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Easter is this Sunday. I’ve been thinking about how much things have changed for this holiday. When my mom was growing up, they went to church on Easter Sunday in their best dresses, with lace socks and dress shoes. They spent the morning at church, celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus. Then they went home to eat a delicious homemade meal with their family.
Now you’re lucky to get everyone to church, not to mention dressed up! You might get everyone to go out to eat, but then you have to deal with cell phones and other distractions. Even the Easter Bunny has taken over and so many people have no clue what this day actually means.
The Easter Bunny and His Eggs
I honestly don’t know who came up with the Easter Bunny or why the heck he LAYS EGGS! It’s just kind of weird to me. Sure kids love getting candy and doing Easter egg hunts. But why a bunny? And why do they have to look so creepy?
My parents usually gave my sister and I an Easter basket with some goodies, but we knew what the real meaning of Easter was. I don’t ever remember going to see an Easter Bunny. And I’m pretty sure after I was like 6 or 7, I knew that the baskets came from my parents.
I think it’s ok to give your kids Easter eggs and visit the Easter Bunny. One idea that I love is using the Resurrection Eggs. They have little trinkets in the eggs that are symbols of the story of Christ. The set also comes with a booklet that tells the story and explains each symbol. I would have loved to have this as a kid!
The church that I grew up at had an amazing choir and drama program. Every year we had a production called Passion Play. There were others similar at other churches, but ours was one of the best. My parents were both in the choir. (My dad always played a disciple!)
My sister and I got to be in the first act of the play when we were in elementary school. When we got to middle school, they let us be in the second act. They didn’t want kids to be scared by what happened to Jesus in the second act. It was pretty gruesome because we had great makeup artists!
I’ll never forget my experiences being in Passion Play, but especially the year that I was a part of the crowd calling for Jesus’ crucifixion. One song we were crying out “Crucify him!” and the next we realized that He was the Son of God and we had to pretend to cry. Except that I wasn’t pretending. Seeing my Sunday School teacher (and friend), who was playing the part of Jesus, hanging on the cross covered in blood, with stripes on his back and a crown of thorns on his head was intense. At that moment, it was so much more real to me. My heart broke thinking about the Jesus that I love so much, going through so much pain.
He is Risen
Thankfully, God had everything planned out. Yes, Jesus had to go through immense pain and suffering, but just imagine how much He loves us! He died on the cross to save us from sin. Three days later He rose from the grave.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 NASB
The best part of the Passion Play was the finale. When Jesus came out of the tomb and then went to Heaven. The lights were bright as we sang one of my favorite songs, Arise. (the video below is not my church but similar to what we did) We were all dressed in white to portray the angels. It was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life. I am so excited to get to Heaven to see my Jesus!
“Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven.” – Psalm 148:13