By Spencer D Gear
Easter is the time for Easter eggs but it has other ingredients that make it an attractive season. Of course, there’s the long weekend, plenty of sport on television and the opportunity for gorging lots of chocolate. Talk about options!
At Easter, according to The Age (13 November 2008) newspaper, “Australians will munch their way through about 200 million Easter eggs. We hold the title of being the highest per capita consumers of chocolate Easter goods in the world”.
In the UK around £200 million pounds is spent on 80 million Easter eggs every year. What about Australia? According to the Brisbane Courier-Mail of 15 March 2011, “Research conducted for the CMA [Confectionery Manufacturers’ Association] has found $230 million is spent annually in Australia and New Zealand on Easter sweets”. The Courier-Mail found that in 2011, Easter egg prices soared by 20%.
But why are there special eggs at Easter? Eggs symbolise new life and fertility. This religious festival comes with little to frighten anyone in this era of religious extremism. Who could ever be offended by a cute chocolate bunny?
But there’s a paradox here. Have you thought how strange it is that Easter eggs are identified with one of the most horrific ways of killing a person? This is the time of remembering the most famous death by crucifixion in history – Jesus Christ.
To be crucified for crime, the victim was lying on the cross on the ground and held down. He was nailed on that cross with crude, rough nails.
Then he was lifted up on the cross and it was dropped into a hole in the ground. He experienced unimaginable thirst and found it difficult to breathe.
There were hours of pain, cramps, and partial suffocation as tissue was torn from the person’s lacerated back as it moved up and down on the rough timber. This trauma impacted the chest and began to compress the heart.
To make it worse, the crowds would mock the victim.
But how does our culture remember Christ’s crucifixion at Easter? With eggs and jewellery. It’s almost impossible to walk down the street without seeing a version of the cross. Generally it’s on a chain around somebody’s neck or as ear rings. This is a far cry from the actual Easter event.
Malcolm Muggeridge, the famous British media personality, soldier-spy and later Christian convert, called this death the most famous one in history. He said that no other death than Christ’s has aroused one-hundredth part of the interest or been remembered with one-hundredth part of the intensity of concern.
We are continuously confronted with troubles. Troubles in war, families and even in our own souls.
Into the midst of this repulsion in our world, at Easter we remember the Jesus of the cross who died for our sins and was resurrected. Why? So that we can have the opportunity to be set free from the guilt of our souls.
At Easter we remember that there can be new life in Christ. Hence the association with eggs!
Louis M. Lepeaux, French philosopher, politician and bitter opponent of Christ at the time of the French Revolution, once started a religion that he hoped would be superior to Christianity. He sought the counsel of the great French diplomat and statesman, Charles Maurice Talleyrand.
Talleyrand’s advice was perceptive: “I recommend that you get yourself crucified and then die, but be sure to rise again on the third day.”
Why should you bother to embrace the Christian message this Easter?
The Christ of the cross changed the agnostic, Malcolm Muggeridge, into an active Christian who published Jesus Rediscovered. Millions of people have made the same life-changing commitment and discovered the joy that Muggeridge found.
This is what we remember at Easter. He is the Jesus who died, was resurrected and changes people’s lives.
 C. Truman Davis MD, “A physician examines the crucifixion,” available from: http://www.thecross-photo.com/Dr_C._Truman_Davis_Analyzes_the_Crucifixion.htm [Accessed 2 January 2010].
 Seeing through the eye: Malcolm Muggeridge on faith, available from Google Books [Accessed 2 January 2010].
 The story is told in Rt. Rev. John Paterson, Bishop of Auckland, Sunday 14th May, 2006, “150th anniversary of Devonport Parish,” available from: http://www.holytrinity.gen.nz/Pages/sermons/150sesquicelebrate.htm [Accessed 2 January 2010].
 Available online at: http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/mugridge/jred/jredcont.htm [Accessed 2 January 2010].
Copyright © 2010 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 13 October 2015.