To those who do not know the miracle of the atonement for our sins, the idea of focusing on the torture and death of Jesus on the cross nearly 2,000 years ago might seem a bit odd. Which is probably why the world would much rather see Easter as nothing more than a tribute to bunnies, springtime and a ham dinner around the family table.

I find myself using the term “Easter” less and less as the full meaning of Resurrection Sunday becomes more gobsmackingly astounding. (Isn’t that a great adjective?)  That wondrous moment when Jesus arose from death is proof that His sacrifice was acceptable as our atonement. That truth alone, revealed by His Holy Spirit, has the power to transform us as we repent from the very sin His blood has covered.

As Christians, we want that for everyone, don’t we?  For our loved ones, for complete strangers, for a lost and hurting world. We all hope that more and more unbelievers will come to know Jesus Christ and why we celebrate His death and resurrection.

With that in mind, I ask this question:  How are we sharing that Gospel message at Easter, when churches across the nation are traditionally packed with people who aren’t interested in church the rest of the year?  Do we contextualize by bringing in popular movie characters or staging egg hunts? How much of our culture are we willing to climb in bed with to attract the nonbelievers to a building in hopes something will “stick?”

I’ve been observing all sorts of interesting ways pastors are bringing culture into the Sanctuary er, worship center. One church, Sacramento-based Spiritual Life Center, will hold all Easter services at the Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims, — A mosque — as it is currently seeking a permanent church home. This year Church on the Rock is doing an Easter Play based on Batman and Robin in the movie Dark Knight.

According to the pastor:

We have taken the amazing story of the resurrection and have presented it in modern parable form that can only be described as ‘Hollywood does Easter’.  Donning sets, costumes and a home grown script written by ‘yours truly’ we have had some of Hollywood’s finest masquerading as the Christ.  In The Wrath of Khan it was Captain Kirk who died and rose again.  The next year it was Captain Jack Saviour (Sparrow) in the Pirates of the Galilean.  I appeared as the villain Captain Barabbas (Barbossa).

But nothing says Easter Sunday and Christ risen like…


Quite a contrast. Churches enticing goats with worldly goods to show them a God who commands us to leave these things and follow Him.