Did you see the gigantic, human sized Easter bunny hopping around Lisvane last week? It was caught on camera, but it was tough to get a close up! Thankfully it left lots of chocolate deposits behind and all it cost was a simple carrot to keep it happy. I’m glad it’s not that straight forward in the supermarkets, ‘excuse me, can I swap this carrot for some chocolate?’ – there would be no end of public health warnings. But what does the long eared, fluffy hare have to do with the Christian celebration of Easter? And I’m not complaining, but what do chocolate eggs have to do with it? The history books (and the popular internet search engine) tells us that the Easter bunny was introduced in the 1700’s by some German visitors in America. Children would build large nests ready for the egg laying bunny called ‘Osterhase’. So what came first the rabbit or the egg? The Egg! As far as the Easter egg is concerned it was introduced back in the 14thcentury where people would paint and decorate their normal chicken laid eggs, whereas in the later years it changed from being a decorative craft session to a mouth-watering, weight bearing treat – or known in Slimming World as ‘many syns’.
Although rabbits and eggs are not found in the Bible, the connection does resemble what is at the heart of the Christian message. Eggs hold within the shell the beginning of life and rabbits are well known for the speed and frequency at which they created new life. Life – New Life! Why is this at the heart of the Christian message? The Bible tells us: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
When Jesus came into the world He did many amazing things, but His primary reason was to make a way for humankind to have a relationship with God once again.
Back in the very beginning – we all know the account of Adam and Eve, they began life with God, walked the garden together – shared together, but something terrible happened and from that moment onwards there was a tragic separation. The separation was caused by disobeying God – they ate the forbidden fruit. God said don’t and they did it anyway! From that moment onwards, all through the generations our relationship with God was severed and we are completely helpless to repair it. Nothing we can do: doesn’t matter how good we think we are; no amount of good deeds can fix it; there aren’t weighing scales hoping that our good will outweigh our bad. Totally severed – completely separated. BUT this is where the message of Easter becomes a beacon of hope for everyone. Only someone who was perfect, only someone who is without sin, only Jesus could restore that which we lost, but it came at a hefty cost. The price for the wrongdoing we inherited and even the things we do wrong today, someone still had to pay it and Jesus paid the price with His life. Jesus going to the cross was the only way it could be paid and He did and He died. BUT – here comes the Hope we’ve all been waiting for – three days later He rose from the grave! He overcame death – He conquered the grave! And he did it for us, because we couldn’t. So when we hear the famous Bible text For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life, we can say to ourselves, we can have this life all because Jesus died and rose again and paid the price that we couldn’t. He restored our relationship with Him, He dealt with the problem on our behalf. He made a way where there was none. And all we have to do is accept it. As simple as that – Jesus endured the cruel Roman execution and all we have to do is believe it, accept it allow it to transform our lives completely. Believe, receive and become a child of God. So when you catch a glimpse of the Easter bunny or finish off those delicious chocolate eggs, remember these words of Jesus: ‘I am the way the truth and the life, no-one comes to the Father except through me’.
Every blessing this Easter