03.21.2018 | by Patrick Voelker, Executive Administrator
Why Easter? I’m so glad you asked.
Too many times, all of us, due to our busy lives and schedules just do things because it seems like the thing to do. Participating in Easter, or even Christmas can be like that. We really don’t give it much thought, but a lot of people are engaged, so perhaps we should as well.
You might join in a community Easter Egg hunt, or maybe an Easter egg and bunny coloring contest for your kids. You also decide that it would be a good day to go to church. But again, I ask, why easter? Let’s take look at some of the background of Easter.
I found it interesting and fun to look at some common occurrences and traditions around Easter. Of course, I went to the all-knowing Wikipedia for some insight.
Why do we decorate Easter eggs?
Wikipedia says, “The egg is an ancient symbol of new life and rebirth. In Christianity it became associated with Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. The custom of the Easter egg originated in the early Christian community of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at his crucifixion. As such, for Christians, the Easter egg is a symbol of the empty tomb. The oldest tradition is to use dyed chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute decorated chocolate, or plastic eggs filled with candy such as jellybeans.”
Easter eggs are a widely popular symbol of new life in Poland and other Slavic countries’ folk traditions. A batik-like decorating process known as pisanka produces intricate, brilliantly-colored eggs.
The Easter bunny
According to my omniscient research assistant (still Wikipedia), “The Easter Bunny is a popular legendary anthropomorphic Easter gift-giving character analogous to Santa Claus in American culture. Many Americans follow the tradition of coloring hard-boiled eggs and giving baskets of candy. On Easter Monday, the President of the United States holds an annual Easter egg roll on the White House lawn for young children. Since the rabbit is a pest in Australia, the Easter Bilby is available as an alternative.
This gives some background to the giving of Easter baskets filled with colored eggs, chocolate bunnies, candy, or other gifts.
It’s all about Jesus
In 2014 the Barna Group researched what people thought about Jesus. 63 percent said they’d made a commitment to Jesus that’s still important in their lives today; and almost all Americans (93 percent) believe that Jesus Christ was a real person who actually lived.
This all brings us back to Why Easter? No matter how you view or celebrate Easter, the origination and purpose takes us directly to Jesus.
“Easter or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance, (Wikipedia).”
Why Easter? Because Jesus, the Son of God, after being beaten, whipped, and crucified, died. And on the third day rose from His grave and is seated at the right hand of God Almighty. It is Jesus who changes lives, who saves us, who renews us, just as at this time of year we see renewal all around us. Why Easter? Because Jesus is alive and wants to have a relationship with you.
Read more about Jesus in the book of John, a Jesus disciple who walked with Him. And join us for Easter this year on Sunday, April 1, at River of Life Church at 9 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. for a celebration of Jesus!