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The cross
Not just a symbol of Easter, the cross is probably the most common symbol of Christianity. It symbolizes the sacrifice Jesus made to die for the sins of mankind. An empty cross—without the figure of Christ crucified—reminds Christians of Jesus’ victory over death and the new life and hope this victory brings to those who choose to follow him.

The lamb
Jesus is associated with the lamb. Jews celebrate the festival of Passover to commemorate the blood of the Passover lamb, which caused the angel of death to “pass over” the Israelites. John the Baptist called Jesus “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

The Easter lily
This flower has long been a symbol of the new life of Jesus, trumpeting his resurrection.

Easter eggs
Ever since the chicken or the egg came first, people have decorated eggs to celebrate continuing and renewed life. Christians began using eggs to symbolize the rebirth of mankind, and they liken the egg symbol to the tomb from which Christ arose.

The donkey
Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey in fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. While many believe that Christ rode on a donkey as an example of humility and meekness, others observe that it was a perfectly respectable ride. While horses were animals of war—the mounts of conquerors—donkeys were ridden by non-military people of rank. So Christ came, not as conqueror, but as the message-bearer of peace.

The name “Easter”
This word has an uncertain origin. Some believe it’s derived from Eastre, the name of a Teutonic goddess of spring. Others claim it comes from the old German word for “dawn.” Whatever its origin, it has clearly come to be Christianity’s greatest event, an annual celebration of Christ’s resurrection.

 

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