For many in our secular world, the ‘celebrations’ for Easter will centre around time away from the world of work. There will also be Easter eggs and chocolates in a variety of types and forms; the Easter bunny will make an appearance and, of course, there will be the aroma of freshly toasted hot cross buns dripping with melted butter!
All in all, Easter would appear to provide us with a time of rest and relaxation with our families and friends. This is certainly the picture of Easter that is being consistently painted by the world of advertising that surrounds us.
Last week I asked my Kindergarten scripture class ‘What is Easter all about?’. And unsurprisingly, their responses were the typical answers of chocolate, the Easter Bunny, spending time with family and only one answer related to Jesus.
However Christians know that at Easter we celebrate the most wonderful gift – not just that God sent Jesus, but that in dying, he gave us eternal life.
We can utilise the chocolate egg to speak of new birth that comes through the resurrection of Jesus. We can speak of the emptiness of the egg as symbolic of the empty tomb.
The death and resurrection of Jesus is spectacular, amazing and central to the whole of human history and eternity. We do not live AC (After Christ) but AD (Anno Domini: in the year of the Lord) because he has risen from the dead to live and rule for evermore. This is an event far too important to trivialise with bunnies laying chocolate.
So my challenge to you, and also to my scripture classes is: Easter is far more than chocolate eggs! Easter is about the resurrection and the life! Don’t miss out on this reality!
– VALERIE O’REGAN