I’m Not A Big Fan Of Easter

I know, I know. That’s a terrible admission for a Christian, but it’s true.

I grew up in the “new Easter dress” era. Money was tight in our household, so a new dress was somewhat of an ordeal. Sometimes Mom made each of us girls a dress, but she, not loving the seamstress role, required what seemed like an inordinate number of disruptions to my play time for measurements and fittings.

Then there were the Easter egg hunts, some with little kids, making me feel like a big kid out of water. And honestly, the whole thing of hiding an egg just to see people search for it seemed a little silly. I’d have tolerated it better if I actually liked cold hard-boiled eggs.

The few times we decorated eggs was fun, but then we were left with a whole basket of those cold hard-boiled eggs. As if colored shells and stickers all over could make them taste any better!

When I grew up and became a teacher, I shucked Easter eggs and the new-dress tradition, but the holiday was still more of a trial than a joy. For one thing, all too often Easter marked the end of Easter break and a return to school.

For another, church was packed with a lot of people who didn’t usually attend, and the sermon was almost always geared toward them. That was fine, important, even, but it didn’t leave me feeling like Easter was really for me.

In the end the day simply did not typify what I believed it was supposed to — liberation, restoration, animation.

Liberation — the grave clothes and the grave itself could not contain Christ. So too, guilt and sin, the law and death can no longer enslave the believer.

Jesus left the tomb empty

Restoration — on that first Easter after dying, after lying in the tomb, Christ rejoined His disciples. Imagine! And because He walked from the grave, He made it possible for me to join His family, united with Him, reconciled to God.

Animation — Christ’s lifeless body by a miraculous transformation became a glorious new body, more fully alive than ever. In the same way we believers who were dead in our sins are now alive to God.

I’ve discovered lots of great music celebrating Easter. Keith Green’s “Easter Song” is one piece that captures triumph and joy. I mean really, nothing should temper the hilarity of Resurrection Day.

Christ’s resurrection is proof that we believers will one day be raised incorruptible just as He was. Christ’s resurrection is the verification that death is a defeated enemy. Christ’s resurrection is the evidence that Jesus isn’t just another little god establishing a religious system.

Rather, He is the Lord God Almighty, the great I Am, the Living Water, the Bread of Life. None of those could be true unless He actually walked out of the tomb.

I think Paul encapsulates the significance of the resurrection:

I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
– Phil. 3:8-11 [emphasis mine]

But the truth of these verses isn’t really a one-day sort of truth, so I’m kind of back where I started. I’m not really a big fan of Easter — unless Easter is something we celebrate a lot more often than one day a year.

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Published in: on April 22, 2011 at 5:35 pm  Comments (9)  
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9 Comments

  1. much like Paul I want to know nothing save Christ and Him crucified….it should be preached, taught, and proclaimed by Christians because through His death, burial, and resurrection we now have hope in this life and the life to come.

    I still do like Easter Eggs…though many consider them pagan… 🙂

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  2. We were NEVER allowed a new dress on Easter. My mother said that she felt it took the focus from Christ and put it on clothes. I’ve stuck to that to this very day. I’m glad of it too. We received candy and dyed eggs but never gave presents. (The giving of presents is very common here in the South where I’ve transplanted. I find it distinctly odd and somewhat inappropriate.)

    I do love Easter, when celebrated with Pesach, as we do here, it holds an extra significance of the Last Passover.

    Funnily enough, for the last 12-15 years i’ve always gotten a kidney stone on Easter or Easter Monday. It gives new meaning to the stone being rolled away. 🙂

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  3. I’m not a big one for Easter, either. Every morning his mercies are new. Every Lord’s Day is a celebration of his rising from the grave. I’m not sure how to whip up more emotions on one special day than I have all the other days. And that used to make me feel a little guilty. What was wrong with me that I couldn’t take three days, or a week, or forty days, and concentrate on him with special gratitude for his sacrifice?

    I almost always weep when we have communion. I don’t know why. It affects me. But Easter services don’t feel like an intimate time with the Lord. It’s hard for me to get quiet and concentrate on him when, like you said, the services are aimed at the twice-a-year-crowd. And, as you also said, that’s fine. But I don’t feel guilty for not being overcome with special feelings of gratefulness at Easter.

    I hate to be an Easter version of Scrooge. I’m genuinely happy for others who love the day and who draw closer to God by slowing down and meditating on his sacrifice and victorious resurrection. I just don’t know how to stir up those emotions in my own heart, one day a year.

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  4. unless Easter is something we celebrate a lot more often than one day a year.

    Christians have gathered for worship on the first day of the week (which we in English usually call “Sunday”) since the first century as a weekly celebration of the Resurrection. (Wikipedia even says that the Russian name for the day of the week is “Resurrection Day”. And for churches that follow the liturgical calendar, the Sundays in the penitential and solemn season of Lent aren’t actually part of Lent because the joy of the Resurrection precludes such solemnity.)

    I agree with you about Keith Green, but I think I may like “The Victor” even better than “Easter Song”.

    Also:

    but then we were left with a whole basket of those cold hard-boiled eggs. As if colored shells and stickers all over could make them taste any better!

    You colored intact eggs? The few times we colored eggs, the first step was always to poke a hole in each end and drain all the liquid out.

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  5. Well, happy L.R.A. Day 😉

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  6. I don’t know how long I’ve waken up to candy on Easter morning. My mom buys us the cheap, half-off candy.

    It’s quite an interesting view you present. I can see why you don’t like Easter that much, considering the reasons you give. If the church is only gearing towards one crowd, then other crowds will leave. I’m thankful to be at a Christ-centered church where the pastor doesn’t put on a special act for Sunday, but goes in the way of the Lord.

    God Bless,
    Pravda Veritas

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  7. Well said. You had me worried there until the twist.

    Here’s a little Holy Saturday offering of my own. Sorry I couldn’t work bunnies and chocolate into it.

    http://crosswaysnet.blogspot.com/2011/04/nail.html

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  8. Y’know, as much as I’ve liked the dramatic productions at Easter and Christmas since I was a kid, I’ve come to realize that there are other ways — and other days — to celebrate these events.

    Mom made sure my brother and I had new clothes at Easter, too, and I never quite understood the pressure to 1) buy clothes we really couldn’t afford, and 2) keep those particular clothes neater and longer than we did other clothes. It seemed a greater sacrilege to get them dirty on Easter than on any other Sunday. Maybe it was the symbolism. I don’t know.

    But I still loved the day, which was a more special holiday to me than Christmas, which is saying a lot for a kid who loved presents but rarely received any. But, hey, what better present could there be?

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  9. I’m pretty much a humbug when it comes to holidays. I wouldn’t even consider allowing my children to have Easter eggs or candy. Candy is pretty much forbidden in my house, anyway, except on rare occasions. And of course, we’re all highly allergic to eggs, so it’s easy to do w/o. But I love lent season and preparing the heart for Christ and taking communion whenever it’s offered. Just the thought of my childhood Easter baskets makes me feel yucky inside–as if it’s a slap in the face to the savior who gave everything for us–and all we can think to do in return is to follow old, meaningless, pagan rituals. Yuck. Why can’t we save the pagan rituals for other days of the year? I’m not against having fun in life, unless it’s completely misplaced fun.

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