Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What's in a Name?

It's that time of year. My kids are offered easter eggs wherever we go. I have to ask - what do chocolate and eggs and buns and bunnies have to do with Jesus? What do they have to do with death or resurrection?

I grew up with the conviction that Easter has pagan origins. Recently, I have read an argument that suggests the word "Easter" actually had Christian origins. Maybe...

BUT, even someone with no knowledge of history can ask the question - what do chocolate and eggs and buns and bunnies have to do with Jesus? And, in fact, what do Friday and Sunday have to do with Jesus? Friday night to Sunday morning isn't three days and three nights however you carve it up. Seriously, just try it. If you read the Biblical account of Jesus death and resurrection you will find He died just before a Sabbath, yes, but not a weekly Sabbath - he died just before the High Sabbath at the beginning of the Days of Unleavened Bread (see Leviticus 23 for more about these days).

Jesus told His disciples to observe the Passover evening (what many refer to as the Last Supper) as a memorial (a memorial is to be observed once a year, not once a week) to Him (see Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22 and John 13). So why Easter? The symbols that Jesus instituted were the (unleavened) bread and wine and foot washing, not eggs, bunnies and buns.

How does the self-indulgence of eating chocolate and cakes represent Jesus Christ's spirit of self-sacrifice? How does telling children (untrue) stories about Easter bunnies represent the Jesus who said: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6)? Can these symbols possibly honour Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection?

I have often heard it said that anything can be used to God's glory. Really? Would any of us be happy to see a church decorated in swastikas (that had somehow been converted to a "Christian" symbol)?

The Bible does not command, or even suggest many of the symbols and traditions that have come to be associated with Easter. Why would we want to substitute human traditions for what Jesus did command (" this in remembrance of me...")?

For a more complete discussion on Easter and the festivals that God commanded, try watching The Easter Charade, Which Passover Should You Observe? and God's Holy Day Plan: Blueprint for Salvation on Beyond Today TV.

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