By Rick Lewers
As a not so long ago diagnosed diabetic, my problems with chocolate were solved. The diagnosis taught me wisdom about things I needed to change and even some things, I like, that had to go. Interestingly at this time of the year it is chocolate that reminds me of another problem solved. The diagnosis has been and still is that you and I have a problem with sin. Sin may be a bit of a joke to some people until we understand the diagnosis and realize it's a diet that will kill you.
Now with the arrival of chocolate chip hot cross buns and those hollow chocolate eggs, that for some unknown biological reason come from chocolate rabbits, you'd be forgiven for thinking that chocolate is the sin.
I want to assure you chocolate is not a sin but a good gift from God. But to make the Easter chocolate taste even better, that empty chocolate egg holds a message of solved sin. It points to the person of Jesus Christ as the best bloke you would ever want to meet. Well, He's more than a bloke but let me focus on why He is so good.
You may have heard the expression that you can load the very bullets that others use to shoot you down. We do that when it comes to God. We load up the ammunition God can use against us. We provide Him with everything He needs to condemn us.
It is for this reason that I love the Easter Egg. It is a bit of fun but its the emptiness of the egg that is really good. I was reminded of someone who loaded bombs in the Second World War for an enemy they did not support. On investigating an unexploded shell it was found with nothing in it but a letter explaining that emptying the bomb of its power was the best they could do to protect those upon whom it would be dropped.
The empty egg of Easter is just such a work by God. The death of Jesus emptied all that would otherwise ruin us, disarming the condemning power of sin, silencing every accusative voice and replacing condemnation with forgiveness. Now that is chocolate *of the best kind.
But as if to offer even more, death was left an empty space when Jesus rose up from it and hope for all was given. Death is not the end for those forgiven but life is promised.
That's better than chocolate but what a great reminder the Easter Egg is of all that Jesus emptied. Of course the chocolate egg is a reminder of the sweetest truths of new beginnings Easter brings - sins forgiven and life that springs eternal.
No wonder we take a holiday at Easter. How could you not stop and celebrate all that Jesus Christ has done for our lives?
I might just open up one of those hollow chocolate eggs to remind myself of all these Easter gifts... and if the dietician's not watching I might just enjoy a little of the sweetness of it all...
Happy Easter to you all and drive carefully in the holiday season.•