Would Jesus like Easter lilies? Maybe. Maybe not. I mean, think about it–Easter lilies—those showy, scented, “look-at-me-flowers” are everything Jesus was not:
For he grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in appearance that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2
I find it ironic that the “large and in charge” Easter lily represents Christ and his resurrection. How did this come to be?
According to legend, lilies sprouted in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ’s crucifixion—popping up from the sweat-soaked ground after his brutal bout of suffering.
From this legend, the multi-million dollar Easter lily business is believed to have grown. And this week those stately flowers will adorn the altars of thousands of churches, representing hope and purity.
Yet in keeping with his humility, I can’t help but think that Jesus would have preferred the more natural, unforced bloom of the humble Sand lily to that showman Easter Lily.
Each year, this elusive wildflower resurrects from battered soils for a brief appearance. I found the uncultivated, unfertilized and virtually unknown native Sand lily growing near Sisters, Oregon.
When pictured side by side, the differences between the lilies are striking:
You may be wondering if I’m suggesting we abolish the Easter lily tradition. I’m not. That Easter lily wonderfully represents the grandeur of the miracle of Christ’s resurrection.
That said, I prefer the native Sand lily. Its subtle beauty and simplicity embodies all that Christ stood for.
My savior sought no attention, no accolades, no applause. He shunned the spotlight.
Instead, Christ lived selflessly—and died sacrificially. For you. And for me.
This Easter season, as we celebrate a time of renewal, may our lives blossom with the simple, understated beauty of the Sand lily as we strive to grow daily in the grace of our glorious Lord.
Blessings to you and yours this Easter.