In the midst of troubling news of war, and rumors of war, perhaps one should focus on the single historical event that changed this planet forever. For most of the Western World, Easter’s right around the corner. In the New Testament the KJV translated Acts 12:4, “after Easter to bring Him forth to the people,” should’ve been “after the Passover.” The New KJV got it right. Nevertheless, bunnies and baby chicks have once again attempted to crowd out Jesus, as paganism dominates our culture. It’s an opportunity to reframe the true meaning of that day as a reminder of something that had never before occurred in history.
It may surprise some to know there are over 4000 religions world-wide. There’s only one that has the Empty Tomb. This hodgepodge of belief underscore unregenerate man’s attempt to mollify God by some feeble mortal attempt, no matter how crude or ancient. The birth of the early church is inexplicable without this event, “On the third day.” A fact so well etched in history that only the staunchest agnostic or atheist would dare deny. To them and other naturalist, the fact of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, is an indigestible root.
A radical unmasking is required to separate the social aspect of the Easter Bunny mentality from the theological realm, to unveil the “best kept secret” of Easter. Absent the reintroduction of what was once the central motif of the early disciples, and another two millennia, we risk the loss of another generation to the Easter Bunny, that’ll be transmitted like a cholera epidemic to future generations. Those hidden, addled eggs, will be less odious than the long term erosion of a Biblical Passover celebration. It’s not the Bunny’s fault.
Jesus staked his reputation as a teacher of Truth upon the prediction that He would rise from the grave. Over the centuries various theories have been foisted upon history to explain away the Resurrection. Those theories are harder to digest than the Biblical account itself. And for the remnant who believe Easter is more than about chocolate peeps or Spring Awakening, it’s proof that everlasting life and joy can be ours. C.S. Lewis rightly observed, “Something perfectly new in history of the universe happened. Christ had defeated death.” Some are willingly misguided. Others arrogantly dismiss the Truth. Too many are indifferent.
Absent the benefit of a calendar, how would one know it’s Easter time? One only need to scan the landscape of one’s neighborhoods where houses, buildings, trees, yards and fences are adorned with plastic eggs of all sizes, cardboard ducks and bunnies, that reflect a dominant secular culture at this Holy season. At virtually every retailer, the purveyor of all things chocolate, we’ll find bunnies, ducks, plastic eggs, jelly beans, and not-so-real yellow peeps that line the isles to usher in Easter, doubling as fodder for the 90% off post-Easter sale.
This faux “Easter Menagerie” in our progressive elitist society, has cast an ominous shadow over the watershed event of history-the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. That historical fact may shock the system of the past generations of kids and adults, reared on the pervasive Cadbury Bunny philosophy. Too many have exchanged the ‘steak” of the Biblical account, for a bowl of “porridge” from the Easter Bunny. The inevitable clash of the temporal with the Eternal. Our White House has been in the Easter Bunny business since 1878.
A vintage photo of yesteryear would reveal boys dressed in their finest, donned in a bow tie, sport coat, white shirt, and ill-fitting brimmed hat. It was common place back then for most kids in the neighborhood to dress up for Easter. Young girls, donned in their Easter bonnet, wore their best dress, with crinoline underneath, a petticoat like material stuffed under her dress to make it puff out, with a pair of lace white socks, that did little for skinny legs and knobby knees. A sight ready for the rotogravure. Parents colored hard-boiled eggs and hid them in the yard. The neighborhood dog feasted upon them for weeks thereafter, since no one accurately counted them.
Easter baskets stuffed with colored eggs, faux peeps, chocolate bunnies and plastic eggs, with a nickel or dime inside. Easter was all that and less. It never occurred to many to link Easter to the Resurrection. All dressed up and no place to go. Some things haven’t changed. Biblical Easter brings renewed hope, absent in other fallacious, fleeting sophistries. Enduring the cruel cross, He arose victorious over death and the sludge of the Fall. If one was a witness to His vicarious death, one could’ve run one’s finger over that rugged cross, and winced at a splintered finger. Or three days later, one could’ve gazed into that history altering, empty tomb. It was that real. Both events punctuated history in space and time.
Many recall the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, who was offered “living water.” She asked Jesus, “Where can you get that living water? She didn’t know that this water, of which He spoke, would satisfy her longing. Never to thirst again. That inner longing can only be satisfied by Christ Jesus. Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, Joseph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard, have one thing in common-they’re all dead. Unlike the risen, living Christ. His promises transcend Nirvana, Shangri-La, Celestial Kingdoms, or other frivolous tautologies, foisted upon us for eons.
What about your children or grandchildren? What have they heard? What have you told them? Give them something this year that’ll outlast Cadbury chocolate. Let’s proclaim, “He is Risen!” As Christians have for centuries. Celebrate the empty tomb this year. When a culture jettisons Foundational Truths, substance is supplanted by shadow. If one’s heart is unstirred by the empty tomb, check your pulse. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His emails firstname.lastname@example.org