Most everyone has regrets and aspirations, and we feel the weight of past mistakes dragging at us, keeping us from moving forward. The miracle of Easter – the impossible thing that happened – contains a promise and hope for everyone who wishes to move forward.
Spring is filled with new life, new growth, and excited energy. All things seem possible because life is simply exploding around us. Having to explain the significance of Easter eggs and the Easter bunny to a visiting Martian would be a bit problematic, but all the fun things we associate with this holiday are symbols of this growing energy of new life, and celebrating the occasion with family. Jesus died – he was tortured and slaughtered for bucking against the social system and showing people a new way, a path of hope and “paying it forward”. He also showed the importance of family; he had his best friend adopt his mother, and brought all his disciples together – the men and women who followed him – as siblings. He brought hope and a true sense of belonging.
These are the things which make Easter one of my favorite holidays. We receive hope for the future – the realization we can change – through the promise of an infinite redemption, we can cast away the chains of our personal painful history and move forward into the creature we wish to become. And all of us belong – the Easter story reminds us that family is the group you care for, and that all of us are in the same family. As Mohandis Gandhi said when asked his faith, “I may be Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew, or Buddhist, but I can be none of these without first and foremost being human.”
The Maya believed that each sunset was a death of sorts, so that all could live a new life when the sun rose in the morning, and each could feel the freedom and promise of starting new. This is why I love Easter – everyone can start over, and we have the best of excuses to become who we want to be.