If you asked a 100 people the question, “What does Easter mean to you?” the response would be as colourful as the contents of a packet of M&Ms. The answers would most definitely feature statements such as: “I get to eat a lot of Easter eggs”; “I get double pay at work because it’s a bank holiday,” as well as the converse, “I get an extra day of rest away from work”.
The honest truth is that when we look at the society we live in today, it is evident that the essence (basic, real and invariable meaning) of Easter is lost on Christians and non-Christians alike. The meaning of Easter has been replaced, it seems, with traditions, culture and dare I say, religion.
‘It brings back memories of Palm Tree Crosses’
To me, Easter brings back memories of the makings of the foundation of my faith, my introduction to all things God, to religion and to my culture.
Growing up in Africa, the Easter period was taken as seriously as Christmas. I remember observing Good Friday by not eating meat. I remember going to church on Palm Sunday with the whole town or village; all carrying palm tree crosses as they walked the streets, commemorating the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, five days before His crucifixion. I remember Easter Sunday church services, dancing from nine in the morning till three in the afternoon. I remember that I did not fully understand the ramification of what Easter was, but I knew it was a great thing that Jesus Christ died for me and gave me a new life by washing away my sins.
Now that I am older, by the grace of God, I am empowered with more understanding of what Easter is all about. Easter to me is about the sacrifice that God made by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on Good Friday and resurrect (rise again, conquering death and the grave) on Easter Sunday, thereby giving me eternal life. It signifies the moment in time when Jesus Christ changed my course from hell towards heaven, reconciling me back to God.
It is also a time of being thankful for how and where I grew up. I could have been brought up differently, to worship idols or the elements and everything else but God. Instead God saw it fit to bless me with parents who did their best to set me off on a road that led to God! I am forever grateful for that.
Easter is a time when I am reminded and challenged to go outside myself and my comfort zone, taking the opportunity of the season to win souls for Jesus Christ. Yes, it is now and should always be part of my daily life. However, there is something about Easter time that softens the heart of men, and makes them more responsive to the introduction Ans acceptance of the King of kings, Jesus Christ.
Easter is NOT about religion, traditions, culture or Easter eggs. It is about believing in Jesus Christ, who He is, and what He has done for us all, and accepting Him as our Lord and Saviour and having an ever increasing relationship with Him. Most importantly, Easter to me is about HOPE.
As writer Mart De Hann states, “No other event in human history is more significant. No other event is so full of immediate hope and ultimate victory for the saints in Christ Jesus.”
I encourage you to reach out to those around you and spread the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Tell them about the One who has already paid the price of our sins IN FULL, with His blood. I encourage you to tell them about the true meaning of this season; making our soon-coming King famous along your way.
Happy Easter beautiful people!
Much Love, God’s and mine.
Palm Tree Crosses
The smell of fresh leaves filled the air
crafted, strewn across the floor.
Stuck to rusty walls they were,
they hung as bold statements on our very front door.
A representation of life and its meaning,
I cradled mine proudly, yet ever so tenderly
as I walked towards the vibrant church building.
The church, a place alive with much singing and dancing,
where we would dance in our colourful clothing till evening
In wonder my thoughts turned to what this Man
who my ma’ calls the ‘one true God’, had done
to make us brand new and become reborn.
I mused over the sacrifice He gave, His one and only true Son.