I am not sure if you have seen the advertisements for the new Easter movie – if you have you will know that it is about a rabbit! The ads on television say something to the effect that you will get a whole new perspective on Easter by watching this movie – a rabbit that “poops” Easter jelly beans!
In reflecting on this I wondered why we have let the world take over our two major religious celebrations – Christmas and Easter – especially now that Easter seems to be going the way of Christmas – being more secular than religious. I have not noticed such a take over of Passover or Yom Kippur. Easter is now more associated with bunnies, baby chicks, eggs and chocolate treats than a risen Savior. Easter egg hunts are more for the candy and possible treats and are done more by secular organizations than religious ones. Although I have never been sure why there were Easter egg hunts in the first place.
As we approach our celebration of Easter what is our emphasis? Do we read again the Passion Week narratives? Do we pause and remember the upper room, the journey to Calvary, the Cross and the Resurrection? Are we more concerned with our Easter dinner than with our worship?
Mark records the women coming to the tomb. They have one goal in mind, an act of love, to finish anointing the body of Jesus with burial spices. The Sabbath prevented them from doing it the day before, now as soon as it is “legal” – sunrise – they head for the tomb. Their concern is “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb?” (Mark 16:3 NIV) Resurrection is not on their minds—even though Jesus had taught about rising from the dead, they had not grasped the meaning or implications of his words.|
The disciples were still in hiding. Their hopes and dreams were dashed on Friday. They ran. They hid. They were not prepared for the ordeal. Peter has denied Christ. Their world is one of confusion, fear and apprehension. They were not thinking about resurrection but survival.
The women see the stone moved. They hear the words of the angel. They discover resurrection. They were not sure of the message but it is the message — He has risen. He is not here.
This is the Resurrection Sunday message – it is not bunnies, eggs, chocolate candy – it is God empowering our Salvation. It is God winning. It is God loving. It is our hope. May we reclaim that hope this Easter—for this is the right and proper perspective of Easter.