dost sanctify Israel and the festivals.

The Cup of Thanksgiving is distributed. Holding the wine, the people say,

ALL:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who dost create the fruit of the vine.

All drink.

The father ceremonially washes his hands by pouring water from a small pitcher into a basin, wiping his hands with a napkin, while praying,

FATHER:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who hast hallowed us with Thy commandments and hast commanded us concerning the washing of hands.

All take the green herb, dip it in the salt-water, and say:

ALL:
Blessed are Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who dost create the fruit of the soil.

All eat the green herb.

The father uncovers and lifts slightly the first of the three large pieces of unleavened bread which are each wrapped in a linen napkin on a plate before him.

FATHER:
Behold! This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt.
Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are in want come and celebrate the Passover with us. May it be God's will to redeem us from all evil and from all slavery.


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III - HAGADAH
Telling, instruction - Story of deliverance from Egypt Exodus 13:8

The Cup of Hagadah, the second cup of wine, is poured. The youngest person present asks the four traditional questions.

YOUNGEST CHILD:
Why is this night different from all other nights?
On all other nights we eat either leavened or unleavened bread. Why on this night do we eat only unleavened bread?
On all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs. Why on this night do we eat especially bitter herbs?
On all other nights we do not dip herbs in any condiment. Why on this night do we dip them in salt water and haroses?
On all other nights we eat without special festivities. Why on this night do we hold this Passover service?

FATHER:
The Syrians pursued our fathers who went down into Egypt and sojourned there in a very small number, and grew into a nation great and strong and of an infinite multitude. And the Egyptians afflicted us and persecuted us, laying on us most grievous burdens. And we cried to the Lord God of our fathers, Who heard us, and looked down upon our affliction and labor and distress. And He brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand, and a stretched-out arm, with great terror, with signs and wonders.
Therefore, even if all of us were wise and well-versed in the Torah, it would still be our duty from year to year to tell the story of our deliverance from Egypt. Indeed to dwell at length on it is accounted praiseworthy.

Read from Book of Exodus, Chapter 12.

The Paschal Lamb is brought in and placed before the father at the head of the table. The father lifts the lamb, and all ask:

ALL:
What is the meaning of pesach?

FATHER:
Pesach means the paschal lamb which our forefathers sacrificed to the Lord in memory of that night when the Holy One passed over the houses of our fathers in Egypt, as it is written: "When your children shall say to you: What is the meaning of this service? You shall say to them: It is the victim of the passage of the Lord, when He passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, striking the Egyptians, and saving our houses." (Exodus 12:26-27)

The father again uncovers the first piece of unleavened bread and holds it.

ALL:
What is the meaning of matzoh?

FATHER:
This is the bread of affliction which our fathers took with them out of Egypt as it is written: "And they baked the meal, which a little before they had brought out of Egypt, in dough: and they made earth cakes unleavened: for it could not be leavened, the Egyptians pressing them to depart, and not suffering them to make any stay: neither did they think of preparing any meat." (Exodus 12:39.)

The father lifts up the bitter herb, while all ask:

ALL:
What is the meaning of moror?

FATHER:
Moror means bitter herb. We eat moror to recall that the Egyptians embittered the lives of our fathers, as it is written: "And the Egyptians hated the children of Israel, and afflicted them and mocked them: And they made their life bitter with hard works in clay, and brick, and with all manner of service wherewith they were overcharged in the works of the earth." (Exodus 1:13-14.)


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IV - HALLEL PSALM
Thanksgiving for deliverance from Egypt

As a preface to the Hallel psalm, the father, lifts his cup of wine and says,

FATHER:
In every generation each one ought to regard himself as though he had personally come out of Egypt, as it is written: "And thou shalt tell thy son in that day, saying: This is what the Lord did to me when I came forth out of Egypt." (Exodus 13:8)
Therefore, it is our duty to thank, praise, laud, glorify, extol bless exalt and adore Him Who did all of these miracles for our fathers and for ourselves. He has brought us forth from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from mourning to festive day, from darkness to a great light, and from subjection to redemption. Let us then recite before Him a new song.

He sets down his cup of wine without drinking it.
ALL STAND and recite Psalm 113 (Douay. 114 KJV.)

ALL:
HALLELUJAH, praise ye the Lord!

FATHER:
When Israel went out of Egypt: The house of Jacob from a barbarous people:

ALL:
All Judea was made his sanctuary: Israel his dominion.

FATHER:
The sea saw and fled: Jordan was turned back.

ALL:
The mountains skipped like rams: And the hills like the lambs of the flock.

FATHER:
What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou didst flee:
And thou, O Jordan, that thou was turned back?

ALL:
Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams:
And ye hills like lambs of the flock?

FATHER:
At the presence of the Lord the earth was moved:
At the presence of the God of Jacob:

ALL:
Who turned the rock into pools of water:
And the stony hill into fountains of waters.
HALLELUJAH, Praise ye the Lord!

All are seated.


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V. THE SOLEMN BLESSING OF THE FOOD

The father takes the cup in his hand and says:

FATHER:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who hast redeemed us and hast redeemed our fathers from Egypt, and has permitted us to live unto this night, to partake on it of the unleavened bread and the bitter herbs.
So may the Lord our God and the God of our fathers, permit us to live unto other festive seasons and holy days.
May Thy will be done through Jacob, Thy chosen servant, so that Thy name shall be sanctified in the midst of all the earth, and that all peoples be moved to worship Thee with one accord.
And we shall sing new songs of praise unto Thee, for our redemption and for the deliverance of our souls.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who dost redeem Israel.

ALL:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who dost create the fruit of the vine.

All drink the second cup of wine, the Cup of Hagadah.
The father then takes up the matzoh and blesses it with the following prayer:

FATHER:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who dost bring forth bread from the earth.

He then breaks the matzoh into pieces and gives a piece to each person. Holding the bread in their hands, they say:

ALL:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who hast sanctified us by Thy commandments and hast commanded us concerning the eating of unleavened bread.

All eat the bread.

FATHER:
Let us combine the unleavened bread and the bitter herbs and eat them together, as it is written: "With unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it."

All place bitter herb and haroseth between two pieces of unleavened bread and say together:

ALL:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who hast sanctified us by Thy commandments and hast commanded us concerning the eating of bitter herbs.


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VI - THE PASCHAL SUPPER

Other foods are brought in and the people eat the meal. The second matzoh may be consumed with the meal.


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VII - THE CUP OF BLESSING (Wine May Be Cut Down with Water 1 part Wine 3 parts Running Water so That Children may partake)

At the end of the meal, the father takes the last matzoh from the plate, breaks and distributes it to all.

As it was the custom to end the Passover meal with eating this final piece of unleavened bread, it was probably at this point that Our Lord blessed the bread, broke it and gave it to his disciples saying: "This is my body, which is given for thee." (Luke 22:19.)

All hold the bread in their hands while the father says:

FATHER:
Let us bless the Lord.

ALL:
May the name of the Lord be blessed from now unto eternity.

FATHER:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who dost feed the entire world with Thy goodness, with grace, with loving kindness and with pity. He gives bread to all flesh, for His loving kindness endureth forever. And in His great goodness,food has not been, and shall not be lacking for us, forever and ever, for the sake of His great name; for He is God, Who feeds and supports all, and does good unto all, and prepares food for all His creatures, which He did create.

ALL:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, Who feedest all Thy creatures.

All eat the bread.
The third cup of wine, The Cup of Blessing, is poured.
ALL STAND.

FATHER:
What shall I render to the Lord:
For all the things that he hath rendered to me?

ALL:
I will take the chalice of salvation:
And I will call upon the name of the Lord.

FATHER:
I will pay my vows to the Lord:
Before all His people.

ALL:
Precious in the sight of the Lord:
Is the death of His saints.

FATHER:
O Lord, for I am thy servant:
I am Thy servant, and the son of Thine handmaid.

ALL:
Thou hast broken my bonds:
I will sacrifice to Thee the sacrifice of praise, and I will call upon the name of the Lord.

FATHER:
I will pay my vows to the Lord in the sight of all His people:
In the courts of the house of the Lord, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.

ALL:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who hast created the fruit of the vine.

All drink the Cup of Blessing.


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VIII - THE CUP OF MELCHISEDEK
The Final Blessing

The fourth cup of wine is filled. Melchisedek gave bread and wine to Abraham and blessed him. The name 'Melchisedek' means King of Righteousness. As Priest-King of Salem (Jerusalem - 'peace') he is the Old Testament 'Type' of Jesus Christ, of the eternal priesthood. (Gen. 14:18-19, Ps. 110, Heb. 5:6, 7.)

All raise their cups and say,

ALL:
Praised art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe,
Who hast created the fruit of the vine.

All drink the fourth cup. The ceremony concludes with the blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 that the Lord instructed Moses to give to the people.

FATHER:
The Lord bless thee and keep thee:
The Lord make His face to shine upon thee and have mercy on thee!
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace!

ALL:
Amen. Amen. Amen. +
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:25 PM
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Very informative, Lowjack.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by WTM45 View Post
Very informative, Lowjack.
Thanks for sharing.
x2
If you don't mind a question . Your post was in reference to Passover ,not Easter as celebrated by christians ? Trying to keep my history straight. Thanks
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:49 PM
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I've marked this one for my future reference. Many of the Jewish faith live in my area, and if ever invited to such a celebration meal I would like to be aware of the significance of each step involved.
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:53 PM
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x2
If you don't mind a question . Your post was in reference to Passover ,not Easter as celebrated by christians ? Trying to keep my history straight. Thanks
Sorry Earl, Easter is not a Jewish Feast nor Christian Either.
Any So called Believer in God who celebrates the Godess Ishtar is Cursed in the bible.

Easter is a day that is honered by nearly all of contemporary Christianity and is used to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The holiday often involves a church service at sunrise, a feast which includes an "Easter Ham", decorated eggs and stories about rabbits.

Those who love truth learn to ask questions, and many questions must be asked regarding the holiday of Easter.

Is it truly the day when Jesus arose from the dead? Where did all of the strange customs come from, which have nothing to do with the resurrection of our Saviour?

The purpose of this tract is to help answer those questions, and to help those who seek truth to draw their own conclusions.

The first thing we must understand is that professing Christians were not the only ones who celebrated a festival called "Easter."

"Ishtar", which is pronounced "Easter" was a day that commemorated the resurrection of one of their gods that they called "Tammuz", who was believed to be the only begotten son of the moon-goddess and the sun-god.

In those ancient times, there was a man named Nimrod, who was the grandson of one of Noah's son named Ham.

Ham had a son named Cush who married a woman named Semiramis.Cush and Semiramis then had a son named him "Nimrod."

After the death of his father, Nimrod married his own mother and became a powerful King.

The Bible tells of of this man, Nimrod, in Genesis 10:8-10 as follows: "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad,and Calneh, in the land of Shinar."

Nimrod became a god-man to the people and Semiramis, his wife and mother, became the powerful Queen of ancient Babylon. (Similar To Mormonism Believes)

Nimrod was eventually killed by an enemy, and his body was cut in pieces and sent to various parts of his kingdom.

Semiramis had all of the parts gathered, except for one part that could not be found.

That missing part was his reproductive organ. Semiramis claimed that Nimrod could not come back to life without it and told the people of Babylon that Nimrod had ascended to the sun and was now to be called "Baal", the sun god.

Queen Semiramis also proclaimed that Baal would be present on earth in the form of a flame, whether candle or lamp, when used in worship.

Semiramis was creating a mystery religion, and with the help of Satan, she set herself up as a goddess.

Semiramis claimed that she was immaculately conceived.

She taught that the moon was a goddess that went through a 28 day cycle and ovulated when full.

She further claimed that she came down from the moon in a giant moon egg that fell into the Euphrates River.

This was to have happened at the time of the first full moon after the spring equinox.

Semiramis became known as "Ishtar" which is pronounced "Easter", and her moon egg became known as "Ishtar's" egg."

Ishtar soon became pregnant and claimed that it was the rays of the sun-god Baal that caused her to conceive.

The son that she brought forth was named Tammuz.

Tammuz was noted to be especially fond of rabbits, and they became sacred in the ancient religion, because Tammuz was believed to be the son of the sun-god, Baal. Tammuz, like his supposed father, became a hunter.

The day came when Tammuz was killed by a wild pig.

Queen Ishtar told the people that Tammuz was now ascended to his father, Baal, and that the two of them would be with the worshippers in the sacred candle or lamp flame as Father, Son and Spirit.(a Trinity)

Ishtar, who was now worshipped as the "Mother of God and Queen of Heaven", continued to build her mystery religion.

The queen told the worshippers that when Tammuz was killed by the wild pig, some of his blood fell on the stump of an evergreen tree, and the stump grew into a full new tree overnight. This made the evergreen tree sacred by the blood of Tammuz.

She also proclaimed a forty day period of time of sorrow each year prior to the anniversary of the death of Tammuz.

During this time, no meat was to be eaten.

Worshippers were to meditate upon the sacred mysteries of Baal and Tammuz, and to make the sign of the "T" in front of their hearts as they worshipped. ( Crossing One self as Catholics do)

They also ate sacred cakes with the marking of a "T" or cross on the top.

Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, a celebration was made.

It was Ishtar's Sunday and was celebrated with rabbits and eggs.

Ishtar also proclaimed that because Tammuz was killed by a pig, that a pig must be eaten on that Sunday.

By now, the readers of this tract should have made the connection that paganism has infiltrated the contemporary "Christian" churches, and further study indicates that this paganism came in by way of the Roman Catholic System.

The truth is that Easter has nothing whatsoever to do with the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We also know that Easter can be as much as three weeks away from the Passover, because the pagan holiday is always set as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.

Some have wondered why the word "Easter" is in the the King James Bible.

It is because Acts, chapter 12, tells us that it was the evil King Herod, who was planning to celebrate Easter, and not the Christians.

The true Passover and pagan Easter sometimes coincide, but in some years, they are a great distance apart.

So much more could be said, and we have much more information for you, if you are a seeker of the truth.

We know that the Bible tells us in John 4:24, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

The truth is that the forty days of Lent, eggs, rabbits,hot cross buns and the Easter ham have everything to do with the ancient pagan religion of Mystery Babylon.These are all antichrist activities!

Satan is a master deceiver, and has filled the lives of well-meaning, professing Christians with idolatry.

These things bring the wrath of God upon children of disobedience, who try to make pagan customs of Baal worship Christian.

You must answer for your activities and for what you teach your children.

These customs of Easter honor Baal, who is also Satan, and is still worshipped as the "Rising Sun" and his house is the "House of the Rising Sun."

How many churches have "sunrise services" on Ishtar's day and face the rising sun in the East?

How many will use colored eggs and rabbit stories, as they did in ancient Babylon.

These things are no joke, any more than Judgement day is a joke.

I pray to God that this tract will cause you to search for more truth.

We will be glad to help you by providing more information and by praying for you.

These are the last days, and it is time to repent, come out and be separate.

David J. Meyer
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Last edited by Lowjack; 04-05-2009 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:02 AM
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That should stir the pot a little!
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:25 AM
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While I appreciate your dissertation on the true Easter and am well versed in the original pagan, a yes or no was more what I had in mind. That is why I specified ''as celebrated by''. IMHO if christians wanted to be original and not get confused with paganism they would have called their celebration the resurrection or something like that.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:31 AM
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While I appreciate your dissertation on the true Easter and am well versed in the original pagan, a yes or no was more what I had in mind. That is why I specified ''as celebrated by''. IMHO if christians wanted to be original and not get confused with paganism they would have called their celebration the resurrection or something like that.
I agree, Most True Christians I know call it Holy Week.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:35 AM
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The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the LORD a lamb a year old without defect, together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil-an offering made to the LORD by fire, a pleasing aroma-and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin of wine. You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. (Lev. 23:9-14)

Three Spring Feasts
Often overlooked because Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread over shadow and surround it, the Feast of First Fruits can nonetheless be called the most important Feast of them all, at least from a Christian point of view. This, even though the Gospel accounts don't even mention First Fruits and also seem to use Passover and Unleavened Bread interchangeably. It's easy to miss the fact that there were actually three feasts being celebrated at once.

Although it's not obvious from the passage above, The Sabbath the Lord was referring to is the one that comes after the Passover, meaning that while the Passover can fall on any day of the week which also happens to be the 14th day of the first month, the Feast of First Fruits is always the following Sunday, the day after the Sabbath after Passover. Unleavened Bread begins on the 15th and lasts seven days, so First Fruits comes before Unleavened Bread ends.

The year the Lord was crucified, Passover fell on a Thursday. Three days and three nights later it was Sunday morning, the Feast of First Fruits. And for several hundred years after that, the Sunday morning after Passover was known to Christians as Resurrection Morning.

What Day Is It?
But at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, Eastern and Western bishops of the Church disagreed over the official date for the Church's most important Holy Day. Eastern bishops favored staying with the calculation involving Passover as Leviticus describes, since many of them were of Jewish origin, and since the gospels had clearly placed Resurrection Morning just after Passover.

Western bishops, being mostly Gentile, favored a date closer to the beginning of spring because there were already a number of pagan festivals held during that time and a religious holiday would fit right in. Perhaps this is when the Western church began referring to Resurrection Morning as Easter Sunday, after the Babylonian fertility goddess Ishtar. The Feast of Ishtar was always celebrated at the beginning of spring and involved eggs and rabbits and other signs of fertility. Even today, you can see how elements of the two have been merged together.

Eventually, due in part to their view that since the Jews had rejected Christ Jewish traditions shouldn't be used in selecting the date for Easter, the Western Church settled on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. Soon Easter Sunday became disconnected from Passover by as much as several weeks.

The adoption of the Gregorian calendar (the one we use in the west today) in 1752 did nothing to correct this disconnect, and since the Eastern or Orthodox Church stuck with the earlier Julian calendar, we now have two dates for Easter in most years. When I wrote the first edition of this article in 2004, the Feast of First Fruits, Orthodox Easter and Western Easter all came on the same day, a rare occasion. This year, 2008, the Feast of First fruits comes on April 27, as does the Eastern Orthodox celebration of Easter, over a month after the Western celebration.

The Common Practice
But back to the Feast of First Fruits. Grains were planted in the fall in Israel. They germinated in the ground through the winter, shot up as soon as the weather got warm, and ripened in the spring, barley first and then wheat. The stalks were cut and stacked in sheaves for the harvesters to collect for thrashing. But harvesting or eating any of the new crop of grain was not permitted until a sample sheaf was brought to the Temple at sunrise on the first day after the Sabbath following Passover. This day was called the Feast of First Fruits. A similar ceremony for the wheat harvest took place on Pentecost, also a Sunday, seven weeks later.

As you know the Lord required that the first fruits of all their harvest be given to Him, whether plant or animal. (In the case of animals, only the very first offspring from each animal was required, not the first of each season. For humanity, a small ransom was paid at the Temple to redeem the firstborn son. The Lord expressly forbade any form of child sacrifice.)

The priest took the sheaf of grain and waved it before the altar of the Lord as a sample of the harvest. This was called the wave offering. To be sure it was acceptable to the Lord, a year old lamb was also offered, along with about 4 quarts of a flour and oil mixture and a quart of wine. The mixing fragrances of the roasting lamb, the baking bread dough and the steam from the wine made a pleasant aroma for the Lord and the offering was accepted. The Lord having received His required first portion, the harvest could proceed and the grain could be ground into flour for their daily bread.

The Prophetic Fulfillment
At sunrise on the morning of the Feast of First Fruits in 32 AD, as the priests were waving the sheaf of grain before the altar, the women arrived at the Lord's tomb to prepare His body for permanent burial. Remember, there wasn't enough time to do that before sunset on the day He was crucified and the following two days were both Sabbaths, when no work was permitted. Interestingly, work was permitted on the Feast of First Fruits.

But the tomb was empty. He had risen, the First Fruits of them that slept. (1 Cor. 15:20) Later that day many Holy people from Israel's past were seen in the city of Jerusalem, also having risen from their tombs. (Matt. 27:53) This was the Lord's wave offering, a sample of His harvest of souls. I'm thinking that the aroma of the Temple offering was especially pleasing to the Lord that morning. The days of substitutes were over; the real thing had come. (Hebr. 10:1)

The Ultimate Triple Play
For Christ, our Passover Lamb, had been sacrificed (1 Cor. 5:7), and on the very day, fulfilling the Passover Prophecy. Then for the seven days that followed Passover, the Israelites ate bread without yeast in celebration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in fact went to great lengths to rid their homes of any trace of leaven. This Feast symbolized a promise that the sin of man, represented by the leaven, would be completely taken away. The Lord's death fulfilled this one as well, for He's the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) And take it away He did, as far as the East is from the West. (Psalm 103:12)

And right on schedule the Lord rose from the grave, fulfilling the Feast of First Fruits. He is the First Fruits of them that slept, and His resurrection confirmed His victory over sin and death. And ours too, for if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom. 10:9)

In Conclusion ...
In my opinion, Resurrection Morning is the most important day in the history of the world and should never be called Easter Sunday. I also believe we should celebrate it on its anniversary. People have told me that they don't think it matters what date we choose as long as we remember it and that's one of the arguments the Western Bishops used to justify combining it with the Feast of Ishtar. It's also an argument I hear about Christmas.

But unlike the Lord's birthday, we know the exact day of His Resurrection. Since it's the most important day ever, we should honor it on the anniversary of its occurrence, out of respect and gratitude.

Why do I say the Resurrection is the most important event in history? Because after He rose, the Lord ascended into Heaven to take a seat at the right hand of God. Habakkuk 1:13 tells us that God's eyes are too pure to look upon sin, and on the cross Jesus had been so steeped in sin that His father couldn't even bear to look at Him, causing Him to cry out in pain for the only time in His entire ordeal. "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?

The point is that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). If even one of the sins of mankind that Jesus bore on the cross remained unpaid by His death, He couldn't have come out of the grave and ascended into into the presence of God.

The reason that everyone who asks will receive, every one who seeks will find, and to all who knock the door will be opened (Matt. 7:7-8) is that every sin of mankind was paid for at the cross. Anyone, regardless of merit or worthiness, can now ask to be saved without fear of rejection. The Resurrection is our proof of that. And since every one of the sins of our lifetime has been covered, we have no fear of doing something to disqualify ourselves. For by His one sacrifice He has made us perfect forever. (Hebrews 10:14) The Resurrection is also proof of that.

This is why we have to believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead to be saved. If you don't believe that Jesus came back from the dead, you can't be sure that you will. That makes the Resurrection the single most important event in human history. Selah 03-22-08
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:36 AM
Diogenes Diogenes is offline
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Lowjack states: "Ishtar", which is pronounced "Easter" was a day that commemorated the resurrection of one of their gods that they called "Tammuz", who was believed to be the only begotten son of the moon-goddess and the sun-god."

Sir, without disrespecting your history, I might observe a small omission -- Ishtar was not a day, she was, in the Babylonian mythology, the goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex.

From other sources: "Mylitta was the mother goddess Ishtar, who derived from the Sumerian Inanna, goddess of fertility and love. In Babylonian mythology Ishtar, the wife and sister of Tammuz, the Sumerian Dumuzi, descended to the nether world as a hostile and threatening figure, even Ereshkigal's face blanched on her approach. Yet she was overcome there by death, with the result on earth that the springs of fertility ran dry. Ea secured her release by means of a ‘brilliant’ eunuch, which captivated the heart of the mistress of infertility and death.

An Akkadian fragment describes the wailing of Ishtar for Tammuz, whose annual death, resurrection, and marriage strongly indicate a fertility ritual connected with the agricultural cycle. His worship spread into Canaan, where the prophet Ezekiel bitterly complained that even at ‘the door of the gate of the Lord's house … there sat women weeping for Tammuz’. As a war goddess Ishtar was specially honoured in Assyria. She carried a bow and a quiver, her warlike aspect receiving emphasis with a beard similar to the god Ashur. Inscriptions state that Ishtar was party to the choosing of the king. Certain of his divine election was Ashur-natsir-pala II (884–860 BC), a monarch renowned for the severity of his treatment of rebels and intractable enemies. Skinning captives alive or cutting off their hands became settled policy."

I note the similarity in both aspect and pronunciation, and have seen the confusion before. But for that small quibble, I ask you to continue with your lesson -- I am learning quite a lot.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:12 PM
earl earl is offline
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Yes , please continue .If possible please give some sources for further reading. I will gladly admit this is the first time I have heard about the ''ultimate triple play ''. It explains so much it's unreal !All those things happening at the same time...
The explanation of the gentile and jewish christians seems to be another case of man's manipulation of the truth to further his own personal agenda.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earl View Post
The explanation of the gentile and jewish christians seems to be another case of man's manipulation of the truth to further his own personal agenda.
Many people have been trying to explain just that for many years, but their voices get drowned out by evangelicals.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:00 AM
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Amen K9
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