This was the very first article I wrote for God’s Kids Korner back in 2015. Some people have asked that I repeat it, so that is what I am doing this week. Happy Easter!
Last week, we celebrated Palm Sunday, and you may remember that we were all waving palm branches and shouting, “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna, Hosanna!” Well, this week we are also celebrating and shouting, but it’s, “Alleluia, Alleluia, He is risen!” Who are we talking about that arose on Easter Sunday? You got it – Jesus. He overcame death to begin a new day of us being able to have our sins forgiven and eventually live with Him in heaven.
When you get up on Easter morning, I bet many of you have something waiting for you. Did you get an Easter basket full of goodies? What was in it – colored eggs, candy, chocolate, bunnies, some little toys? Did you ever wonder what an Easter basket has to do with Jesus’ resurrection? Well, I did, so I researched it and found out some rather interesting things.
Long ago, the church said people were not allowed to eat eggs during Holy Week, so any eggs that were laid by the chickens during this week were saved and decorated to make them “Holy Week eggs.” Then they were given to the children as gifts. Today, we still color and decorate eggs. When the eggs are cracked open, the empty shell reminds us of the empty tomb. The eggs don’t seem alive, but they have life within them, especially at springtime when chicks hatch out. The children put their Holy Week eggs in hats or baskets filled with colored straw to resemble a bird’s nest. Those were the first Easter baskets. The Europeans took the Holy Week egg a step farther and started making the eggs out of chocolate which made them really good to eat. When the chocolate eggs were covered with foil, they could be decorated even prettier.
The story of the Easter Bunny is thought to have become popular during the 1800s. Rabbits usually give birth to a big litter of babies during the Spring, so they became a symbol of new life too – just like Jesus gives us new life in Him. So all the bunnies we see and eat at Easter are supposed to remind us of the new life we receive when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Easter is a very, very special time for us. It’s the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection – where He overcame His death on the cross and came back to life. He did this, so we could overcome death too and live with Him forever. Now this Sunday, when you are eating some of that chocolate egg or marshmallow bunny from your Easter basket, you’ll have some idea why
we celebrate this special church holiday with colored eggs, bunnies, and chicks in a basket filled with colored straw.
Let’s say a prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You so much for dying and rising for us, so that we might have new life in You. Thank You also for giving us traditions that are meant to remind us of what You did for us – and especially in such a yummy way. In Your name we pray, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church.