And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him, intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. (Acts 12:4 KJV)
The Irony Of Easter
Spring always heralds in the dawning of warmer days, flowers blooming, and preparations for Easter. Like most holidays, there is a mixture of Easter that incorporates the Son of God’s death and resurrection and a rabbit running around the countryside, leaving colorful eggs. That is such an odd mixture of the divine and the ridiculous, but such is the whimsical connotations of human vanity.
Easter is one of the most important days in the Christian world without any Biblical basis. The early Christian’s never celebrated Easter in the manner of those who decide to worship God on one of two days of the year (Christmas is the other). When the translators of the King James Version of the Bible came to Acts 12, they decided to include a word, not in the original language. Albert Barnes said it best: “There never was a more absurd or unhappy translation than this.” The word should have been “Passover,” but because the feasts were at similar times of the year, the translators used Easter. Honest scholars agree the early disciples never celebrated Easter, and it was not until later centuries the apostate church accepted the feast.
The origins of the Easter name may have come from ‘Eostre,’ a Teutonic goddess of spring, or from the Teutonic festival of spring called ‘Eostur.’ When the Roman Catholic Church blended the pagan festivals with the Christian teachings (like Christmas), the world began to embrace the false worship of Easter. It is a favorite holiday of many churches with elaborate, early morning services on Easter morning, followed by Easter egg hunts, picnics, and meals. Easter is a time to buy new clothes and to wear the clothing to church for everyone to see. The irony of the modern Easter is not far from the origins of the pagan festival of spring. While there is a veneer of religion associated with Easter, the holiday is more secular than spiritual. Walking through Wal-Mart will convince the skeptic.
While a small group of worshippers celebrates the death of Jesus, the devotees to modern Easter dress up in bright colors and new clothes to impress others. Chocolate is the staple of Easter compared to the offering of Jesus in the communion. Frivolity and fun and games fill the Sunday afternoons in the face of the Son of God dying a horrible death on a cross. Easter celebrates all the fleshly appetites of humanity while the death and resurrection of Jesus mark the putridity of sin. It must be recognized that Easter – while clothed in the robes of Biblical reference – has nothing to do with the will of God. It was never in God’s design and purpose for men to celebrate Easter no more than He wants Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus. These are human traditions to satisfy the thirst of human cravings for fleshly desires. The irony of East is that it barely resembles anything closely related to what Jesus went through.
It is common for the doctrines of men to cloud the teachings of the Lord. Human tradition offers just enough attraction to bring people to think they are worshiping God when they are doing anything but giving honor to the resurrection of Jesus. Going to church when the Easter lilies bloom and poinsettias blossom will not save. Following silly religious holidays like Easter as the resurrection of Jesus will not save. The irony of Easter is how it fails to incorporate the true nature of the will of God. An Easter bunny leaving eggs has nothing to do with Jesus Christ dying on a cross and coming out of the grave on the third day. If a man cannot worship God every week to celebrate the resurrection, getting up early Sunday morning for a sunrise service will have no lasting value. The focus remains that God loved the world to give His only begotten Son. There is no irony in that. It is the gospel – without the eggs.