And so we come to Easter. The question is what are we celebrating? Spring, baby animals, new life, the return of ducks to the Till, green to the Plain, or growth in gardens? And what does the Easter Bunny have to do with it?
Easter is a purely Christian festival and it happens in Spring time because of the ancient Jewish calendar and the Passover celebrations. Easter is actually very simple. It is part of the bed rock of the Christian faith and is about remembering the death of Jesus on the cross on Friday and His resurrection from the dead on Sunday. A successful sacrifice on His part.
Throughout the ages there are stories about lives being changed through the sacrifices of others, from the 300 Spartans to those who died in the Great War, whose 100th anniversary is being remembered. In this age of kidnapping, of ransoms paid and not paid to terrorists and the consequences of both, we should understood what is meant by sacrifice. And for those of us who believe in Jesus this brings the greatest hope of all. That this sad and troubled humanity which we are part of, who make a mess of the world in the name of progress or religion, can be redeemed, saved and made new through the message of the cross.
Hot cross buns have a cross on for Friday and eggs represent the open tomb of Easter Sunday. In the early days the eggs, which were hard boiled chicken eggs, were painted red to symbolise the sacrificial blood spilled and were cracked open and eaten on Sunday morning to celebrate the opening of the tomb. Easter gardens, seen inside churches, contain an empty tomb and Easter Lambs represent Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb of God so are definitely part of the story. Chocolate is simply a tasty embellishment and it is possible that the Easter Bunny came from springtime pagan celebrations which included the hare so he remains an “outsider”.
Have a wonderful Easter Holiday whether you are just celebrating spring time or remembering the full story. However, if eating Easter Eggs they are part of the Christian tradition and EGGS ARE FOR SUNDAY, the day the tomb was opened!