I’ve felt a bit guilty this “Easter season,” which seemingly began about two months ago when the grocery store first set up its Cadbury Egg display. This is something I look forward to every year. Before April had even begun, I had already consumed over thirty eggs in part because Donatello was thoughtful enough to send me mass quantities of Cadbury Eggs and Robin Eggs.
This last week as I’ve been thinking about why we (in theory at least) celebrate Easter, I realized that I was much more excited about the Easter candy than the resurrection and do not completely understand what Easter is all about. I know that Jesus rose from the dead and all of that, but in my heart, I’ve not been feeling celebratory about it.
I’m sure a lot of that can be attributed to the culture in which I live. What do bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter? Does anyone know? We’re surrounded by all of this Easter stuff and NONE of it references Jesus, God, the resurrection, or anything even remotely relevant to why we are supposed to be celebrating Easter. Check out the Easter card section of the Hallmark display. Secular Easter and Christmas cards (now) really annoy me. I made my own Easter cards this year, and I even referenced a bunny…my niece Lauren who looks like the cutest bunny ever in the picture below. But I also referenced why we’re celebrating this Sunday. And as I’ve been reading about the resurrection and what it means, I truly feel overwhelmed by what has been done for us. My friend Laura told me about the church service she attended last Sunday and how the congregation created a neat visual of that. In everyone’s program there was an insert. The pastor asked everyone to write down the sin that they have committed which they think is the worst on that insert. Then he asked each person to nail the insert on one of the crosses set up in the church. At the end of the service the crosses were covered in white paper, and the pastor reminded the congregation that Jesus died on the cross so that we would be forgiven for our sins. And then Jesus rose again, conquering both sin and death. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3 (NIV). Now that is something to celebrate.