I hate Easter. When I walk into the Easter section of a store like Target or Walmart, I see plastic eggs, candy and sugared marshmallows, stuffed bunnies, and pastel “spring” items. There are no crosses, no empty tombs, and nothing about the resurrection. Then there are the egg hunts, except when parents are so aggressive fighting for fake eggs and cheap candy that the whole thing has to be canceled. What are we doing? We have lost the whole meaning of Easter.
Easter also brings out the annual attacks on Jesus, Christians, and the church. This year it is Andrew Sullivan’s cover story in Newsweek, “Christianity in Crisis“. He would argue that he defends the “historical” Jesus, but he can’t attack His bride (the church) without attacking Him. However, the original Easter was an attack on Jesus, too, so maybe this is “appropriate.”
Easter, or as I prefer, Resurrection Day, is about Jesus (God in the flesh) rising from the dead. It is a remembrance of the central truth of Christianity. If there is no resurrection, Christianity is worse than a farce. Paul summed it up in I Corinthians 15:16-19:
” For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” NASB
The resurrection is literally true. The whole New Testament testifies to this central fact. If it could be proven false, there would be no Christianity. Skeptics like Frank Morison and Lee Strobel set out to disprove it, but ended up as believers. The evidence really is overwhelming.
So, yes, I hate the plastic substitutes we call “Easter,” but I love the Jesus who died for me and rose from the dead.
In our family, we try to keep to the true meaning of the Easter season. In our nightly devotions we read through Mark’s account of Jesus’ last week before the crucifixion. We put a cross in our yard for the week leading up to Easter. On Good Friday, we drape it with black cloth and read about the crucifixion with our children. Then, early on Easter morning, we take off the black and drape it with glorious white as we read about the resurrection. What does your family do to emphasize the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday?