So what if the Easter bunny wins the hearts of children everywhere? Why not fix the date of our Easter holiday and call it “Spring break”? What difference does Easter make anyway?
Well, it makes a lot of difference to those who take life and death seriously. Take, Mary, it made a lot of difference to her. We don’t know her whole story. Some think she was born rich only to fall into a difficult life from which she was rescued by Jesus. What we do know is that Mary had the heart-wrenching honour of washing the dried blood from Jesus’ lifeless body as two other followers prepared his tomb.
That day she had seen her Lord die an excruciating death, his body weight hanging limp from the nails driven through his hands and feet, suspended from a cross like a common criminal. Was all her hope for nothing? What of all the people he had healed? The broken lives he had restored? The promises of the Kingdom of God? Did they mean nothing now?
But then, early on Sunday morning, she was back at the tomb to finish anointing his body. When she arrived the tomb stood open, the stone rolled to the side. Inside was empty – nothing but the burial clothes they had laid Jesus in.
Then, Mary saw him, mistaking him first for the gardener. But there was no mistaking his familiar voice “Mary.” In an instant history changed forever, because where once the mortality rate had held steady at one hundred percent now it skipped a beat as Jesus burst from death into life.
So, now, death is no longer the last word for Jesus’ followers, life is. For while religious leaders have come and gone, the fact remains: only One stepped forth from the tomb. Only One has risen from the dead. Only One has conquered death. Only One offers the promise of eternal life to those who follow him.
“I am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus said. “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”
That’s the difference that Easter makes