Dip and Dye Eggs This Easter
by Rick Renner
Are you ready to celebrate Easter? Are you preparing your heart for this celebration? I was talking to my friend the other day about the impact the preparation of Easter made on me when I was a child; my mom cleaned our whole house inside out. Every child got news clothes because of this celebration.
I like to call Easter from now on “Resurrection Day”. The Lord has told me more often to move beyond all the traditional habits and acknowledge Easter for what it really is; a powerful reminder of the ultimate sacrifice and miraculous resurrection of Christ Himself.
One thing I always like to do is read messages about Easter regarding some “tradition”. Here is the 1st I chose for today. I will be posting 2 more this week, so please come back!
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.- Matt. 28:19
One year our Moscow pastoral staff had a debate over whether or not it was right or wrong to dye Easter eggs for the annual Easter celebration. In the Russian Orthodox Church, Easter eggs are a very big part of tradition. Therefore, I wanted to include Easter eggs in our church celebration in order to help those from an Orthodox background feel more comfortable in their new Protestant surroundings. My goal was for our children’s ministry to dip, dye, and decorate several thousand eggs —one for each member of the congregation—and then to publicly present them on stage to the church before giving one to every person in attendance.
Because the children would be presenting the eggs on stage, I knew this special presentation would attract their unsaved parents to the service, allowing the parents to hear the Gospel for the first time. Some of the pastoral staff thought this was a great idea, but others thought it was inappropriate to use a symbol that also had alleged ties to paganism from the past.
At the same time we were debating this question, I was preparing to preach a message about water baptism. To prepare for my message, I pulled out my Greek New Testament, opened it to Matthew 28:19, and began to look at the Greek word for “baptism.” I honestly thought, What new revelation could I possibly learn about the word “baptism” after studying it for so many years? But I’ll open all my books and give it a shot to see if there’s anything about this word I’ve never seen before.
Wow! Was I ever shocked at what I discovered that day! After all those years of studying, I saw something I had never seen before about baptidzo, the Greek word for “baptism.” I saw that this word baptidzo originally meant to dip and to dye. For instance, in very early cases, baptidzo described the process of dipping a cloth or garment into a vat of color to dye it; leaving it there long enough for the material to soak up the new color; and then pulling that garment out of the dye with a permanently changed outward appearance. When I saw this, I just about leaped out of my chair with excitement!
In Second Corinthians 5:17, Paul wrote, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” A person who comes to Jesus Christ can be likened to an old garment that needs to be dipped into a vat of dye so its color can be changed. However, the person isn’t dipped into a vat of colored dye, but into the precious blood of the Lamb! This person is so totally transformed by Jesus’ blood that he becomes a new creature. His countenance is so changed that he even looks different. You could say that this new believer has been “dipped and dyed!”
What a new light this shed on baptism! Paul wrote, “Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Water baptism is a symbolic proclamation of the fact that believers have been buried with Christ and raised with Him. When a believer is placed in the baptismal waters, it symbolizes being immersed in one condition and coming out looking brand new. In other words, it is a picture of what happened to that person when he got saved! This outward symbol represents the fact that he has been dipped in the blood of the Lamb, and now his entire life has been newly colored and transformed to be like Jesus!
When I saw this meaning in the word baptidzo, I told my pastoral staff, “This year we’re going to let the children dye Easter eggs. Then we’re going to use this as a teaching tool to show them what happens when a person is born again!” I instructed the teachers to tell the children that each egg represented a person who has been saved and dipped in the blood of Jesus Christ—newly colored, transformed, and changed forever.
The time came for the children to dye and decorate those eggs. As they dipped those eggs, they imagined that they were baptizing people who were newly saved. It turned out to be quite a hallelujah time! Each Easter egg became a declaration to those children that several thousand new people would soon be saved and water baptized!
Aren’t you thankful that Jesus totally transformed your life? Don’t you see things differently from the way you used to see them? Hasn’t your entire outlook on life been altered? In a certain sense, couldn’t you say that there is new light and color since Jesus came into your life? Just go ahead and rejoice in the fact that you have been dipped and dyed in the blood of Jesus and that you’ll never be the same again!