Apr 1, 2018
Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, our Lord. It is a day that changed the world, person by believing person. The One who is love, showed us how to love.
You may, however, be with people who are quick to remind you that Easter is a pagan holiday. True, in a way. Eastra, the goddess of spring was worshipped near the time Jews celebrated Passover.
Reaching further back into history, 2100BC, there is a Sumerian story called the Descent of Inanna. Inanna is the Babylonian Ishtar. Ishtar is overcome with grief when Tamuz dies. She goes to the underworld where she is stripped, judged and killed. Her dead body is displayed for all to see. The earth suffers while she is away and all will die unless something changes. After three days, Enki sends two gods to sprinkle magical plants on them and they return for six months. Later they return to the underworld, and this is explained as the cycle of summer and winter.
And so the stories go. There are others. The important aspect in any of these stories is what you believe came first. According to evolution, pagan stories were first. But a biblical worldview insists the Jesus came first. He is mentioned as Co-Creator and Deliverer in Genesis, and all other beliefs are merely copies and imitations with a small grain of truth running through the make believe.
And just how do these pagan stories affect the glory of Jesus’ death and resurrection? They do not even come close to the meaning of the cross and the resurrection. If the Church used what an ancient people understood and taught them the truth of the real resurrection and new birth, they were doing what Jesus did: bringing light into dark places.
That is still our mission. Don’t apologize for taking a holiday. God gave us dominion to take the earth. And, we can answer the age old question with confidence: which came first, the chicken or the egg? Which came first, the artist or his painting? The creator, of course. And– Creator God has signed His name in this principle forever.
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