This week I dug an old Easter basket out of storage and set it in the center of our dining table. It’s decorated with silk flowers, and on the bed of supermarket grass in the basket are ten plastic Easter eggs.
Last night after supper we passed the basket around and each one took an egg. (This should properly be done on Easter Sunday, but my three-year-old granddaughter will be gone by then.)
Inside each egg is something to remind us of the Easter story and a slip of paper with a Bible verse in case we need a clue as to what it means. One egg held a nail, much smaller than the one that pierced Jesus’ hand, but little Bella knew what it meant. Another egg held long thorns I brought from an acacia tree in Africa—sharp, ugly things that would make a painful crown of mockery. A third egg is fragrant with cloves and cinnamon to remind us of the spices that the women took to the tomb on Easter morning. Bella opened an egg with a stone to remind us of the one rolled in front of the tomb. She was baffled by the tuft of wool in one of the eggs. I guess we haven’t really discussed the sacrificial system of ancient Judaism or the substitutionary atonement of the Lamb of God with her quite yet.
“Jesus isn’t a sheep!” she insisted.
This morning after breakfast she said, “Let’s do the eggs again.” This time we hid them, and Bella wandered over the house looking for them. Then we sat on the floor and opened them again, one by one, and reviewed the symbols hidden inside.
One egg is empty except for the slip of paper with Mark 16:6: “Don’t be alarmed,” [the angel] said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here.”
Last night Bella was confused when her mother opened the egg. She looked on the floor to see if something had dropped. This morning she knew what the empty egg meant. “Empty—like the tomb!”
I know its only Friday, but I’m grateful that the story doesn’t end on Good Friday, or in the darkness and fear of Saturday. The tomb is empty. He has risen! Jesus is alive!
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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