Looking out my window today I’m pondering Easter, which is very early this year. This week we observe Maundy Thursday, when Jesus met with His disciples in the Upper Room, Good Friday and then Easter Sunday when churches declare “He is Risen!” In the Cobourg community the Christian Network of Churches will gather at The Best Western in Cobourg for the annual Good Friday Community Service. There are three Good Friday services this year – 8:30am, 10:00am and 11:30am. Then on Sunday there’s a 7am Easter Sunrise Service at the Gazebo in Victoria Park.
What does Easter mean to you? I remember as a kid it was a time when new clothes were purchased for church. New suits for little boys and of course new dresses and Easter bonnets for little girls! When Easter Sunday arrived we rose early in the morning searching the house for eggs and we always found a chocolate bunny at the breakfast table sitting in our cereal bowl. My most recent memory of Easter is from a few years ago while working at a radio station just outside of Rochester, New York. Every year we held an Annual Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by the radio station. We’d fill hundreds of eggs with little goodies and hundreds of kids showed up for the hunt! We would always tell people to arrive early as the Egg Hunt started at 10am and it was usually done around 10:01:30 as the kids ran around the park area snatching up the goodies.
What does Easter mean to you? Is it just another day on the calendar? Is it a time of Easter Eggs and chocolate Easter Bunnies? Is it a time to reconnect with church? For some it’s simply a matter of trying to balance the contrasts of Palm Sunday and the Triumphal Entry, with the darkness of Good Friday and then the joy of Easter Sunday. The recent release of the movie Risen created a little bit of a stir as at times the movie is rather graphic. But then again, the crucifixion of Jesus was a graphic event. The story line follows a Roman soldier who’s instructed to search for the missing body of Jesus Christ when the tomb was discovered empty. What do you do with an empty tomb? The movie depicts the tomb as not only guarded by soldiers, but firmly secured with ropes tied around the stone so no one could move it. But on the third day, He rose from the dead.
How do we share the Easter story with children, since it is rather graphic. A few years ago I came across an article describing Resurrection Eggs as a great kids event. It’s kind of like an Advent Calendar, only using 12 plastic eggs. Each egg represents a different part of the Easter story with something different in the egg providing a starting point for discussion.
- Bread-Crouton: Matthew 26:26 – The Last Supper in the Upper Room.
- Coins: Matthew 26:14-15 – Judas receiving 30 silver coins.
- Purple Cloth: Mark 15:17 – Purple robe put on Jesus.
- Thorns or Toothpick: Mark 27:29 – The Crown of Thorns.
- Small Piece of Rope: Mark 15:15 – A whip.
- Cross: John 19:17-18 – The Cross.
- Nails: John 20:25b – Thomas saying “Unless I see the scars, I won’t believe”.
- Sign: Luke 23:38 – The sign placed above Jesus saying “This is the King of the Jews”.
- Sponge: Matthew 27:48 – The sponge filled with vinegar and offered to Jesus.
- Spear: John 19:34 – One of the soldiers speared Jesus.
- Rock: Matthew 27:59-60 – The stone placed in front of the tomb.
- Empty: Matthew 28:6 – The tomb is empty and Jesus is risen!
Easter – a time to reflect on our lives and remember that no matter what we’ve done in the past, Jesus has paid the price in full on the Cross. The tomb is empty, and He has Risen!
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.