My family did not go to church on Easter Sunday. It was too crowded and my father's parking spot would not be honored by those who didn't know it was his. He might not get his pew either (second row from the back) and he did not want to to to the "Meet & Greet" with hypocrites who showed up only for holidays. Rather than be rude and disgruntled, Easter was a day off. I was grateful because my parents thought Easter dresses were silly. "Just an excuse to show off."
My second grade Sunday School teacher explained Easter was about Jesus dying and then living again. I knew about this.
"The same thing happened to my Uncle Walter."
The teacher smiled the trying-to-be-nice-when-you-want-to-yell smile and said I must be mistaken. I gave her my not-backing-down-because-I-am-right look I had mastered from dealing with two older brothers.
"It's true. I heard my parents talking about it. You can ask my mother."
My mother came to pick me up from class and was mortified. The car ride home was an interrogation of what I heard, when I heard it, how I misunderstood what I heard, and warnings about what happens to children with ears too big for their brains.
Maybe because of my promise to pay more attention and stop living in my dream world, I finally understood Jesus was murdered. I had seen the pictures of Him on the cross, but didn’t know why He was up there. He was killed because people thought He did something bad, but I couldn't figure out what they thought He had done, but they arrested Him when one of His friends kissed Him. His body was put in a cave and then, when no one was around Jesus came back to life and He escaped. My teacher never said, but God moved the rock for Him. He would have been too weak. Jesus went to see friends and mom, but couldn’t stay with them because He really was dead and had to go live in Heaven. Jesus died for everyone because we all had sins and that wasn’t fair, but Jesus didn’t mind because He loved everyone and so should we.
That was Easter.
I didn’t know what the chocolate bunnies had to do with any of this.
I am no longer a Christian. I am a Baha'i which means I still believe in Jesus, but I also accept Zoroaster, Buddah, Krishna, Moses, Muhammad, the Bab, and Baha'u'llah...and maybe a few more we haven't heard about...
Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, explained that the appearance of successive messengers was like the annual coming of Spring, which brings new life to the world which has come to neglect the teachings of the previous messenger. He also used an analogy of the world as the human body, and revelation as a robe of "justice and wisdom".
"Whenever this robe hath fulfilled its purpose, the Almighty will assuredly renew it. For every age requireth a fresh measure of the light of God. Every Divine Revelation hath been sent down in a manner that befitted the circumstances of the age in which it hath appeared."