Easter is the biggie in our faith. Jesus rises from the dead and appears to Mary and then shows up a few more times to His old friends, but Easter is the big day. It is full of bright colors, dancing bunnies and pastel M&Ms. Sometimes we get new church clothes and go out to eat or visit family. It is an incredibly happy day.
Most likely, the word Easter
comes to us from Eostra
who was a fertility goddess. She had an entire month and often is represented by rabbits. Did you know rabbits can get pregnant with a second litter before having the first one?
Bunnies or rabbits do not appear in the Bible except for one verse. The rabbit is listed next to the rock-badger in a list of things not to eat. What do you think the holiday would be like if we had used the rock-badger instead of a fluffy bunny to celebrate Easter?
Is it possible to appreciate Easter fully if we haven't experienced Good Friday? Can you appreciate dancing if you haven't crawled through the muck?
Crucifixion is not a death by blood loss. It is a death by suffocation. Hanging by your hands puts enormous pressure on the lungs. It was not uncommon for soldiers to break the legs of those being crucified to hasten the process. It was important for Jesus to die in the worst way possible so His return would be all the more miraculous. What was the most horrific event of your life? What lessons came from it?
Crucifixion is a brutal way to die. Much of the art we see in Bibles and museums doesn't begin to touch on the violence of the death. Some make it seem more of an inconvenience. Jesus is still in His clean, white tunic looking none the worse for wear.
There is an image that makes the rounds at Christmas time. We see it on Christmas cards and posters (sometimes on those little porcelain statues found at Christian bookstores). The image shows Santa Clause with his hat off kneeling at the manger. What do you think would happen if someone tried to make a card showing the Easter Bunny at the resurrection cave? Why are there no Easter carols?
Take your favorite Christmas Carol and re-imagine it for Easter, keeping the tune but spinning the words so they talk about Jesus coming back.
What is your favorite Easter candy? Why? Do you have a favorite brand? What do you think about eating a chocolate cross? What about a chocolate Jesus? (Don't laugh. They exist
Although there is nothing in our church history that says jelly bean colors have any significance, take some time and write down what you think each color means. Bonus points if you can find a verse to go with each meaning.
Red, Yellow, Green, Purple, White, Orange, Black
Talk about your favorite Easter memory.
Think about the game of hunting Easter eggs. Did you color eggs when you were younger? Do you still? Did the Easter Bunny hide the eggs for you to find? How is life like an Easter egg hunt? How do we keep Easter from becoming a cheaper Christmas?