Did that get your attention? I thought it might? I am trying to be funny, but I also want to look at the significance of the symbols often connected to Easter.
Easter is foundational to who we are as Christians. Jesus, son of God, went to the cross to pay for our sins — a debt that we could never have paid. It is because of His love for you, that he gave himself up to pay that price! Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried in a tomb. On the third day, He rose from the dead conquering death and sin so that all who believe in him will have eternal life.
This is the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 53 saying; that there will be a messiah who will be persecuted, die for our sins, and who would rise on the third day.
Easter is the day in which we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. It is the oldest and most important holiday to the Christian faith. Read the scriptures for the entire account of the Resurrection in Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-6, Luke 24:1-12, and John 20:1-10. We need to know and understand how important Easter is to our Christian walk. It is a non-negotiable truth. It is why we are Christians.
With that in mind, I would love to talk about many of the symbols of Easter and how we can find significant meaning in each; to remind us of the gift of Easter.
The Bible does not mention a hippity-hoppity creature with long ears and a fluffy tail who delivers decorated eggs on Easter morning. And yet the bunny and the egg are both symbols of new life, reminding us of the new life we have in Christ as a result of the resurrection.
There are several egg traditions such as the Easter Egg Roll where children push a hard-boiled egg across the lawn. Some consider it symbolic of the stone being rolled away from the entrance to the tomb. The Easter egg hunt also follows the same symbolic lesson of the empty tomb. You can leave several of the plastic eggs not filled to remind the kids of what the women found that Easter morning. The tomb was empty and Jesus was not there. Jesus had risen from the dead. This provides an opportunity to read the resurrection story as a family.
With a Christian perspective, let us look at Easter candy. The best thing about Easter is not the sweet candy in our baskets, but the sweet news the candy reminds us of — that all who call on the name of the Jesus will be saved. Let us find every opportunity to share the story as we celebrate Easter.
Spring, flowers, and Easter just seem to go together. Flower bulbs easily lend themselves to demonstrate a period of dormancy and rebirth. Many bulbs will not bloom again if you don’t let them rest, such as the amaryllis. The lesson in this, Jesus died, was buried, and rose again. Lilies to many are the unofficial flower of Easter. They symbolize the purity of Christ and the hope in Christ’s resurrection.
Of all the Easter symbols, the lamb is probably the easiest to connect. Every year at Passover a lamb was killed for each family to atone for their sins. Then Christ became the Passover lamb and He was sacrificed for us. Here are two important scriptures to illustrate this point John 1:29 – “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” and 1 Peter 1:18-21 “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake. Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.” Jesus is the Lamb of God.
Easter is a critical piece of the Christian story. So it doesn’t matter which came first Easter or the egg, what matters is that Jesus died to save us!! Let us be mindful, as we celebrate Easter, of the significance that each symbol provides in connection to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
May God bless you this Easter and always.
The writer is the associate pastor at Sidney First United Methodist Church in Sidney.