“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead…”1 Corinthians 15:19-20a
“Feeling hollow this Easter?” On a full page of the Easter Sunday newspaper was this simple question. Accompanying the caption was a picture of a chocolate Easter bunny with a missing ear, exposing the hollow interior. Stunning. I recall staring at this for quite some time as I processed the profound truth in this ad. It was a perfect analogy of a world without the resurrection, a world without Easter. Empty, hollow, without meaning…without hope.
God made many covenants with His people before the cross. Covenants to multiply, ones to bless, others to prosper. But this covenant, the New Covenant, the one He shared with His disciples on the night of their last supper, this one was different. It was confirmed with the shed blood of Jesus Christ, an everlasting covenant. Such a powerful truth!
Since I was a child, I have read and been taught the brutal account of Jesus’ execution. I’ve had the privilege to attend Easter services and concerts, all beautiful and inspiring, giving me cause to be so thankful! However, when the movie, The Passion of the Christ, hit theatres, that pushed me past my Easter comfort zone. From the opening scene where Jesus is overwhelmed with the burden before Him to the sheer violence of the crucifixion and His suffering—I still try to watch this every year so as not to forget the visual imagery. What wondrous love!
Back to that hollow bunny—Easter for us as believers is not about bunnies anymore than Christmas is about the Christmas tree. Easter is about hope. A hope that will never disappoint (Romans 5:5). A hope that fills us to overflowing, even when we suffer brokenness (Isaiah 41:10). A hope that holds us in our brokenness and says “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5-6). A hope that whispers to us when we are in our own garden of Gethsemane: “Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you and called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). What a covenant of hope we are heirs to! Jesus—only Jesus—can fill our emptiness. Our mission here at First Dallas is reaching out to people in a world that feels hollow by sharing the hope of what Easter is all about. Happy Easter!