Q. I have been considering the issue of pagan holy days being repackaged by the Christian church. My tendency in my faith-walk is to fall into legalism (following an outward practice thinking that I am a “better” Christian because of it). Since I know it’s a pitfall for me, I am cautious to change my outward practice until I am certain that is the best way. For example, while the Christian church celebrates Easter and not Passover, does the very act of celebrating Christ’s death and resurrection not somehow redeem the fact that it may not be on the right day or have questionable beginnings (inclusion of pagan elements)? I’ve attempted to discuss this issue with several friends who are Believers, and they tend to “roll” their eyes at my comments. Do you have any insight on this?
Commentary by Jack Kelley
Every year at Thanksgiving I’m reminded of the holiday’s origin, the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. It was the crowning event in Israel’s cycle of fall feasts that also included Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It was a celebration of the harvest, of God’s mercy in forgiving their sins for another year, and a remembrance of the time when He lived among them in the wilderness, setting them apart as His people.
Q. Re: Matt. 27:52-53. I know that the saints will be risen at the rapture with Christ, but what was the purpose of these people being resurrected with Him? Is there a cross reference stating who the saints were He chose to allow to rise and who did they go to? I would think that they should have played a major role in the start of the church but they didn’t, so what was their purpose?
Q. I had a question regarding the events and blood moons. Did you take into consideration that under the Jewish calendar the year 1949 would have still been 1948 for Jews? For instance, I know that the year 2012 doesn’t end under the Jewish calendar until this Sept. 2013.
Q. Was the Last Supper a Passover Seder? The gospels are somewhat confusing to me concerning this. Matthew , Mark , and Luke seem to indicate that it was. But the gospel of John indicates that Christ was betrayed and crucified before the Passover Seder. Is there a conflict between the Gospel accounts?
Q. As Christians are we to celebrate Passover in like manner as the Jews, instead of Resurrection Sunday, so called Easter? Or is Passover for the Jews only?
Q. Given that Jesus’ ministry was 3 1/2 years long and then He died, was buried and rose again during the Spring feasts, isn’t it likely that He partially fulfilled the Feast of Tabernacles (God lives with us)?
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
In the past I’ve explained why I believe Jesus probably was born sometime in September. If that’s the case then what really happened in December? Is Christmas just the result of overlaying Christian beliefs on a formerly pagan holiday as some believe, or is there more to it?
Q. My pastor believes that Jesus was born in the Spring, March or April because of the shepherds tending their sheep at that time of the year when the angels appeared to them in the fields, and because the Lord also died in the Spring when he was 33 which would match the time of his birth. Why do you believe that the Lord was born in September? Thank you, as always, for your great insights and for your ministry.
Q. Do you believe that when we celebrate Christmas we’re celebrating a pagan holiday? I believe it’s the celebration of our Savior’s birth. Am I committing a sin by doing so? Also, can you please tell me whether having a Christmas tree is committing a pagan ritual? Further, is wearing a cross or having one in your home also a sin … some say that it is worshiping an idol. I don’t understand this, as in my heart it is reminding me of what Christ has done for us. Please help.