Hope Lutheran Church of Klamath Falls, Oregon

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8:30am Heritage Service
9:45am Fellowship Hour
11:00am Contemporary Service & Sunday School


Hope Lutheran Church
2314 Homedale Road
Klamath Falls OR 97603
541.884.6414

Hope Community Center
2408 Homedale Road
Klamath Falls, OR 97603
541-274-1876


 

SOME SYMBOLS OF EASTER

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

 

As Easter approaches, I am reminded of an old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” So it is with a symbol. In short a symbol is something that stands or represents something else. This the Season of Easter we use some of these symbols.

 

THE BUTTERFLY

The butterfly is a much used symbol of Easter. It is figurative of the whole life cycle in Christ. First, there is the caterpillar, which stands for our present life. Then, there is the cocoon, which means death. Finally, the butterfly emerges that portrays the new life of the resurrection.

 

THE EASTER EGG

Ancient civilizations held the egg as a symbol of new life. As Christian missionaries explained the faith to other peoples they would borrow symbols. So it was with the egg. Dead looking from the outside, an egg holds within it the secret of new life. So it was with Jesus’ death on a cross and his burial in a tomb: what was dead held the secret of new life of his resurrection.

 

THE EASTER LILY

Like the egg, the bulb of the Easter lily at first looks lifeless. But it springs to life and its flower is a thing of beauty. So here is another representative of death transformed into a beautiful new life.

 

THE EASTER BUNNY

This is yet another borrowed symbol. Like us who live in North America, in many places on our globe, Easter occurs during the time of Spring Equinox. This is a time when creation is coming to life again, literally budding forth and animals hatching or giving birth. So it is with Jesus, there is new life. As ancient peoples celebrated new life with symbols of bunnies, so early missionaries also used these as symbols of the new life brought in Jesus’ resurrection.

 

THE EMPTY CROSS

When I was younger it was often pointed out that Roman Catholics have a cross with a suffering Jesus (called a crucifix), and Protestants have an empty cross symbolizing Easter. This difference worked for me until I visited the Protestant Churches in Europe. Many Protestant Churches there had crucifixes! The cross is indeed a symbol of the suffering and the death of Jesus, and how he is with us bearing our sufferings. The empty cross does reminds us of Jesus victory over death. Both are needed for the whole story of God’s salvation for us.

 

THE EMPTY TOMB

The empty tomb is usually depicted in works of art with a cave opening with a round stone rolled away on one side. Sometimes an angel guards the entrance. It portrays for the faithful the true meaning of Easter: the empty tomb symbolizes the Risen Lord and all the joy the Easter is celebrated. As Phillips Brooks wrote in “An Easter Carol”:

Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer;

Death is strong, but Life is stronger;

Stronger than the dark, the light;

Stronger than the wrong, the right;

Faith and Hope triumphant say,

Christ will rise on Easter Day!

 

God’s Easter Blessings!

Pastor Lou