What does Easter really mean - you’ll see ...

2017-04-19 06:02

FOR most people, Christians included, Easter celebrations can vary from spending a long weekend away, indulging in chocolate Easter eggs and hot-cross buns, spending time with family and loved ones, or attending church either­ by duty or delight.

However, what many people don’t know about Easter is the one thing they need to know - and as the saying goes, “what you don’t know can kill you”).

It’s not about the long weekend away, or the sugar rushes, nor is it about annually attending church. The true meaning of Easter is about the one true God who loves you so much that He made a way for you to receive the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, that you might become His son or daughter.

You see, Easter, while joyous and fun-filled as it should be, has two very different stories, one of bunnies and eggs and the other, which sadly often gets less attention - the death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Maybe you’ve heard the story of Jesus and maybe it’s still just a story to you, but what you must see is that the true meaning of Easter is about God, the creator of the universe being so in love with you that He sent Jesus to this earth as a man to rescue you (and everyone else) from sin and death.

The other story of Easter, which involves bunnies and eggs originates - with some differences here and there - from the worship of an Anglo-Saxon pagan goddess of spring, Eostre, during which time springtime-fertility festivals were held (please note that we are enjoying autumn at this time). These festivals also involved various forms of sun worship. Easter symbols like the egg, can be traced back to folk religion as a symbol of life, creation, fertility and the hare or bunny as a symbol of fertility (rabbits are known to breed well). Immediately after the first “Easter” the disciples of Jesus celebrated every day because of what had taken place. Well what had taken place over this time was that Jesus had celebrated the Passover (a special Jewish feast) with His disciples and then He had gone to give His life in exchange for mankind.

You see, because of our sin we had been separated from God, everyone of us, and there was no way back to Him. We were the ones lost and destined for hell, we were the ones in desperate trouble, and yes we were the ones who needed a saviour.

That’s why Jesus came - to save us from our sins. His name means saviour and when He came He came as a man and even though He was tempted, He did not sin. Because of this, He was qualified to be the perfect sacrifice for mankind. For example, if an innocent man would pay the price with His life for the guilty then the guilty could go free, if they would just accept this free gift – that is what salvation is all about.

That is why Good Friday is so good because it’s about Jesus dying on a cross for all of us, for all of our sins. However, the story does not end there, because three days later Jesus was raised from the dead so that death too could be beaten. That’s what we call resurrection Sunday. Isn’t that worth celebrating over and over again? Nowadays, while we enjoy and celebrate a time of Easter, hollow eggs, once used to represent fertility and goddess worship, can now be used to reveal the empty tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Easter eggs with a yolk can symbolise our new life in Jesus Christ. Even early morning sunrise services which originates from a pagan worship of the sun rising, can now be used to symbolise the rising of the Son of God.

None of these Easter symbols are biblical and there is no need for Christians to partake in them, but they can be used as a way to explain the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ to others in a way that they can understand and relate to (especially our children). This, however, does not give us an excuse to take anything away from the real reason Christians remember Easter (the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ).

When you really see the way you should see, then you will see what really needs to be seen regarding Easter - Jesus Christ, gift of salvation to mankind, risen Saviour, glorious Lord. - Life Church


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