Several years ago, when we lived in Pensacola, a large department store at the Mall ran the following advertisement – in enormous 72 point type – promoting its spring clothing line. It covered an entire page in the paper. “Never before has Easter been this cheap!”
It was astounding! To this day I wonder if any of the executives ever realized what kind of theological faux pas they had committed. Or maybe the drama and the passion of what Easter really means has finally become lost beneath the growing pile of Easter Bunnies, fashion marketing, and chocolate eggs.
Fact is, Easter was the most expensive event in history. Talk about costly. Christ’s death, a slow agonizing public torture designed by Rome to demonstrate the immediate and terrible consequences of disrupting the brutal “Pax Romana” or Peace of Rome, was designed to abruptly end his influence in that obscure corner of their vast empire.
So they killed him. Squash. One more example of the mighty power of Rome. One more rabble rouser who threatened the status quo. Only, instead of being the end of something, the horrible death of Jesus of Nazareth was the beginning of an irrepressible movement that brought a new message into the world of harsh Roman tyranny.
Christ’s simple theme is reconciliation; the restoration of broken relationships; the healing of broken places; the redemptive and personal nature of God’s love.
Today, the powers of this world are being more successful than Rome. A campaign of misdirection has turned the focus away from the cross, and onto bunny rabbits and the dangerous idea that Easter can be really cheap.
Let’s not be fooled! And let’s make sure that our families are places where we are very clear about what Easter represents, and the terrible, wonderful, cost.
Copyright © 2004 Derek Maul, Sunbelt papers. Used with permission.
Derek Maul feels that his life has always been richly blessed and full of grace. He and his wife Rebekah enjoy a positive and challenging family life with their two teenage children – Andrew and Naomi – and several furry animals. Derek publishes a weekly column in several Tampa papers and also writes for the Tampa Tribune – in addition to several Christian publications throughout the country. Visit Derek at www.DerekMaul.com.