It is well-known that bunnies and eggs are a result of the merge of our Christian holiday and the pagan celebration of spring and fertility. All new life was believed to come from the egg. And rabbits, apparently, were prolific egg-layers.
I was skeptical that any legitimate link could be made between eggs and Christ. Upon researching this, however, it seems that the church made a valient attempt at making the connection:
- The hard shell of the egg represents the sealed Tomb of Christ.I have to say that I was surprised to realize all of the connections, because I have never been able to come up with any on my own. I find nothing wrong with the historical church attempting to be culturally relevant by using familiar symbols to teach people about what Jesus Christ did for us on the first Easter so long ago.
- Cracking the eggs symbolizes Christ breaking open the Tomb, being resurrected from the dead.
- The hard-boiled egg inside of the shell is perfect, just like Christ was perfect when He exited the Tomb. (He did have scars from His piercings, so I think we can forgive ourselves if we knick the egg while trying to crack it open.)
- The egg, as mentioned above, represents new life. This life is truly found in Christ.
- The egg was a symbol of the rebirth of the earth in celebrations of spring. In the Biblical world, this translates easily as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus.
- Traditionally, Easter eggs were dyed red to represent the blood of Christ.
My one-and-a-half year old won't understand any of this yet, so we made the connection between eggs and Jesus a different way:
Our eggs were decorated with secret messages (in white crayon) about God's love for us... things like: Jesus loves you! He rose again! & God loves Annike!
We even got a cracked egg to say "the curtain of the temple tore in two."
Ultimately, I have decided that traditions are what we make of them. As for bunnies, I think they just come with the territory, kind of like Santa's reindeer.