Hot cross buns, bunnies and Easter eggs! Although they have nothing directly to do with Easter, they have become part of our Easter traditions. Many would have us put these traditions aside. Personally, I think it is a good thing to understand where these traditions come from, for a tradition, according to Wikipedia is a “belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance, with origins in the past.”
Many of our traditions were a way of passing on the message of Easter from our past to our children. Yes, some are based on pagan traditions, perhaps as an alternative to what was previously believed. I believe knowledge rather than rules is a good approach to traditions. This way traditions are properly explained and can be embraced as just that, tradition, not biblical truth.
Take Easter eggs. The Huffing ton post tells us that the “tradition of painting hard-boiled eggs during springtime pre-dates Christianity. In many cultures around the world, the egg is a symbol of new life, fertility and rebirth. Eggs were often given as a gift during the spring equinox, which is around the time of Passover.
Ancient believers used to dye the eggs red as a symbol of Christ’s blood, the hard shell of the egg represents the sealed Tomb of Christ, and cracking the shell represents Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Historically Christians would abstain from eating eggs and meat during Lent, and Easter was the first chance to eat eggs after a long period of abstinence.
Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. An egg hunt involves hiding eggs outside for children to run around and find on Easter morning. Eggs are rolled as a symbolic re-enactment of the rolling away of the stone from Christ’s tomb.
These are traditions and yes, have nothing to do with the truths in scripture, other than how they present reminders to truth.
Our traditions, should be representations of truths we know. With my own children, I taught that eggs represent a new beginning in Jesus Christ. Easter being a time, when we remember His death and His resurrection; the two most important events in our heritage.
How does this represent a new beginning? For everyone of us, who recognizes Jesus as our savior, there is a new beginning as expressed so nicely in the Message:
“Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.” – 2 Corinthians 5:16-20 MSG
This new beginning starts when we decide to recognize our need to have our sins forgiven and allow Jesus to rule in our lives. Our past life comes to an end and the new life becomes a reality in our lives. We see evidence of this new life in the way we change.
“God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.” Titus 2:11-14 MSG
This new life not only has an impact on our life on earth but will continue to be a reality for our lives, even in eternity.
“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.” 1 Peter 1:3-5
Jesus is the source of our salvation. By His death, He freed us from the bonds of sin and by His life, we enter into a new life, a new beginning. We should not just give intellectual accent to this, but we should start to live out this new life that we have, as Paul tells us in Eph 4:22-23
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (NIV)
“Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.” (MSG)
Easter celebrates a new beginning for all of mankind. My family remembers this truth through the tradition of Easter Eggs.
Thank you, Father, for giving us your one and only Son, to die on the cross for our sins. Thank you, Jesus, that we have a new start in you. Our past is gone and a new life starts in relationship with you. Please help us to get rid of the old ways and embrace the new way of life that You show us. Thank you for a new beginning that holds promise of change in me, both inside and outside. Thank you that this changed me, has a place in eternity.
May it be a happy Easter for you.
From my house to yours, a new beginning is a wonderful thing to celebrate and Jesus makes it possible for us.