Redeeming Ishtar

Posted: March 26, 2016 in Speaking ministry
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Well tomorrow is Easter, or Resurrection Sunday if you prefer. Skimming through social media, I have been seeing a lot of memes referring to Ishtar. Now most of us English speaking people say that name phonetically, ISH-tar, but according to the memes the proper pronunciation of the word is “easter.” I’m not sure that’s true, but it’s on the Internet so it must be, right? These detractors are referencing a pagan fertility goddess usually expressed as a nude woman, often with a multitude of breasts. They are saying that Easter has it’s roots in paganism. That when Constantine “christianized” the world, he appropriated all matter of pagan things into the church. They say similar things about Christmas, and I think they’re missing the entire point of the day in the process.

What is Easter really about? Isn’t it redemption? Jesus came and died on the cross and rose again to pay a price we could not pay. He paid the price for us, which is quite literally redemption. Jesus is all about redeeming things, about redeeming people. He is the savior. Scripture tells us that creation waits for all the people who will come to Christ to come, because when that happens, He will also redeem all of creation to the way God intended it to be (According to Romans 8:19), no longer in bondage to the power of sin. I’ll say it again, Jesus is all about redeeming things. I know He redeemed me. I am not what I once was. I am redeemed, a new creation.

Is the name Easter derived from the name of a pagan goddess, I don’t know, perhaps, but Christ redeemed that name and now it refers to a holiday on which we celebrate resurrection. Opponents will also point to the use of eggs and chicks and rabbits as evidences of the fertility rituals associated with this pagan idol. Perhaps this is correct too, but again hasn’t that also been redeemed. Associated with the resurrection, these things symbolize what they represented before the fall, new life, the very thing Jesus came to give us. Again these symbols have been redeemed.

What about the bunny? Surely that has to be about fertility, right? For the record, I am not saying that some of these things cannot get out of hand. I am fully aware that, to a lot of people, the bunny is more important than the cross, but friends, changing that is up to the redeemed. Our calling is the ministry of reconciliation, calling people to be reconciled to God in Christ and when we take that calling seriously, a strange thing will happen, a multitude of new believers will be “born” or rather born again. The church will begin to reproduce quite rapidly, perhaps even like rabbits. I am being a bit tongue in cheek here, but the fact remains, the church is a living organism and healthy organisms reproduce. Were we more about our calling to the Great Commission and less about researching the past of things Christ redeemed, perhaps we would be more effective. Redemption changed the story.

Call it Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, but whatever you call it, celebrate the Redeemer and point others to Him. That is our purpose.

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Comments
  1. Wendi says:

    Reblogged this on Art of Wendi C and commented:
    ❤️ this!!

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