“Here comes Peter Cottontail hoppin’ down the bunny trail…”
Remember that song? Yeah, me too. I think of it when I see all the “Easter” décor at the stores. It’s everywhere and my kids, along with so many others, ooo and aww over it thinking how awesome it would be to get a big ‘ol basket filled with candy and cheap toys on that Sunday morning.
When the kids were younger we did the whole baskets and egg hunts and fun childish things, but as they got older and I grew a little wiser, I realized that, while this was fun and harmless in the sight of so many, I needed my children to know that Easter is not about the baskets, plastic eggs, or the candy. There is so much more to it and without this day our world would be completely lost.
Matthew 16:21-22, “Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!” (MSG)
Do you realize what we are celebrating? The prophesy of the resurrection and the truth that we know. It all came to be and that fulfillment is what saves us today. Christ dies on the cross and just three days later he rose from that grave. No one thought it would be possible. His own disciples doubted.
The two Mary’s went to the tomb on that third day and it was empty. He was gone! What He had told them came to be and He was among them. Can you just feel the excitement? What if you were one of the women who went to the tomb? What would you have done at the sight?
Seriously, ponder that for a moment because it is very real. You could have very easily been one of those women. Picture it. Mourn has captured the hearts of many who followed and dearly loved Jesus. You were there when He took his last breath. You saw Him bleed. You saw the sword go into His side and you saw the great pain that He endured. It was a sight that you will never be able to rid yourself of. It is burnt in your mind and soul.
There were proper burial procedures. Bodies needed to be wrapped and sprinkled with oils. By the third day the body would have started the decomposition stage and the smell would be nearly unbearable. The women would share the oils through the tomb to combat the smell and to say one last goodbye, but when you got there the guards assigned to Jesus’ tomb, to make sure his body was not stolen, were gone.
The stone that took several soldiers to roll in front of the tomb was now rolled away and within that tomb were the very cloths that wrapped your beloved Jesus after His death. The seals were broken and the stone was rolled away! That alone is worth shouts of praise, but here you sit confused and almost broken because you have no idea where Jesus has gone.
Then your head clears enough that you remember what he had said just days prior. He was going to come back. The body is gone. The stone pushed aside. Jesus no longer wrapped in cloth. He is alive!
Oh, how I would have loved to be one of the women who got to go back to the disciples and share the news! Imagine telling their families; the kids. Guess what, we do get to be one of those women. We get to go and share this awesome news with everyone. Jesus really is alive! He is among us! He walks with us. He eats with us. He prays with us. He sees us! He never left us, but gave a gift so valuable that there can be no price put on it. His death brought the Holy Spirit to live in us and guide us.
This Easter share the amazing news that Jesus is alive and walking with us with your children and families. The bunny has no such story. He has soft fur and does not give you eggs – at least no bunny that I have ever seen does. In all seriousness though, we have such an amazing truth to share and it’s so much better than a bunny hopping around. Share the true Easter story with your kids. Start in Matthew 16 and go as far as you would like.
Lord, this day that we celebrate your resurrection, may I be more clear than ever. Your life was given for us and we live because you gave it all willingly. We have the Holy Spirit because you were selfless. Please help us all to remember what you gave and why we celebrate Easter. It’s not a bunny that saved us, but you. Thank you for your sacrifice to save so many more! In Your name, amen.