Easter is a Christian festival - many Christians say it is the most important Christian festival.
But its message resonates far beyond Christianity. After all, Jews celebrate Passover at this time and there are similarities to the two festivals.
Both celebrate a deliverance. In the Christian case, it is deliverance from sin through the birth of Jesus. In the Jewish case, it is deliverance from oppression and slavery.
So both offer a sense of rebirth and hope.
In this year, those sentiments are more appropriate than they have been in most of our lifetimes. The epidemic is not gone but it is waning and will, we hope, fade even more as the roll-out of the vaccine proceeds.
The outbreak in Queensland reminds us to temper our hope. Each time we think we've seen the back of the virus, it has a way of reminding us it will not be beaten easily. Perhaps not at all.
But we live in hope.
We hope in this next year we will re-establish old contacts. We hope we will re-establish physical contact with those friends and families we have seen infrequently in the past year or even not at all.
We hope we have learnt how important it is to stick together in difficult times. It would have been easy for communities, including the national community, to fracture but they haven't - and that reinforces hope.
We may have been through the worst of times so we hope for better times, perhaps even the best of times. Some schools in the ACT have already celebrated Easter as a form of community re-bonding.
The Principal of Arawang Primary School was warm in her welcome of parents to the school en masse for the first time since the epidemic started.
"It's just the sense of togetherness, the warmth and the cheer it brings to the school," Jeni Page said.
"It's the feeling that it creates that we are one big community, working together, looking after the growth of our children."
Who could disagree?
There is another message this Easter. The Anglican Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn notes on Easter Sunday, three women went to the tomb of Jesus to find it empty. Christ had risen and redeemed humanity from sin by his death. The women told men about the absence of the body and their information was dismissed as chatter.
Bishop Mark Short says in his Easter message: "Recent events in our national life reminded us how we still fail to listen to women's voices.
"That is especially true when the news they bring is unexpected or when it threatens to disturb a status quo that serves mostly male interests.
"The good news of Easter is this: the God of Jesus Christ not only listens but also empowers women's voices."
Even if you don't subscribe to that theology, Easter remains a period of reflection and of looking forward with hope.
Or it should be. It is becoming too easy to see it as a time of Easter sales and an outing to the shops.
The essence of Easter is not the credit card nor is it the feast of chocolate.
It is a period of reflection and of hope.
On the first two nights of the festival of Passover, Jewish families gather and share thanks and food. It is a mixture of the spiritual and the bodily.
That is a good mix. Think about the future and enjoy the present.
For Christians, "Happy Easter" sounds like a strange greeting at a time marking a crucifixion. But it is also a resurrection.
"Happy Easter" is our wish.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: