By Dr. Bev Rodgers
Many Christians, including me, find ourselves saddened at how secular commercialism has overtaken sacred holidays. As Christmas we are bombarded by Santa and Reindeer that eclipse our Savior’s birth. Now before Spring has sprung, stores sprout bunnies and colorful eggs that over-shadow Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross. In fact, holy days have been so secularized that many Christians refuse to sport eggs or bunnies during lent. I am inclined to do that but I just can’t. You see, I love little furry bunnies and multi-colored eggs and the Lord knew that, so He used them to lure me to Him many years ago.
I was eight years old living in the Sheol that I called home, with no father and a mentally ill mother. Her insane rants, accompanied with verbal and physical abuse were regular occurrences. At age eight, I became a little adult, caring for my siblings and myself and striving desperately to keep us out of my mom’s destructive path. Needless to say, I had little time to play. One day a neighbor came over and invited us to an Easter egg hunt at the little country church down the road.
“Do they give prizes if we find them?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said graciously. “Chocolate prizes!”
“Games and chocolate, count me in!” I replied gleefully.
I’ll never be sure why my mom allowed us kids to go. Perhaps it was to get us out of her hair for the day, but that day changed my life forever.
Before the egg hunt, we listened to a flannel graph presentation of the Easter Story. The teacher put flannel pictures of Jesus in Gethsemane, carrying His cross, and being nailed to it for our sins. I still remember how carefully the teacher drew tiny drops of blood on Jesus’s hands and feet, no doubt trying not to frighten her young audience with such a dramatic story, while still trying to make her very important point.
“Jesus loved you so much that He died for you,” she said with conviction.
Who is this Jesus? I thought, who would love me enough to give His life for me, when even my own mother did not seem to care for me.
After the amazing story, we hunted eggs. I found a basketful and was rewarded with a delicious chocolate bunny which I ate with great gusto before I even left the parking lot of the church! But I never forgot that story. My intense hunger to know this Jesus stayed with me and years later as a teen, I went back to that church and accepted Christ as my savior and have had the blessed privilege of living for Him for four decades now.
So what do Easter eggs and The Cross have in common? They both saved me in every way imaginable! Every spring I put crosses and brightly colored eggs all over my house. This year I even sported an Easter tree filled with lights, crosses, and a hand-made crown of thorns (ouch did that hurt!). These are all reminders that I am saved… saved from sin, saved from pain, and saved from repeating the same unhealthy patterns of the generations before me. These reminders of my salvation inspire my gratitude to the One who loved me enough to give His life for me. Eggs and crosses remind me of the grace for which I am forever grateful. Now, if you will excuse me, I have some delightful eggs to hide!