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A Word to the Wise: Have a Merry Easter and a happy new life

By: Tom Rupp
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The observance of the Christmas holiday season has acquired various cultural trappings over the years. For instance, some people hang lights and holly. Others wrap presents and burn candles. Most popularly, many set up evergreen trees and decorate them. The Easter holiday season does not have as many cultural trappings. Some people color eggs or wear big hats. Others, like me, eat jelly beans. I’d eat them other times during the year if stores sold them. I’m not talking about the Jelly Belly kind. We can get those kind all throughout the year. We are just a short drive down 80 away from the Jelly Belly factory. It is a fun place to visit. You can even get free samples at the end of the tour, not to mention all sorts of exotic flavors. Remember the chocolate bunny, with the hollow ears? They were always fun to eat. Peeps are another matter — way too much sugar for adults. Well, besides this, Easter is comparatively bare from a lot of the clutter. There is no such thing as an Easter tree. Or is there? Before Easter, Christians celebrate Good Friday. It is the time we celebrate the death of Jesus that preceded his resurrection. Peter, who witnessed the events of that time, wrote about it in a letter to the local gatherings of Christians back then. In 1 Peter 2:21-25, Peter is encouraging the Christians to follow the example that Jesus left for them. As he relates this truth, he mentions what Jesus did for them, and us, by stating, “In his own self he bore our sins in his own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). Peter calls the cross of Jesus’ crucifixion a “tree.” He does this probably because the cross, like a tree, is made of wood. He also probably used the picture of a tree because it bears fruit, and so too the cross results in the fruit of changed lives. I do not have a problem with the lack of extras added onto our Easter celebration. If anything, all of this extra stuff that the world (i.e., merchants) tries to attach to holidays gets in the way. That’s OK — I already have an Easter tree. I remember it all year long and not merely one day a year. In fact, it is the source of life, real life, for countless Christians. Tom Rupp is a Bible teacher at Capital Bible College. He can be reached at truppfolsom@yahoo.com or through his blog at thomaswrupp.blogspot.com.