When you think of Easter, what comes to mind? If I’m being honest – the first thing I picture is the Duracell bunny – running a race to find Easter eggs, powered by the unstoppable Duracell batteries. The modern-day world turns a lot of special moments into saleable, marketable products. Easter eggs, Valentine’s Day cards, Christmas Presents…the list is endless.
Spoiler alert: It has nothing to do with rabbits.
Have you ever done something that you regret? There are a lot of quotes floating around the internet about how we should never really regret something because it makes us who we are, and it teaches something etc etc.
But as nice as that sounds, sometimes the mistakes we make are so huge that we can’t sweep them under the rug and placate ourselves by saying that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes things happen because we make bad choices, and these choices turn into regret that can be very difficult to move on from.
I’ve had many such moments. I’ve said things and done things that I wish had never happened and if there’s ever a movie of my life made – you best believe I’m going to edit those parts out. We’ve all made terrible decisions, we’ve all hurt people that we care about, we ALL have things we regret. It’s a part of being human. In the end, we live in a world that is broken and filled to the brim with hurting and broken people.
And that’s why we celebrate Easter. It’s not just a public holiday that means stuffing your face with excessive amounts of chocolate (although, yes, that is a great bonus), it’s about healing. It’s about forgiveness.
Over 2000 years ago Jesus, the Son of God, chose to willingly lay down his life. He died to pay the price for every single one of our sins and bad choices, which means that we can live free of regret: not because of a cleverly-worded quote but because Jesus exchanged our regret for freedom, our pain for joy and our worry for peace.
Although many of us know the story, it’s a difficult concept to grasp. That Jesus, dying on the cross and rising again three days later, means that we can be forgiven. That we can be free by simply accepting and acknowledging Him. That it isn’t about a 10-step plan to happiness, mindfulness or self-care: it’s about Jesus. That there’s nothing we could have done to earn it, or to deserve it, but that our freedom and salvation is a gift freely offered.
Why? It sounds to good to be true.
Because He loves us – and not in the way that humans love. We love with conditions, from a place of pain, from a place of past hurts and difficulties. Our love is broken and can never replace the love of God. He loves us completely, and unconditionally: there are no strings attached. He loves us because of who He is – not because of who we are.
So, leading up to Easter, as we celebrate the death and the resurrection of Jesus, I hope that you are able to remember that in Christ, you can find freedom, forgiveness, acceptance and peace.