What’s the point of Easter?

More bunny for your bucks

It’s that time of year again when all those poor souls who are still attempting to shed the extra weight they picked up at Christmas, should run for the hills, or at least avoid any shop that sell edible items. It’s Easter and that means chocolate and lots of it. Eggs and bunnies in various shapes and sizes. Some filled with sweets, others with marshmallow, all wrapped in shiny, colourful foil and looking like they belong in Willy Wonka’s imagination room. You must also remember the hot-cross buns because lets face it, it would be rude not to!

With all the focus on bunnies, eggs and sweet treats you would be forgiven if you thought Easter was some kind of chocophile’s festival but behind the yumminess and overindulgence the true reason for the celebration is cause for more joyfulness than any basket of eggs could ever hope to achieve.

What is Easter?

Easter is a Christian celebration and until the 4th century, was one of only two holy days observed by the church. It’s the time when Christians remember the death of Jesus (on Good Friday) and celebrate his resurrection (on Easter Sunday). So how did we get from commemorating a crucifixion to chocolate eggs? In the northern hemisphere Easter coincides with the beginning of Spring and the symbols of bunnies, eggs and baby chicks were originally part of springtime celebrations of new life. The idea of new life is a big part of the Easter story and so the symbols of bunnies and eggs became part of the celebration. And the chocolate? Since when did anyone need an excuse to add chocolate to anything?

Why is Easter important?

When you compare the celebrations of Easter and Christmas you may possibly be tempted to view Easter as the poorer cousin. No wise men, no gifts, no virgin birth, no choir of angels. Just a cross, a painful death, and an empty tomb. It’s not the happiest collection of things to be celebrating but without Easter, Christmas really doesn’t have much of a point.

Christmas was when Jesus came, God born as a man, to live with us. He gave up his home in heaven to dwell on earth. It was a significant moment but at Easter Jesus gave up his life and his connection to God so that he could pay the price mankind owed for turning away from God in the garden of Eden. His birth didn’t change the separation between God and man, but his death and resurrection bridged a gap that had been caused by Adam’s sin. Easter is all about new life. It’s about Jesus being resurrected after three days but it’s also about the new life that is offered to everyone if we accept the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

 

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