Remembering true purpose of Easter


Jacob Clanton, Sports Editor

As springtime approaches, eggs and bunnies become more apparent in celebration of Easter. These eggs and bunnies represent the celebration of spring. However, there is more to Easter than just that.

The Christian version of Easter, or Pascha, represents the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the most important sequence of events in the Christian faith. Through these events, Jesus paved the way to Heaven for all humans.

Jesus’ death and resurrection is so important because it is the foundation for the Christian faith. Without the resurrection, our faith is dead. Paul, a first-century Christian, writes about this in the Bible in 1 Corinthians in chapter 15, verse 14: “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth appears in the New Testament of the Bible.

If you’re a non-believer, you might wonder why the resurrection is so pivotal. Wasn’t Jesus’ death and sacrifice enough?

Christians believe that through his death, Jesus was able to pay the price for all of humanity’s sin. However, it would mean nothing if there was no resurrection. The resurrection symbolizes the victory Jesus has over sin and death. This is victory that is translated to Christians who believe.

These days, like any other holiday, Easter has become commercialized. Instead of focusing on the reason for the holiday, we focus on Easter eggs and Easter bunnies. As a kid, that was the best part of the day. I mean, who doesn’t love free candy? But as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that’s the wrong attitude.

As a religious holiday, Easter, and by extention, Christmas, are about remembering the cause of the season. It’s about remembering that I, a sucky human, can never hope to reach Heaven on my own. It’s about remembering that God, the creator of this universe, came to Earth as a man: Jesus. It’s about remembering that Jesus suffered the worst death imaginable, Roman crucifixion, so that I could reach Heaven. In essence, Easter is about celebrating God’s love story with mankind.

Why then do non-Christians celebrate Easter? I realize it’s been commercialized to the point that the reason for the holiday is hidden, but it is still a primarily Christian holiday. This is like me, a Christian, celebrating Ramadan, an Islamic holiday. It just doesn’t happen.

I do have to cut everybody some slack though. Much like Santa at Christmastime, some current traditions come from a pagan background. For example, the most widely believed theory, from a seventh to eighth century monk named Bede, is that the name “Easter” comes from an Anglo-Saxon goddess, Eostur. Eostur was the goddess of the spring, and there was a feast to celebrate her in April. However, this is disputed by archaeologist Richard Simon in his essay, “From Easter to Ostara: The Reinvention of a Pagan Goddess?” Simon states that there is very little evidence to support Bede’s goddess Eostur.

Even if Bede is correct, the Christian holiday existed far before any Eostur celebration.

“Bede was clear that the timing of the Paschal season and that of the Anglo-Saxon Eosturmonath [Eostur’s month and feast] was simply a coincidence,” Simon said. As such, though there are some similarities to a pagan holiday, Easter has deeper roots in the Christian and Jewish faiths.

Instead of celebrating springtime, Easter is about celebrating the foundation of the Gospel. As Paul writes earlier on in 1 Corinthians, in chapter 15 and the second part of the third verse, the foundation of the Gospel is “That Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures.” For that reason, non-Christians should not be celebrating a springtime version of Easter. It just doesn’t make logical sense. Instead, I invite you to spend Easter Sunday looking into the Christian faith, and discovering the truth of the Gospel.