How do you explain a faith that is centred on a dead guy coming back to life?
How do you sell a message that involves a brutal miscarriage of justice with a punishment so barbaric it would today be considered a war crime?
This perhaps explains why the commercialisation we see at Christmas is not replicated at Easter and why Easter is increasingly being celebrated in terms of eggs and new life coming with Spring.
Yet it is only when you delve deeper you realise that Easter is not an expression of horror but of love.
The most celebrated love stories in our world all celebrate a love that does not come easy; the greater the struggle to love the greater the love story. Romeo and Juliet would not really have the same impact if they lived happily ever after. It is the ultimate cost of their love which makes the story something special.
Even looking at famous Disney love stories, love does not come without a cost. Whether it is Elsa having to stay hidden to protect her sister in Frozen or Beast having to let Belle go because he loves her, there is always a cost to loving someone.
You can’t really beat Christianity when thinking about the cost of love. Look at these verses written by Paul to the young church in the city of Philippi very long ago:
“When the time came, Jesus set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death–and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion.” Philippians 2:7-8
Jesus set aside his power and majesty. He set aside being God so that he could come to earth and live the same kind of live that you and I live. Not only that but he did so knowing it would end in death on the cross. Those are not the actions of a man who hates the people he goes to live amongst. In fact they demonstrate a level of love that is beyond human comparison.
For Christians then Easter is not about the barbarism of the crucifixion or the unjustness of Jesus death. Rather it is about God demonstrating his love of us to us. Isn’t that an amazing thing?
Every Easter I am overwhelmed, amazed, staggered (choose your word!) that this is the kind of God we have. I hope you are too!
God Bless you all this Easter.