“You know what Easter is really about, right?”
I glanced in my rear view mirror at the three heads bobbing in the backseat. We’d just finished a not-so-small grocery run (is there any other kind?). They’d seen the bunnies and baskets displayed in the store, giggled incessantly about Easter eggs and Sunday’s certain candy.
Of course, we’d discussed Easter before, talked about the heart behind the holiday. I wanted to get it right, make sure the story stuck.
Only silence in reply.
“This Sunday is Easter. Do you know why we celebrate it?” I took another look in the mirror.
“Eggs!” The littlest little announced from the backseat, her arms up, triumphant.
“Well yes, we will color some eggs. But no, that’s not really the heart of Easter.”
My boy scrunched up his forehead, reaching for the right answer. “Bunnies!” he declared, certain he was closer to the truth than his sister.
“No, not quite. I know you’re hoping the Easter Bunny will come, but that isn’t why we celebrate Easter.” Confusion clouded the faces on the bobbing heads.
Fabulous. I’ve failed as a mother.
I wracked my brain for a better approach, a hint I could give that might clue them into the truth.
“Think about Christmas. Who do we celebrate at Christmas?”
“Jesus!” All three shouted in unison.
Whew. “Yes, Jesus. That’s when we celebrate his birthday, the day he was born.” Let’s try this again. “So now, who do we celebrate at Easter?”
“Jesus!” they answered. Because when all else fails, “Jesus” is almost always the right answer.
“Yes, exactly. Jesus. Do you know what’s significant about Jesus on Easter Sunday?”
Silence. Again, wretched silence. Until the oldest, the leader of the lot, braved an answer:
“Um … did Jesus find some eggs?”
So we have a bit of a learning curve in the Cushatt house. We’re working on it. And we’ve certainly talked about it more since our drive in the car. I can’t really blame six-year-olds for their confusion. Everywhere they look—at the store, at school, on television—a preponderance of evidence claims Easter is about everything but Jesus.
It’s easy to miss the cross in all the candy.
For me, too. God help me, for me too.
I was cutting a roast when it happened. The brand new butcher knife I received for Christmas met the fleshy palm of my hand. It was an accident. I moved too fast, rushed through dinner preparations while contemplating my other to-dos. Foolish! I chastised myself the minute it happened. Then I called the kids to get me a napkin or towel, something to stop the bleeding. Upon closer inspection, I could see the wound went deep, but was relatively small. In time, it would heal without a mark.
For the past few days, I’ve carried this cut on my hand. I feel it every time I type on my laptop or reach for a glass of water. Proof of my frantic foolishness, reminding me to slow down and be more careful.
But it took me much of the week to see Easter in it. I’d missed the cross for all the candy.
“I have engraved you on the palms of my hands,” He says (Is. 49:15-16)
Engraved. Fixed. Carved. Impressed.
Not a result of foolishness or haste. Not a haphazard byproduct of an accident or mishap. Not a painful reminder of a mistake or misstep. Instead, an intentional engraving on a fleshy palm because Someone wanted the reminder.
Not because He’d forget; but because we would.
This is why we celebrate Easter. Because He welcomed the deepest of wounds so we wouldn’t have to.
No, Jesus didn’t find eggs. He found you. He found me.
And we are healed.