Christians & Easter
April 18, 2003
This may come as a huge surprise, but I do not think Christians should celebrate Easter as so many are celebrating it this weekend. Now before you think I’ve gone off and joined a cult like the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses, keep reading.
It is a well-known fact that the Passover, a major event celebrated during the Easter holiday, is actually a Jewish celebration and not a Christian one. Many make the argument that since there are pagan roots to Easter, Easter eggs and the Easter bunny that Christians should not celebrate Easter. But none of these things actually represent the real reason why Easter should be celebrated.
You might be surprised to learn that the word “Easter” does not appear in the Bible at all. Go ahead. Look it up! It’s not there. The word derives from the pagan goddess known as “Eostre.” But think about this. The days of the week also have pagan roots. But we haven’t stopped calling them Sunday through Saturday, have we?
The same goes for an Easter egg. Nobody worships Easter eggs; we only eat them (hard-boiled with just a touch of salt on it is delicious!). And unless you are still a child then you know there is no such thing as the Easter bunny (sorry to disappoint some of you). All of these are just symbols of the way the pagan world chooses to celebrate Easter.
In fact, the world has absolutely perverted Easter (just as they have Christmas!). When the Bible says, “the love of money is the root of all evil,” I am sure it was just a precursor of what we see happening today. Easter, like Christmas, has become a bastion for economic promotions and sales galore. People just love that warm fuzzy feeling they get when they see a little bunny rabbit hopping around a basket full of candy! But we must not allow ourselves to get so caught up in the commercialism of Easter that we forget about what it is REALLY about.
But there is only ONE REASON why a Christian celebrates Easter: to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
As Christians, we should celebrate the resurrection of Jesus because it is the culmination of our faith. It is the one time each year we are reminded of the sacrifice He made for each of us on the cross for all the sins of the world. The totality of sin was placed on Jesus’ body so that all mankind could be cleansed of their sins and obtain eternal life in Him if they choose to accept Him as Lord and Savior of their lives.
This is a well-documented historical event found in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) in the Bible and supported by historians at that time. It is indeed the greatest event in the history of all mankind. Can you imagine the God of the universe who created the heavens and the earth coming to earth as a human man to live among His creation? It REALLY happened!
Jesus came into this world as a baby who was born of a virgin in a manger that was barely good enough for farm animals in a town no one had ever paid much attention to. He would grow up to die on a cross as the perfect sacrifice for you and for me. Three days later, God would raise Him from the grave to prove once and for all to those who didn’t believe that He was who he said he was…the very Son of God!
The life of Jesus has literally transformed the lives of every man, woman, boy and girl who has ever and who will ever live. THAT is the only reason why we celebrate Easter. For this reason alone, Christians SHOULD celebrate Easter to remember the resurrection of Jesus.
Easter is a great time for gathering together with friends and family and to share with others about what Jesus Christ did for them. Today, nearly 2,000 years later, the tradition of celebrating the most magnanimous event in human history when Jesus was raised from the dead continues!
I would like to conclude this article with an Easter 2003 message from President George W. Bush:
I send greetings to those observing Easter. Easter is the most important event of the Christian faith, when people around the world join together with family and friends to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the hope of life to come.
For Christians, the life and death of Jesus are the ultimate expressions of love, and the supreme demonstrations of God's mercy, faithfulness, and redemption. Since Christ's miraculous Resurrection on Easter, more than 2,000 years ago, Christians have expressed joy and gratitude for this wondrous sacrifice and for God's promise of freedom for the oppressed, healing for the brokenhearted, and salvation.
Though this year's observance comes at a time when our world faces many challenges, the message of Easter remains unchanged -- though sorrow may last through the night, joy comes in the morning. This holiday comforts us, as we remember that suffering will pass and goodness will prevail. This Easter season join me in praying for peace, wisdom, and resolve.
During this holy time, may Christ's example of love and sacrifice compel us towards justice and compassion, and renew us with an assurance of hope and everlasting joy.
Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a Happy Easter.
--President GEORGE W. BUSH