Most of my childhood memories of Easter, like yesterday's blogger, consist of going to Sunday school and painting eggs and singing choruses and getting lots of chocolate from my family.
Now, I still enjoy these elements of the Easter weekend but the meaning of Easter to me is hope. When Jesus rose from the dead, three days after being crucified, that moment changed everything for Christians! It means that we worship a living God, who is there for us in any circumstance, who loves us and wants to have a relationship with us.
There are a couple of verses in Luke's gospel, where Jesus has just appeared to his disciples for the first time after rising from the dead. He says to them
“Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet. Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. (Luke 24:38-41 NLT)
Our response to Jesus can be like any of the emotions here. Fear, doubt, disbelief, joy or wonder. For me, even through tough times in my life God has given me a constant joy and hope for the future by raising his son from the dead and that's what Easter means to me.
I just want to leave you with this song which sums up the Easter weekend for me. The words are amazing and if you have a couple of minutes I'd recommend a listen!