Spring does funny things to me. It’s a season of change– it shakes off the slumber of winter, the cold, dormant, dead-look of plants and trees seem to erupt overnight with riotous colors, vibrant greens. Ducklings, calves, piglets, kids, and lambs– all of my favorite farm animals– seem to be born all at once and barns are full of sounds.
Spring brings me hope. Hope that the dead-ness of winter will not win, either in the heart or in the natural world. Hope is one of my favorite aspects of God. He brings a sense of whatever is lost can be found, whatever is broken can be fixed, there is a sense that nothing is final or impossible.
I find the placement of Easter in spring is not an accident. I know Easter and Passover go hand-in-hand on the Judeo-Christian calendar, but I see it from a different perspective today.
In Exodus 12 the entire nation of Israel is poised to leave Egypt. They are instructed by Moses of the final meal they will have in Egypt as slaves– a meal full of rich symbolism and deep meaning for the men and women who have been under harsh rule for over 400 years.
The final player in this event is the Angel of Death, who comes through Egypt and slays every firstborn Egyptian and even the livestock. It is a night of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. It is a night of death and sadness that had never been seen to that point in history.
Then comes Passover in early first century A. D. and a meal in an upper room with men and women who had come to know the Son of God. This meal probably started out like others had in years before– but this one meant so much more.
This meal had the Sacrificial Lamb in their very presence. It was the time in history when all of Heaven was poised at the edge to watch the outcome here on Earth. God’s very own son was about to lay down His life for the whole world. Every race, every nation, every tongue, every person, everyone– was about to have the Ultimate Gift offered to them.
Life— abundantly, overflowing, refreshing, healing; bringing restoration in all things, life is the very thing Jesus offered through His death. The very thing only Heaven can offer.
Jesus’ very death was to be our gift of LIFE– through the Son of God– every Easter– offering Life, Hope, and Grace in ways we can only experience when we receive the gift of Life.