Easter Sunday is a day when Christians across the globe celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Data from the Pew Research Center indicates there are approximately 2.4 billion Christians across the globe, which accounts for nearly one-third of the global population.
Though certain Christians groups do not celebrate Easter, many consider it the holiest day of the year. Given that significance, it’s no surprise Easter is steeped in symbolism. The following are some of the many symbols of Easter and what they represent to faithful Christians across the globe.
Eggs might now be more instantly associated with Easter egg hunts for children, but the American Bible Society notes that eggs are symbolic of more than just fun for kids. Eggs represent the new life that’s symbolic of spring, which is when Easter occurs in the northern hemisphere. Christians view eggs as a reminder of the resurrection of Jesus. Interestingly, though colored eggs are often seen as a fun Easter activity for kids, the ABS notes that the tradition dates back to the early days of Christianity, when red-colored eggs were used to represent the resurrection.
The crucifix, which is a distinct representation of a cross with Jesus Christ on it, is symbolic of the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus. The ABS notes that the resurrection of Jesus symbolizes his victory over the power of sin and death.
Jesus is referred to in the Bible as the “Lamb of God” (Revelation 5:6-14), so the lamb is another important Easter symbol for Christians. In addition, in John (1:29), Jesus is referred to by John the Baptist as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
Another symbol, like Easter eggs, that people could be forgiven for mistaking as purely secular, the Easter Bunny is not entirely separate from the spiritual meaning of the holiday. As noted, Easter, even though it’s a moveable feast, takes place in spring in the northern hemisphere each year. Spring is symbolic of rebirth, and the hare was a symbol of fertility among the ancient pagans. The spirit of rebirth associated with rabbits, particularly in spring, also is reminiscent of the resurrection of Jesus from his tomb.
Easter is celebrated across the globe. Those celebrations feature many significant religious symbols that have withstood the test of time.