Many people assume the winter season is when Earth is the farthest from the sun, and that summer is when it’s at its closest. Actually, Earth is roughly the same distance from the sun year-round. Earth’s tilted axis, which gives more sunlight to different regions at different times, is what causes seasons. It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere when it’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and vice versa. The closer you are to either the North or South Pole, the greater the difference in the length for day and night during these opposite seasons. Summer and winter start on a solstice, the date on which there’s the greatest disparity between day and night. One solstice falls on a date from June 20-22; the other from December 21-22. The equinoxes, the two dates each year when there’s equal day and night everywhere on Earth, occur from March 19-21 and September 22-23. Spring and autumn each start on one of these dates, and the first Sunday following the first full moon after the March equinox is Easter, the holiday that honors Christ’s cruicifixion.
As with Christmas, there’s controversy surrounding Easter for its pagan origins. Even when the Christians who celebrate it completely ignore the silly traditions that have nothing to do with Christ. Why should it be wrong to give special attention to the Crucifixion on any particular day? There’s never a bad time to honor what abolished the burden of observing nonmoral Jewish laws (Col. 2:14). It’s a great thing that Christians can say, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of a new moon, or of the Sabbath days.” (Col. 2:16) Christians don’t even have to observe the Fourth Commandment, the Sabbath (Ex. 20:9-11). It’s prohibition to work on Saturdays was the only one of the Ten Commandments that was a nonmoral law. Jews were to rest on the last day of the week (Ex. 16:29, 30), “for in six days the LORD made Heaven and Earth, and on the seventh day He rested” (Ex. 31:17). It was a special day for honoring God (Ezk. 46:1), but since the disciples gathered together on the first day of the week in honor of God (Acts 20:7), most churches have service on Sundays. Even so, Christians are at liberty to choose any day of the week for church, as they are at liberty to commemorate the Crucifixion any day of the year.
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