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Christians recognize Easter by honoring the day our Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead. The truth is that the traditional Easter celebration that many of us grew up practicing actually has nothing to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Christians recognize Easter by honoring the day our Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead. The holiday often involves a traditional church service, with a resurrection-themed message, along with other traditions such as giving Easter baskets, filled with colorful, decorated eggs and candy; stuffed Easter bunnies; and egg hunts for children. There are many questions about Easter, such as: Is Easter Sunday truly the day when Jesus rose from the dead? Where did all the strange customs come from, which have nothing to do with the resurrection of Jesus? We need to know the answers to these questions.

The first thing we should know is that professing Christians were not the only ones who celebrated a festival called “Easter.” The word easter is actually a derivative of the word “Ishtar,” which was a day on which many people who practiced pagan religion commemorated the resurrection of one of the gods they worshiped, named “Tammuz.” This god was believed to be the offspring of their moon-goddess and sun-god.

In biblical times, there was a man named Nimrod, who was the grandson of Noah’s son Ham. Nimrod married his own mother and became a powerful king. In fact, the people over whom Nimrod ruled elevated him to the status of “god-man.” His wife and mother, Semiramis, became the powerful queen of ancient Babylon.

Nimrod was eventually killed, and his body was cut into pieces and sent to various parts of his kingdom. However, the part of his body that could not be found was his reproductive organs. Semiramis claimed that Nimrod could not come back to life without them and told the people of Babylon that he had ascended to the sun and was now to be called “Baal,” the sun god. Queen Semiramis also proclaimed that Baal should be worshiped.

This woman was essentially creating a pagan religion and setting herself up as a goddess on the earth. She claimed that she came down from the moon in a giant moon egg that fell into the Euphrates River and that her “birth” took place at the time as 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.” This is where the central theme of eggs originated in connection with the Easter holiday.

Ishtar soon became pregnant and claimed that it was the rays of the sun-god Baal that caused her to conceive. She named her son Tammuz, and it was believed that he was especially fond of rabbits. As a result, the animal became sacred in this ancient pagan religion.

Worshipers of this religion were taught to meditate on the sacred mysteries of Baal and Tammuz and to celebrate on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox. This was considered “Ishtar’s Sunday” and was celebrated with rabbits and eggs.

The truth is that the traditional Easter celebration that many of us grew up practicing actually has nothing to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ! In fact, eggs, rabbits, and hot cross buns have everything to do with an ancient pagan religion that is based on idol worship. For this reason, we should make sure we understand what we are actually celebrating. Jesus came to the earth and died for our sins so that we may have eternal, abundant life. Our worship belongs to the one and only true God. Therefore, instead of celebrating Easter Sunday, as the body of Christ, we celebrate Resurrection Sunday. Take the time to explain these truths to your family and children so they will know the truth about “Easter.”

First published in the April/May 2011 issue of Change Magazine
Copyright © 2011 Creflo Dollar Ministries
All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.
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