When you say that word ‘Christmas’ to people it usually produces lots of pictures in their minds – Santa, presents, cards, a nativity scene, the family, Christmas tree, lights and shopping.
However if you were to mention the word ‘Easter’ then usually not so many pictures would come to mind.
Perhaps the first thing that would come to many people’s minds would be - chocolate Easter eggs.
In many ways it is a pity that for most people Easter does not get the recognition that Christmas does, because of course the two Christian festivals are connected. Jesus came into the world to begin his mission at Christmas time when he was born in a stable.
He completed that mission at Easter time after he had willingly laid down his life for us on Good Friday and then been resurrected on the Sunday.
The reason that we have Easter eggs at this time of the year is because the egg resembled the rock that was placed at the entrance to Jesus’ tomb and which was rolled away when Jesus was resurrected. An egg also stand for ‘new life’ – and believers are promised a ‘new life’ if they believe in Jesus and try to follow Him. It used to be the case that many Easter eggs that were given as presents were hollow - with nothing inside them.
Nowadays though most Easter eggs have a nice surprise in them – some more chocolates or a little gift.
And that of course reinforces the idea that for the disciples it was a ‘nice surprise’ when Jesus - whom they thought they had lost forever when he died on the cross - returned to them. And reassured them that physical death was not the end - if they had faith.