Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Resurrection

Dear Readers,
I don't celebrate Easter.  There, I said it.  For those of you who know of my faith, but are not part of my fellowship, this may come as an immense shock to you.  Where does this crazy notion of a Christian not celebrating Easter come from?  You might ask.  It goes back just over three years.  One thing that many people know about me is that I'm nutty for random information and facts, and that I love to know as much as I can about everything.  I have spent many a free afternoon and late night exploring Wikipedia.  One very interesting chain quest I found myself on landed me on the Easter page.  This very accessible article contained some very disturbing information that left my stomach churning.  My favorite holiday of all time, the one that celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ, was named after Eostre, an Anglo Saxon pagan goddess of Spring.  Why?  Why would the Christians do this?  Why would that name the most important day of the Christian calendar after a pagan goddess?  To confirm this information I took a cyber journey to find more trustworthy articles not only to discover that my findings were true, but that there was more to the story.  A common practice of the post 3rd century Christian church was to take Roman and Anglo Saxon pagan rituals and traditions and adapt them into Christianity to attract and appease new converts.  I was appalled.

Very shortly after I found out this information, Easter came.  I sat there in my protestant church completely torn.  I know these people are here to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, and I know that even among the many traditions rooted in Paganism that came with celebrating Easter like eggs and bunnies, that I was taught in my home the real reason we celebrate.  But something just didn't feel right.  I chose to accept things as they were because I didn't know what else to do.  I figured as long as Christ was the center of my heart on the day, it didn't really matter what it was called.  And that was okay for then.  But a few months later my eyes were opened even more.  I moved to Rochester, as a previous post states, and learned so much about Christ and myself.  My life changed from trying to cling to my struggling faith, to having a firm foundation centered on Christ.  And with this enlightening, I realized that I couldn't do things as I had always done.  Easter had lost it's meaning for me.  And I felt lost with it.  I wanted so much to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, but what did that look like now?

So I went on a new rampage of cyber information searching, and also asking people I trusted.  And then of course I looked in scripture, which should have been the first place to look.  One thing I found out is that the Apostles did in fact celebrate the Resurrection.  First of all, they celebrated it every Sunday with the Eucharist which is something I now do.  Second of all, they too celebrated even more specially on specific day a year, and that day was the same as day as Easter.  This is because Easter always falls on the week of the Pesach or Passover, a choice made by the church which conveniently most often coincided with the month of Eostre, the goddess, April.  After all, the death and resurrection took place during Pesach.  And this had so much more significance than I could have ever thought.

So the Passover became of interest to me, which to be honest it kind of always had.  But there was still so much to discover about the Passover.  And now after knowing about it for over two years, I couldn't imagine seeing it the other way.  For Christians, the Passover is all about the death and resurrection of Christ.  The Passover is a week of celebration commanded by God for the Jews.  It is a memorial to the time when the Jews were in Egypt and to be save from the wrath of God's plague they sacrificed a lamb, spread its blood on the door post, and were saved from the death of their first born.  Then they were freed from Egypt.  In the Christian belief, Christ was the last sacrifice that was made.  He was the perfect Passover lamb.  On the day after the Sabbath, He rose from the dead to show that He conquered sin and death.  The day after Sabbath during Pesach is called First Fruits, the day in which the first and best of the produce that year would be sacrificed.  To me, the significance of this is mind blowing.  Not to mention the Afikomen which is part of the Sedar meal being wrapped in linens and hidden.  When the youngest child finds it, he or she receives a gift, just as when we find the risen Messiah we find eternal life.  The Afikomen is Matzo, and its appearance is bruised, pierced, and without leaven (sin).  I could go on, but I won't.

In retrospect, do I celebrate Easter?  No, I don't.  Do I celebrate the Resurrection?  Absolutely.  With every Sunday gathering and Eucharist.  With each Resurrection Sunday, First Fruits, and Passover Sedar.  I do, with all of my heart.  And I don't care if you celebrate Easter.  Each person has to come to their conviction about it, but I do know that if I'm going to celebrate Christ, He is going to be the only thing I celebrate.

With Love,

It is a night to be observed for the LORD for having brought them out from the land of Egypt; this night is for the LORD, to be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations. Exodus 12:42