I have a headache, too much reading me thinks. I had thought of writing how Easter or Resurrection Sunday fell this year on April 1st, April Fool’s Day, but that what Jesus did on the cross was no joke. I wanted to give perspective of how Easter itself came to be, so I googled “what does Easter mean”, to my surprise the first answer given was “the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ”; Well, that is not what I expected, I was expecting bunnies, eggs, a pagan fertility goddess, etc. Then I was further surprised to find “Easter” is in the Bible, in the King James version to be exact, Acts 12:4 “…intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people”, speaking of Peter. I might have thought the word to be in more modern versions, not King James. I looked at a variety of translations including the New King James Version; they all used the word “Passover” instead of Easter; Easter may be found in other translations, just not the ones I looked at. I started looking into the pagan origins of the bunny and other customs associated with Easter but didn’t want to get too far off the topic of Jesus. Jesus is the reason we acknowledge Resurrection Sunday, after all He is the one who died and was resurrected, not the bunny.
When getting into Christ’s death and resurrection Romans 6:3-5 AMP tells us, “…the fact that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We have therefore been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory and power of the Father, we too might walk habitually in newness of life [abandoning our old ways]. For if we have become one with Him [permanently united] in the likeness of His death, we will also certainly be [one with Him and share fully] in the likeness of His resurrection”. To me it sounds like we have something to celebrate every day, the great hope we have in our new life in Jesus.
Yes, there are pagan influences tied with some Easter traditions; how we observe the day, as with all things, is best covered in prayer and led by the Lord. We need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the dirty bath water. Let’s consider the opportunity we have to share the true message of Jesus Christ and how to do it without compromising biblical truth. Jesus was the master story teller using everyday things in life to give thought provoking and life changing spiritual object lessons.
What Jesus did that famous Passover is no joke, He did not shed his blood for no reason; the question is how will we, you and I, present it as relevant for our culture today?