If you've walked in any supermarket or flower store in the past week you have probably been engulfed in endless waves of pastel, items shaped like bunnies and plastic eggs. It's never made sense to me how bunnies and eggs both got associated with Easter considering they are completely unrelated. Regardless, I find myself astonished at how much of a commercialized holiday we have made out of one of the most crucial parts of the Christian faith — and I guess that could be said for several other holidays as well because Lord knows we've all lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas.
But really, one has to ask if through all the plastic grass, dye and Peeps if we have forgotten why this day is celebrated. While I would love to think that God allowed us to get this deep into the commercialization process because He knew I would need Reese’s eggs in my life, I would be lying to myself if I said He was happy with the way I viewed the anniversary of His death and resurrection. The truth is that crucifixion sucked. And that is the biggest understatement of the century. If you have never taken the time to watch "The Passion of the Christ," this weekend is the most appropriate time to do so.
I never really understood just what kind of sacrifice our Jesus made for us until I found myself unable to look at the television screen and paled with sickness. It was brutal, it was tedious, it was unfair and no amount of candy could ever change the fact that he was human. He was flesh just like you and I, and experiencing some of the worst form of torture out there. He bled and he suffered so that we could have the opportunity to be forgiven from the chocolate gluttony we will all partake in this weekend. He did it to save us all. He died to give us life. Yet Jesus, as if he had not shown his love for us enough,amazingly didn’t end it with death — He rose again. He who created life defeated death, because death is not the end.
Jesus breathes life — new life — and that is what is so important about Easter weekend. I love the way The Message words Paul’s testimony in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 in saying, “There is a nice symmetry in this (the death and resurrection): Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man. Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ.” Because of this weekend we get to live. Sin, guilt, death we are free from the burdens of them all. Our life truly begins after our death and we owe it all to the one who died and rose for it. So this weekend I remember Jesus. I remember that his pain represents the grace I so desperately need.
His suffering represents the faith I so steadfastly hold onto. His burial represents the carrying away of my sins I so shamefully commit. His resurrection represents the justification of his Holy power that I so cling to in hoping for my heavenly future. And that my friends, is much sweeter than a chocolate bunny.