What does Easter really mean?
Was it David Jenkins, some time Bishop of Durham, who spoke about a “conjuring trick with a load of old bones”? I think he was not doubting the truth of Easter but suggesting that we have to look deeper and think harder about it to understand what it means for you and me today.
Chocolate is good, but Easter is about much more than eggs and the Easter Bunny (Where did the Easter Bunny come from?). But that egg symbolism is important, because it speaks to you and me of New Life; just as an egg, apparently ‘dead’, hatches into a living chick, so you and I can be transformed, transfigured into a new creation – into someone who really lives life to the full right now, and also has Eternal Life with God to look forward to.
Easter commemorates and celebrates Jesus’ Resurrection. Three days after he died on the Cross he rose to a new and changed kind of life. His Resurrection proved that death, the greatest enemy we have, was beaten; ultimately death will NOT have the last word, rather LIFE will, Eternal Life. What a Hope, what a Promise! There were plenty of witnesses, on a number of occasions to this resurrected new life – it wasn’t just a dream or a trick.
Is there a catch? Is there a cost? No. ALL those who believe and trust in God will receive this Free Gift of Eternal Life. Thankfully no denomination, no formal Church, knows exactly how this can possibly work, nor how it is that Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross wins this prize for you and me. But Jesus told his Disciples that he was going to heaven (wherever and whatever that is) to prepare a special place for them, and that when it was their turn he would come and fetch them and lead them ‘home’.
You and I live in a world that loves answers, and proof, and evidence, and certainty, and is sometimes too keen to dismiss as ‘fairy stories’ things that are not scientific or practical. But faith and trust in God and in His promise of Eternal Life have sustained and nurtured billions of believers over the years. It’s that Gift that I shall be celebrating at Easter this year. (But if you buy me an Easter Egg I shan’t complain!)