Chances are that this weekend you’ll be tucking into the overpriced, but oh so deliciously thin chocolate that is an Easter Egg. I’ve heard many people exclaim as I’ve grown older ‘but Easter egg chocolate is just SO good!!’ These calorific treats have been in the news recently because confectionery companies have this year removed the word ‘easter’ from their packaging.
So is there any reason for Christians to be upset? In all my years of reading the Bible I don’t recall an occurrence of the disciples tucking into a Cadbury’s egg (other chocolate brands are of course available) or hunting for eggs in the garden of Gethsemane. These might seem like ridiculous things to say, but Easter is NOT about chocolate!
So, what is it about? Easter is a time to recognise one of the most important events in our human history. The death, and resurrection of The man Jesus Christ. There is an awful lot of emphasis on his resurrection at this time of year, which is wonderful, the message of hope that the resurrection affords us cannot be underestimated. However, his death was also a beacon of hope for the world.
How it Happened
Good Friday is the day that Jesus died, most of us will be lucky enough to be off work and will no doubt enjoy a lie in and if the weather is good to us, a walk in the country of nearby park. Over two thousand years ago however, Jesus was on trial for being a bringer of good news, a healer and carer of those who society saw as outcasts. The elders of the Jewish synagogue saw him as threat and decided he must be dealt with. His death for them meant a rest from his constant scrutiny and disapproval.
For us, however, it was much more significant. Christs death meant that sin, our biggest burden, had been overcome. He had denied his selfish desires and lived a perfect life. Only for it to end in a painful death in order to allow us the opportunity of eternal life in his heavenly Fathers kingdom.
For Christ died for sins once and for all, a good man on behalf of sinners, in order to lead you to God
1 Peter 3v1
Christ remained dead in the tomb for 3 days, then came his glorious resurrection. He was raised because his life had been lived in perfect obedience to God. Death is the consequence of living a life in disobedience to God. Adam brought death into the world when he chose to eat of the forbidden tree. All of humankind are now subject to death.
Christ could not be held to this because he denied his human nature and lived a perfect life. He chose to die for us. Easter is the time we celebrate this more than usual, but as Christadelphians we do usually remember this every Sunday.
The fact that Christ was resurrected holds a huge amount of hope for Christians the world over. Although we can only do our best to live a perfect life, we will never achieve it. However, Jesus choosing to take the punishment of sin despite being sinless affords us the promise of the resurrection also.
The truth is that Christ has been raised from death, as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised
1 Cor 15v20
How will you celebrate?
So, although I hope you enjoy the crisp chocolate eggs adorning our supermarket shelves just now, I hope you will also take time to reflect on the man who suffered so much at this time of year to give YOU a hope.
Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading
1 Peter 1v3,4