I wonder what springs to mind when you hear the word Easter? Think for a moment.

Is it school holidays, chocolate eggs (Cadburys mini eggs being my absolute favourite!!!!!!!) a white bunny rabbit?  These are the things that the secular world would have us focus on and celebrate at Easter. As I visit the shops looking to buy the above mentioned mini eggs, I am exasperated by the complete lack of anything to do with the Christian message of Easter, instead its replaced with trivial and meaningless commercialism.

Whilst this deeply saddens me, I can’t help but smile at the irony of it all. We live in a fallen and broken world, a world that desperately needs to hear some good news. The message of Easter is the greatest news ever, its news that has the power to transform lives, to change the world for good, forever! And yet, the irony is our world would rather brush that message of hope under the carpet whilst preferring to put its hope in a fictitious fluffy bunny! – how ludicrous!

Why do I smile at this?  Well it reminds me of an even greater irony that lies within the Easter story. You see, on that first Good Friday, as our Lord Jesus breathed his last breath and gave up his spirit, in agony he cried out three words. (Not the normal 3 little words that you might be thinking about: ‘I love you’ – although that was the reason he allowed himself to hang on that cross, and is the overriding message of Easter, as the Gospel of John reminds us ‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son’ (Jn 3:16)).  

No, Jesus cried out 3 altogether different words; ‘IT IS FINISHED’. (Jn 19:30) What is? His rescue mission – The salvation plan.

You see, that’s the message of Easter; as I said earlier, we live in a fallen and broken world and the only fix to this is God – not a fluffy bunny!  We can’t be made right with God unless we accept Jesus as our Lord and saviour. Jesus himself says, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life, no-one comes to the Father except through me’ (Jn 14:6)

As Jesus died on that cross, Gods plan of salvation was reaching its climax, the curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom, why? To symbolise that there is no longer any separation between God and man. The great divide of SIN had been dealt with once and for all. Jesus killed the power sin on the cross.  It’s ironic isn’t it, the very thing that was meant to kill him, actually brought life to everyone who would put their trust in him! What a rescue plan! What a Saviour! What a HOPE!

But you know, theres another Irony. You see, as Jesus died, the devil thought he’d won. He thought that God’s plan of salvation had died with Jesus on that cross but that was God’s plan all along! The devil actually brought about his own downfall, through Jesus’ death we have life!– what a rescue plan! What a saviour! What a HOPE!

But the greater Irony was yet to unfold – Jesus didn’t stay dead ‘the grave couldn’t hold him’! On that first Easter morning he rose again victorious over sin and death. And because He lives, we can be assured of eternal life with him, as the wonderful hymn ‘See what a morning’ reminds us; ‘Death is dead, love has won!’. What a rescue plan, what a Saviour, what a HOPE!!! but the world would rather think about a fluffy bunny!

So, lets not despair about the secularisation of Easter, because if we can learn anything from the Easter story, we can see that our God is a God of the unexpected. Lets use whatever way we can to spread the Easter message, the message of Hope that is life changing and for those who have received this Hope, we have a MISSION of our own. To tell others the good news and to use every opportunity to do it.  

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Easter!

I have placed the amazing lyrics to ‘See What a Morning’ below. Why not listen to it on YouTube, you may even want to sing along and praise God as you do.

Alleluia He Has Risen!

“See, what a morning, gloriously bright, 
With the dawning of hope in Jerusalem; 
Folded the grave-clothes, tomb filled with light, 
As the angels announce, “Christ is risen!” 
See God’s salvation plan, 
Wrought in love, borne in pain, paid in sacrifice, 
Fulfilled in Christ, the Man, 
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead! 

See Mary weeping, “Where is He laid?” 
As in sorrow she turns from the empty tomb; 
Hears a voice speaking, calling her name; 
It’s the Master, the Lord raised to life again! 
The voice that spans the years, 
Speaking life, stirring hope, bringing peace to us, 
Will sound till He appears, 
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead! 

One with the Father, Ancient of Days, 
Through the Spirit who clothes faith with certainty.
Honour and blessing, glory and praise 
To the King crowned with pow’r and authority! 
And we are raised with Him, 
Death is dead, love has won, Christ has conquered; 
And we shall reign with Him, 
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

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