Growing up as a child I didn’t understand the spiritual significance of Easter, nor did I understand the role of Jesus Christ and how the story of Jesus is the story of Easter. As a child properly understanding how Easter egg hunting, special musical church cantatas and sunrise services all were connected was not exactly easy.
One element of Easter I did understand was that I would be accompanying my mother for a day of shopping and trying on clothing. My mother’s mission was the perfect “Easter outfit,” as for my mission, I cannot remember ever having one. My mission if anything was to do what my mother said, to put on each outfit she picked out and to “stand up straight.” I am confident that there are many reading this column that can remember hearing those type of words from your mother too.
Reflecting on the meaning of Easter has been a lifelong journey. I suspect it would be nice to point to a specific time and place and write that I understood it clearly at this moment in time, but that is not the case. It has been an ever evolving understanding and even now I am still learning and growing in what Easter means to me.
As a teenager I had the unique musical experience of singing the baritone solo role with the Orchestra of the Cumberland’s and a full SATB chorus for a solemn production of The Seven Last Words of Christ.
Preparing for this role was not only challenging musically, but emotionally. Attempting to put your mind in that place, the place of the crucifixion and to focus on His words uttered on the cross is a challenge for any Christian at any age.
For me, this experience would be an asset in helping me tap into my personal connection with Easter.
Another experience that left a lasting impression on my spiritual growth and heightened sense of understanding of Easter was a visit to the Holy Land. This trip included a musical performance at the Garden Tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea.
Joseph gave his personal burial plot to the Disciples and the family of Jesus at the request of Nicodemus and others. He did this so Jesus could be properly buried in accordance with religious traditions and customs. Little did they understand at that time that Jesus would only be inside the grave for three days, and then He would rise again, just as He had predicted.
If you have or had questions about the meaning of Easter and the story of Jesus Christ you join a group of many who have attempted to understand His death, burial and resurrection. I want to write that I am squared away with all my questions now, but that is not the case.
I still question His love. After all, saying you ‘love me’ is one thing, and laying down your life and dying for me is something else. It is hard to figure out so we ask a question like why? The only answer I have is because that was the Father’s plan, and Jesus was obedient, obedient to the point of even death. This is difficult to put a mind around because we are use to witnessing selfishness. Who gives up everything for someone like me?
This is the question I still ask, especially when I know I have failed Him in actions and words. Rusty Goodman pinned the thought perfectly in the song “Who Am I that a King would bled and die for.”
This Easter my phone hasn’t rang (yet) with my mother informing me of a shopping trip to pick out my 2014 “Easter Outfit.”
Growing up when my mother and father organized our family Easter egg hunt, as the youngest child, I always had the benefit of assistance. One of my parents would stand next to an egg or point out where a prize egg was to help me in my find.
As I continue to grow in understanding the meaning of Easter, I realize that my parents and others have been helpful in my personal journey of realizing that Easter is all about Jesus, and still difficult to understand is that Jesus was all about me and you.
Jesus is Easter and His focus was totally on us. Jesus is offering us assistance this Easter. He wants to help us find the ultimate prize egg. Forgiveness of our sins and eternal life.