Traditions are symbolic, not secular
Easter Sunday is one of the most meaningful days on the Christian calendar because it commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to atonement.
Many symbols are associated with Easter, and understanding these symbols can help Christians and non-Christians alike gain a stronger grasp of this deeply meaningful day of worship. While it is true that Easter is not about colorful eggs and new suits and dresses, some of these holiday staples are actually rooted in Resurrection Sunday.
· Lamb – The lamb represents Jesus Christ and can be connected to Jewish Passover, a Jewish holiday that commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. During the celebration of Passover, each Jewish family killed a lamb as a sacrifice. Christians commonly refer to Jesus as the Lamb of God who God sacrificed so Christians’ sins could be forgiven.
· Easter eggs – While Easter eggs may seem like a secular symbol, their connection to Easter dates back many centuries. Early Christians saw the egg as symbolic of the tomb out of which Christ emerged when He was resurrected. Early Christians even painted Easter eggs, much like parents do with their children today, and even had them blessed and gave them as gifts.
· Clothing – New clothing is another symbol that traces its origins back further than many Christians may realize. It’s customary for present-day Christians to don their Sunday best when attending Easter Sunday services, and the tradition of looking sharp on the holy day can be traced to the early Christians, who would wear new white robes for baptisms during Easter services. Eventually, all Easter celebrants began to wear new clothes during Easter services.
· Palm fronds – Palm Sunday is the final Sunday of Lent, held one week before Easter Sunday, that commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. According to the Gospels, Jesus rode a young donkey into Jerusalem, where the townspeople threw palms in front of him in homage. That practice was a customary sign of respect in Jerusalem, and today Christians believe the palm is a sign of peace. Palms continue to be distributed to the faithful during Palm Sunday Mass.
Jennings Daily News hopes you and your loved ones enjoy a blessed Easter. As you celebrate with some of the symbols that are synonymous with the holiday, know that you are acknowledging the sacrifice made for us on a wooden cross thousands of years ago.
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