The other day I was thinking about how our world celebrates Easter. We have an Easter bunny hiding eggs. We fill baskets with fake grass and chocolates. It seems like a very strange combination to me. I wonder how the bunny and eggs got together in the first place. After all, bunnies do not lay eggs and chickens do not have floppy ears. And, chocolate bunnies and eggs? Easterbunny_1Then we have Easter egg hunts. Someone hides the eggs and then the search is on. Children run to see who can find the first eggs and the most eggs. Then they crack them open to see the treasure inside. That treasure might be candy, a trinket or even money. We even have helicopters dropping eggs for kids to run and find. I wonder…what do any of these things have to do with the true meaning of Easter?

I’ve come up with a few connections. There are no bunnies, eggs or helicopters in the real Easter story. But, there certainly was a search launched and a treasure found. Jesus had been crucified and buried in a tomb. Some of the women who followed Him went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body with spices. They were searching (hunting if you will) for His body. And treasure, He was a treasure to them. However, they thought that treasure was gone.

Here is the account as written in Mark 16:1-8 “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” hempty-tomb-of-jesuse said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.”

Here is John’s account as written in John 20:1-18 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So, she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So, Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.  Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally, the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)  Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

Matthew 28.5-6Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.”

God assures us that if we seek Him, we will find Him.

Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.

Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

And don’t forget…Jesus first sought us.

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

What love! So, on this Good Friday and the upcoming Easter (Resurrection) Sunday, let’s remember the Easter hunt with an everlasting gift/treasure – a relationship with our risen Savior – Jesus Christ!

He promises that if we seek Him, we will find Him. Remember, He sought us first – to save us from sin. What a glorious gift!

Hallelujah! He is Risen, He is Risen indeed!


What Does Easter Mean to You?

My Easter memories as a child are of many things. Before Easter the department stores in the town where my Grandma lived sold baby chickens and ducks. I don’t really remember about the ducks but yes, the baby chicks were dyed Easter egg colors. The rumors are true. I am sure it did not harm them though because our baby chicks grew up before us with no known ill effects. baby chicksI still can’t hardly believe it but one year our parents allowed us to bring the baby chicks home to our house in town. They lived in a box in the laundry room until they got so big they could get out. Then they were taken to our great grandparent’s farm. It wasn’t until years later that the realization set in that one of those fried chicken dinners was quite possibly our pet chickens.

Other things that said ‘Easter” back then were new a Easter bonnet, dress, white patent leather shoes and white gloves (Yes – that was a very long time ago). It was a special day and I have a memory of going to church all dressed up. Then it was off to Grandma’s house where we colored eggs and then began the process of hiding and finding them. Rain or shine, we colored eggs and had an Easter Egg Hunt. Of course if it was in the house, it was critical to count the eggs before hiding them. You never want to find an Easter egg later by following the smell.

And, just like Labor Day marked the day we put away our white shoes and purses, Easter was when we brought them out again. I don’t think many people observe those customs any longer but it was like a  rule when I grew up. Of course there were always Easter baskets filled with candy and goodies. Sadly though, I don’t remember any mention of Jesus during our Easter celebrations. That’s not to say I never heard about Him but I don’t remember it if I did. It wasn’t until years later that I found out the true reason Easter is celebrated. It’s not just Easter (a time for family dinners, Easer baskets and egg hunts), it’s “Resurrection Sunday” – the day we celebrate the loving gift God gave to humanity through His Son, Jesus Christ.Easter - Love.jpg

What Easter means to me now is love, sacrifice, hope, a future, and eternal life in heaven with God.

These days we don’t find colored baby chicks or ducks for sale in our stores. Easter bonnets, white gloves and patent leather shoes are a thing of the past. But, we still get caught up in the worldly celebrations of Easter rather than focusing on the true reality of what Easter is really all about. It’s about a person, Jesus Christ, who gave himself up out of love for The Father and for all of us. He was our perfect sin sacrifice. The white we can see in Easter now is that our sins can be washed clean and we can be made pure before our God because of Jesus – IF we accept His free gift and follow Him.Resurrection and Life

So, as we celebrate Easter this year, let’s reflect on what Easter really means to us and get our focus in the proper place. We can still share chocolates and hunt eggs but let’s remember that day so very long ago when the stone was rolled away and the Savior had risen.

Luke 14:1-8: “On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,  but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! He is RisenRemember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.