Rather than over think Easter, and I would never over think something. Not me man.
I went to a nifty little book I have named, Our Christian Symbols by Friedrich Rest published first in 1954 and again in 1959 and sold to a man named Howard T. Clark of Colorado Springs for 75 cents. Somehow it now rests on my bookshelves and periodically I look through it.
Here is that is says about “Easter Symbols.”
“Among the symbols for Easter, we will consider the resurrection cross, the butterfly, the Easter lily, the pomegranate, the phoenix, and the peacock.”
“The Resurrection Cross (a cross with the Jesus hanging in front fully clothed and arms outstretched) – Here Christ is represented as living and reigning from the cross, clothed as Priest, Prophet, and King.” He is the one crucified for our sins. He is the one raised from the dead to give us new life.
“The Butterfly is a symbol of the resurrection and eternal life because it emerges with a glorified body able to soar into the sky, from the cocoon or chrysalis, which in turn comes from the caterpillar and the caterpillar from the egg.”
“The Easter Lily is a common symbol of Easter, used in Easter services of worship. It blooms around Easter each year. The flowers, in the shape of horns, trumpet the Good News of Resurrection.”
“The Pomegranate is suggestive of Easter because of the many seeds in the fruit. The fruit is about the size of an orange, with reddish-yellow rind and juicy red pulp. The pomegranate is also symbolic of fertility of the Word and the richness of divine grace.”
“The Phoenix is a popular symbol of Christ’s resurrection, or the resurrection of those who fall asleep in Him. The phoenix is an imaginary bird resembling an eagle, which is said to live five hundred years in the Arabian Desert. It is then consumed by a fire, but rises again, fresh and beautiful from its own ashes. It is usually pictured above the flames.”
“The Peacock has also been used to symbolize eternal life, resurrection and immortality because of the annual renewal of its beautiful plumage.”
Easter is not a time to theologize or discuss doctrine. It is simply a time to live into the resurrection. In presenting these symbols and short reflection, my hope goes all the way back to what Friedrich Rest wrote in 1959.
“There is a devotional value in symbols because they help tot remind us of the Christian faith; they create an atmosphere of worship and provide food for thought.” Page viii.
May the Lord bless your worship, devotions, and thoughts this Easter week.
Friedrich Rest, Our Christian Symbols, The Christian Education Press: Philadelphia, PA, 1954, renewed 1959, pages viii, 8-9, 63-64.