I am sure you’ve never been out in public with young children and been embarrassed by their behavior. Never, not you. Not your kids. But just…
Easter baskets can be a controversial topic. Of course, I don’t mean the literal baskets themselves. I’m talking about the typical Easter baskets filled with treats, trinkets, or toys we give to our children. You may be unaware of the contention surrounding this matter, but simply throw out a related Facebook post, and watch the controversy arise (if you dare).
Many moms firmly believe this innocent tradition is a necessity for a decent American childhood. Then there are those who think Easter baskets are a materialistic distraction to the true reason for Easter. And most of us fall somewhere in the middle.
I actually feel a little nervous as I type because I can imagine the uproar that would occur if I rocked anyone’s boat. Well, let me ease your concern (actually my concern), I don’t plan to rock anyone’s boat. In fact, I don’t even care to address Easter baskets. But I knew that if I had a blog post entitled “Reflecting on the Resurrection,” it wouldn’t grab the attention of many. And that is what’s worth addressing – our comfortable familiarity with the best news in the world that doesn’t grab our attention as much as it ought.
Sorry if this disappoints you, but Easter baskets are still up for debate. However, I do think we could all agree that if the main thing truly stays the main thing, then there’s some freedom and flexibility regarding what you add to the celebration. So, the question is: what is the main thing? (and perhaps when you are confident THE main thing is YOUR main thing, you can confidently move forward with however that manifests itself in terms of your Easter basket decision.)
The Bigger Issue
The first Easter morning was a historical event that took place about 2000 years ago, and it changed everything. For you, for me, and for every person who ever lived. Jesus came to earth and did something that only he could do. He, as God in the flesh, lived a perfect life that we could never live. He took on the weight of our sin and absorbed the just wrath of God. Jesus was punished so we wouldn’t have to be. He then rose from the dead, proving he conquered the problem of sin and death.
This, the Apostle Paul says, is of first importance:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Cor. 15:3-4)
Christianity hangs on this resurrection. As Paul goes on to say, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17).
The Resurrection is the main thing.
We get comfortable and familiar with the reality of the resurrection far too easily. But this Easter, let’s be re-amazed with this astounding reality!
Shake off your familiarity by recounting your birth story. Not your mama’s crazy labor and delivery account that involves weird details that you don’t care to know – rather, your spiritual birth story. The one that didn’t just bring you into this world, but will bring you into the next. The birthday that changed your identity, and secured your eternity.
Think back to when you were blinded to your sin, to when you used to live for yourself and whatever passing pleasures suited you. Then reflect on the various light bulbs that turned on in your brain …When you began to really understand the gospel…When the news of Jesus became the news you were desperate for! Remember the new passion that sparked within you to follow Jesus wherever he led.
God took you when you were dead in your sin and made your spirit alive. That was the power of the resurrection at work in you. If it weren’t for the resurrection, you would still be in your sins. You would still be that old person living merely for yourself. You would be blind to your sin. You would be alienated from God.
But the resurrection changed it all.
This life altering, eternity-changing reality is the main thing. This is what Easter is about. God stepped into time and space and suffered for our sake, defeating death and sin for all those who would turn and trust in him.
Let us stand amazed at the way in which the resurrection has power to change us, and every human being, to the core.
Minor vs. Major
When we reflect on the reasons behind the celebration of Easter, we realize baskets aren’t that big of a deal. One way or the other. As long as we don’t make them a big deal. As long as those we give baskets to know we are all about the main thing. We just need to keep the major things major and the minor things minor.
So have your baskets, or don’t have your baskets. But do stand back and be amazed at what Jesus did. In history, and in your life specifically.