Every year it seems the challenge of ‘celebrating’ the true meaning of Easter/Passion gets harder and harder.
I remember Easter as a time when Friday was a solemn day – the day Christ was crucified. As I grew older and understood the deeper implications of what crucifixion meant,and the agony that went with it, my faith deepened.
Following Saturday came Sunday, a day of celebration. The wonder of Jesus being raised from the dead by God, our Father. The fulfilling of 600 year old prophecies. A deep sense of peace and joy growing within me, as I read the biblical/historical accounts growing in my belief in the future Jesus has waiting for believers.
Today, each year at this time, the easter bunny appears in malls all over the country. Kids have easter egg hunts and eat chocolate eggs and bunnies. Egg rolling contests are held – even at the White House. This year (2017) it is even being streamed live for whoever wants to follow it.
The challenge at Easter is to separate the true meaning of Easter from the attention getting easter bunny, coloring eggs, candy, and egg rolling contests as well as easter egg hunts,etc. I don’t hear the greeting, ‘He is risen’, on Sunday’s any more. It seems hidden away.
True Meaning of Easter
The true meaning of Easter: the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and held (in the Western Church) between March 21 and April 25, on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox.
In today’s fast paced communication based technology, there doesn’t seem to be much time given to reflection on the true meaning of Easter. It is rather more about getting the kids picture with the easter bunny in the mall, or planning an easter egg hunt for all the kids in the neighborhood, or just having a chocolate egg/bunny/jelly beans hunt in the house or yard.
I’m not against any of these activities. My wife and I bought the kits and dyes that go along with hard boiled eggs, crafting many a mind boggling work of art with our kids (tongue in cheek). We also had chocolate egg and bunny hunts Easter morning. We never did participate in the mall picture with the easter bunny. Why? I guess it seemed to betray the inner faith we both in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
I know the traditions. Egg rolling contests are symbolic of rolling the stone from Jesus tomb. The easter bunny can be symbolic of new life as they have huge litters. Eggs are symbolic of new life and breaking them open can symbolize new birth as a believer in Jesus.
I don’t have a problem, personally, with the easter bunny, eggs, chocolate bunnies, coloring eggs, or egg rolling contests and egg hunts. It doesn’t affect my faith. It can add a positive flavor to the central meaning of Easter. I do think it is a challenge to those growing up in today’s world. The true meaning of Easter seems to have taken a back seat to these other activities. What do you think?