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Armenian "Easter" is Better PDF Print E-mail

Fr. Tavit's Easter Message 2013

The word, 'Easter,' derives from the word, 'Eostre.'  Eostre is the name of a mythical pagan goddess of fertility and Springtime.   Her feast day was celebrated in the spring, around the time Christians celebrated our Lord's resurrection.   Anglo-saxon Christians gradually began to use the word 'Easter', a derivation of 'Eostre',  to refer to the time of year when Jesus' resurrection was celebrated.  Little by little, the time of celebrating the resurrection  in the church became referred to as the Easter celebration.  The word 'Easter' is therefore of pagan origin. The Armenian word used to refer to the time of Jesus' resurrection is not "Easter' but 'Zadeeg'.  The word, 'Zadeeg' is of Biblical origin and is tremendously meaningful.  The term 'Zadeeg' means 'passover'.  Historically, it refers to the time of the exodus of the Jews from Egyptian captivity.  If you recall, God sent Moses to free the nation of Israel from Egyptian bondage.  Moses, acting as God's agent, went to Pharoah and demanded he set God's people free.  When Pharaoh refused, God sent numerous plagues upon the land of Egypt.  After each plague Moses returned to Pharaoh to demand he release the Israelites from bondage, but Pharoah refused over and over again.  The last and greatest plague, and the one that ultimately convinced Pharaoh to let God's people go, was the plague God warned would pass through Egypt, killing the first born in every home, unless the doorposts and lintel of the home were marked with blood of a sacrificed lamb.  Following God's express instructions, the Jews marked their homes as God directed, and per God's command, they also ate the sacrificed lamb.  True to His words, when the plague of the death of the first born came into Egypt, God saw to it that death passed over the homes marked with the  blood of the lamb.  Since the lamb's blood would bring about the plague passing over a home, the lamb was referred to by both God and Moses as the "pass-over lamb".    So then the Armenian word for passover, 'Zadeeg,' has its roots in the Jewish passover, or Paschal, celebration.The Jewish release from bondage, via the passover, marked the birth of the nation of Israel.  It could be said that Passover is to the Jews what July 4th, 1776 is to Americans, independence day; the day a nation was born.  In order that the nation of Israel remembered the God who freed them from captivity, God commanded the Jews to annually commemorate passover.  When we refer to the celebration of our Lord's resurrection as 'Zadeeg' we are making a confession of faith.  We are saying that there is a connection between the Jewish passover and Jesus.  In church theology, Jesus is referred to as the new passover lamb.  Our church hymnography states that the passover in the Old Testament was a foreshadowing, or archetype, of what was fulfilled in Jesus. In John 1:29 , right at the beginning of Jesus' public ministry, when John the Baptist saw Jesus coming towards him, John said. "behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." Jesus is the heavenly lamb, sent to be sacrificed for our sin.  In John chapter 11, Jesus said: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” In addition, regarding eating the sacrificial Lamb, Jesus declared, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” John 6 .   By the death and resurrection of our Lord, by embracing Jesus though baptism and Holy Communion, and by following His teaching we have passed over from death to eternal life.  We who live in faithful communion with Christ are bound to Jesus.  Because of this communal connection with Jesus, when He passed over from death to life, we who are in communion with the Risen Christ, share in His passover.  We have the promise that we will passover (zadeeg) from death into life eternal. This year as you celebrate Zadeeg, may you remember and celebrate that in Jesus Christ you and all those who follow Jesus have the promise of passing from death to life, from emptiness to fullness, and from sin to sanctification. May the joy of our risen Lord, who passed over from death into eternal life, fill your hearts with peace and joy this Zadeeg season. Christ is Risen!  Blessed is the Resurrection of our Lord!Kreesdos Haryav ee Merrelots!  Orhnyal eh Haydnootyounun Kreesdosee! Fr. Tavit

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12600 South Ridgeland Ave
Palos Heights, IL 60463
Telephone: (708) 388-4940
Fax: (708) 388-2767

Weekend Services
Sunday 10:00 am

Rev. Fr. Tavit Boyajian
Parish Priest

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