On the day before Easter in 2012 I snapped this picture in my local grocery store. The imposing, inflated bunny surrounded by candy eggs seemed a good symbol of the secular holiday and retailers’ efforts to cash in on it.
Not that I’m criticizing. I eat my share of chocolate eggs every year around this time. And every spring our house is decorated with Easter baskets and jellybeans—and a few of our own stuffed bunnies.
But Easter, like Christmas, can get lost in the trappings if we don’t pause to meditate on the profound reasons for our celebration. I’ve decided Easter worship and meditation for me this year should include more than showing up for an unusually crowded church service on Easter Sunday morning.
So I’ve done a little exercise that some readers might find helpful, too. I’ve devised a way intentionally to focus on Jesus this week before Easter.
“Jesus is the Reason for the Season” is the slogan for coffee mugs and greeting cards at Christmastime. Here’s my effort to remind myself that he is the only reason for this holiday too. In fact, he’s the Christian’s best reason to celebrate anytime.
Among many we could list, here are five reasons to celebrate Jesus, especially as we focus on the facts we’ll remember on Good Friday and Easter morning. I’ve listed a Scripture for each heading. (I could have found many for each of them.) I’m reading them, and will choose at least one or two to memorize, this week.
Maybe my exercise can help enrich your Easter celebration too. Think of all we celebrate about Jesus, especially at Easter. He’s our . . .
Savior. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Substitute. “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).
Sacrifice. “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).
Sin bearer. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Source of hope. “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. . . . For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:20, 22).