Today, I am going to be taking my two daughters to an annual church activity whereby they place little plastic eggs on the ground filled with candy. Some of these eggs will be hidden, most not so much. Then my daughters, along with a bunch of other children, will be let loose to go find these eggs. It will be a great time, full of smiles and children laughing. Sunday morning, they will have a special basket to go through which their mother will have prepared ahead of time. It will also have little candies, treats, and toys in it for them to go through before we head off to church that morning. It is a celebration of Easter, and quite frankly it has little to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Let me be clear on one thing. Easter, in fact, was a pagan holiday. First Fruits, is a Christian Holy Day. These two days are separate with the Christian Holy Day of First Fruits being established long before Easter was ever even a word. "The theme of the festival of First Fruits is resurrection and salvation." according to the Jewish Holy Day of Bikkurim. It was one of several Feast Days / Holy Days in the Jewish calendar.
This Holy Day saw several important events, Biblically speaking, that established the theme of resurrection and salvation before Christ died and rose again. Those events include the resting of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat signaling the end of God's judgement on the earth by flood, and the rebirth / new beginning of mankind, as well as the crossing of the Red Sea by Israel when they escaped out of Egypt, and other events.
Study Jewish Holy Days for some time and you will quickly realize they were not only celebrations of events past, but predictors of events to come. The Holy Day of First Fruits was a foretelling of the resurrection of Jesus Christ - the most important event in Biblical history. Without the resurrection, we have a story of a man who lived an incredible life that died, however, the story of Jesus Christ - God in the flesh - doesn't end with a tomb. Jesus rose again the third day (for those of you who do not quite understand the Jewish timing of events, see this page here "How Long was Jesus Dead in the Tomb?").
Point is, Easter and First Fruits happen to fall on the same day. Which do we celebrate? Well, we celebrate the Holy Day of First Fruits actually (I Corinthians 15:23), but the means in which we celebrate it in American culture is much the same as Easter. Is it wrong? Nope. There is nothing wrong with allowing your children to have fun, even if it happens to resemble some pagan holiday. Why? Because if you are like me, you are educating your children about the true meaning of this most important season of great celebration, about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What's more, if I were to suddenly not have anything to do with any and all pagan holidays, I'd pretty much set myself up so that anyone could declare Thanksgiving, Labor Day, July 4th, or any holiday "pagan" and I'd then be expected to have no part simply because of someone else's pronouncements. That is absurd and ridiculous, and I refuse to allow myself to be sucked into someone else's expectations of what I should or should not do. As a Christian, I only need ask myself "What does the Bible say about Easter?" Quite simply, the Bible verifies that the resurrection happened on the day of that recently established pagan holiday - nothing more. It does not condemn Easter, it does not rail against Easter, it does not give a hate speech about Easter, it simply mentions it and moves on.
As that is the attitude of the Bible about Easter, then that is the attitude I am going to choose to take. In the mean time, my girls will still be going out to collect eggs filled with candy, have baskets to dig into on Sunday morning, and they will learn of the importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For without the resurrection, there would be no hope of salvation. The resurrection of Christ is the cornerstone of our faith. Far more important than His birth, His life, or His death, we have hope because Jesus lives!
"1Corinthians 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain."