Wednesday, April 25, 2007


My joy last month that spring had arrived was short-lived. I need a new definition of the word “spring.” Seeing a robin on the lawn is not accurate enough. Even a temperature of 10°C (50°F) does not guarantee that spring is here to stay. Soon afterwards the temperature fell, and snow covered the ground at Easter. Two weeks later we experienced our first heat wave and summer storm of the year.

Perhaps spring is like a yo-yo. Because it is the transition from winter to summer, the temperature bounces from one extreme to another. Unlike the fall, where the temperature gradually gets colder, in spring it slowly climbs higher. If this is the case, I must apologize to those newscasters who rejoiced when the snow began to melt. Like spring, many transitions in life are difficult to perceive. For example, the change from childhood to adulthood is gradual. Nobody wakes up one day and says, “Yesterday I was a child, but today I am grown up.” To do so is fallacy.

In contrast, Easter reminds me of a very clear transition from the old to the new covenant. The evening before his crucifixion, Jesus celebrated the Jewish Passover with his disciples. Almost 1500 years earlier, the Israelite slaves in Egypt had sprinkled the blood of a lamb on their doorframes. That night the angel of death had killed the firstborn of every family not protected by the blood on the door. After finishing the Passover meal, Jesus instituted a new remembrance service. Under the new covenant we remember Jesus’ death and resurrection. At his death the veil in the temple split into two pieces. From that moment on, sacrificing animals became an insult to the effectiveness of Jesus’ blood on our behalf.