Happy April everyone…and Happy Easter!
I had a conversation with a friend once who told me all about how Easter is really a pagan holiday and that the Christians took it over. I asked them to explain this.
“Well,” they said, “the word Easter is derived from the word Ishtar, and was originally a festival where the pagans honored Ishtar, the Goddess of Love, Fertility, and War.” They went on to relate this idea with all the symbols we have of Easter today. The bunny is a very fertile animal, as we all know. Eggs are also a symbol of fertility along with Easter Lilies. Even the way the Church decides when to celebrate Easter is based on the non-Christian tradition. It’s the first Sunday after the full Moon that occurs on or after the spring equinox, a very pagan sounding practice. So according to my friend, like Christmas, this pagan celebration was changed to a Christian holiday by the Roman Emperor Constantine during 325 A.D. Council at Nicaea.
Is all of this true? Maybe, but I don’t know.
From my point of view, someone who loves to learn about history and interesting facts, I find the idea fascinating. But as a Christian, it doesn’t phase me one bit when it comes to how I celebrate Easter. As a Christian, I can look at the colored eggs and allow it to remind me of new birth. I can look at the Easter lily and bunny and let it remind me of the innocence of Christ and how He washed away my sins.
When it’s all said and done, Jesus Christ, God incarnate was born into this world, lived His life perfectly, overcoming temptation and bringing hope and healing. He was falsely accused, hung on the cross, died, and was resurrected, so we could have new life! So whatever people celebrated back then, it has no effect on what I celebrate today.
Jesus Christ is risen! I have a new life in Christ! He is risen indeed! Happy Easter, everyone!