This time of year, you see a lot of marketing efforts to sell chocolates and bunny stuff, all very loosely associated with that most sacred of Christian holidays, Easter or Resurrection Day. Unfortunately, most of the advertising has nothing to do with the real reason for marking the day. Easter is one of two days in the year where the secular calendar coincides with the Christian, the other being Christmas. So what is all the fuss about? Why do people who rarely give thought or expression to anything religious suddenly feel an inward compulsion to go a Christian place of worship and put in an appearance?
It seems most likely to be a cultural carryover from the time when the Christian faith was not only professed but practised as a societal norm. It was a simpler time. A time when boundaries and a lack of uncertainty marked, informed, and shaped our day-to-day living. There was no confusion about the calendar. Sunday was the first day of the week, not Monday. Time was designated as BC and AD, before Christ and in the Year of Our Lord, not before the common era (BCE) and the common era (CE).
We now live in a time when societal norms and morals are shifting. People who won’t say with certainty that sexual immorality is sinful, lest they be thought judgmental, profess with absolute certainty that the old ways were absolutely too narrow and certain. They do so without realising they are sitting in judgement on the norms and boundaries that gave us the culture that so many in the world are willing to chance death to participate in.
There was a reason that those old norms and boundaries were in place. They were considered to have been derived from the clear teaching of the Bible. In other words, they were considered as divinely-revealed truth and, as such, were the foundations of our society. They weren’t humanly derived; they were given by God.
So what is all the fuss about Easter? Why do we mark it? Why is it on the calendar? Well, for starters, it is because it isn’t a made-up thing: it’s true. Jesus was really crucified on a Friday and was truly raised from the dead the following Sunday morning. How do we know? The four Gospels provide the earliest accounts. The message of the Gospel–the call to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ–spread like wild-fire in the face of relentless persecution. It is now professed by 2.2 billion of the world’s inhabitants, and it continues to grow, in spite of continued persecution in places like China and the various Muslim countries where it is outlawed or controlled by the government.
The Christian faith holds at its very heart that Jesus truly died on the cross outside of Jerusalem and that God the Father truly raised him from the dead. As the Apostle Paul put it, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV).
So, what is all the fuss about? It is about Jesus Christ, both fully God and fully man, who though sinless, died for sinners and was raised from the dead. After appearing many times to his disciples and a crowd of 500 at one time, he ascended into heaven, from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. It isn’t about chocolates or bunnies. It is about life-changing–nay world-changing–truth, but one that must be experienced personally, not just culturally.
Originally appeared in the Caymanian Times.