Christmas is a marketer’s dream. It’s all there: the infant, his mother, the wise men, their gifts, the stable, angels, peace on earth, good will to all men, and the hope of better things to come. Most people don’t believe the Christmas story any more than they believe in Santa Clause, but most people, I suspect, would like to believe the Christmas story. It complements the festive season so well. It’s a marketer’s dream and they’ve been leveraging it for hundreds of years.
Easter doesn’t fare so well. So tough is Easter that our marketers have had to coat it in chocolate and sell it alongside raisin filled buns, bunnies, and eggs. Put the whole package together and it makes perfectly good sense… NOT!
The problem is the story. It’s just so… well frankly, it’s just unmarketable. We’re talking about the forgiveness of sins won by the Jewish Messiah through his atoning death on a cross – and this the mighty victory of salvation! Most don’t believe, but this time they don’t even want to believe. This story is kind of irritating – why worry about sin and forgiveness and salvation. Thank heavens for the four-day holiday – and let’s throw some chocolate eggs in for good measure.
There is nothing attractive about the cross. It was ugly and cruel and bloody. But for the believer, the cross is the very centre of our faith. Our sins were paid for, forgiveness is offered, and through Christ’s resurrection our eternal life is secured. Easter: it’s the best story of the lot. There’s no need for extra packaging, it’s perfect just as it is.