I have a couple of soap boxes I climb on a couple times during the year, one being Easter and the other is Christmas. Now, stop rolling your eyes until I'm finished. I happen to love both holidays; but, I have evolved during the past few years to trying to understand the attitude of why people get upset over holiday traditions.
Start with Easter and I will save Christmas for later. On one hand you have those who holler it is/was a pagan holiday. True, I just don't know if it is or was. Another group gets upset because they say it is a Christian holiday and we shouldn't do the chocolate bunnies, Easter egg hunts, etc. Others think we should only observe Passover. Then there are those representing all of the above!
While I was reading the account of what many call the holy week this morning I had several thoughts I would like to share with you.
We were not asked to observe the resurrection of Christ. It is/was a pagan holiday that we put a Christianity spin; but that is OK as long He gets glorified. Jesus used objects and parables to get his point across all the while glorifying the Father. We were only told to observe communion and baptism. It is time we quit getting upset with each other. We are family. Jesus, by example, washes the disciples' feet telling them they ought to do the same. John 13:14 Let us humble ourselves in the way we speak of our brothers and sisters. "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this, all will know that your are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13-34-35 ALL WILL KNOW. Hmmm. We have never gotten this down in our hearts, have we? I think not.
The world sees us bickering over this holiday all the while making money while we shop with them. Most people, even if they don't recognize Easter, will have a family dinner probably with ham and all the trimmings. I find it amusing that God tells the Jewish people not to eat pork and almost everyone will have ham for Easter dinner. Now I'm wondering if I can get a friend of mine to bake me one of her fabulous hams. Sorry, rabbit trail. No pun intended. Seriously, does it really matter if we dye eggs and hide them for our kids and grand kids to find? (dye the eggs to eat but hide plastic!) Does it really hurt for them to receive chocolate bunnies or eggs? I always told my kids that it had nothing to do with why we celebrated Easter. It was a game we can do anytime of the year. Personally, it is easier this time of the year because I can buy those little dye tables this time of the year.
If you think by not celebrating Easter sends a message to the world, it doesn't. It shows them we can't agree on anything. Nor is it going to change your brothers or sisters minds. Why don't we show the world we love one another instead? Understand me loud and clear, I'm in full agreement we need to correct one another in love when one is straying or breaking a commandment. This disagreeing over participating in Easter is not breaking any commands or expectations God has given. Do you really know someone who is worshipping a chocolate bunny or any of the pagan idols? Loosen up that was a funny. :)
Then there are those who only have Passover celebration which I think is a cool idea. If you are recognizing that Christ is the Passover lamb. (ICor. 5:7) No need to slaughter the lamb without blemish that never took away sins but covered them. Unless you want leg of lamb for Easter dinner! Jesus Christ, the sacrificial lamb, took our sins into his own body; so we can experience the joys of His resurrection!
In Matthew 26 we find Jesus celebrating Passover with his disciples and while He is celebrating He institutes the Lord's supper. Maybe it is more important we have communion with Him as a way to celebrate Easter than anything else we do. We are to do this in remembrance of Him. Remembering what He did on the cross and that He was resurrected by our Father. Resurrection power!
Speaking of resurrection power, I enjoyed Matthew 28 this week. HE IS RISEN! I love reading the reactions of those who were grieving and fearful then we find them rejoicing. Would you like to know my favorite verse this Easter? Matthew 28:9: 'and as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.' Wow. Rejoice. Rejoice He wasn't left in the tomb, rejoice your sins are forgiven, and rejoice He has given eternal life! Rejoice the veil in the temple was split from the top to the bottom so you can fall at His feet and worship! There are so many promises we have been given that we could rejoice until He calls us home! The resurrection is meant to be celebrated every day of our lives and you can take that to the bank.
I know this a departure of what I normally blog but it has been on my heart all week. I've already dyed eggs with two of our grandchildren. I have to get the other one over here to dye eggs. I will be buying chocolate bunnies/eggs for all of them. I won't be having ham this Sunday because I'm sure my friend isn't going to bake one for me. She knows who she is. :) I just hope you will relax and enjoy all the trimmings of Easter. Only be sure to rejoice and worship and spend some time remembering Him by partaking with the Lord's Supper. While you are doing all this, also take time to show love to your brother and sister in Christ. Show some love to someone who is trying to fill their lives with anything but Him. After, all, a chocolate bunny will come close to filling, but we know it isn't lasting.
Again, I say, Rejoice!