This past Sunday was Easter. I've started loving this holiday over the last few years in a way that I certainly didn't as a child or younger adult.
Sure, it was fun for me as a little girl, waiting for the Bunny to come and leave a basket of goodies. And even as I got older, and the real meaning of Easter began to sink in, it was still always just another holiday that would come in lower on my list after Christmas and Thanksgiving and any other day that allowed me to be off work.
I've always known who Jesus was and had always been told that Easter was about His Resurrection--Him defeating death in a way that not only proved His title as the true King of Heaven and Earth, but would allow me to defeat it as well, some thousands of years later.
Jesus died. They put His body in a tomb and walked away thinking it was finished.
Except it wasn't.
Three days after they watched Him die on the cross they made Him carry, He rose. Alive. The stone was rolled away, and His body was gone. Not because someone took it and moved it. But because He was in it. Alive.
And He still lives.
Because He lives I know that death will come to me one day, but that's when the beauty of my life with Christ in Heaven will begin. It takes the fear out of dying. Honestly, it takes the fear out of a lot of things.
Christ did not come and perform the ultimate act of love to leave me in my everyday life. He's here with me. All the time.
So now, when Easter comes around, I feel like we get to really celebrate the One that makes my life as good as it is. The bringer of Hope and Love and true Happiness.
In our home we still open the door to the Bunny and he is welcome to leave goodies for our boy. There's nothing quite like an almost four year old on a chocolate high. But we're sure that between the egg hunts, basket giving and overeating (good grief, the overeating), we tell Jack about the true meaning of the day.
About a Savior that loved him so much, before he was even born, that He came and endured all the bad that our world has to offer; betrayal, humiliation, death. And yet He still willingly took the brunt of all our sins squarely on the jaw and loved us furiously through it all.
Jack won't get it now. Not completely. But someday I hope his relationship with Jesus is so strong that maybe Easter becomes his favorite holiday, too. Where Christmas celebrates the birth of our Lord on this Earth, Easter celebrates His rebirth. And the opportunity we all have to be reborn. Brand new. In the name of Jesus.
Make no mistake, He loves you whether or not you love Him. He loved us then and loves us now. And when you really get that. When it all finally sinks in and you begin to walk your everyday life with Jesus in mind, Easter becomes a time of year you look forward to. Not for the Bunny. But for the Son.
Bring on the Easter activities. The dying of eggs and brunch with friends and family. The chocolate bunnies and pastel colored Hershey's kisses. And the praise. Praise of our reigning Savior for the love He not only talked about, but lived out. For us.