The Passion, eggs, bunnies and grief
Probably nothing irks me more than bunnies, colored eggs and fluffy chicks shrouding the true meaning of Easter. I’m not sure how all those things got incorporated into the Christian holiday…besides the fact that it makes no sense that bunnies lay eggs..it’s just plain irritating. And before anyone gets offended, I eat cadbury eggs (my fav) and my kids get their yearly “easter” basket…from grandparents… and they hunt for eggs. Because that is all fun and I’m not that mean. But I’m pretty vocal about the fun of one and the seriousness/eternality of the other.
This week is Passion week. Literally the most important week in history for the Christian. The last week of Jesus’ life on earth. The week before he rose from the dead.
The week began with the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on a donkey while a hopeful crowd laid their cloaks and palm branches on the ground before Him. Can you imagine being those people? I’m pretty sure those children waving palm branches were not thinking of stupid eggs. Lots happened that week…Jesus confronted the merchants in the temple, he exposed the hypocrisy of the chief priests, he explained salvation. He also encouraged his followers, telling them that He would return and they were to wait for Him. Then we read of Jesus’ anguish in the Garden after the Last Supper. Do you know that he WILLINGLY went to the cross for us? He WILLINGLY suffered separation from God for us.
Easter is the day Christians celebrate an empty tomb. This entire week displays the emotion and suffering of Jesus and Easter Sunday marks the end of that suffering. In truth every Sunday is a celebration for the Christian.
I often wonder how Mary felt on that Saturday evening. She had just lived through a week filled with surprises and was probably longing for some time alone to deal with her grief. Little did she know the biggest surprise of all was yet to come. The story of Jesus’s meeting Mary outside the tomb is really one of the most beautiful. I would encourage you to read it this year. Really read it.
That’s when grief meets hope. When Easter is celebrated. The resurrection of Jesus speaks the most powerful message of hope. Easter is about more hope than we can handle, it’s hard to wrap our minds around it. Death was overcome. Easter assures us that there is more to come, actually, the best is yet to come.
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
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