Easter: A Different Kind of holiday
Admittedly, Easter is a different kind of holiday for me. For one, it’s not like Christmas. To me Christmas is enjoyable because I like the popular holiday version of the season as well as the spiritual implications of the celebration that is at hand. Easter, however, is different. I don’t genuinely like the popular holiday version, but I love the spiritual implications.
What is the popular holiday version of Easter? Well, its bunnies, colorful pastel eggs, chocolate everything, and peeps (which are disgusting.) To me, it does not bring out our best – even though my daughters would beg to differ. I don’t like purple ties and pretty pink shirts. The dresses are OK, but when you walk into about any congregation on Easter it looks like a scene from The Stepford Wives.
Who are we kidding?
The world has not done Christians a favor in how we celebrate Easter.
When I force myself to push past the pastelic, paisley, painful, primping of the Easter holiday, I see Jesus. I believe Jesus would probably agree with me concerning some of the traditions we have created to celebrate His resurrection.
Look at how Jesus celebrated His resurrection.
“That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was. He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?”
They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard what’s happened during the last few days?” He said, “What has happened?”
They said, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene. He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death, and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn’t find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn’t see Jesus.”
Then he said to them, “So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him.
They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.” So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared.
Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?” Luke 24: 13-32 (The Message)
The risen Lord Jesus having just overcome the power of Satan and death appears…well…normal. He goes for a walk with Cleopas and another friend. I am sure He is overjoyed. I am sure He feels as I did when our college football team made it to the divisional playoffs. Yet, He hides his identity, not to make a fuss and continues to walk with His friends. Oh it’s way more than just a walk – He continues to disciple them. He takes them back through the Scriptures pointing out that all that had just happened was in fulfillment of what was written.
He proves the Bible is accurate.
He builds their faith.
Even though they do not recognize Him-they obviously like Him. I love Jesus’ version of Easter. It’s real and powerful. It doesn’t need a marching band to announce the day, Jesus relies on Truth. He has risen – He is alive – and is now available for a chat. This Jesus is complete power restrained as not to overwhelm. He is meek like a lamb but powerful like a lion. He was victorious over death, hell, Satan and the like. Yet Jesus didn’t change into an Easter bunny version of Truth. That means I don’t have to either. Jesus remains the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
This is Easter at its best.
About the time, they opened their eyes and recognized Him…poof He disappeared. (My guess is that Jesus didn’t want to where a pink shirt either.)
Wishing you all a very Special Easter filled with the Good things of life….Filled with Jesus.