“But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain” (Galatians 4:9-11).
Paul is feared for Christians in the churches of Galatia because they were observing special days instituted by the Law of Moses. Those days had been done away with in Christ. For Christians to turn to or turn back to the observance of those days as instructed in the law of Moses would be to turn to weak and beggarly elements which were part of a yoke of bondage. We may not be tempted to adopt those religious days, but what about other days celebrated religiously by the world today?
This Sunday is observed in much of the religious world as Easter Sunday. For them, Easter Sunday is celebrated yearly as the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. For some, along with Easter Sunday comes other observances, such as 40 days of Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Vigil.
Let us see that these observances are devoid of New Testament authority.
The word “Easter” is used once in the New Testament, in Acts 12:4, in the King James Version, and it is a translation of the same word that is translated “Passover” every other of the 28 times in the New Testament, referring to the Jewish Passover. In other words, there is no basis for the King James Version mistranslating the word for Passover to be “Easter” in Acts 12:4. And the Passover was done away with in Christ. So we don’t find Easter Sunday in the Bible.
Beware that you can find scholars who defend Easter as a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ begun in the days of the apostles as pleasing to God. If this were true, we would find either direct statement, command, approved example, or necessary inference that the apostles celebrated or taught disciples to celebrate such an observance once a year. We find none in the New Testament.
But what will you see being observed in the New Testament? We find Christians eating and drinking the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7), and by necessary inference, every week that has a first day. We find that Paul had delivered to the Corinthians what he had received from the Lord regarding the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23), and he expected them to eat it properly. In that observance, Christians were proclaiming the Lord’s death till He comes (1 Corinthians 11:26). Because it was “till he comes,” such a proclamation was a confession of their belief that He was raised from the dead.
Those who respect the authority of the apostles’ doctrine will be content to observe the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week by coming together in one place as a church to eat and drink it (1 Corinthians 11:18, 20), because that is the worship the Lord has commanded. They will neither add Easter Sunday nor any of its holy days to their religious observances because whatever they do, in word or deed, they do all in the name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:17) – as Jesus and his apostles directed. Easter celebration cannot be in the name of the Lord, for neither He nor His apostles authorized it. When churches add any manner of Easter celebration, they do so according to the doctrines of men and without divine authority, making their worship vain (Matthew 15:9).
Those who add to or take away from the apostles’ doctrine show disrespect for the authority of Christ and His apostles. Isn’t it time people start listening to God and be content to do according to His will without adding to it and without taking away from it?