Chuck Terrill: Easter surprise

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The resurrection of Jesus was a life changing surprise for the early disciples.

Even though the Lord had repeatedly taught that death could not hold Him, His followers were amazed to see Him alive! Don't you wish that you could be surprised this Easter?   

Easter doesn't surprise us anymore. As we see the day approaching on our calendars, we plan for it. Christians know what Easter means, and we know what to expect. We know that the songs we will sing are the same hymns we sang last Easter Sunday. We know that the sermon that we will hear will be about the resurrection of Jesus. We even know the menu for the Easter Sunday dinner. So, it seems, Easter holds few surprises.   

Perhaps that is why we like to hide Easter eggs. We love to see surprise in our children's eyes at Easter. We want them to experience the joy of discovery. We want them to have fun and to celebrate! Their joy and surprise helps us to be joyful and surprised. 

The egg, of course, is a symbol of the resurrection. An egg is like a little tomb, isn't it? When an egg holds life inside, it packages a miracle. The chick is locked inside, just as Jesus' was sealed inside the tomb. But then the chick emerges from the egg, full of life and promise. Jesus, at just the right time, emerged from the tomb, full of life and promise. And so, Christians have celebrated Easter with decorated eggs for centuries. I gladly hide eggs for our children. 

But something else that I am happy to do is to tell the children about the empty tomb. While the eggs are being decorated at the kitchen table, I love to tell the children about Jesus, who is alive for all eternity. I delight in teaching them that they, like Jesus, can live forever. What a joy it is to tell little children about the hundreds of eye witnesses who saw the risen Savior! I am glad that children can discover the real joy and the real surprise of Easter. 

It is my prayer that each of you reading this little essay will rediscover the surprise and joy of Easter. We live in a world that has more than its fair share of doubting Thomases. In our society you are swimming against the current if you believe in the resurrection.

But, surprise! The resurrection is true. Jesus is alive. 

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 471-847-2460.