Wednesday, April 27, 2011
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” –Eph. 2:8
I love Easter for a lot’s of reasons. I have to admit that way up there near the top of my list is the candy. I confess that I’m a recovering chocolaholic. I go to C.A. meetings every week (you can figure it out). The regular chocolate bunnies are awesome and the marshmallow filled chocolate bunnies are even better. But at the very, very top of the reasons I love Easter is the yearly realization of renewal. Easter is always a reminder to me of God’s loving grace. Be sure you remind your kids about the significance of Easter this week. Even after the event is over, remind them that the reality of Easter lasts all year long.
Chocolate is great, but the reality of God sending His Son to die so that He might have renewed fellowship with mankind is a bit bigger. The reality of Jesus’ willingness to die for my sin and His victory over death is definitely higher on the list than sweets and Easter bunnies, right?
But the Easter traditions may not be as irrelevant as they might seem. Rather than fight against the candy, baskets and bunnies, use them as object lessons of truth with your kids.
The best part about the candy is that it’s unexpected and free. For no particular reason, the basket appears on Easter morning filled with all kinds of treats. And it’s there for only one reason: to be enjoyed.
Some families and churches even have an Easter egg hunt. There, we have to search and find the eggs, but the candy inside is ours if we find it.
God’s grace is like that candy in the morning basket. God provides salvation for us on the condition of faith only. The gift is simply there and available for us. Yep, it’s free for us but somebody paid for that candy. And if it’s the Swiss Cadbury kind of candy, it cost a lot! God’s grace is like that too. It’s free but it costs God so much. We think “Yeah, but He’s God. What could possibly bother him?” Sending His only Son to die for us costs Him a ton.
And I don't have to earn the candy. The Easter egg hunts are fun, but we don't have to earn God’s gift of grace to us. It’s freely given to us, if we’ll accept it by faith.
The Easter eggs are a reminder to us of the newness of life. Eggs represent a new life given. Jesus died a horrible death on the cross, but as Easter reminds us, three days later he rose from that death to life and now sits at the right hand of the Father. His new life provided the opportunity for us to experience new life.
Easter next year, 2012, will be on April 8th, two weeks earlier than this year. Here’s why: In 725, Bede succinctly wrote, "The Sunday following the full Moon which falls on or after the equinox will give the lawful Easter." I don't really understand all of that, but I do know that 2000 years ago, Easter happened. And it will happen again.
And I know that every day we can experience the fruit of God’s grace.
Eat that chocolate and with every bite, be thankful for God’s gift of grace.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©