Chuck Terrill: Easter surprise

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

This last week many celebrated Easter Sunday.

The resurrection of Jesus was a life changing surprise for the early disciples. Jesus had been put to death by crucifixion. Even though the Lord had repeatedly taught that death could not hold Him, His followers were amazed to see Him alive! Today’s Easter celebrations lack the element of surprise. Don't you wish that you could be surprised by Easter?


As we see Easter Sunday 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 sing are the same hymns we sang on last year’s Easter Sunday. We always know that the sermon we 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 help 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 our grandchildren about the empty tomb. While the eggs are being decorated at the kitchen table, I love to tell them 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 eyewitnesses 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 rediscovered 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 417-847-2460.