Broken: An Easter Message
John Bishop, Director of Spiritual Formation
Eggs on Easter?!? You may think, “That doesn’t make sense.” Jesus spent 33 years on earth, up-ending everything, and defeated death itself before returning to the Father to reign in glory for all eternity. Of course, we’re going to celebrate His victory in some significant way. So, medieval Christian leaders sat down and said, “How ‘bout eggs?”
I’m sure it made sense at the time. Your response to that may be, “Yeah, but not anymore!”
Regardless, modern western culture looked back at us confidently and said, “Let’s hide ‘em… and don’t worry, there’s a bunny.” Insert weepy-face emoji.
Is Google your go-to browser? If so, you may see their animated version of the word “Easter.” Did you click on the images and get colored foil wrappers, chocolate eggs and sweet bunnies? Yeah, me too.
I had to scroll to find Jesus. I’ll admit, it was strange and a little sad. It seems most people correlate Easter and eggs more often than Easter and Jesus.
A couple of months ago, I did a brainstorming activity with about 15 students to get a sense of what comes to mind when they think about Easter. Eggs was at the top. Dressing Mrs. Weir in a bunny costume got a lot of traction as well. So, I’m gonna go with eggs… at least to get started.
Here’s the thing. The world is a lot like an egg. It looks and feels strong, enduring, and steady until an earthquake sends cracks across its fragile shell. Hurricanes, tsunamis, fire and the intricate balance of violence, consumption, and death in nature drive its history. Romans 8 describes a world that groans as in pains of childbirth waiting on redemption. Add all of this up and you get a broken world.
But it’s not just the world. We’re like eggs, too. You’re driving down the road, listening to your favorite song and BAM! You’re broad-sided by a car running a red light. It doesn’t matter if your car is a Mazda or a Maserati. In an accident, it’s just a shell and it will break.
Of course, we know this already. We put on a good face, but inside we’re all scrambled. Even Jesus was fragile. For the disciples He was NOT the hero they’d hoped for. Why else would they be shocked when Jesus went to the cross? They thought He would become a king. They thought He would fix it, but Jesus had put on a human shell and flesh is fragile.
Isaiah prophesied 700 years before Jesus was born that it would be that way. Chapter 53 says He would be “despised, rejected, stricken and afflicted.” Were we asleep for that part?
No, we just couldn’t conceive the idea of fixing brokenness with weakness. We still sometimes don’t remember that true power comes through submission. Jesus took on the fragility of the human experience not so He could show us how to strengthen our shells, but to demonstrate through pain and suffering how we can embrace the brokenness. So, “The punishment that brought us peace was [put] on Him…”
He took the bread hours before He went to the cross, broke it and said, “This is my body, broken for you.” What do you think he meant when He said, “Do this in remembrance of me?” I don’t think He was only talking about bread.
Jesus’ breaking was for our blessing. Our breaking, if we will allow Jesus to do His work in and through us, is for others’ blessing. Compassion grows from the sting of shame, wisdom comes through processed failures, strength comes through weakness, joy comes through sorrow, and mourning turns to dancing. Or have you read a different Bible than I was handed?
After all, shells are fragile by God’s design. How else would the chicken get out?
Keep praying for our students and for each other. Many of us have already broken against life, but some people don’t know that Easter is about so much more than eggs. I pray we all find renewed hope in Jesus this Easter season.