By now one figures that most people, at least most reasonably educated people, know that Easter is largely a pagan holiday. It’s based on the celebration of Ostara, and the Vernal Equinox. I wrote about this last year at Easter time. The year before that I wrote about how the Jews didn’t actually kill Christ; the Italians did.
This year I was thinking about the things that differentiated Christ from the other apocalyptic preachers of his time and made him a legend. It was the resurrection, that turned so many of his contemporaries into believers. The three things are:
- The resurrection of Jesus, during which he was said to have sat down to a meal with his disciples to prove that he could eat, that he was of “flesh and bone” even though he had been crucified.
- Saul of Tarsus (later known as the Apostle Paul) and his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, and his subsequent zealotry in spreading the “good news” of Jesus’ resurrection.
- The Emperor Constantine’s use of Christian symbols during the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, which marked the beginning of his conversion to Christianity, and the beginning of the conversion of the whole of the Roman empire.
But for those three things, Christianity never would have developed as it did. Now, we can argue about the resurrection of Jesus. It’s not something I believe in. It’s pretty hard to prove or disprove now, 2000 years after the event allegedly happened. What is indisputable is that the belief in his resurrection lifted Jesus from the run-of-the-mill apocalyptic preacher, of which there were apparently many in his time. And the rest, as they say, is history.