“But Jesus did not stay dead; He rose from the dead! We are actually celebrating Jesus’ death for our sins and His resurrection. That is why many people call Easter, Resurrection Sunday, because that is exactly what it is.”
And therein lies the joy of the Easter festival which in all probability was nicked from paganists, just like with Christmas, but with added God. The alleged Jesus Christ, impossibly born of a virgin, who had a cult following of a few hundred people back in the days when no one was educated and the world was largely without science and explanation came back from the dead. The son of an omniscient, omnipresent but ultimately omnipotent God, for whom there is no evidence he ever existed. Apart from that, Happy Easter?
And Happy Easter? Really? It turns out that Maundy Thursday is not actually a half day off work: Jesus enjoyed a few glasses of wine before washing his disciples feet and going off to be executed the next day. I am not sure he did all that much on the Saturday – well, he couldn’t have, could he? – but at least there wasn’t a full programme of Premier League matches he might otherwise had missed. Anyway, on the Sunday – Easter Day – this enormous stone that kept his dead body in a cave had been moved, presumably by the dead Jesus himself who then was seen by Mary Magdalene and some disciples. 2000 plus years on and we celebrate by eating chocolate bunnies and having a few days off work.
I’m sorry for the sarcasm (well, I’m not really) but what we have really at Easter is a re-writing of Pagan myths, nothing more. People have always worshipped a wide variety of gods, going back way beyond the ones we worship these days. As Richard Dawkins said, “We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”