We have all seen the commercials for the Cadbury Eggs, the Easter baskets and the clothes that are on sale. For me, there have been numerous years of Easter Egg Hunts and family gatherings that are a lot of fun and bring back great memories. One year, with my wife’s parents and my brother’s family we did a Hay Ride in April. A hay ride is typically done in the fall. But it was laughter and smiles with our combined eight children.
For me this is not the real meaning or importance of Easter. I want to talk about what Easter represents (I share from a Christian perspective):
1) Hope – The real story of Easter is not of bunnies and eggs but of death, burial and resurrection. Through Christ’s resurrection, his coming back to life, we have hope despite all of life’s happenings. We may seem frustrated and feel like our hope is dead but He can turn it around. So, whatever you or I encounter, whether temptation or trouble, God’s son has already encountered it. Jesus, as our priest, was tried and tempted as we are but remained true without the blemish of any wrong doing (see Hebrews 4:15). Despite our own weakness, we can tap into a source stronger than ourselves. In that source, Christ, we find hope. Hope that life can and will be different. And hope that as you and I continue to follow Him, we will become more like Him.
2) Life – In his teaching, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life”(see John 14:6). Easter is a celebration of the path that was created through his death on the cross. He made a connection with God possible where before due to man’s wrongdoings and sins it had been broken. In a world of WiFi, 4G, 3G and internet; a good connection is vital to productivity, shared experiences and even happiness. A connection with God is always available and leads to a life that will not be stopped, broken or cut off. God’s desire is for his life to be a shared experience, a life that is eternal. This connection to life is only available through Christ (see John 3:16).
3) Acceptance – The inner desire for acceptance and love is a natural desire that you and I share. At Easter and other holidays it is good to sense the love and acceptance of family and friends. I know there was a time as a 5th grader that I moved to new neighborhood, and even though I tried diligently, my new “friends” made me work very hard for their acceptance. When we think of Christ and his ultimate sacrifice the cost that you or I would pay to gain acceptance seems overwhelming. It seems to reason, that you or I would need to do something spectacular to gain entrance or acceptance by God’s son. You don’t need the latest spiritual gadget to gain access. Yet, His love and acceptance are guaranteed. He is only looking for your permission. He has already accepted you, just as you are. Your entrance to God is simply, in accepting Christ and asking for forgiveness (Romans 5:8, 11).
4) Forgiveness – This is one concept that is unique to Easter and Christianity. Forgiveness is to bear the cost of someone else’s sin (wrongdoings). This is Joseph’s story, who in Egypt forgives his brothers despite being sold into slavery by them and the continued hardship it had caused his life (forgiveness post). The story of Easter is a story of God’s love and acceptance of us that makes forgiveness possible. That God can take away the weight of guilt for our wrongdoings and forgive us. It is not our efforts to download as many good deeds as possible onto the hard drive of our lives. It is simply accept Christ’s gift and His sacrifice as more than enough for our sins. He has forgiven every wrongdoing and thrown them as far as the east is from the west and He does not remember them (see Psalms 103:10 – 13, especially verse 12).
Would you like your wrongdoings to be forgiven; would you like the weight to be gone, while hope and the life of God is restored? Why not, join in this Easter and find the hope of a story of a life that was God’s gift to you, hung on a cross, and risen on the third day. Christ risen as celebrated on Easter Sunday. Allow the life of God to rise in you again, on Easter and throughout this year. Connect, seek Him in prayer, ask for forgiveness, and accept Him as God’s gift, today! In this you will find new life. (Feel free to comment below).
For me this is the true meaning of Easter. Happy Easter!