Last weekend was Easter Sunday. A day for celebration. A signal of spring. The arrival of the Easter bunny and the rebirth of our king.
It means different things to different people. For some the morning will bring on the Easter Hunt with the Easter Bunny having hidden the eggs for the children to find. The making of the baskets and nests and lots of chocolate eating.
This year after a bit of homework, the kids asked me why a bunny? Admitting my ignorance, I decided to have a look. Investigation showed me that the Goddess of Spring, Eostre, was said to have a Hare as her companion. The hare is meant to symbolise fertility. Rabbits having many large litters makes it understandable. Over the years this Hare became an Easter Bunny. The bunny laying coloured eggs in nests the children had made. Originating mainly from Germany.
But for us, this year more than last it, was about the Church rather than the chocolate. I was asked to talk at the early morning riverside service about my experience this year with God in my life. How have I seen Jesus’ work? My first thought was that I see God’s work every day. We live in a farming life. Creation is God’s work. Life and birth. His work and creation. The animals and the plants. His new life. To me that’s God’s work. All around me. He made us all. He gave us life. I have always seen God’s work. I just never saw it as his work until recently.
But I was asked about how God worked in my life, personally, for me. This year, God gave me a pony. Those of you who have been following me will know about Domino. How a friend’s need and my need came together and answered my prayer. She needed a home for her pony and I needed a pony. God worked and gave us both an answer. An answer that brought tears to my eyes. Every little girl prays for a pony. I got one!
But back to Easter. This year I saw the celebration. The hugs and kisses and the joy at the rebirth. He is our Messiah. He came back for us. He washed our sins away. God gave us the ultimate sacrifice. He gave his only son an earthy birth and allowed for his suffering and sacrifice. All to save us. It also stopped all this clean animal sacrificing which to me is a personal bonus.
My readings of the Old Testament have highlighted a few questions about Easter to me. It highlights a lot if I am honest but let’s just stick to Easter just now! I can’t find the exact quote I am looking for, but in there somewhere it describes the human birth of Jesus. That made me think. His human birth? So, he was already alive? God gave his only son. He already had a son to give. For me that was a revelation. That he had a son. With instruction from my bible study leader, Janie if you are reading this – that’s you, I was lead back to the story of creation. There was nothing. God created the earth and so on. But no, look carefully. It depends what version you read, I personally have been using the message bible, but even in NIV we see that in Gen 1:26, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness”. There, let US make mankind in OUR image. That means there was more than just him. His son was there. There was always the Trinity. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. There is something else I didn’t know!
I already discussed how he fulfilled the Palm Sunday prophesy. But he fulfilled so many more, right though the Easter story. The whole thing really. It was all about Jesus. His (and God’s) ultimate sacrifice. All for us. It’s an amazing story. One we all know. The sadness of Good Friday followed by the joy of Easter Sunday. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (I must feel sorry for her, she’s described as the other Mary, poor girl) discovering the empty tomb. Seeing the angel. Imagine that, seeing an Angel. An Angel of the lord came down from Heaven right there in front of their eyes. Frightening, but amazing.
It’s all pretty amazing. The whole Easter story. It’s almost better than Christmas. I have loved Easter this year. Last year I saw Easter as about Jesus and the Church. But this year I understood Jesus and the Church.