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Just dropping by ... Symbols of Easter

Yevet Tenney Published on 31 March 2014

As the White House prepares for its famous Easter Egg Roll, the nation prepares to celebrate another holiday gone amiss. The stores bulge with chocolate bunnies, eggs and cellophane grass-filled baskets. There are lilies in flower shops and plenty of egg coloring kits in every supermarket and candies on every shelf.

Certainly, we can recite the meaning of the symbols of Easter. The eggs and bunnies mean new life. The cellophane grass and baskets remind us of the newness of spring. The bright eggs colored with the colors of the dawn make us think of a new morning and the resurrection.

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There are crosses and pageants, masses and special worship services around the world, but who really thinks about the Christ in the hubbub of celebration? We have a three-day or four-day weekend. We plan picnics and trips to the lake.

We bask in the new sunlight and hide Easter eggs for the kiddies to find. We have Easter egg rolls and lay wait for the Easter Bunny to see if he really brings the treats, and we teach our children to do the same.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Easter, and the celebration, but I wonder what we are building for the future when we spend more time talking about the Easter Bunny than we do about Christ, who rose from the tomb that long-ago Easter morning.

Do our children know Him? Will they be able to tell His story to future generations and carry on the traditions He made special by His life and teachings?

Will our children be able to wade through the pagan traditions of Christmas to find a Christ Child lying in a manger? Will they believe the story about the shepherds, the angels and the new star in the heavens when the truth about Santa Claus is told?

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Will they be able to reach into their pockets of plenty to remember the widow, the orphan and the prisoner? Will they be able to see past the “me, me, me” to “Love one another as I have loved you?”

Will our children be able to look to the miracles of Jesus and see Him working in their own lives? Will they know the story of the wedding feast where He turned the water into wine? Will our children see that He cares about every mundane detail of our lives?

He is interested in what we are interested in because He loves us. Jesus did not want the wedding to be destroyed because the wine was gone. He wanted the guests to be satisfied for His mother’s sake. Will our children understand that He loves them with a perfect love? He wants their happiness and He can, and is willing to, give what they desire if they just ask.

Will our little ones know more about the Easter Bunny than they know about a man who gave sight to the blind and cleansed the leper? Will they know that just as the blind man was given the glorious gift of sight, they can be given the glorious gift of insight? Jesus can heal the spiritual blindness that plagues us.

What is spiritual blindness? Spiritual blindness causes miracles to be invisible. We do not see the workings of God in our lives. We go blindly from one sin to another, thinking that unleashed hedonism will bring us true joy. Spiritual blindness allows us to grope in the darkness believing that “we are who we are and we can’t change.”

Will our children know that spiritual sight will open the wonderful worlds of possibilities that we never dreamed of? Just as the blind man’s eyes were opened to see the majesty and splendor of color in the world, we will see the glories of eternity in this life as well as in the world to come.

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Will the sweet furry Easter Bunny remind our children of the miracle of the 10 lepers who were healed by Jesus? Leprosy is a disease where people lose their ability to feel pain. Because they feel no pain, they can be burned or rats can chew off extremities, and they never feel it.

It was a terrible predicament for those who lived in ancient times because there was no cure. Jesus was able to take that disease away with a touch and a word, so He can with us.

Our world today is filled with spiritually leprous people. They are past feeling. They can destroy and hurt others without even a thought as to how the person they hurt must feel. They are oblivious to compassion and charity. Their hearts are hard with the “me, me, me” philosophy of the world. They are chained and led by the fetters of “What is in it for me?”

Just as Jesus healed the lepers, He can melt our hearts with His infinite mercy. He can give us new hearts. The nine lepers who walked away thinking of their own miracle, while only one turned back to give glory to God for His magnificent miracle.

The nine lost the second miracle that Jesus had to offer. He gave the grateful leper a new heart as well as a new body. Will our children be the nine who go heedlessly on without a backward glance of gratitude, or will they be the ones who receive the second miracle of new hearts because they glorified God?

Will our children, as they gorge themselves on the delectables of Easter, remember the boisterous sea and a tiny boat ready to be capsized into a watery grave? Will they remember the cry of the disciples shaking a sleeping Savior, “Carest thou not that we perish?”

Will our little ones see in their mind’s eye the Savior rising to stand in the boat and command the elements to “be still”? Will they recognize the “calm that settled over the sea”? Will they see the tiny boat mirrored in the placid water and think of the storms of life they must pass through?

Will they turn to the Savior for help and solace? Will they remember that Christ has the power over all things? With Him, “nothing is impossible.”

Will our children ponder the night that Peter walked on the water? Will they see the waves lapping at their own feet as they try to accomplish the impossible and sink into failure? Will they see and feel the Savior’s mighty arm reach down and lift them up to walk beside Him back to safety?

Will our children know Jesus as their friend and Savior? Will they know that He alone has power to help them through their darkest hours?

Will our children turn to the Savior as did Mary and Martha when their dear brother Lazarus died and know for certainty that Jesus is the “way the truth and the life” and whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life?

Will our children know that when a casket is lowered into the grave, it is not the final end? One day there will be a resurrection, and we will all rise to meet the Savior. We will embrace our loved ones and many tears of joy will flow as we fall into the arms of our Savior. Will our children know Him and trust Him?

Easter will come and go for many generations to come. There will be Easter Bunnies, colored eggs, Easter baskets and bonnets. There will be candy eggs and chocolate kisses. The White House will have the traditional Easter Egg Roll and the world will bulge with commercialism, but we can be different.

Let’s enjoy our holiday with our family. Somewhere in the busyness of the season, let us take time to teach our children about Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and Redeemer.

Let’s take Him out of the fanfare of Easter and put Him in His rightful place. Let’s build our own traditions and symbols of Easter. Let’s make sure those traditions include a walk through the Savior’s life so our little ones will find a friend for a lifetime who will never neglect or forsake them, even when we are deep in our final waiting place. PD

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