APRIL 2024


Easter is synonymous with spring and the beginning of new life as the plants and animals begin their revival after the cold months of winter. But what is the origin of easter celebrations and the giving of easter eggs? Well, one explanation (and there are several), is that it goes back to the pre-Christian goddess Eostre, who was celebrated at the beginning of spring. Easter became associated with Christianity through the Roman Emperor, Constantine who brought elements of paganism into Christian worship in order to unite his empire and bring peace. The act of decorating eggs is believed to have begun in mediaeval times, the eggs themselves speaking of new life.

We find the word Easter mentioned only once in the Bible and that is in Acts 12:4 where it is a mistranslation of the word Passover, the time when the angel of God ‘passed over’ the homes of the Israelites and spared their firstborn but killed those of the Egyptians. So, it is at this time of year that the Jews celebrate that ‘passing over’ and their subsequent release from the bondage of the Egyptians, after which they began their forty-year wandering in the desert before entering into the land of Canaan.

But more importantly it was the time when Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem, laid in the grave for three days and nights and was resurrected to everlasting life.

So, in both the Passover and in Jesus’ resurrection we are reminded of a new beginning and of a new life. And springtime also reminds us of a new beginning and new life as the days get longer, the darkness of winter draws to a close and the wonders of God’s creation once more give glory to their creator.

In Revelation 21:1 we read of a new beginning when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to this earth and sets up God’s Kingdom: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”

So, as we once more come round to Easter let us think not only about the resurrection but also about a new beginning when the “knowledge of God’s glory will fill the earth”.


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