I have always loved spring. I love the fresh, clean air. I love the smell of rain. I love the new life that comes forth every year. Maybe it is because my birthday is in the spring, and it is like the start of a fresh year. Honestly, the year should start in April, doesn’t that sound better than beginning a new year in the dull days of winter and January? I’ll start petitioning the world for that next year. Perhaps a reason for loving spring so much is Easter.
Why Spring and Easter feel so harmonious
When we first consider Easter, it may not seem like a spring celebration. Spring is new, fresh, reborn. At Easter we are remembering the sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ. As a young missionary in the Philippines, Easter was an interesting experience for me.
On Good Friday we observed a tradition I had never imagined. There was a line of men walking down the street whipping themselves in the back to represent the whipping of Jesus Christ. These were good men that, as part of their tradition, were doing their best to honor the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Many others would carry crosses through the streets. While we may have a different perspective on these traditions, I value the sacrifice they were willing to make in His honor.
It was an honor for me to be able to teach the gospel to a people that already loved the Saviour so very much. The love the Filipino people have for Jesus Christ is strong and made it a blessing to be able to share the increased knowledge of the restored gospel, particularly when it comes to Easter.
While I did not teach any of the people involved in the mentioned traditions, I did teach many people about Jesus Christ, and many of them fully embraced the gospel as taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They embraced Christ’s Atonement and Resurrection, as the monumental gift which would open heaven’s gates to us all, both physically and spiritually. They embraced the final rolling away of the stone at the empty tomb. They embraced the joyous acts of the Easter events, the Saviour’s last great earthy mission, making it possible for the heavens to be rolled open so we can live with Him again.
The complementary significance of Spring and Easter
For me, the best part of Easter is Easter Sunday, when we can celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord. That is when Easter fits into the beauty of springtime. Just as the world is clean, fresh, and new each spring, because of Jesus Christ we can each be made clean and fresh and new.
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept . . . For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:20,22).
We will all be resurrected. We can all repent. We don’t even have to wait until spring for this renewal. We can experience this weekly, as we partake of the sacrament, and daily as we repent in our own personal lives. Perhaps, after all, we should keep the start of the new year in January. We don’t have to have the fresh spring rains to remind us of the good and beauty that is all around us.
Sing, soul of mine, this day of days.
The Lord is risen.
Toward the sunrising set thy face.
The Lord is risen.
Behold He giveth strength and grace:
For darkness, light; for mourning, praise;
For sin, His holiness; for conflict, peace.
Arise, O soul, this Easter day!
Forget the tomb of yesterday,
For thou from bondage are set free:
Thou sharest in His victory
And life eternal is for thee,
Because the Lord is risen.