We all know about Easter eggs, those specially colored and decorated eggs at Easter time that are hidden for children to find. There’s another meaning, however, to Easter eggs. It can refer to hidden clues or inside jokes that are placed in movies, TV shows, and video games. It’s believed that Steve Wright, director of software development at Atari, came up with the term in 1979.
When it comes to the celebration of Easter there are a lot of elements that make up the holiday. Of course, there’s the Easter egg, which became part of Easter celebrations around the 13th century. The Easter bunny came hopping into Easter celebrations sometime around the 16th century (the fertility aspect of rabbits playing a part in this). Candy eggs, including chocolate eggs, and chocolate bunnies too, came along later. Peeps, those marshmallowy chick treats, that people either love or hate, became part of Easter in 1953.
All of us undoubtedly have our own Easter memories from childhood. For me, it was the gift of an Easter basket from my grandparents on Easter Sunday afternoon that included lots of candy and usually a paddle with a ball attached with a rubber band.
Also part of the Easter celebration for many is an extended family gathering over an Easter dinner. Then, too, there’s the display of new Easter clothes, though I suspect this aspect of Easter is decreasing with casual attire being the new norm at most church services.
In all of the various aspects of celebrating Easter I’d like to suggest that there’s an Easter egg, a hidden clue, a message. That hidden clue or message is the empty tomb! It’s easily overlooked. When I did a search on YouTube using the word “Easter” about two-thirds of the videos had to do with a subject other than the Easter story (most were videos of Easter egg preparation or stories of the Easter bunny).
The empty tomb shouldn’t be an Easter egg, a hidden message, of the holiday, but instead should be the obvious focal point. After all, it’s the reason we have Easter! This often hidden message of the empty tomb shouts through the centuries that Jesus rose from the dead, that He’s alive!
The meaning and message of the empty tomb, of Jesus’ resurrection, is that He proved He was more than an ordinary person, that He was God come to us, as He made perfectly clear during His three years of ministry. His resurrection means He had the credentials (being God in the flesh) to do what He came to do on the cross, die for our sins so we could accept His forgiveness as a gracious, free gift. It’s this acceptance of His forgiveness that reconciles us to God, now and forever!
Like an Easter egg in a movie, TV show, or video game, the question can be asked of the Easter egg in Easter, “Do you see it?”
“Through him [Jesus] you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:21