Spring and warmer weather. Bunnies. Colored eggs. Candy. We know these are the basic ingredients for any Easter celebration. These are not bad things. In fact, they bring happiness for many kids and their families. And for years, this was what I centered my thoughts on during Easter. Of course there was Sunday morning church, too. But was church even needed for the celebration of Easter? Aren’t Cadberry eggs and the egg hunts enough?
I recently just finished reading through the book of Romans. In it, the apostle Paul writes to Jewish and Gentile Christians of Rome. His main purpose in this letter is to explain the meaning of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Two verses really stuck with me from the readings and, to me, really summarize the Easter story. The first, Romans 3:23, says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The second is Romans 5:8, which proclaims “but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This is the only meaning of Easter we need. It’s God’s love for us.
“Love is all you need” by the Beatles (trivia: a song on what album?), although a great song, is often noted to be an idyllic message. However, the apostle Paul seems to give a similar message in his first letter to the church in Corinth. In 1 Corinthians 13:13, he says “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” In the Easter story, we see the ultimate display of love, and it’s meant for you and me.
Today we celebrate Good Friday. The day when Jesus of Nazareth, the son of God, was “nailed to a tree.” Where he was beaten, suffered and died. He did not deserve this, but he did this for us, and in doing so revealed God’s unimaginable love for us. I hope you enjoy family time and candy bunnies and Easter eggs, but I hope even more that your focus over this weekend is knowing and accepting God’s love, and that you celebrate the real meaning of Easter.
“But the Angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as he said.'” Matthew 28:5-6
(Trivia answer: Magical Mystery Tour)