by Trey Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Imagine a cute, fluffy bunny strung out on a wood stake with little thorns pounded in his little bunny paws. Other bunnies are spitting on him and mocking him. They made a crown from a briar patch and placed it on his little head. You got that running through your mind?
Okay, so my post title is a little strong and the example is somewhat silly, if not disturbing. It more than likely got your attention, though. There’s always a danger in having a sensational, over-the-top, attention-getting title like this for a post, but I think it keeps in message with my theme here. Read on, and you’ll understand where I’m going with this.
For each of the two major religious holidays, I see people swept up in the commercialization of it all rather than the true intent. It’s not just them either, it’s me too. Friend, let me tell you – Jesus is the reason for the season – whether Christmas or Easter! Now, I’m no Scrooge, bunny-basher or egg beater. I love the holiday fun and festivities, just not at the expense of putting it before what is more important.
What Jesus did – was for all of us. It was the ultimate sacrifice. And this ultimate sacrifice was not repentance, but redemption. He suffered and died so our sins may be forgiven. This wasn’t a minor suffering, like an infected splinter or shampoo in the eyes. We’re talking a gruesome, painful and humiliating experience. But it was an experience that served a purpose. After all, Jesus became human so he could die. This can be a difficult concept to grasp, but it’s the crown, so to speak, of our Christianity. While I can’t give full justice to what this truly means in a short post, I can provide a few examples of why this is important to us all. Take a look:
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Matthew 20:28
…for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. – Matthew 26:28
When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. – Isaiah 53:11
Each of these verses have a similarity to them. “To give his life as a ransom for many.” “As a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.” “My righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.” That’s right. Jesus was crucified for the many, not the few. Crucifixion was a brutal form of death. It was demeaning and was used to deter others from committing the same “crime.” Jesus subsequently went through what he did knowing he would be satisfied with the results – the salvation of many.
Jesus did this, not the Easter Bunny. He was the one who was crucified, died, buried, descended into hell, and rose on the third day only to ascend into heaven and sit at the right hand of the Father – for us all! So, to come full-circle with the point I started – the bunny didn’t do any of this. For all the hoopla the bunny gets – pastel eggs, fake plastic grass, Cadbury chocolates and Peeps in the basket – where’s the marketable love for Jesus? You don’t commonly see a chocolate Jesus in kid’s Easter baskets… Anyway, let’s not crucify the bunny, but rather kill where we place a greater effort on this holy of holidays. Let’s celebrate our Savior. Keep in mind what Jesus did for us all the time, not just in Sunday service.
With that said, Happy Easter everyone!