Easter is hard for me. So much commercialism, and so little Jesus in comparison. The churches get filled because the sinners feel guilty but they count the minutes until it is over. 2,000 years is a long time. It’s even longer when, on the day it happened, people didn’t even believe what they saw. When religion tried to squash the truth that stood right before their eyes. Jesus.
I get it. I’ve done it too. I have tried to intertwine the egg hunt with the celebration. But no matter how I do it, I come back to the fact that it’s not truth. It isn’t about the bunny. The bunny had no part. The bunny was a piece of creation that the creator died to save. It holds no value in this day. The chocolate, the games, the silly harmless story…. it takes away.
Each November I see people post about no decorations before November 12. Do you know why? Out of respect. There is value in holding off our Christmas excitement until we pay respect to the people who served so we could have that freedom. It’s the same reason we hold the door an extra minute just so the senior can pass through. It’s because there were those who walked before us that made a way for us to live the life we have.
Jesus did that. He did it all! He gave us something so very precious that deserves our full attention. It deserves to be recognized. He gave us life! It deserves to be celebrated as well but not with the commercialized distraction of a sideline story.
On Friday some of my family came to visit and I spent time preparing a meal for them. I was excited. It was my first time hosting in my new home and it was a memorable thing for me. In the morning though, went for a drive. I put on my worship music and I took a moment to say thank you. I wanted that to be my start to this day. Just for a minute I wanted to make sure my priorities were straight and that it wasn’t about the stuffed pork…. I wanted it to be about Jesus. I wanted to feel the pain for a moment. To remember the sacrifice.
Last night, I watched the movie Risen. I was tired. My eyes told me it was time for sleep but I wanted to see it. I wanted the visual of that moment when my savior hung from a cross. The movie itself is not exact for scriptures but the story is close. The heart is there. The joy from the disciples as they sat with Jesus was there. The skepticism but undeniable truth was there. He had risen!
This morning as I sat in church I came across a scripture that the preacher had pointed out. Romans 5:18-21 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Then in chapter 6 it continues to clarify (3-11): Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
If we make that commitment of sacrifice in becoming one with Christ, shouldn’t we find the meaning there? Shouldn’t that be the message we send to our kids on this Sunday morning? Do we not see that this day should be held in higher regard than any other because without this day we would be nothing!
In 1 Corinthians 15:16-19: For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
If Jesus was not raised from the dead then the rest of our faith is as good as believing in the bunny. So if on this day, our entire faith was founded upon, this moment that we believe we became Christians because He gave up everything… shouldn’t that be of the utmost importance? So high on our priorities that we leave no room for a fairytale side story about a bunny who delivers chocolate eggs?
Food for thought.