As I grew up, my favorite thing about Easter was the Easter Bunny's baskets. My brother loved Cadbury Eggs, the other loved Reese's peanut butter cup eggs, and I just loved candy. There was something about the candy nestled in the neon green tinsel grass that made it that much better. So as I grew up, Easter was getting candy.
I began to realize that Easter also meant time with my entire family. We would eat a big meal of ham, cheesy potatoes, and Gma's deviled eggs. Then we would hide Easter eggs and hunt them down until we were so tired we couldn't hunt anymore. Easter was a big meal and fun.
I got a bit older and began to understand the reason for the season (oops, wrong holiday) I knew that Jesus came and gave his life, and I knew that meant a special service at church. There were more songs than usual and more people to look at during service. Therefore, Easter was a different order of service at church.
I've now began to realize that all of the above things are what most people think Easter is. When the world hears the word Easter, the first thing that comes to their mind are bunnies and eggs, not love and sacrifice. Not a brutal cross or a Heavenly Father's gift.
I'm reading a book by Beth Moore. The following is a paraphrase of then end of one chapter. She tells a story where her daughter turned to her and said, "He knows it's scary to be us." He does not take lightly that some of us were raised in a broken home. He does not take lightly that some of us have been mentally, physically, or sexually abused or simply abandoned. He does not take lightly that some of us have broken hearts or spirits. He does not take lightly that some of us have legs that don't work, bodies that don't cooperate, or eyes that can't see. He does not take lightly that some of us have had to endure the deaths of our parents, siblings or even, Lord help us, our children.
He knows it's scary being us. He came to earth. He lived life. He took it upon himself. Beaten and bloody hanging between two thieves He cries from the cross, "It is finished!" Because He did, one day God will wipe away every tear from the eyes of those who trusted Him, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will pass away and our hardship will be finished.
I have come to see that Easter is a reminder. A reminder of Christ's sacrifice. A reminder of God's love. A reminder of the Holy Spirit's guidance in our daily lives. A reminder that we are all sinners. A reminder that He knows me, and loves me in spite of it all.