"Max, do you know why we dye the eggs?"
"So the Easter Bunny can find them?"
"No, silly." Although I had to appreciate his creative response. I steered clear of the Easter Bunny, which is an allegory of its own, and focused instead of the importance of Easter's lesson of Everlasting Life.
The egg began to officially represent the rebirth of Christ about a century after His death, when the Catholic Church adopted it as a symbol; the lesson was that even though the egg is hard like a rock in a tomb, a new life springs forth from it.
But even before Christianity claimed the symbolism, eggs have always been representative of new life and rebirth, across hundreds of civilizations, and for tens of thousands of years. Anyone who's seen a baby chick come from an egg will attest to the amazing way that life materializes in unexpected, God-like ways. And, as eggs tend to be eaten before they become chickens, the lesson also translates into eggs becoming sustenance for our bodies, thereby giving us life as well.
Traditionally, eggs were dyed red to represent the blood of Jesus, as sacrificed for us on the cross. But today, the vivid array of colors that accompanies Easter eggs also speak to the joy, love, and forgiveness that Christians carry in their souls everyday.
As I explained to Max how eggs are much more than breakfast fare or houses for baby chicks, he seemed to really absorb the lesson.
New Life is a gift of God’s Love, so it is with gladness and thankfulness that we celebrate our Easter traditions.