I woke up to the news this morning that the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is hopeful of fixing the date of Easter so that it does not vary from year to year. It seems the Romish Church and the Eastern Church are in agreement (it never ceases to disappoint me that the Church of England gives credence to these idolaters). My initial reaction was surprise that this ancient tradition could be changed so carelessly. I then wondered whether the date of Easter had any significance at all, and finally whether Easter has any significance at all.
Easter is vaguely connected to the Passover festival, yet God never instituted the continuation of the Passover as an annual festival in the New Testament. In fact, while they continued until the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, the Bible clearly teaches that the Jewish festivals are now abrogated, severed from any holiness that was in them under the ceremonial law; they were merely typical of the reality of Christ (Colossians 2:17; Galatians 4:10), like a scaffold on an unfinished building.
There is no need to leave scaffolding on a finished building: there were no biblical feast days instituted in the stead of Old Testament festivals. Notwithstanding, the observance of Passover continues in force sacramentally, not as an annual festivity, but as the Lord’s Supper, which is administered regularly in churches. Neither the Passover nor the Resurrection of Christ is truly a warrant for the celebration of Easter.
The Resurrection is, however, a warrant for the celebration of the Lord’s Day of which there are fifty-two, not just one, in a year. The weekly Sabbath is a creation ordinance – and therefore a part of God’s moral, rather than ceremonial, law – and now observed on the first day of the week following its institution by the resurrection of Christ and its consecration by the apostles. It serves as a foretaste of our eternal Sabbath, which has not yet been realized, a day when we recall the resurrection of Christ and anticipate His second coming.
Is the Lord’s Day upon which Easter falls any more important than that which precedes it or that which follows it? If you think it is, why is that? Simply because man has called it a holy day, when the Word of God has not distinguished it from the weekly Sabbath?
Easter is often an especially jubilant day on which Christians triumphally proclaim, “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.” Why can we not have this same jubilation on other Sundays?