The most important date on the Christian calendar. Like Christmas, there’s a lot of other influences that have factored in to how we celebrate now. Bunnies, chickens, chocolate, colouring eggs and so on…and like a lot of things religion, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the religious rituals surrounding Easter.
Maundy Thursday. The day of the Last Supper. Praying and crying. Betrayal from Judas. Didn’t realise that some denominations have a tradition of the minister washing the feet of his congregation. Heck, the Pope was kissing the feet of people this week. I do get it – this is what Jesus did with his disciples. But I’ll be honest…I don’t even like getting a pedicure. I have ‘dancer’s feet’ so this is not a ritual I want to participate in from either side. Kudos to Jesus and the Pope – I don’t think I could do it!!
Good Friday. The day Jesus died on the cross. I still don’t understand why they call it ‘good’. Of course yes, Jesus was dying in the place of others. But this comic strip that went around in response to people like me who question it being called Good Friday actually disturbed me a bit…
I don’t think I’d feel good at all about someone taking my place to be hanged. And of course, the people who knew where friends with Jesus did not have the benefit of hindsight that we have. They were scared for their lives. They were sad that their friend/son/brother was killed so brutally. They say it’s ‘good’ because of the fact that He was separated from God so we would never have to be. Personally, I don’t think hope comes in his death, but with what happened later that weekend…
Saturday. The sabbath.
Easter Sunday. Two women go to his tomb – to discover He is not there. Jesus reveals himself to them. He’s alive! Ressurection has killed death’s hold on us, and there is the promise of eternal life. This is what we celebrate. This is what gives us hope. This is where our second chance comes from.
And I love that in a chauvinist culture, Jesus once again breaks down the barriers – the first people he shows himself to are women.
For me the rolling of eggs is symbolic of the stone of the tomb being rolled away. I never give my friends children easter bunnies (though I do love the fun of Easter Egg Hunts!) though mini Lindt Easter Bunnies are so yummy that sometimes they get included in an easter egg hunt or two! It is a rule in our house that you can’t eat your easter egg before you’ve rolled it to make the chocolate crack. Though we did discover a decade or so ago that you should not try and roll a Matchmakers easter egg down the stairs (the egg burst open and bits of matchmakers went flying everywhere).