There are huge differences between Christmas and Easter and the Holy Days God commanded His people to observe. Christmas and Easter are man-made festivals without biblical authorization. God’s festivals mentioned in Leviticus 23 are biblically sanctioned and were commanded forever. God’s Holy Days teach us how to live godly lives and give us hope by explaining His plan of salvation. Christmas and Easter customs and celebrations mask these important truths.
As an example, the Days of Unleavened Bread, commanded by God (Leviticus 23:6 Leviticus 23:6And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread.
American King James Version×) and observed by the early Christians (1 Corinthians 5:6-8 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 6 Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
American King James Version×), teach us to put sin (represented during this weeklong festival by leavened items such as bread and cake) out of our lives. This festival teaches us that we must struggle to overcome sin with the help of God’s Spirit and live righteously. Easter celebrations ignore this important instruction.
The contrast between the biblically authorized Feast of Tabernacles and Christmas is similar. The former inspires us with hope in Christ’s future 1,000-year reign on earth in the Kingdom of God, while the latter celebrates His birth with traditions, ornaments and customs He would not approve, on a day He could not have been born. (The Bible shows His birth was nowhere near Dec. 25.)
Easter and Christmas not only lack biblical authorization, but they entered traditional Christianity through men who deliberately replaced God’s commanded festivals with their own. Trying to justify the change, both of these pagan (pre-Christian) festivals were dressed up with supposed Christian meanings—one to celebrate Christ’s resurrection, the other His birth.
As wonderful as Christ’s birth and resurrection are, the Bible does not tell us to celebrate these things (and especially not with the pagan customs associated with them). Instead, it tells us to annually commemorate His death (Luke 22:19 Luke 22:19And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
American King James Version×; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25 1 Corinthians 11:24-25 24 And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do you, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of me.
American King James Version×) and to seek the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×). God commands us to observe His Holy Days (Leviticus 23), which help us do these things. Using rabbits and Easter eggs to remember Christ’s resurrection or decorating evergreen trees to remember His birth comes not from the Bible, but from ancient paganism.
Given the history and meanings of Easter and Christmas, it is quite understandable why so many people today think of Christianity as only a celebration of what Christ has done for us instead of the honorable quest to live godly lives in anticipation of His return to establish the Kingdom of God.
If you want more of the facts about Christmas and Easter, request our free booklet Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Observe? Additional information about God’s annual Holy Days is presented in our free booklet God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind.