You know it’s Easter in Switzerland because there are so many chocolate bunnies everywhere. Switzerland consumes the most chocolate per person of any nation. But at Christmas and Easter, the amount of chocolate for sale in the stores is ridiculous.
I’m not sure how we moved from Easter being about Jesus’ death and resurrection to chocolate bunnies and eggs. I don’t blame the secular world because the majority of people in the Western world still identify as Christians. We can complain about other people all we like, but this happened on our watch. We replaced the truth with sugar and spring colors. This has left the world without a much-needed message. Most people just seem to celebrate a long weekend rather than a risen savior.
Easter is about the cross and resurrection power. The cross would be meaningless without the empty tomb. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Corinthians 15:17-19)
People need hope. Yesterday’s bomb explosions in Brussels remind us that we still live in a fallen world. Evil still abounds and seeks to destroy life wherever it can. No amount of chocolate is going to ease the pain. More than ever, the world needs to hear the message of hope, peace and reconciliation that is only found in the power of the resurrection. If we don’t believe in this hope, the resurrection, then how can we convince the world?
It is said that the early church gathered on the first day of the week because that was the day of the resurrection. Each Sunday, we celebrate that Jesus has risen from the dead. Our reason for getting out of bed on Sunday morning is to declare that “Jesus is alive” and the world is a better place for it. There is nothing wrong with candy and chocolate bunnies, but don’t forget what this season was intended to remind us: “Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!”