Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fuzzy bunnies, Pastel eggs, and other things that have nothing to do with Christ

Well, if you read my post on Santa Clause, you probably already know that we don't exactly do the Easter Bunny thing. For the same or similar reasons as outlined in this post. Don't get me wrong, I grew up a firm believer in Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. At my house, we had a fairy for everything. It was only after my second birth and subsequent studies of the Scriptures that these things really started to seem blasphemous. Blasphemy, that's a strong word, I know. But it does mean "to bring dishonor to God", and I think the definition fits. I've seen some churches try to keep or to make Easter about the resurrection of Christ. They may call them "Resurrection eggs" but I tend to think that's about as honorable as putting a big pink bunny on the cross in the sanctuary. I decided to study this whole Easter thing to try to find out how it started and how we managed to screw it up and turn it into whatever this is that we have now. Here's what I found:

The word "Easter" is only mentioned once in the Bible. It is found in Acts chapter 12. It is translated from the word "Pascha", which everywhere else in the Bible is translated "Passover." That made me think, "Why a different translation in this one place?" I can't exactly ask King James, but there's a pretty decent argument that it was sort of a nod toward the Roman Catholic Church. They had absorbed quite a few pagans into the church, who still really liked to celebrate the pagan feasts, not least of which was a feast celebrating the fertility goddess Ishtar. And you thought it was just a bad movie from the eighties.

So back to Ishtar... that explains the fuzzy bunny and pastel eggs, for those were symbols of the goddess of fertility, sexual love, and war. Monty Python was right, bunnies are evil. Just so we don't confuse things, I'm going to refer to Christ's resurrection as the Ultimate Passover.

Now here's a funny thing: if you study the Passover you are going to be blessed with foreshadowing and the rich history behind this feast. The symbolism of the lamb, the blood, and etc. that was all throughout the Old Testament was a shadow of what God was going to do with his own son. If you've read much of the New Testament, you know about the Lord's Supper (Communion), right? For years it didn't dawn on me that this was a Passover supper.

Here's something else I find interesting: At what point did Christ announce that "his time" was at hand? It was when the Greeks (Gentiles) were among the Jews who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The Greeks were seeking Jesus while the Jews were cooking up their own lamb. That just blows my mind. Read your Bible; check it out. Jesus kept the Passover. Paul kept the Passover. Early Christians, both Jews and Gentiles, kept the Passover. Why shouldn't we? I'm not saying we have to sacrifice an unblemished lamb- the ultimate sacrifice was made through the Ultimate Passover. Call it what you want- Passover or Lord's Supper- we're going to have us a nice meal on April 19th. And what we do will be in remembrance of Him.


Ginny said...

Amen, sister! :-D

Don and Lynn said...

Ahh, the Holy Grail attack bunnies-too funny!

We are celebrating tonight as today is the day we celebrate that Christ shed His blood for our Ultimate Passover! Just using a bit of symbolism. We will celebrate again on The actual Passover. Hubby and I are talking about making the Lord's Supper a regular event in our house. Christ said, "Do this in rememberance of me." He didn't add, "only annually", or "a couple times a year." I wonder why the modern church has dropped celebrating Passover? Probably something political or silly in nature!

VoiceInTheWilderness said...

I think the modern church stopped celebrating Passover, because it was "too Jewish". They're okay with the Lord's Supper, which WAS Passover, because they cleansed all the Jewish-ness out of it. They're okay with Easter because it's not Jewish at all. There was (and is) a lot of anti-Semitism in the church... probably stemming from that whole "Jews killed Jesus" belief. Nevermind He laid his life down. There's some really scary stuff written by some of the early Roman Catholic leaders about the Jews. They were not big fans.
The modern church doesn't even do the Lord's Supper justice, in my humble opinion. It should be a meal, else why should we be warned to eat before we come if we're too hungry to wait for everyone to eat together? That implies they were expecting a meal, not just a snack cracker and a shot of grape juice. The cup should be shared. There is something very symbolic about the sharing of the cup. You wouldn't drink after strangers or people you don't trust. Just as we share the cup in memory of his blood which was shed for us all, we share in his death when we become new creations in Christ. We did a study of the word "cup" once. It really gives a lot more significance to the cup which we pass at the Lord's Supper. The fellowship we share at the Lord's Supper should be with people you share more with than just some germs. I guess the Catholics have that one right. Germophobes beware! We know some folks who don't celebrate Easter, but who don't celebrate Passover either. They do celebrate the Lord's Supper. They say they don't celebrate Passover because they're not Jewish and because the Passover was a shadow of what was to come. I say they celebrate the Passover, but they just call it the Lord's Supper. Semantics.

TnFullQuiver said...

Our family does observe the Lord's Supper in our home. We too do not think it was a snack cracker and a swig of juice. We have ample supply and it takes time to observe in this manner. We also spend time in worship. We have no musicians in our home so we use worship cds for the music. It is much more meaningful to us than most modern churches communion time. It is all about HIM...
grace and peace,