In the Christian world, Easter is bigger than Thanksgiving. It’s bigger than Christmas. It’s so big, that without the meaning of Easter, Christianity crumbles. Easter, that is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, is the heartbeat – the Super Bowl – of Christianity. And Easter is for everyone, regardless of whether – or how much – one believes in any faith. In this post/video I will tell you a story of how this could be and what it means.
I grew up in a loving home, as the son of a preacher man (yes, sing it Dusty Springfield!). Easter not only gave us the powerful reminder of faith, but it gave us chocolate – lots of chocolate! And, my personal favorite, Easter egg hunts!
The commercial side of Easter tends to get frowned upon in the church – personally, I just wish the Easter Bunny was a little less creepy! – which is understandable when someone is trying to defend God or feels some insecurities about the perceived loss of a prized holiday.
But God doesn’t need defending. And Easter is bigger than a boxed-in calendarized holiday. In fact:
- It’s bigger than the Super Bowl.
- It’s bigger than me.
- It’s bigger than you.
But Easter is for you and me, regardless of our faith journeys.
And we’re all on a journey. We’re all doing the best we can.
Here’s why Easter is such a big deal in the Christian faith and why it’s for everyone: Christians believe God loves everyone in the world (not just Christians) so much – although the church needs lots of forgiveness for not demonstrating this very well – that instead of leaving human beings to themselves in all their aches, aloneness, anxieties, and finitude (live, die and that’s it) He came to the world in order to demonstrate this UNCONDITIONAL love.
To which I frequently hear a common sense and astute reply, Why, if God wanted to save the world, would He become a human being to do it? Couldn’t He just wave His hand across the sky like Obie-One-Kenobi or email us the terms and conditions for salvation?
Of course, this assumes there is a God, and that this God cares enough to save human beings from themselves. Easter also assumes the Christian version of God, which probably sounds offensive but isn’t meant as such.
The answer to the aforementioned questions demonstrates how Easter is both the Super Bowl of Christianity and a holiday meant for everyone – regardless of faith.
Following a person named Anselm, who lived in England during the time of Peasants, Knights, Lords, and Kings and Queens, I give the answer now in a story. The story assumes that one understands the context of Anselm’s time – Peasants, Knights, etc. In their day, the highest virtue was HONOR. Honoring one another was how relationships worked. If honor is breeched, one would need to make “satisfaction” in order to make the relationship right.
Let’s say you are really, really hungry, and you see an apple cart full of delicious looking apples next to the King and Queen’s castle. The problem is you don’t even have the money to purchase a single apple. It’s not that you haven’t tried to get a job, you have. But as a peasant, you are constrained to peasant life and feel no sense of hope for upward mobility in the medieval economic ages. So what do you do?
You walk nonchalantly over to the applecart and steal a few apples.
In those days, this is against the primary value of the culture – honor.
You quickly turn and coolly walk away from the cart. You make it about a block down the dirt road, only to have the palace guard horses suddenly surround you.
You feel all the oxygen leave your body as you stand there, limp. Caught. They don’t even have to ask. And you know they know that you stole those apples, now hidden in your pockets.
As the guards demand you showcase what’s inside your pockets, you try to explain just how hungry you and your family are, but your reasonable justification falls on deaf ears…