Archive for the ‘Eggs’ Category

Easter Eggs and Jesus’ Rebirth?

April 13, 2009

Mr. Lankford recently directed me to the following statement that betrays a misunderstanding of the connection between Easter and eggs:

Easter means nothing to me. Which is why I bought all these eggs.

Eggs aren’t religious symbols to me. I’m not a Christian recognising the death and rebirth of Jesus. Not a Jew celebrating the triumph of life over death as told in the Passover Haggadah. Not a pagan invoking springtime and life’s renewal. (I approve of springtime and life’s renewal, just not in a spiritual way.)

I’d like to take a second to clarify a couple of things. For those atheists who have no idea what Christianity teaches, we do not teach that Christ was reborn. Christ died and was resurrected from the dead on the third day. That resurrection was of the same body that died, not a new body.

Christianity also speaks of a rebirth or regeneration, but this is a spiritual rebirth, and it is something all those who believe in Christ have already experienced. It is a transformation of the spiritual faculties of man so that he turns from a hatred of God and disbelief in His Son, to a love of God and belief in His Son.

But what about the eggs? Everyone knows that Easter eggs are a popular tradition around Easter time. What’s that about?

The eggs may get tagged by various folks with various theological explanations, but the fact of the matter is more straightforward. During Lent (a fasting period of 40 days before Easter) the traditional fast included abstinence from a number of things, including eggs.

Chickens, however, continue to lay eggs during this time of year, since they are unaware of this tradition, which did not come from their creator. Thus, by the time Easter comes around one has potentially a large number of eggs that have been laid that are just sitting around. The result is a glut of eggs on the market around Easter time, making them quite cheap for a short amount of time, as well as making them available for such frivolities as painting etc.

It is simply a tradition that arose out of someone’s desire to turn eggs into something more interesting and decorative than they were. Also, hard-boiled and painted, an egg can last quite a while, even without refrigeration (please don’t test this and don’t view this blog as medical or dietary advice). Once Easter arrives and the Lenten fast is over, the painted eggs can be cracked up and eaten, and other egg-intensive foods (such as pastries and “pascha breads”) can be made at a relatively affordable cost.

The eggs, therefore, may have been tagged with significance by some folks (some parish priests seem fond of tagging everything with significance) – but such a significance is ex post facto, with more practical and aesthetic considerations being chief.


%d bloggers like this: