Resurrection, Rebirth, Renewal
In ancient Roman times the folks celebrated the coming of spring, rebirth of the earth, hatching of eggs and the birth of animals. It was a time of rejoicing. Hibernation is over for another season. Migratory birds and animals make their long return to their springing place.
The Bible tells us that King Herod killed the Apostle James (in the year 44 A.D.) and arrested Peter to kill him, too. Acts. 12:1-4 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions (a quarter of a hundred or twenty-five x four = 100) of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. [KJV]
And verse five tells us more: 5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. Notice: The Roman Easter and the Jewish Passover were about the same time of the year ... spring time. Rome celebrated Easter in spring. The Jews celebrated the Passover in spring. That would have been necessary, because the First Passover in Egypt required a lamb to be slain. Lambs are born in the spring.
For several years, Aunt Thelma sponsored an Easter Egg Hunt in their pasture. I don't know that it was just for the Kids of High Point Church. I always thought all Kids of the Community were welcome. I remember the Rosser and Hickman kids and others already named in Midway School at the hunt. Aunt Thelma raised a gaggle of geese and every year she boiled a goose egg. That one she decorated in a very beautiful way and called it the Prize Egg. I think It was the Prize. I don't know if there was something else to be received as an additional prize.
Easter was / is a time of great joy. Aunt Thelma's hunts were on Saturday morning about 10:00 A.M. All the parents drove into the great yard and parked their cars and pick-ups. All the kids poured out of those same vehicles and flowed through to the back yard, on through the barn yard and down the slopping pasture grasses spotted with thorny mesquite trees and dappled with patches of prickly pair cactuses. There also were rocky outcroppings that must be dodged.
I still remember the excitement and joy. Then when the yell for GO was given, the explosion of wonder propelled dozens of kids across the grassy land scape. I still remember the yards long legs of Clayton Mensee as he bounded down the hill to grab an egg he saw. Roenna Rosser won the prize of the great goose egg. It was a day to keep remembering these seventy years later.
It must have been such day, a day of incredible transformation from the deepest sorrow to immensely volcanic joy, even a day greater than any other day since the beginning of creation, a day of the most awful moan and groan caused by the most awful sin in the history of the world suddenly transformed by the shout, the blinding light of the rising of God from the dead.
Easter in the Christian world is not a Roman Easter. It somehow symbolizes Israel's deliverance from Egyptian slavery. Hunting Easter eggs is a kind of symbolic expression: chicks hatched, bunnies born, new calves in the pasture, March winds, April showers, May flowers and the cold dead winter is over. It's a good thing to play games and maintain cultures that portray the deep meanings of life and eternity.
But somehow This Easter, the Christian Easter tells the Story of Eternity before time. In that Realm, God: Father Son Holy Spirit, One God, not They, by determined decision "was Lamb standing, as if slain." (Rev. 5:6 NASB). That Realm is Spirit more real than any real thing we know. But He came into our reality to be born, to live and to die for the reality of our very real and awful sin.
The crying pain of Jesus followers gave way to the blasting light of Resurrection. HE IS ALIVE! Give glory, honor and praise! The Lamb of God has given fulfillment to the Eternal Plan to deliver man from Adam's awful sin and wash away our own selfish, self-centered, self-aggrandizement. He came to call us, not to an egg, not to a bunny, but to the unconditional love of the All Powerful, All Present, All Wise, Ever Gracious, Ever Merciful, The God of Everlasting Loving kindness AND HE'S ALIVE. THIS IS EASTER!
I can only imagine the bounding long leaps of eager anticipation as Peter and John raced toward the opened tomb, their radically confident hope of The Living Christ! He appeared in their room with the others.
His presence, His words, the sound of His voice --- verification!!! HE LIVES! CHRIST IS ALIVE!
Throw open your hearts door and let the King of glory come in. Ps. 24:8-9 "Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in." (NASB).