We often joke in my household that is 80% female “step away from the chocolate, and no one will get hurt”. When it comes to chocolate I’m a big fan. Here we are about to celebrate Easter again, and there is chocolate aplenty in every supermarket. But do you find yourself wondering how to explain to your little ones (or even to yourself), what do eggs have to do with Easter? How do chocolate eggs and the death of Jesus both manage to find a place in the celebration of Easter?
Let me help you with that if I may. I learned at a young age that Easter was a celebration of one of the most important events in human history. Its about a man called Jesus. He was the Son of God, born in a stable in Bethlehem- the reason we celebrate Christmas. Jesus lived a life without any mistakes in it, not one, something we can never do. As humans, no matter how hard we try, we make mistakes and do the wrong thing frequently!
A grander plan
The things we do wrong keep us apart from God. Jesus’ time on earth was part of a much grander plan to restore the relationship between God and us. Jesus took the punishment owed to us when he was put to death (crucified) on a cross (Good Friday). He didn’t deserve it. He had done nothing wrong. But death by crucifixion and burial in a tomb wasn’t the end of the story. In a demonstration of God’s ultimate power over life and death, He raised Jesus from the dead on the third day.
This is why on the third day of Easter, Easter Sunday, we celebrate. Jesus is alive again! Our subsequent belief in Jesus also gives us new life. How do we know? Because God made it really clear when it was recorded in the bible that ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16.
The egg as a symbol
The egg is an ancient symbol of new life. We have taken that same symbol to celebrate the new life that was made available to us as a result of the first Easter Sunday through Jesus’ resurrection. Historically the eggs that were laid during Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter) weren’t eaten, but instead decorated. The pretty wrappers we see on Easter eggs today, it turns out, are not a new invention. However, the fact that modern Easter eggs are made of chocolate is a major bonus in my book!
So the short answer… eggs represent new life and have for centuries. New life is found in the risen Jesus. So what better way to celebrate than with eggs.. made of chocolate!
You can learn more about the Easter story in this short cartoon.