When I was young, Easter was all about the bunny and the chocolate, of course. Then when I married into another family, it was all about being the first one to find the fifty-dollar note hidden inside the plastic egg–An Easter egg hunt for their adult children (I’m holding onto this idea for my own kids and their future partners).
Now that I’m older and have my own testimony, (A testimony is a spiritual witness of what you believe or know to be true D&C 80:4). I finally have the insight to sit and ponder on what Easter truly means to me…I am overwhelmed by love and it brings me to tears.
I know some of you who read this blog are not religious and my posts don’t usually tend to have a solely “religiousie” flavor to them but this one might…wink wink that’s my warning about reading further, but I still hope you do.
I’m a parent. Maybe you are one too or have a niece or a nephew–a child that’s close to you. Think about this for a minute…how would you feel about sending your child away to do something you know is too much to ask for? It has to be done, you can’t do it for them and only your child must do it alone. If this great act is not done, all of mankind will not be saved.
That is what Heavenly Father did to Jesus and the heavens wept because of it. On the day of the crucifixion. Jesus was whipped, spit on and nailed to the cross. HAMMER AND NAILED. When they nailed his hands, they thought it wouldn’t hold so they nailed him through each wrist. Death by crucifixion back then was the most lingering and most painful of all forms of execution. The victim lived in ever increasing torture, generally for many hours, sometimes for days and most of them were only tied up with rope.
But not Jesus. Hammered and nailed to the cross with a crown of thorns pushed hard upon His head. He bled from every pore. EVERY PORE! and it still wasn’t over. The soldiers sat mocking Him saying; “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him”. (Matt. 27:42) and one soldier made a sign that hung above his head with accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. (Matt. 27:37) To see if he was still alive after a time, he was stabbed in the side with a sword. He was still indeed alive.
The sun went silent for three days. His father upset? I think so. For three hours, THREE HOURS, the earth trembled leaving a massive mess; Mountains appeared where cities use to be. Buildings crumbled to the ground. The temple was destroyed. Graves uncovered and opened up–Dead bodies everywhere! If that’s not a sign the people did something wrong, I don’t know what is.
If you’ve never had the chance to read the story from the bible. Take the opportunity now. Click and read the story for yourself…(Matt. 27).
Jesus was perfect, kind and literally loved the whole world (still does). He only spoke the truth, “I am the king of the Jews–Son of God”, and they killed him for it. But it had to be. Our older brother carried out the infinite atonement. He never fought them, tried to explain himself or changed his words. Broken, bleeding, dying he said: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34).
Jesus in all his torture and agony died for all of our sins, including all the people that put him on the cross. The sins none of us had even committed yet. Heavenly Father and Jesus love us that much. He died for us so that we can be resurrected and go home to once we came from.
Right now the shops are full of pastel-colored eggs, flowers, and bunnies. That’s because Spring is about to take off in full bloom in the place that I came to full bloom in…and Easter totally matches Spring. Here in Australia, we are coming to the end of our good weather. March 1st marked the first day of Autumn (why they don’t do solstices here I will never understand?).
Here, we know Easter is close when the bakery’s start showcasing their yummy Hot Cross Buns. Except there is a bit of controversy about selling them out of season–like seeing Christmas decorations up before Halloween.
Spring is a time when most of nature’s babies are born and the hibernating animals wake up. I wake up. Winter is long and dreary but Spring welcomes new possibilities…new life. Spring is a symbol of rebirth. I miss my early morning rows on Albert Park Lake as the sun came up. The best was springtime seeing all the new ducklings following their mama duck around learning new things.
So why do we use associate eggs with Easter?
Eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus’ resurrection. Eggs are a forbidden food during Lent, making them a welcome return to the menu on Easter Day. Easter is a Christian festival. For Christians, the custom of giving eggs at Easter celebrates new life. Christians remember that Jesus, after dying on the cross, rose from the dead.
For three days…
For three days Jesus’ broken bloodstained body laid in a tomb behind a massive stone that blocked the way–nothing could get in or more importantly, nothing could get out. Jesus told them He would be resurrected in three days. They didn’t believe him but they were worried someone might steal his body in an attempt to trick them.
On the third day, an angel came and rolled away the stone.
Mary Magdalene and the other women had come early in the morning of the first day of the week with spices to prepare the body and found the stone rolled away. As they looked in, an angel told them He had risen. He told them to go to the disciples and tell them He had risen.
Mary found and told Peter and John. They came running. John, the younger, arrived first, looked into the tomb, but did not enter until after Peter had entered. The body was gone, but the linens were there, neatly folded. John and Peter then returned to their home. “For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” (John 20:9.)
“But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
“And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
“And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
“And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.” In a voice so familiar to her she could not mistake it, “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20:11–17.)
The other women who had come to the sepulcher had been told by the angel to go tell the disciples that He had risen. Jesus met them on their way, “saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.” (Matt. 28:9.)