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Bunnies and Eggs

April 21, 2019

I don’t remember when I figured out (or was told) that Santa wasn’t a real person.  He was a fun idea, and he sort of embodied the happy, generous side of the Christmas spirit.  Sometimes a little silly, but kind of fun.  I’m guessing there was a time early on that I thought he was real, though.

I don’t think I ever felt this about the Easter Bunny.  Even a little kid from Nowhere, Oklahoma, knew that bunnies do not lay eggs.  We hunted Easter Eggs like all the other kids in our little town, but it was about finding that one plastic egg that had a whole dollar in it.  I’ve never been a big fan of boiled eggs, and especially not cold boiled eggs, so aside from the possibility of recovering the dollar-egg, I had little motivation to be aggressive about hunting eggs.  There was little about bunnies and eggs that had any real connection to Easter, even in my little-boy mind.

When you’re a PK (Preacher’s Kid), you grow up knowing that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus and Easter is about His resurrection.  Everything else about the holidays were nice, but they really didn’t have much to do with the real meaning of the days.  Not necessarily evil, but irrelevant.

If you’re taking your kids to hunt Easter Eggs today (or already have), good for you.  You’re having some good, clean fun with them.  Almost no family wouldn’t do well to have more fun.  And if you had their picture taken with the Easter Bunny, you’ll have a great memory to bring out to show their Prom date a few years from now.  Especially if they’re freaked out by the Easter Bunny…

But since you found me here at HomeworK, you probably know that I come from a Christian perspective and world-view, so you know I’m going to urge you to go deeper than eggs and bunnies on this Easter Sunday.  If you didn’t already know this, well, now you do.

On Friday, Good Friday, we reflected on Calvary and Jesus’ death.  The beatings, the pain of the spikes in His hands and feet, the humiliation, the death of the disciple’s hopes.  The Passion.

To meditate on what actually happened on that Friday requires seeing a figure quite different than you’ll ever see on a crucifix or in a painting, more brutal even than the images in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (though it comes perhaps as close as we could endure).  I don’t advocate that children be exposed to these disturbing images.  That would be inappropriate.  Very inappropriate.  They’ll be ready to see more of the reality of the crucifixion of Jesus when they’re teens.

But for Easter morning, there’s no developmental hindrances or considerations.  The overwhelming sadness and brutality of Friday were swallowed up on Sunday by the victory of the resurrection!  Even young kids can get the joy of this.  Even kids who don’t really understand death yet can understand the happiness the disciples felt when their friend, Jesus, Who they thought was gone forever, came out of the tomb.

Theologically, our faith hangs on this one event.  Without the resurrection, there would be no proof that the crucifixion was anything more than a sad an unjust end to an inspiring and wonderful life.  Another man killed because of his convictions.  History’s full of these.  You can visit many of their graves.  We’re not quite sure exactly where Jesus’ tomb is.  Which is not a huge problem, actually, since His remains aren’t there.  They were only there Friday night, all day Saturday and Saturday night, and into the early morning hours of Sunday.  The location of the tomb would be a nice thing to know, I suppose, but it’s a bit irrelevant.  His death and burial are verified by history and historians, whether we can locate the tomb into which Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea  placed Jesus’ lifeless body.

But because Jesus’ resurrection happened, everything He said and did matters.  Our faith rests on the fact (not the idea, but the fact) that He conquered death.

Smarter men than me have written extensively about the veracity of the Gospels’ account of the resurrection.  Skeptics have been taking shots at it as a fabricated story since the morning it happened.  But for more than 2000 years, no one has been able to push it out of the world of facts.

I love what Chuck Colson said about the resurrection.  “I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”

Your grade-schooler won’t connect with all this theology, but your teen can.  They probably won’t if you don’t, though.

Maybe the best thing you could do for your family this Easter would be for you to enjoy the trappings of it, but to talk about the meaning of it.

From → Marriage

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