Like other Christian holidays easter has become heavily commercialised. The shelves are filled with bunnies, eggs sell out faster than ever and let's be honest, the children are just in it for the chocolate.
Once again we've missed the point. Easter shouldn't be about what we can gain but about what Christ did for us on the cross. We shouldn't be the focus, He should.
In my studies of Jesus over the past few years and reflection of this time of year, I came up with some interesting findings, most of which people don't actually know about easter. Want to know what they are? Keep reading, you'll find out.
Interesting facts about easter
1. Jesus kept the Sabbath even in His death
Jesus' death and resurrection happened on a weekend. Scripture tells us that He died on the Friday, rested in the grave on the Sabbath day and then rose on the Sunday.
Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph. He was a member of the Jewish high council, but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders. He was from the town of Arimathea in Judea, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation, as the Sabbath was about to begin. As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.
But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus
This gives us two pieces of information. First of all that the true Sabbath is from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. If you want to know more you can read all about the Sabbath in our Sabbath series. Secondly, the Sabbath is important to God. If Jesus, even in His death kept the Sabbath, how much more we should keep it in our lives.
2. Jesus' death did make void the Ten Commandments
Lots of people believe that when Jesus died, the entire law was done away with. What happened in fact was that the Ceremonial Laws were done away with. If you read through the Old Testament you'll see that there are two laws established by God; The Ten Commandments and the ceremonial laws.
These laws, although given to God's people at a similar time in history are very different from each other. On one hand you have ten commands written on tablets of stone written by God Himself (Exodus 24:12). And on the other hand you have some verbal laws that God gave to His people that He told Moses to write in a book (Deuteronomy 31:24).
How can we tell which law was done away with?
If you ever have a chance to read through, you'll see that the ceremonial laws were filled with animal sacrifices to God, something I'm so thankful we don't have to do anymore. In the same way that God provided a ram for Abraham when He was commanded to kill Isaac, Jesus is our substitute. He is the ultimate sacrifice. His blood was enough to cover all our sins. We no longer need a lamb or a ram or a specific day to ask for forgiveness. We can come to God at any time with any problem and He can forgive us.
3. The easter bunny has nothing to do with easter
I don't know why no-one has flagged this up sooner but where on earth did the easter bunny and eggs idea come from?
What does the easter bunny have to do with Jesus?
In all honesty, nothing. According to history it is believed the idea of a rabbit stems from the pagan Eostre festival which honoured the goddess of fertility and spring. Nothing to do with Jesus at all! The rabbit was a symbol of fertility due to the animal's high reproduction rate. Eggs were also in some places a symbol of fertility, evoking new life and rebirth. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us that the devil is always thinking of ways to trip us up and trick us so he can destroy us. One of the ways he works is instead of getting us to leave the church, he distracts us and infiltrates our circles with pagan practises so we accept them freely. Be careful, he's an expert in his field!
As with everything, I advise you to do your own research and find out for yourself some truth's about easter. Before you go through the motions like every other year, find the why in what you choose to do.
If you want to know more about what easter should be, check out this blog post where I outline the reasons I don't traditionally celebrate easter with the rest of the world.