“Why do we celebrate Easter with colored eggs and rabbits?” the young girl asked. A good question since for so many that is about the extent of their recognition of what should be the most important Christian holy day! The egg and rabbit traditions are left over from pagan fertility rituals that marked the coming of Springtime. While those of us from northern climates do appreciate the renewal of the Earth and the return of “life” in the Spring, our celebration is about a grand renewal, the coming of the Kingdom of God!
When Jesus sat down to the Passover with His disciples, it was to celebrate the Lord’s calling of the Jewish people out of captivity in Egypt to return to the Promised Land, where they became a nation, “a people belonging to God.” At that meal Jesus revealed God’s ongoing plan, another deliverance, calling all people out of captivity to sin and the creation of His Church, a holy people, whose mission would be to announce that Christ has conquered sin and death, the ‘Kingdom Come!’
Do you remember?
- “When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
- After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (Luke 22:14-20, NIV)
Holy Week helps us to renew our hope and understanding, individually and together as His holy people. At the Cross, there was an intense battle. In a mystery that is beyond our full understanding, God dealt with sin, evil, and death by becoming sin for us. Jesus emerged from the tomb the Victor, the sacrificial Lamb of God, now the King of Glory. What a tragedy to reduce our commemoration of this amazing cosmic event to some chocolate candy, colored eggs, and the Easter bunny.
Let us come to the table and remember, reverently, yet joyfully that the Kingdom is come. We are no slaves to sin, no longer doomed to death. We are beloved children of God, called to Life and Light. Our Jesus is both Savior and King! Jesus said – “Do this in remembrance of me!”
When we share the Lord’s Supper, we will pray to go again to the Cross, the altar where His sacrifice changed our destiny, where He tore down the barriers that kept us from God’s Presence, where the authority and hope of the new Kingdom was released. and made possible. As you walk through these closing days of Lent, when you take the Cup and Bread in Communion, when you sing of the Empty Tomb – pray as Jesus taught –
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10, NIV)
Here are words from the Word. Lord, inspire us to live in the ‘Kingdom Come!’
“Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.” (Mark 1:14, NKJV)
“For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20, NKJV)
New life, new dedication, healing, hope – this is the Kingdom Come. Has the kingdom come to you?
King Of My Life I Crown Thee Now
King of my life I crown Thee now
Thine shall the glory be
Lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow
Lead me to Calvary
Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid
Tenderly mourned and wept
Angels in robes of light arrayed
Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept
Let me like Mary through the gloom
Come with a gift to Thee
Show to me now the empty tomb
Lead me to Calvary
May I be willing Lord to bear
Daily my cross for Thee
Even Thy cup of grief to share
Thou hast borne all for me
© Words: Public Domain