Thursday, April 05, 2007

Why Easter?

So, here we are, the most significant season of the year for Christians, and one of those relatively rare occasions when the Eastern and Western Easters and the Jewish Passover coincide.

It has always seemed odd to me that this most important season of Christian year, when we remember the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, should be named in English (and German) after a pre-Christian Germanic female fertility deity, Ä’ostre. The same route from which we get the word for the female sex hormone Oestrogen. Nothing to do with Jesus, or the Jewish Passover. Yet another of the pagan accommodations that the early Christians made (we were never commanded to observe any festivals by Jesus - the only observation was the shared meal of bred and wine to remember Jesus sacrifice of Himself). Yet this is a significant time of year - the Jewish festival celebrates God delivering His people from slavery, the Christian festival God delivering His people from spiritual bondage. Emancipation, freedom, life - this is what Easter is about. You can see how it has got diluted down to a celebration of spring for most people.

So, here's to freedom, hope and new life - literal, spiritual, political, psychological, to a remembrance of the awful price to be paid for such freedom, and thanks to One who was prepared to pay that price for me.

Shalom

No comments: