The old wooden church is a vivid memory of mine. There were so many wonderful Easter baskets, egg hunts, speeches, lace dresses, little ‘big boy’ suits and songs about the old rugged cross in our little church called Ebenezer. Reverend preached about the old rugged cross and how Jesus was crucified, died, buried and was raised from the dead. After the sermon, the choir would sing “He Arose, Christ Arose”. Outside, the neighborhood was full of beautiful blooming lilies and dogwood trees. More importantly, the church was filled with people, standing room only, with those who were hopefully there to satisfy their hunger for salvation and blessings through Jesus Christ.
Sadly enough, the times described above continued into my adult life until the day I met a man who told me the truth of Easter and its celebrations. The first thing I learned is that my Easter memories were actually Passover memories because the word Easter is derived from the word Ishtar, which is the name of the Babylonia Idol Goddess. Ishtar is associated with fertility, the arrival of spring and new life and thereby connects with the Easter Bunny, Easter eggs and the Easter basket. The coloring of Easter eggs represents the blooming of colorful flowers, the arrival of spring time, new life and fertility. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Easter Bunny, Symbols). These customs have absolutely no connection to Passover but are idol worship and customs that entered into the church.
And what of my lace dresses and the little ‘big boy’ suits? No relation to Passover either. As a matter of fact, true Passover in my early memories was never fully understood and celebrated. It is not about the new clothes and fancy hair styles but about the Passover based on the blood of the lamb. The first Passover story is told in the book of Exodus, chapter 12, which explains the Passover of the death angel of every Hebrew household and all that they owned.
I knew that Jesus died on the cross but I never understood why. I didn’t know that he did it for me. I never understood that if I believed that Jesus was the Son of God and that he was raised from the dead I would be saved. Nor did I understand that the shed blood of Jesus would cause eternal death to Passover me as the blood of a lamb on the doorpost of the Hebrews in Egypt caused the death angel to Passover them (Exodus 12). Jesus is our eternal Passover lamb and my initial memories of Passover truly lack this truth as first and foremost (Matthew 27:27-56). My memories of Passover are crowded with things that are of no importance to God and overshadowed the truth and real meaning of Passover and its celebrations. But thanks to God who has caused us to pass from eternal death to eternal life through the shed blood of his son, Jesus Christ, I now understand and receive the sacrifice made on the cross for me(John 5:24). I am truly thankful for the man that God sent into my life to share the truth of the gospel with me and causing that same man to become my husband, Minister Elie F. Smith, Jr. However, nothing compares to the blessing and miracle of God sending Jesus, his son, the sacrificed Passover lamb whose love for me overshadows all error in previous memories of Passover.
Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Easter Bunny, Symbols
The Holy Bible, Exodus 12
The Holy Bible, Matthew 27:27-56
The Holy Bible, John 5:24