John 14:19b – Because I live, you will live also. (NKJV)
All through the season of Lent, we have been on a journey: a journey to the cross. Christians remember Good Friday as the day that Jesus died and Easter Sunday as the day that He arose. For six weeks, we have been reading and thinking about the upcoming Easter celebrations. People of the various religious denominations celebrate Easter according to their own traditions.
Christians in Orthodox churches abstain from eggs during Lent, so to keep them from spoiling, they are boiled. When the fast is broken, the eggs for the special meal are dyed red for the blood of Christ or green for the emerging foliage. German Protestants also adopted the idea of eating coloured eggs at Easter. In Europe, beautifully decorated eggs are given as gifts at Easter time.
Eggs are symbols of new life, and that relates to the resurrected life of Jesus. His resurrection occurred in springtime in the northern hemisphere, after the long dead of winter. Eggs are also symbols of fertility, and so are rabbits or hares, which give birth to large litters several times a year. The idea of an egg-giving rabbit, hare, or bunny was brought to North America by Protestant German immigrants in the 18th century.
These days on Easter Sunday, many children wake up and are told that the Easter Bunny has left candy eggs hidden in various places. The children hunt for the eggs all around the house and even outside if the weather is good, and they are so happy when they find them. Even churches hold Easter egg hunts. If we understand how this tradition came about, we can better explain to children how this relates to real meaning of Easter. Our focus should always be on the risen Christ.
We Christians believe that all life comes from God, and we remember that especially at Easter time when we again hear those words of the angel at the empty tomb of Jesus, "He is not here; he has risen!" (Luke 24:6a NIV)
The resurrection of Jesus proves that love is stronger than hate, and life is stronger than death. Jesus is alive, and because of that, we shall also live in Him. On Easter Sunday, we remember and celebrate that, as we greet each other: "Christ is risen! He risen indeed!"
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, it is with joy in our hearts that we again look forward to the celebration of the risen Lord, Who died for our sins, so that we may have life and have it more abundantly. We offer this prayer in His name. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Children Of Jerusalem" (Lyrics)