Recently I asked our Facebook friends to write, using just a few words, what Easter means to them.
There were a number of responses, and I enjoyed reading each one. Here is the list of what Easter means to people like you and I.
Sacrifice and mercy
Life and new beginnings
Love and sacrifice
Love and freedom
Repentance and new life
My beginning, satan’s ending
Risen with a promise
The fulfillment of the law
Some folks don’t like to use the word “Easter” because of its pagan roots. And while I prefer to speak of the celebrated day as Resurrection Sunday, I’m not against using a name with ties to paganism.
Because I used to be an ungodly, unbelieving, selfish, egotistical, headed-straight-for-hell pagan. I talked the talk and walked the walk.
And so did you (maybe you still do).
A couple of definitions for the word “pagan“:
-heathen; especially a follower of a polytheistic religion (as in ancient Rome)
-one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods : an irreligious or hedonistic person
I used to fit into both categories, as I had all types of gods and idols; things I worshiped.
“Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12 ESV)
So when I use the pagan word, “Easter”, it reminds me of the reason for the season.
Easter is for pagans!
As the song goes, “You came from heaven to earth, to show the way. From the earth to the cross, my debt to pay. From the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky…”
Easter (or whatever word you prefer saying) isn’t about pastel colors, eggs, bunnies, chocolates (well, maybe), lilies, or ham dinners. Nothing wrong with those traditions; they just don’t define Easter.
But neither is it about church services, mass, cantatas, white dresses, or any religious tradition we hold up as the correct way to celebrate.
Easter is the culmination of, not only the week of Christ’s passion, but the Father’s passion for His Creation; lost in the garden, but reconciled through the bodily resurrection of the Lamb of God, the Savior of the whole pagan, and religious, world.
As evidenced by the empty tomb.
Call it whatever you’d like. Just don’t miss the message.
Easter is for pagans!
“…remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all.” (Ephesians 1:16-23 ESV)