Monday Apr 09 2012
A Word to the Wise: What is Easter all about anyway?
By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
It is all over. No more jelly beans until next spring. Whatever you gave up for Lent is fair game again. The Easter season has passed. Sara, our daughter-in-law, made a special cake that featured a row of Peeps around the sides and the top covered by seasonally colored M&Ms — a diabetic nightmare but a sugar-lover’s paradise that was both memorable and delicious. I found it interesting how many various politicians, in their apparent attempt to appease the religious, tried to hijack the holiday and use it to further their own agendas. Just to be fair, this included politicians of all stripes, those currently serving as well as those seeking office. I heard statements such as, “Easter is about hope” or “Easter is about liberation.” These may be well-meaning attempts to come across as hopeful or harmless, but it got me thinking. Some people say Jesus was a good teacher, but He is more than that. Some people say Jesus had big ideas, but He is more than an idea. Others say Jesus has an eternal influence, but He is more than an influence. In 1 Corinthians 15, the great resurrection chapter of the Bible, the apostle Paul gives us the core of the Christian gospel. It concerns an actual person who existed in true space and time. In verses 3 and 4 he declares, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” The first Christians experienced Jesus as an actual person who lived an actual life. They were hesitant to believe that He had risen from the dead. Who wouldn’t be? And yet, persuaded against their will, once they saw Him, they gave up their lives for Him. People do not give up their lives for a lie. People do not die for an influence. Easter is about Jesus. Easter is about His rising from the dead, an event on which the entire Christian faith is hinged (see verse 17 through 20 of that same chapter). In fact, in Ephesians 1:19, 20 Paul also says that the power that gave life to Jesus’ dead body is the same power that changed us from unbelievers to believers, from death to life. When talking about what Easter means, the Christian returns to the Bible. Reach Tom Rupp at firstname.lastname@example.org.