What a silly holiday Easter is.
Pastor Ken Banks
Bunnies delivering treats … coloring otherwise perfectly good eggs to set out on display … chocolate chickens … Easter egg hunts.
Candy and card companies have made a fortune on our willingness to indulge in something that makes no rational sense.
I mean, when was the last time you saw Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail?
And we know it’s not real – but we participate all in the name of fun. Even my kids will receive some chocolate and candy this weekend, and they’ll be excited.
For who among us doesn’t love a good treat?
I grew up competing against my sisters hunting for chocolate eggs and jelly beans on Easter morning.
But Easter really is foolish.
Think of the Bible version of the story. Take away the bunnies, chickens and eggs – and focus on the story of the cross, the grave and the empty tomb.
Talk about foolish. We know that story’s not real. Certainly it’s on par with a giant bunny handing out candy, isn’t it?
God coming to earth, teaching truth, suffering at the hands of those He created and loved, dying a brutal death, being buried in a tomb guarded by a security detail, and rising back to life on the third day – that’s all pretty ridiculous.
It goes beyond reason. We tend to lump it in with fairy tales.
The Bible itself tells us that the message of the cross is foolishness – that it doesn’t make sense (1 Corinthians 1:18).
How could it? Even if I acknowledge that I am a sinner – as Romans 3:23 tells us we all are – how could God (Jesus) die? What kind of God dies? Why would He die?
The Bible says, to take away our sins. God, we’re told, loves humanity.
Sin – that which grieves and goes against God’s truth – keeps us from Him. God wants to draw us to Him.
You can tell that I am a follower of Jesus – but perhaps you are not. The foolishness of this story sounds too outrageous. Your skepticism sees too many unanswerable questions.
It would take a giant leap of faith for you to be able to accept the Bible Easter story.
You wouldn’t be alone. Every person who’s ever accepted this story as true, and began living a life as a follower of Jesus – has had to wrestle with the same doubts.
But doubting something does not make it any less true – just because we doubt. For if there is a God – a God of Biblical proportions – then things impossible to us, would be very possible to Him.
It says in 1 Corinthians 1:21 that it was through these foolish sounding things that God chose to save (from sin) those that would believe.
Faith is required. The Bible tells us that God draws us, but we have to respond. We can’t grasp all there is to understand about God. If that’s our aim, we will fall short.
The Easter message of the cross and resurrection (Jesus’ victory over death) is a stumbling block and foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:23) if we look for all the answers.
Thomas, known as the Doubter, was one of Jesus’ close followers. After Jesus died, he would not believe He had risen. It was too crazy. Jesus showed up and he had to believe.
But Jesus then told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Be blessed this Easter.
“God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.” – 1 Corinthians 1:21b
Ken Banks is the pastor of the Wesleyan Church in Truro. You can contact him at www.trurowesleyan.ca