Paris Portingale examines the story of Easter and how sad it was to lose Jesus. Like Old Yeller sad.
The saddest holiday of the year is Easter because it celebrates the death of Jesus when he was killed by the Romans 2000 years ago. Some say it was the Jews but I think that’s unlikely, unless it was Jews dressed up like centurions and I can’t see that happening because for a start, why would they do it?
In any case it was a sad ending, somewhat like the stories of Lassie and Old Yeller where the dog dies in the end. With Jesus it was getting nailed to a cross. Like the dog stories, everyone was rooting for Jesus, hoping he’d get away. It was like, “Surely they’re not going to shoot Old Yeller. He’ll probably get away.” But it didn’t happen with Jesus and he died.
Unlike Old Yeller though, Jesus came back to life again. That could never happen in the movies. People would be going, “Old Yeller came back to life again?” and they’d be asking for their money back.
With Jesus, it was still pretty sad though. Like your mother dying. You know she’s going to heaven and will still be alive up there with God, but not having her around anymore is still pretty sad. This is generally. When my uncle Raymond died, everyone said, “Well, thank God for that,” but mostly, if it’s your mother and she wasn’t anything like my uncle Raymond, it’s pretty sad.
And so we come to the story of Jesus. It begins a couple of thousand years ago with his birth in Bethlehem in a manger, which is like a box of straw with legs. Everyone had to go back to Bethlehem because the Romans wanted to see how many of them there were, so all the inns were full and Jesus had to be born in the box. It was the only alternative at the time, unless you were anywhere near the Nile where you could be born in a basket of reeds.
We now fast-forward thirty years to the Last Supper. It’s 9:30 p.m. and Jesus is turning loaves of bread into fishes, and it is at this point that Judas decides he will denounce him to the Romans, which is what he did the next day by kissing a Roman when Jesus came past and pointing and saying, “That’s him there.”
The next day Jesus was dead from crucifixion because he wouldn’t say sorry to the Romans at his trial. It was a bit like today when reporters refuse to identify their sources.
Romans: “Say you’re sorry.”
So then he gets crucified.
There are pictures of this in the bible—Jesus not saying sorry and getting crucified.
So, Jesus is up on the cross and he’s surrounded by his disciples who have come to see him die. Judas isn’t there of course for obvious reasons, but the rest of them have turned up. So, they’re standing around and Matthew comes up to the cross and looks up and says, “Don’t worry, we’re going to make sure everyone remembers this.”
Jesus looks down and says, “And what form will this remembrance take?”
And Matthew says, “Brightly colored eggs.”
Jesus says, “Really?”
And Matthew says, “And they’ll be delivered by a magic rabbit.”
I don’t know, if someone did that to me I’d be annoyed, but Jesus said, “Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do,” which was clearly true.
After that, Jesus is dead. There’s some talk of burying him but it’s getting dark and Luke suggests they put him in a cave and come back later.
Thomas thinks about this and says, “But our Lord has promised he will rise again and return to the house of his father,” so they roll a rock in front of the cave and everyone goes home.
And that, my brethren, is the story of Easter and the extra long weekend holiday that celebrates it.
Next Week: The Story of Santa Claus