I hate Easter. More correctly I hate modern Christianity’s implementation of Easter. I hate the Easter bunny, Easter dresses, Easter bonnets, Easter baskets, Easter eggs, and lukewarm Christians who show up twice a year (the other being Christmas) to celebrate a savior whom they don’t reflect in their life the other 363 days a year. Honestly, is there anything less like Christ than an Easter ham?
But how can I be a Christian and hate Easter? Because Easter isn’t Christian. Prior to Christianity, Easter was the worship of the Anglo-Saxon fertility goddess Eastre. Her earthly symbol was the rabbit and leaving eggs represented her fertility. Furthermore, Eastre is derived from Ishtar, goddess of the Babylonians and mother of Baal. Remember Baal? The god that seemed to constantly be drawing the Israelites away from God? Worship and reverence for Ishtar is where we get our tradition of an Easter Ham.
I feel that Christianity has missed the single most significant event in the history of the world after creation. We’ve taken it and made an event in which we eat too much food and spend way too much money on our own personal pleasures. We teach our children to look forward to toys and candy and cute pictures; while neglecting to explain the true meaning. The importance of Easter far outweighs Christmas which Christians have for years tried to reclaim from secular commercialization. Yet, we allow it to happen.
I don’t see Christians truly reflecting on the significance of this weekend. Without the crucifixion none of this matters. Without the cross and resurrection we are not Christians, Jesus is not Savior, and we are all lost. There is no hope for a future. And it angers me to hear people talk about the hundreds of dollars they spend on dresses and baskets while the message of that redemptive love for humanity falls by the wayside.
For all the people who have a “personal savior”, they take the “personal sacrifice” of that savior for granted. The more time I have spent seeking to know and understand Jesus, understand His life, what He taught, why He taught it, and how I can live it; the more I’ve found modern Easter trivializes all of that for me. It is not a story that is cute and joyous for me. My heart is broken. I see a best friend who pushed me out of the way of a car and is struck and killed in the process. I can never earn it this gift of salvation; this new gift of life. I can never be thankful enough. There is joy, but it is bittersweet. Tears come to my eyes as the impact of Jesus’ sacrifice for my redemption sinks in.
I love what my savior has done. I love that once a year I am reminded of it and I am refocused again to share that redemption with a world in need of His saving grace more than ever. What if Easter was the single greatest day in Christianity to actually sharing the salvation of Jesus with those around us? What if we truly allowed our hearts to be broken and changed by Jesus, responding to the call to be His disciples and be inspired to invite others to know that same redemption?
I wish more Christians would stand up and say “This is not the easter I want shared with the world”. Yes, lets celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus and rejoice in the blood spilt for the redemption of the world. But let’s also remember, it was spilt FOR THE WHOLE WORLD. That there are those for whom salvation is still needed.