Today is Easter Eve, though I’ve never heard it called such a thing, and I’m finding myself on a sweet stroll down memory lane. Won’t you join me?
What characterized the Easters of your childhood? What made this cherished church holiday special for you? A brand new outfit? Waking up to an Easter basket brimming with goodies? A sunrise service or Sunday afternoon feast with your family, close and extended? A city-wide egg hunt ablaze in color and chaos? Day-by-day deconstructing a Resurrection egg set to examine tiny symbols that represented the life of Christ?
With a big grin and a bit of horror, I recall the coordinating pastel dresses my sister and I wore when I was about four, complete with crunchy crinoline skirts, white bowler hats, and shiny patent leather shoes. “Fancy” is relative, yes? I also remember being a beast when it came to hunting for Easter eggs. Never was I more fierce or competitive than when a contest for most eggs found or a golden egg was at stake. It was in your best interest not to get in my way because you just might come face to face with a 35-pound steamroller determined to win a prize.
Are your earliest Easter memories similar or something entirely different?
Fast forward many years to when I became a mother with three children of my own. It never occurred to me until right now how closely the practices of my own childhood inspired Easter traditions for our family. New, coordinating outfits for our daughter and two sons; maybe not crinoline for Rachel, but all three matchy-matchy (until I finally learned that didn’t actually have to be a thing). Baskets filled and waiting right outside their bedroom doors. Attending church somewhere, wherever we happened to be that morning. A glorious lunch with our extended family (or friends when we had to be apart), anchored by glazed ham, potato salad, deviled eggs, and way too many sweets. And an egg hunt — always an egg hunt — except now my competitive beast mode for finding the prized or most eggs was proffered for my babies.
Memories are golden when they connect our present to happy or special moments from our past, aren’t they? While it’s unhealthy to live in the past or to become stuck in a rut of longing for the “good ol’ days,” telling and re-telling the stories of our lives can build unity, familiarity, and identity among family members. These are good things.
Easter traditions, in terms of norm and practice, vary from family to family, church to church, denomination to denomination, and even culture to culture. How we commemorate this holy holiday doesn’t matter a bit, but why we celebrate Easter is essential. Jesus, Holy God wrapped in human flesh, lived a perfect life, and in doing so, was able to offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sins by surrendering Himself to the brutality of the cross, atoning for each sin and redeeming our lives with His precious blood. And then, in news too good to be true (but nonetheless true), He conquered death, rose again, and according to Acts 1:3, ” . . . presented himself alive to [the apostles he had chosen] by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.”
Beyond the four gospel accounts of Jesus’ resurrection, Paul tells us that He “appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time” (1 Corinthians 15:6 CSB). Paul supported the veracity of such a startling claim, dispelling any notion it was some fairytale conjured by the apostles. Jesus had risen, and He was wise and faithful to show Himself to many.
We celebrate Easter because it is a powerful, remarkable, beautiful true story and because God alone is worthy of our praise, adoration, and worship.
Jesus spent three years in ministry, revealing truth by the way He lived and loved. I have to smile in appreciation of how He lived out this quote, long before any philosopher, preacher, or teacher gave us a model about how to deliver a memorable speech:
First tell them what you’re going to tell them, then tell them.
And then tell them that you’ve told them.
– Author Unknown
Except His was a memorable life. Hallowed Scripture foreshadowed the coming of Christ and hinted about God’s plan for redemption (tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em). Then, Jesus came to earth and lived as a man so we might know God, and in light of that, how to live (tell them). And after His resurrection, He spent His last days on earth reminding His followers of what He had already told them, equipping them for ministry and enabling them to understand the mystery of what had escaped them prior to His death (tell ’em what you’ve told ’em).
The powerful truth about Easter is Jesus’ victory over sin and death.
The remarkable truth about Easter is Jesus’ complete obedience to God and His willingness not only to pay the price for our sin, but also to offer forgiveness and new life to those who follow Him.
The beautiful truth about Easter is that Jesus always delivers what He promises, He loves us no matter what, and in the closing pages of Matthew, He offers us the hope we’ll need when we’re prone to doubt or forget:
“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20b (CSB)
Take a moment to share a special Easter memory (from childhood or more recent), or better yet, share a powerful, remarkable, or beautiful Easter truth the Lord has revealed to you!
The beautiful truth about Easter is that Jesus always delivers what He promises and He loves us no matter what. -@robindance: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
My truth about about Easter and Christmas go together as they are the best stories in the Bible about Jesus. The Best things God ever did for us. The best present he could ever give us his son Jesus being born as baby in a manager. God choose for him to be born that way with no fancy Aires or Graces. Just a humbled way too show he is just human like me and you. He didn’t need any fancy place to be born. Then the stories doesn’t end there the Easter story came to go along to with the Christmas story. Jesus went on to show his love to the world yet again. By going to the Cross for this world. What greater love could we ask for in these two stories. I say Amen too that. Love Dawn xxx thank you for excellent reading also.
Robin Dance says
Truly, the miracles embodied in God’s incarnation, and then his life and death unto resurrection, are the best true stories we’ve received and get to re-tell. The manger, the cross, and best of all, an empty tomb! Death could not hold him…to God be the glory!
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
So true Death could not hold the Savior of the world. When you look at the empty tomb. As you say Robin. Everyone commits are brilliant about Jesus. Jesus what a brilliant name. What wonderful love he had for us mankind. You know what one day he is coming back again. One day as it says in his word I just love this also. Every knee bow and claim Jesus is Lord. What more can we say about that. Love Dawn xxx
Anastasia Corbin says
Thank you for sharing this! So thankful for the truth that Jesus always delivers on His promises. Happy Easter everyone!
Robin Dance says
Happy Easter, Anastasia! Thank YOU for reading and commenting :).
Michele Morin says
For me, Easter always points to the paradoxical truths of great power yielded up with great humility in order to secure our great salvation. Even this week, coming screeching into Good Friday from a family vacation and feeling as if I’m clueless and behind, I’m finding my way into celebration with the remarkable realization that Christ’s death and resurrection are not only gifts in themselves, but also prelude to a greater gift– amazing grace and eternal life!
Easter blessings to you, Robin!
Robin Dance says
What a beautiful remembrance, Michele…good gifts yielding to even greater gifts. If only we always remembered! Blessings to you, friend <3.
My Easter truth is that I know Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me everyday. He loves me in and out of season, Jesus loves me and he loves you to
Robin Dance says
Simple…profound…Truth. Yes and amen!
Jeannie Waters says
Robin, your descriptions of childhood Easters remind me of mine. Your explanation of why we celebrate is powerful.
I remember my childhood’s Easters of finding eggs, lunch with my extended and family. This year is a little different since I am an adult; there is no egg hunt for me and my extended family is in different cities, this year. I get to keep one tradition of going to my church’s Sunrise service with my dad.
Dawn Camp says
One year I won a bicycle in an Easter egg hunting contest in a local shopping mall parking lot. It was a boys’ bike, but they traded it for a girls’. I was barely old enough to be in the older group of kids (maybe 5 years old?) and people felt sorry for me because I was little and only found about three eggs. But I found the one!
Thank-you for sharing these touching, beautiful words this morning. You have expressed so clearly Jesus’s love, patience, and kindness.That’s what I felt last Easter during my son’s stay at the hospital as he had his young life renewed. It’s an Easter I will forever be grateful to God for.
I hope that you all have a blessed day and Easter
Beth Williams says
I don’t have many memories of Easters past-except for singing cantatas with the older people in choir. My family has always lived in separate states. It was usually mom, dad & I. Now our church is having a “SON” rise service at 9am with breakfast to follow. Then we will hear the cantata the choir & youth have worked on. Then it’s over to my pastor’s house for dinner. My sweet hubby works weekends. I will get some food for him. The fellowship will be nice. Easter is more than just a celebration. It is a new life given to us by our Savior. He left the splendor of Heaven to come down & live in the messy middle between two Edens. He chose to bear ALL the pain unto the cross. Best part “He’s Alive & we’re forgiven-Heavens gates are open wide!! Praising God for a precious gift of grace, mercy & a NEW HOME in Heaven with Jesus!!
Susan G. says
Thanks for this Robin! I find it comforting that He never changes…He is the same “yesterday, today and forever”. And equally as comforting, now that I’m getting older ;), that He is with me even “to the end of the age”.
Happy Resurrection Day!
He is Risen!
Thank you for sharing your Easter traditions. I too had pastel dresses and I still love the idea of cute dresses for girls. Comfortable cute dresses 🙂 Growing up, “King of Kings” was always watched. I would cry that Lord Jesus died for me and other people. I was very young, but I still cried. Of course, Easter baskets with yummy candy. Church early. Big supper later in the day with ‘just’ us or our extended family.
I found myself thinking about my childhood around this Easter and Christmas 2018 more than other years for some reason. I delighted in my childhood memories and decided I MUST have some sort of traditions. Easter was small and friends who have no one nearby to celebrate with came to our home and celebrated with us.
My husband talked about Lord Jesus and all He did for us. He explained many things and answered questions since there were 2 Catholics and an atheist. All in all, it was a great supper <3
I love what Lord Jesus did for us, even me…the least of the worthy. I still cry that He had to suffer and die, but I understand that it was all in God's plan.
Much love to you <3