Colored eggs, new clothes, bunny rabbits, spongy candy eggs, lilies, baby chicks, I don’t think so.
Easter began as a pagan ritual of Spring. Easter apparently gets its name from the pagan goddess “Ishtar”, a goddess of love, (or in her day, lust). The Israelites joined in the pagan rituals of their godless neighbors. Israel’s King Ahab married the Babylonian princess Jezebel. Under Jezebel’s pagan influence, Ahab . . .
“did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and also made cast idols for worshiping the Baals. He burned sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom and sacrificed his sons in the fire, (child sacrifices on altars worshiping pagan gods) following the detestable ways of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places, on the hilltops and under every spreading tree.” 2 Chronicles 28:1-3.
“High places were small mesa-like flat mounds or hills for religious worshiping. Five religious activities occurred here: a) animal sacrifices (1 Kings 3:2), b) prostitution (Jeremiah 3:2), c) the burning of incense (1 Kings 3:3), d) daughters walking through fire (Jer 32:35), and e) human (including many children) sacrifices (2 Kings 23:20, Jer. 7:31). It appears that there were sacred pillars at the high places (2 Kings 17:8-12). These appear to be carved pillars depicting the female goddess of fertility and male deities. It appears that each high place had priests (Num. 22:41). The “gods” that were worshipped at the “high places” included Baal (Num. 22:41), Asherah (2 Kings 21:3), Asherim (2 Chron. 17:6), Topheth (Jer. 7:31), and the gods of the sun, the moon, the constellations, and all the host of heaven (2 Kings 23:5, 2 Chr. 33:3).¹
It was a season for pagan rituals, prostitution and sacrificing babies to the gods to plead for good crops.
Editor’s Note: I first published this post on Easter, 2012.
“In the Spring, as the weather was getting warmer and the days were getting longer, people would see nature renewing itself–the plants would begin to flower, trees would put out new leaves, animals would begin to have their babies. In a world so entirely dependent upon agriculture for its survival, where children were essential as cheap labor, it is perhaps no great surprise that people did whatever they thought necessary to make sure the fecundity of their domestic livestock, the fertility of the soil in which their crops would germinate, and their own ability to reproduce. In the Spring, the people would celebrate the fertility they saw all around them in great festivals. Since the trees were putting on new clothes, so would they. They would celebrate symbols of fertility–the egg, the extremely procreative rabbit. It is from these traditions that many of our own Easter rites derive–the decoration and discovery of Easter eggs, the legend of the Easter bunny, the adornment of ourselves with new and colorful outfits.”²
So, for me, the word, “Easter” has lost its meaning, its importance, its significance. But, for me, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ remains the single most marvelous event in all of history. Resurrection Day is proof for me, that I will enjoy Eternal Life in a personal and intimate relationship with God. Resurrection Day is proof for me that Jesus lives and has always lived and will always live. Resurrection Day is proof to me that God loves me and blesses me every day I’m in His presence.
So, you won’t hear me wish you a Happy Easter. But I will wish you a blessed Resurrection Day.