Easter’s coming, and I’ve been musing a bit about what emerges as central to the event. I queried my siblings about what they remember from our childhood Easter observances. Mostly, I’m sad to say, it’s about egg dying and egg hunts. The youngest, who is now a believer in Jesus, wrote that he remembers “Easter Egg hunts at the Crook park. They had little notes taped on that you then took to the AG store Kuskies ConocoPhillips, etc and traded in for candy.”
He also said, “I don’t remember once where the message of the crucifixion and resurrection were printed into my memory.”
I was in high school when I think the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus began to emerge as central to the story. I was a good interpretive reader, and about my junior year I had the privilege of reading the Easter story at our church’s sunrise service. The material provided was a collection of Peter Marshall’s sermons, The First Easter. Just reading his powerful account of Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the risen Jesus in the garden had an impact on me that would only come to fruit years later.
I don’t know that we have to completely ban the cultural stuff that has accrued around Easter, but it’s critical that we teach our children to distinguish between make-believe fluff and the wonderful reality of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
as they lowered the body
from the cross.
His rasping chortle
dogged every footstep to the tomb;
his mocking stabbed at every tear.
from Friday to Sunday,
his glee unconstrained—
But then the earth shook;
the graveclothes lay empty,
the stone rolled back.
The crucified one stepped forth
in flesh that could not see death again,
And Jesus laughed,
his mouth wide,
head flung back.
His joy pealed across the universe,
echoing from galaxy to galaxy—
wholesome, pure, triumphant—
the pain endured,
the battle finished,
his delight now unconstrained.
The risen Lord laughed,
and Satan weeps.