Easter symbols help reveal the true meaning of the season, says Christian writer

The use of symbols such as eggs and rabbits can help parents explain the gospel truth behind the increasingly secularized holiday of Easter, a Christian author based in Tennessee told Fox News Digital.

“Reconciling the true meaning of Easter with the secular, marketing-driven holiday the world celebrates can be tricky for adults, and even more difficult to explain to kids,” Jessica Wolstenholm told Fox News Digital.

Wolstenholm is director of content and faith formation for Minno, a Christian media company.

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While Easter today is associated with “egg hunts” and baskets of chocolate, Christian parents need not eschew these traditions, though they’re associated with the secular observance of Easter.

“Some of the symbols of Easter have become so associated with the secular side of the holiday that we forget how they can help us communicate the gospel message,” said Wolstenholm.

Easter eggs can be a useful tool to help parents explain the true meaning of Easter and the gospel, said Jessica Wolstenholm (inset) of Tennessee. (iStock/Minno)

“Maybe it’s because we’ve lost sight of the big picture,” she said. “We’ve made Easter all about the forgiveness of sin and eliminating judgment, but Jesus also said, ‘I’ve come to bring life and to bring it to you abundantly’ (John 10:10).”

The religious observance of Easter has dwindled to a single week, said Wolstenholm, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.

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The “secular” observance of Easter is even shorter at just a single day, she said — and is “seen as just another reason to put marshmallow and sugar together and sell it to the masses.”

“But Easter – the celebration of Christ’s resurrection – is the turning point for all of history, and the most meaningful event for our faith,” said Wolstenholm.

Easter eggs are associated with modern, secular celebrations of Easter – but actually have a long history of use in religious context. (iStock)

It is critical, she said, that children understand the significance of Easter and the Easter season.

“We can use traditions like bunnies and eggs to help communicate that meaning,” Wolstenholm said.

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Eggs, along with baby animals such as bunnies and chicks, represent new life, she said, and have been associated with Easter and Jesus for centuries.

The use of symbols to help teach complicated religious concepts has a similarly long tradition, said one media professional.  (iStock)

“The church used eggs way back in the Middle Ages when they would paint them blood-red as a symbol of Jesus, so they could tell Christ’s story,” she said.

The use of symbols to help teach complicated religious concepts has a similarly long tradition.

“Up until the last 400 years, teaching the Bible often meant teaching illiterate people. Teachers had to use symbols instead of written words,” she said.

“Even the stained-glass windows in churches were used to tell a story of redemption.”

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Easter, said Wolstenholm, is “full of symbols.”

“When we can see the connection back to Jesus, we can embrace them — so let’s talk to our kids about bunnies and eggs and the new life they represent,” she said.

After discussing these symbols, parents and caregivers can talk to children about Jesus’ promise to humanity: that He came to bring new life.

“Our kids will truly understand what that means and begin to live it out, this Easter and for every Easter to come,” she said.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

Christine Rousselle is a lifestyle reporter with Fox News Digital.

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