I never really understood Easter. I even watched The Ten Commandments on TV last night hoping to find a clue ( I preferred Spartacus). Watching the classic film only reinforced in painful scene after painful scene what a truly bad actor Charlton Heston was. But, the scene of the baby in the basket floating down the river was hysterical…high camp aside however, I was on a mission: find the meaning of Easter. But wait! Exodus isn’t Easter? So why did I sit through 3 hours of…Ok, let’s see if I have this right. Moses led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, real, lifting of heavy stones, building pyramids, manual labor slavery, and Jesus led us? out of spiritual slavery from sin? So Jesus is the spiritual version of Moses? The new Moses? And this relates to Easter how?
Never having attended mosque, church, synagog, or other, I was raised pretty much 100% free of religion. Thank god…As a kid, the holy holidays meant just one thing to me, no school, gifts, food, candy, and relatives I didn’t know commenting on how I had grown. Today, when the HH’s roll around I barely take notice. I like to cook, but I cook just about everyday so roasting a leg of lamb or hunk of meat, inviting friends over to eat and celebrate is pretty routine, nothing overtly religious or connected in any way to anyone’s personal god or historical reference or point of view.
So here is my understanding of Easter by way of Charlton Heston’s portrayal of Moses, Hollywood style, that really has no relation to Easter except that somehow it does? A Hebrew woman, and Israelite, named Jochebed, had a baby. In order to save the child from Hebrew killing Egyptians who were concerned that too many Hebrews were taking over (some things never change)…she sends the babe down the river in a basket to be found and adopted by a royal Egyptian family. That baby is named Moses. The name Moses means to draw out, as in drawn out of the water. Moses grows up, discovers he’s Hebrew, kills an Egyptian slave master and flees across the Red Sea, runs in to god in the form of a bush on fire, the bush tells him to go back and rescue the Israelites, he does, then leads the Israelites across the Red Sea. They then camp out at the foot of Mt Sinai where, Moses receives the 10 Commandants, roll credits….
Moses 1390 BC/BCD ish? Enter Jesus, 7 BC/BCD ish? Young Jesus starts preaching 27 -29 ish AD/CE…then what? Easter is linked to Passover, Exodus from Egypt, the Old Testament, the Last Supper, and, Crucifixion. It’s the crucifixion part everyone seems obsessed with now a days. Confession time. All the above I have to admit I purloined from Wikipedia. Really. So you know it’s true. Like I said, I never attended any type of religious house, except as a tourist, may have lit a candle or two but it’s only because I like fire. From here on out the story of Easter is all my own interpretation.
The Story of Easter – Jesus was killed by Jews because they thought he was a false prophet. He was nailed to a cross and left to die, for our sins, right? Some one, or some group of followers took him down from the cross and, depending on what story you choose to believe, he was put in a cave or buried. A few days pass and it is discovered that the body is gone. The only logical conclusion was that the dead Jesus must have been resurrected. Jesus must have been the son of a powerful God for this to happen. Thus, this almighty God has given all of us the hope of a new birth through the resurrection of his only son, another birth, another chance, another Hollywood epic…
This is what I discovered. Exodus, Passover, Easter, they all make for great storytelling. Stories, cultural myths, our collective histories, are just that, stories. Some parts of these stories we may share, hold in common, other parts we may not. Some of us might even view it all as farce and hypocrisy. Example: how is Crucifixion as described in these collective stories different then the capitol punishment we practice today. If we have been given another chance so that we may walk in a new way of life ( Wikipedia) why do continue to travel the same roads?
I digress…this is a music blog after all. My blog…my digression. When we explore another view, perspective, we may not like what we uncover. Too bad. Do we hang on to a system of beliefs that resign us to ignorance, violence and hate? All in the name of forgiveness? In the name of what? I won’t.
A quick aside: I throw these blogs together once a week and really have no idea where they are headed or where they will go. A step into the abyss for which I have no apologies.
Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!