The UK clearly loves Easter eggs. It was Fry’s Chocolate of Bristol that produced the first UK chocolate egg in 1873. Currently, about 90 million chocolate eggs are sold each year! Apparently children receive on average 8.8 Easter eggs each year.
The use of Easter eggs has a long history, due to it being a symbol of new life. One early Christian practice was to stain eggs in memory of the blood of Christ shed at his crucifixion. The skilful batik-like process called ‘pisanka’ (Polish for ‘to write,’ but in old Polish meant ‘to paint’), also results in brightly coloured eggs.
The Christian festival of ‘Easter’ absorbed spring celebrations and the mythology associated with fertility, which had festivals at the time of the Spring Equinox. Easter gained popularity as it celebrated how the source of life was found in Jesus Christ, whose resurrection showed that he had smashed the power of sin and death.
The resurrection is central to Christian hope. The opening of a letter to persecuted Christians scattered across Turkey is based on the resurrection: ‘Praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade’ (I Peter 1v2-4). The resurrection is the foundational event. If we know that Jesus has secured the final outcome on our behalf, then it calms our fears about the present. It also means that life has a new purpose. For if we know that our true home is in heaven, then we will be less concerned about what we have or have not got and we will invest in promoting his Kingdom. It leads to fruitfulness on the frontline (a phrase from the course of study we followed before Easter). The resurrection gives us an entirely new framework for life: wherever we go and whatever our regular activities, we are now to live for the risen Christ.
As we eat our Easter eggs, will we rejoice at the new life Jesus brings, or have we still to discover this? We invite you to join our Easter services as a celebrate Jesus’ resurrection together.