Lie — Easter commemorates Jesus

The Story

The most important holiday of the Christian year, Easter is a time to mourn the death and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

It is preceded by 40 days of mourning known as Lent.

On Good Friday it is traditional to eat hot-cross buns, symbolizing the crucifixion.

On Easter Sunday, ceremonies begin by welcoming the rising sun, symbolizing the risen Son.

The rest of the day is commemorated with coloured eggs and rabbits, which symbolize Christian rebirth, Easter baskets of food that had been abstained from during Lent, and Easter meals with ham as the main meat.

Historical Facts

The celebration of Easter long predates Christianity:

The name Easter, like the names of the days of the week, is a survival from the old Teutonic mythology. According to Bede [an eighth century monk] it is derived from Oestre, or Ostdra, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, to whom the month answering to our April, and called Eoster-monath, was dedicated.
-- "Easter", Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed.

Many ancient cultures share the legend of Semiramus and Nimrod, who are called by such names as Ishtar and Tammuz in Babylon; Isis and Osiris in Egypt; Astarte and Bel in Syria; Aphrodite, Cybele, or Venus, and Attis or Adonis in Greece and Rome; and Oestre (the dawn goddess) in Britain.

Roman statue of Egyptian goddess Isis, looking remarkably like a modern Mary statue.
Roman statue of Isis, from early second century.

They considered Ishtar to be the Mother of Gods, and often depicted her either as a fertility symbol, or as a madonna figure.

Many pre-christian Europeans thought that their sun gods and fertility goddesses died at the winter solstice and regained life again at the spring equinox.

The concept of death and rebirth plays a large role in these legends. e.g. Cybele mourned two days for Attis, then celebrated his return on the third day, while Venus mourned two days for Adonis until he ascended to heaven on the third day.

The period of Lent is taken from the Babylonian myth of Tammuz and Ishtar (note similar pronunciation to Easter). After Tammuz was killed by a wild boar, his wife Ishtar dedicated 40 days to weeping and fasting. Other cultures have similar myths, with the principle characters from one being identified with those of another (e.g. the Egyptians equated Isis with Ishtar).

Ishtar was believed to have hatched from an egg that fell from heaven.

... the egg as a symbol of fertility and of renewed life goes back to the ancient Egyptians and Persians, who had also the custom of colouring and eating eggs during their spring festival.
-- "Easter", Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed.

In the Babylonian myth, Tammuz was killed by a wild boar. Pre-christian Europeans considered eating ham a symbol of luck.

The cross on hot-cross buns comes from the letter t, the initial of Tamuz, husband of Ishtar, the queen of heaven:

It is quite probable that it has a far older and more interesting origin, as is suggested by an inquiry into the origin of hot cross buns. These cakes, which are now solely associated with the Christian Good Friday, are traceable to the remotest period of pagan history. Cakes were offered by ancient Egyptians to their moon goddess; and these had imprinted on them a pair of horns, symbolic of the ox at the sacrifice of which they were offered on the altar, or of the horned moon goddess, the equivalent of Ishtar of the Assyro-Babylonians. The Greeks offered such sacred cakes to Astarte and other divinities. This cake they called bous (ox), in allusion to the ox-symbol marked on it, and from the accusative boun it is suggested that the word 'bun' is derived. Like the Greeks, the Romans eat cross-bread at public sacrifices, such bread being usually purchased at the doors of the temple and taken in with them, a custom alluded to by St. Paul in I Cor. x.28. At Herculaneum two small loaves about 5 in. in diameter, and plainly marked with a cross, were found. In the Old Testament are references made in Jer. vii.18-xliv.19, to such sacred bread being offered to the moon goddess. The cross-bread was eaten by the pagan Saxons in honor of Eoster, their goddess of light. The Mexicans and Peruvians are shown to have had a similar custom. The custom, in fact, was practically universal, ...
-- "Bun", Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed.

Almost all cultures celebrated the vernal equinox, and most worshipped the sun god as their primary god. As the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring, the rising sun on this day represented the rebirth of nature for another year.

Similarly, Spring represented a time of fertility, for crops, animals, and people, and nothing represents fertility better than do rabbits.

The Bible

The Bible records instances of these pagan practices and celebrations centuries before Jesus and Christianity:

The Bible also predicted that Christians would diverge from the truth, ignoring God's commandments and instead using pagan practices in their worship:


Other than taking place at about the same time of year, Easter and its symbols and customs have nothing to do with Passover and Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. But adding Christian-sounding trappings to these Pagan festivities has not only allowed Roman Christianity to grow, it has also hidden the biblical truth and very effectively diverted the attention of most of those that might want to follow God's word.