It’s a weekend that commemorates both the greatest tragedy and triumph of the Christian faith.
To the uninitiated, Easter may be a hard egg to crack when it comes to how we should feel as Christians or around Christians. Mournful? Joyous? Somewhere in between?
And modern day sensitivities have added confusion to the mix. You might have heard about the recent furore over the removal of the word “Easter” from the British National Trust’s annual egg hunt collaboration with Cadbury.
The “Easter Egg Trail” was renamed the “Great British Egg Hunt” – and what The Church of England now calls an “airbrushing of faith”.
It’s easy to get caught up in the commercialisation of the season – even as Christians – and miss the point of this weekend.
Funnily enough, Easter eggs originate from a pagan festival called Ishtar, which was renamed Easter when the Romans were christianised. The eggs used to represent fertility – after the decidedly unChristian fertility goddess, Ishtar – but that meaning changed when the newly-minted Christians took over the holiday (and many of its symbols).
Now the eggs, proponents claim, are there to stand for “new life” we have in Jesus Christ. Who airbrushed what again? The rabbit trails are endless, with conspiracy theories by the basketful.
Chocolate eggs. Men in bunny suits at the mall. #LONGWEEKEND budget airline break. It’s easy to get caught up in the commercialisation of the season – even as Christians – and miss the point of this weekend.
So rather than getting dogmatic about things, we thought it was time to look beyond the names and get back to the heart of Easter.
These three days represent the entire foundation of not just our faith – when the sinless man on the cross transitioned through the grave and into new, glorious life – but all of eternity.
For the Christians, we know the story at the back of our non-nail-scarred hands. But it’s more than just a narrative, not just the story of a Jewish maverick unjustly killed, not just the tale of the cruelty of man.
He walks free and forever alive, so do we who believe in Him.
Good Friday is all about remembering the divine placement of humanity’s sins upon shoulders of the Son of God, who walked this Earth as a son of man.
And Resurrection Sunday is when He walked out of the tomb on the third day, leaving in that cave not only His grave clothes, but all of the sin that should have condemned us to eternal separation from God.
That’s what this weekend is about: Our abundantly joyful celebration of three days that mean everything to us, as we hope they do to you.
Because He walks free and forever alive, so do we who believe in Him.
This is not just the heart of Easter, but the heart of every day we live and breathe as children of God. We no longer wear the grave clothes of sin and slavery. The tomb is empty, the Son has risen – Jesus is alive!
And, spoiler alert: He’s coming back again.