A bit after the whole whooplah of easter I find myself more and more wondering about the origins of this strange festival. It doesn’t take a scholar to realize that the easter bunny and the egg are alien to Christian symbology and that many of the traditions surrounding easter are not only maintained by capitalistic forces (ie. people making money on the festival) but that many of the customs are downright pagan.
After some googling I quickly discover that even the word easter is pagan in it’s origin. The Saxon Goddes Oestre with a hare as here main symbol seems to be the culprit and the festival of fertility where hares (bunnies) where sacrificed to celebrate the coming of spring.
The question that then needs to be asked is what did the early church do about easter? The obvious answert is: NOTHING!
The apostles and the members of the early church celebrated and remembered Jesus death and resurection at every meal they had every day as the broke the bread and passed it around. In the early Christian tradition EVERY DAY was a day of crucifixion and resurection. At what we now know as easter time the devout Christians of the early church celebrated passover together with their fellow Jews to commemorate the glorious exodus from egypt and the traditional pass-over.
We have been passed over, the blood of Jesus has covered us and therefore we are passed over when death comes to claim us just like the Jews homes in egypt where passed over as they painted the blood of the lamb on their doorposts and therefore where spared the death of every first born child in egypt.
In the light of this I am wondering if we as a church and especially as the Salvation Army should celebrate easter at all and if we shouldn’t seek deep down in our roots and start celebrating passover this time of year and to break our bread daily in remembrance of Jesus our Saviour!