As a Christian, Easter is one of the most reverential times of the year in my faith. While at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus, Easter is the time that we remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us by dying for our sins and giving himself as the ultimate sacrifice on the cross so that believers would no longer have to die an eternal death but could live forever in heaven with Him.
To those who don’t believe, that might seem like a lot to take in. I must admit that even as a believer, sometimes it is hard for me to wrap my head around it myself. But the real Easter celebration lies not in the death of Jesus, but in His resurrection. It is that act that gives believers joy and hope that death is not the final act for us. It gives us “power over the grave”, so to speak. Just as Jesus rose from the dead, so one day will we.
From the youngest age I can remember, we have always celebrated Easter as a family. We all go to the same small country church and there we have always had sunrise services and Easter celebrations. Then as a child we would either go to my aunt’s house or to my grandmother’s house, and after lunch my sister and I would have Easter Egg Hunts in the backyard.
As I have grown older, the location of Easter dinner has moved from time to time, and the Easter Egg Hunts have happened for my daughters instead of for my sister and me. Now we’re the ones hiding the eggs instead of finding them. The Easter Bunny always visits my girls, and much excitement ensues as they open the treasures he leaves for them.
Easter has become bittersweet over the past several years for me. The year my youngest daughter was born, she was two weeks old on Easter, and church that morning was to be her “debut”. That was the nastiest, rainiest Easter I can ever remember. We got the call right before leaving that morning that my husband’s grandfather had passed away, and then just a little while later that morning I found out my father was in the hospital with congestive heart failure. We made it through that Easter, but since then there has been a bit of sadness in the holiday for me. I am still so thankful for what it means, but the holiday itself is a bit tough to get through. That has especially been the case the past two years since my grandmother passed away. It’s always tough around the holidays, and Easter is no exception. When your family is as small as mine is, looking around the table it’s hard not to notice the empty chair where she used to sit.
I guess even though the holiday itself has become sad for me, it is the hope and the joy represented by the holiday that keeps me going. Knowing that I will one day see my grandparents again in heaven is something that fills me with joy, and that is the gift that Jesus gave to us so long ago when He arose. Happy Easter everyone…remember that Jesus is the reason we celebrate, not the Easter Bunny!