Next Tuesday marks the first day of spring! Already the daffodils are blooming, the crocuses are purpling the landscape and the flowering plums are lining our street. The arrival of spring, marking the beginning of warmer days and summer flowers, makes me want to sing.
As my children were growing up, we would celebrate the first day of spring by hunting chocolate eggs in the yard. We’d pretend that a spring robin had chosen to leave the candy with us for safe keeping. We would then head to the kitchen to color real eggs for an endless supply of egg salad sandwiches the next two weeks.
By separating the fun of activities associated with spring—eggs, bunnies, birds and nests—from the miracle of Easter, I hoped my children would grow up understanding the sacrifice that had been made for them at Calvary. When His claim as the Messiah was rejected by his people, the Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross to die on the eve of Passover. He rose alive the third day after in order to give all mankind a guaranteed plan for heaven. I didn’t want my children to grow up missing all that Easter means shrouded in a manmade sugar high.
It amazes me how our culture works so hard to mask the truth of Easter by masquerading bunnies as egg layers, chicks as chocolate, and jelly beans as bird eggs. Had a rabbit been nailed to a cross, its paws bloody from the nails that pierced them and the wood stained by the loss of life, I am certain that the outcry from the inhumane treatment of an animal would have made national news. The Humane Society would have marked the day as a national holiday to remind us of the cruelty and proclaimed Peter the rabbit as their mascot.
Should Jesus have any less acclaim?
Scripture tells us that the veil in the temple was torn in two at the moment that Jesus breathed His last breath. Matthew 27:50-51“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”
How many of the Sanhedrin realized at that moment what they had done? How many went to their graves knowing they had killed God’s anointed? Did they ever know that their actions were part of God’s plan of providing a way to heaven for everyone, even a Gentile like me?
Enjoy your first day of spring. And for those of you who have been blessed with the warmth of sun, would you please tell it to come to the Northwest? The snow and rain are getting old.