Easter: Celebrating a Risen and Living Savior

James H. Cagle
pastorjameshcagle@yahoo.com

The word “Easter” is in the Bible in only one place (Acts12:4).  This Easter was at the time of the Jewish Passover, for it was during “the days of unleavened bread” (vs.3).

The festivities during Easter which is during the spring of the year were from antiquity a time of celebrating new life.  It was a time when the pagans made sacrifices to their false gods of fertility which they believed would bless their crops and would guarantee a good harvest.

The Encyclopedia of Religion by Vergilius Ferm (1945) tells us that “Pagan practices were introduced into the Christian observance of Easter at an early age on account of the fact that the feast coincided with the beginning of Spring (the word Easter is derived from the name of Eastre, the Spring-goddess; the French word Paques comes from the Greek pascha the Passover!).  At that season of the year, the New Year, and the Creation of the World were celebrated in ancient times by an exchange of gifts (Easter-eggs) and by generous hospitality to friends and the poor.”

In the Standard Dictionary of Facts (1914) we read of a custom that originated in Germany “of a white hare (rabbit) stealing into the house on Easter eve and secreting a number of beautifully colored eggs in odd corners for good little children. . . . Hence the colored Easter eggs are popularly referred to as ‘rabbits eggs’.”  And the rabbits as “Easter eggs bunnies.”

Before Easter there is Lent, which originally was forty days of weeping for Tammuz (Ezek. 8: 14), because he had been torn apart by a wild boar in his prime. Ham is eaten on Easter for revenge against the wild boar. Since the “queen of Heaven” (Jer. 7: 18), the mother of Tammuz, was supposedly hatched from an egg, we have eggs as part of the holiday (holy day). Newborn infants were sacrificed to the “queen of Heaven,” and eggs were painted with their blood to worship the goddess. Following pagan tradition, we still paint Easter eggs today.

There’s admittedly some connection to the festivities of ancient paganism and the Easter traditions and pageantry of today that we should be made aware of and then decide whether to participate or not in these festivities.

But to me as a Christian I feel that the very first Easter morning was that morning that Jesus rose from the grave victorious over death, Hell and the grave.  When I celebrate Easter, I’m celebrating a risen and living Savior.  I’m celebrating and rejoicing for my new life in Christ.

Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, is the only man that ever rose from the dead never to die again.  He was seen of Mary on that first Easter morning (Jn.20:11-18), then of the two on the road to Emmaus (Lk.24:13-32), and then later by the disciples in the Chamber (Jn.20:19-23).  According to Paul, Jesus Christ was seen “of above (more than) five-hundred brethren” after His resurrection (I Cor.15:6).

The fact of Jesus’ resurrection can be proved without a doubt (Acts 1:1-3) but the evidence of His resurrection is the transformation of those who have experienced the new birth, have been born again, by putting their faith in Him “Who was delivered (to die) for our offences, and was raised again for our justification (Rom.4:25).

Easter is here Again

Easter is here again,
And we celebrate Christ’ resurrection.
For our sins He suffered, bled and died,
And rose again for our justification.

Easter is here again,
And we’re reminded of that glorious day,
When the grave held, but released our Savior,
As death He conquered on Easter Day.

At the sunrise service,
Remember that first Easter morn’.
When His disciples found His tomb empty.
And hope for mankind was born.

With the Easter pageantry,
Let’s sing praises to our Lord and King.
For He alone has given us victory
And offerings of thanksgiving we’ll bring.

Let the Christian rejoice,
That Jesus is alive forevermore.
And with God, is our faithful Intercessor,
Till we stand with Him on Heaven’s shore.

As we celebrate Easter,
Let us remember what it really means-
That Christ Jesus has paid the sinners debt,
And by faith in Him we’re free and clean.

Easter is here again,
To remind us of the price Jesus paid,
That we might know His amazing love,
And that the tomb is empty where He once laid.

James H. Cagle

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