Tomorrow, millions of Christians around the world will observe, celebrate and remember the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, who they believe to be the Christ, the son of the living god.
Like Christmas, Easter has been taken over by the secularists in recent years.
They have appropriated it for commercial purposes. At Christmas, it's about Santa Claus, reindeer, frosty the snowman and getting stuff. At Easter, it's about bunny rabbits, eggs, jellybeans and marshmallow chickens.
This year, thanks mainly to the superb Mel Gibson (search) movie, "The Passion of the Christ," (search) Jesus has made a cultural comeback. The depiction of his last hours on earth is setting attendance and financial records at movie houses around the world.
He's on the cover of Time Magazine this week with a question: "Why did he have to die?" It takes more time to find the answer in time than it does in the Bible, but basically it is so we might live.
The Easter story has been obscured by more than secular things. Its real meaning was lost in the psychobabble of modernism where people no longer believe or consider the true diagnosis of the human condition. Once called "sin," this diagnosis has been supplanted by the more user-friendly word, "dysfunctional," or in the words of the "West Side Story" gang member to Officer Krupke: "Hey, I'm depraved on account of I'm deprived."
At a time when religious fanatics in Iraq wish to die for their god, Christians choose to live for theirs. Too few do a good enough job of it, but they follow one who did it perfectly and are the better for it.
The Easter message is unique. Most other "gods" require humans to die for them. This god dies for us. He doesn't require others to kill in his name. He invites people to believe on his name and live.
A billboard in suburban Washington combines faith with a football metaphor. It says "Easter: The real super Sunday." Tomorrow, Christians around the world will reaffirm their faith by saying in unison: "He is risen! He is risen, indeed."
And that's Column One for this week.
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Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America". Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.