What God is Saying

Sing to the LORD; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. — Psalm 96:2-3

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Easter Devotion: Easter Symbols and their Meanings (Day 31)

Today's devotion as well as the devotions for the next two days are a bit different as we will look at some of the symbols of Easter to find out their meanings.

Easton's Bible Dictionary defines Easter this way:
"originally a Saxon word (Eostre), denoting a goddess of the Saxons, in honour of whom sacrifices were offered about the time of the Passover. Hence the name came to be given to the festival of the Resurrection of Christ, which occurred at the time of the Passover." Because of the pagan link with the name Easter, some Christians have begun calling this special day, Resurrection Sunday instead.

White means purity. Easton's Bible Dictionary: "A symbol of purity (2 Chr. 5:12; Ps. 51:7; Isa. 1:18; Rev. 3:18; 7:14). Our Lord, at his transfiguration, appeared in raiment "white as the light" (Matt. 17:2, etc.)."
White is also the symbol of holiness: The high priest's holy garments were made of white linen - Leviticus 16:4,32; Choir singers were arrayed in white - 2 Chronicles 5:12

Cross or Crucifix:
A crucifix is a cross with an image of Jesus' body hanging from it. It symbolizes the sacrifice Jesus made by allowing Himself to be killed. An empty cross--that is, without the figure of Christ crucified--reminds Christians of Jesus' victory over death and the new life and hope this victory brings to believers.
During the first 300 years after Christ's death, Christians feared persecution by the hostile Roman government and rarely displayed the cross in public. In the 300's, the Romans began to tolerate Christianity and crosses were widely displayed. During the early Middle Ages, Christian artists made crosses as symbols of the Christian belief in the Resurrection of Christ. Many of these crosses portrayed the risen Christ wearing priestly clothes and a royal crown. Later, Christians began to emphasize the sufferings of Jesus in crucifixes.

In Europe, some of the churches do not have crosses on the top but instead have roosters. This reminds worshippers of Peter's denial of Christ and how they must not deny Christ."
See Matthew 26:69-75

Candles are burned during many Easter celebrations, especially the vigil and midnight services before Easter Sunday. Christians associate Jesus with the light from candles, calling Him "the Light of the World." Many churches extinguish candles on their altars on Good Friday to show that Jesus' light has gone out. In Roman Catholic churches, the special paschal candle is lit on Easter Sunday next to the main altar. The candle represents Jesus' return to life. The candle is often lit during the next 40 days, until it is put out on Ascension Day.

Easter lilies are used to decorate churches and homes. The large, pure white blossoms remind Christians of the pure new life that comes to them through the Resurrection of Jesus.
The Lily in the Bible: Lessons to trust are gathered from the Lily: Matthew 6: 28-30
Molded in the rim of the molten laver in the temple: 1 Kings 7:26 & 2 Chronicles 4:5
The principle capitals of the temple ornamented with carvings of lilies: 1 Kings 7:19,22,26
Used in a figurative sense, of the lips of the beloved: Song of Solomon 5:13

Here is a website that shows how to make paper Easter lilies out of your child's handprint: Easter Lily handprint

The information in this devotion came from Annies' home page

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