Easter has a number of meanings and contexts to consider.
For example, we loved Easter egg hunts when our kids were growing up.
My wife and I would follow the two boys around as they searched. The older brother had the advantage but we would try to keep the number of eggs each one found about the same. “Hey, Ryan, do you think there could be an egg over here?”
We liked Easter egg hunts so much, we got sort of mercenary about them as the boys got older. As they became less fascinated with our annual tradition, we started putting money in some of the eggs to bribe them into at least feigning excitement.
Tacky perhaps, but we still had fun.
Other Meanings of Easter
Like Christmas, Easter is a tradition that developed later in church history. And, obviously, there are no bunnies, chocolate, or eggs mentioned in the Bible, even though those things are part of the Easter tradition for many of us.
Easter is a time when families come together, and that’s a good thing. Our extended family is gathering for an Easter meal this weekend, and such get-togethers are always a special occasion.
This Sunday is one of the most-attended church days of the year, and that’s a good thing as well. It’s a wonderful inconvenience to have to get to church early and park further out in the parking lot because so many people are there for the service.
The meaning of Easter is also tied to one of the most dramatic events in recorded history, something more amazing than anything Hollywood movie-makers could ever have dreamed up.
Think about the event from the disciples’ point of view, knowing they experienced it personally.
They had to watch the gruesome execution of their friend, companion, and teacher as Jesus was brutally crucified in front of them. And they were in dire danger of the same painful death if their allegiance with Jesus was discovered.
The disciples also had to deal with the uncertainty of Jesus’ body disappearing for a while, a situation which surprised them even though Jesus had tried to prepare them.
During the brief period until Jesus reappeared, their faith must have been sorely tested. They had watched God be executed! What did that mean? Was everything Jesus had taught them a lie? Had all hope for the future been lost?
The Real Meaning of Easter
But we haven’t touched on the most important meaning of Easter.
As history records, what seemed to be the worst thing that could possibly happen to the disciples turned out to be the very best thing that could possibly happen to humanity.
Let’s set the context with some amazing, foundational truths:
- There is a God, and that God created the entire universe.
- That same God made us, designing each of us as special.
- God came to earth, and we know him by knowing Jesus.
Then, Jesus died–for us–and returned. And because of that historical and theological fact, we can be saved, our sins can be forgiven, and our eternity can be guaranteed.
And that is amazing, life-changing, and fantastically miraculous.
In today’s jaded and busy world, we hardly think about miracles. We don’t acknowledge the miracles we see with our own eyes, such as the wonders of nature or a newborn baby. We think even less about the most incredible miracle of all that happened over 2000 years ago.
This Easter, don’t let that be the case. Celebrate the greatest miracle of all eternity, and revel in the joy and freedom that brings.
Then, go ahead and eat the ears off that chocolate bunny.
Question: What aspects of Easter do you think about the most?
Action: Today, take time to contemplate the real meaning of Easter.