Bishop Ogles Easter (Passover) Letter 2024

Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
Office of the Bishop
PO Box 128 – Statesville, N.C. 28687
Phone 704-873-8365

31 March 2016 Anno Domini

“…For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.1 Corinthians 5:7*

According to Juliet in Shakespeare’s play, Romeo & Juliet, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. (Act 2, Scene 2)

I disagree with Shakespeare at least insofar as Easter is concerned. Names are important in their allusions to things of great import. Christ is the Lamb of God sacrificed from before the foundation of the world. As such, He became our Passover by means of His sacrifice at Calvary. The scriptures clearly point to that sacrifice as our Passover, and I prefer that term to any made-up term we find in Bible translations – even the King James Version.

The word ‘Easter’ only occurs once in the King James Bible (Acts 12:4). The Greek term from which the word is translated is clearly Passover (Pesach) and is so translated in every other place it appears in scripture. The Geneva Bible does translate the word properly as Passover. The symbolic meaning is profound and should not be muddled with any substitute term. When we learn that Jesus was our Passover, and the Lamb of God sacrificed for us, we know that His title as our Passover is a sacred title. It clearly defines His death and resurrection as our Passover which was typified in Goshen of Egypt by the Passover lamb whose blood was smeared on the door posts and lintels of the houses of the Israelites. When the Angel of Death saw the blood of those lambs, he passed over that home. It is true today that when the Angel of death sees that we are covered by the blood of the Lamb of God, we will not taste spiritual death. “…I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”  John 11:25-26

I am not insisting that we should avoid the use of the substitute term that has come to mean the Passover for the Christian Church, but I hope that we will all recognize its full meaning of that observance called the Lord’s Passover from the days of the bondage of Israel in Egypt. We must guard against any dilution of meanings in our days of Biblical observance. Christmas is not Xmas, or winter break. We should insist on original terms that are biblically proved. In every classical commentary I consulted, including Matthew Henry, John Gill, Barnes, Clark, JFB, Abbott, Robertson, and even Schofield, each insists that the proper term is not Easter, but Passover. So does the underlying Textus Receptus so state.

In our day, there is a frontal assault on our faith. Political correctness is attempting to change our vocabulary which undermines our accuracy of speech and feeling. Easter has come to mean the traditional celebration of that one Passover of Christ – and that is precisely what we celebrate in the recurring Communion Service. As long as we realize what the day is really all about, we shall be on good ground, whether we call it Easter or the
Passover of the Lord.

By raising this issue, I do not intend to cause anyone to feel uncomfortable using the term, Easter, but I do hope we will know the special meaning it represents in scripture.

Our best wishes for all our brothers and sisters in Christ this coming celebration of Easter, or Passover. God bless you and may you be courageous in the faith.

By |2024-04-02T19:24:55+00:00April 2nd, 2024|Blog|Comments Off on Bishop Ogles Easter (Passover) Letter 2024

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