I have to admit; I put off Easter as long as possible. Back when we first got married, Trish and I decided that the focus of Easter would be nothing more than the resurrection of Christ. There would be no bunnies, no eggs, no Easter grass, no marshmallow peeps and no chocolate eggs (ok…maybe some chocolate eggs).
Then we actually had kids—Megan to be exact. When she was two years old, Megan came home from the sitter’s with stories about eggs and bunnies and all manner of strange things that she didn’t quite understand. I finally decided that if we were creative enough about it we might be able to focus on God’s gift through Christ as well as have some fun with a dozen eggs and some cheap dye. All in all, it worked out very well.
Megan “helped” by supervising that year. She carefully watched as I dipped each egg in a different color—calling each color by its correct name. She kept an eye on them while they dried and then carefully helped me place each egg in the basket we had bought. For the next couple of days she watched those eggs like a mother hen, not really with a sense of expectation but a sense of pride for what she had helped accomplish.
Easter Sunday came and we were busy with church and family dinner and all manner of activities. When we finally got back home I saw that the kitchen needed to be cleaned up so I started stacking dishes, putting away the clean ones and getting the dirty ones ready to be washed. The Easter basket, still full of eggs, had been left on the kitchen table, so I carefully placed it on the counter out of my way—or so I thought.
That’s when it happened. After putting away several clean dishes I turned to my side, bumped the basket with my elbow and knocked it to the floor. The eggs hit with a dozen dull “thuds.” Every one of them was cracked, broken, ruined.
I’m still convinced that under better circumstances I could have fixed them. I’m pretty good with tape and Superglue. Maybe some White-Out and colored markers would do it. Unfortunately Megan was standing right there when they hit. She saw the whole thing. There was no way to hide my mistake.
That’s when a two year old taught me about Easter. I expected tears, I expected screams and I expected loud accusations that would lead to expensive hours on a therapist’s couch for years to come. Instead, she looked up at me and said, “It’s ok, Daddy.”
And something deep inside me said, “That’s Easter.” We’ve made a mess of our lives. We’re broken beyond repair—no amount of tape and glue can put it back together. What’s worse is we did it all right in front of God’s eyes. He saw the whole thing, there’s no way to hide it. He could yell, he could scream, he could wipe us out in a heartbeat for the mess we’ve made, but instead he sent his son to bear our mistakes and sins on the cross. The death he died is the death we deserved, but Easter is there to remind us “it’s ok.”
The penalty has been paid, the mess has been cleaned up, and Jesus Christ has risen!
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.1 Peter 1:18-23