Easter… on purpose

I was thinking about Easter the other day and so, of course, I googled it. I ran into many social media discussions of my Christian brothers and sisters who are appalled by the use of things like Easter eggs and bunnies to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. They complain that the world has corrupted the very purpose of this holy season.  “A Christian should never have anything to do with pagan rituals!” is the common argument. Then, the commands of God in Deuteronomy 12 where the Israelites were commanded to destroy every altar of every idol as they conquered Canaan are usually brought into the conversation.  Although these arguments seem to carry a lot of weight on the surface, I decided I would look a little deeper into scripture and, through prayer, and I’ve come to my own conclusion.  Let me preface the following by saying every man’s spirit-led conscience should guide him in this. The Bible says if he feels in his heart he is rebelling against God in any action, a person should not do it.

For what it’s worth, here is where God took me and my heart in this matter.

First… “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” 1 Cor 10:26

God gave us chocolate, and eggs, and bunnies first! I feel the same way about music, theater, art, and the rainbow…they were all created and used to glorify God. It’s only “cultural appropriation” (to coin a popular phrase of today) that has turned these God-given gifts away from their original purposes.  I say, “Give em back!” 😉  In fact, this might be a great opportunity to talk to children about the things that God gives us and the way man’s flesh and Satan corrupts them.  While you’re at it, list a few more of those incredible gifts: sex, our minds, our eyes, our mouths, our planet…

Next…though I see commandments to destroy altars in the old testament, I see no such thing in the new. In fact, Paul did not destroy the idols he found in Athens, but he “appropriated” one of them and used it to turn the conversation and to point people to the one true God. As Christians, that job, to point people to Jesus, should be a simple task because, “the earth declares the glory of the Lord”. This simply means that everything preaches Jesus. I’ve always said that if you stare at a tree long enough, it will preach Jesus! Try it.

Finally… I thank God, He always looks on my heart and not my actions. Both God and I know when I am living in rebellion in my heart. You and I can perform the most righteous acts in the world and be totally outside the will of God.  I really believe that one day we will see that we could have fed the homeless, cared for the sick, and bathed lepers but, because of our motives, those acts fall flat at the Feet of Christ when we enter His presence. In the same way, I believe Jesus can be glorified, honored and smile at the joy of every child finding every Easter egg on Easter Sunday. He might even enjoy our silly egg-laying chocolate bunnies in those ridiculous, commercialized, diabetes-inducing, synthetic grass-stuffed, overpriced baskets.

So, my challenge to you is this:  this year simply enjoy Easter for what it is not focusing on what the world has tried to make it. It’s a celebration of the single most important moment in history, the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Purpose in your heart to re-purpose all of the trappings around this holiday and “appropriate” them again to point people to Christ. It’s only appropriate.

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