3 Easter Eggs in the Bible?
(and a hunt to find the rest...)
Don't you just love movie and television 'easter eggs' in the entertainment industry?
And I am not talking about the ones in some show about traditional Easter, of course. (You are probably way ahead of me here, aren't you?) I am talking about a movie's hidden references, clues or inside jokes that have been secretly (and sometimes not so inconspicuously) placed into TV shows, video games, and movies. Those eggs are pretty much a creator's secret love letter to their fans, or in some cases an inside joke with fellow creators. A little wink, if you will. We have one particular show where we watch a YouTuber's "Easter eggs" after every episode! And then we watch the show again. We're total nerds like that. ;-)
But I probably also don't have to explain to you what an actual Easter egg hunt is because you probably already know ... adding to the charm that you can find it all over the internet! There are even some excellent places on these interwebs where you can get ideas for making a dozen eggs into resurrection eggs to tell the great story to your kids.
There is also a great overview explanation for kids in the video below about how most countries have some version of Easter and egg hunts or just a Spring celebration and not just the Easter bunny legend. If you've ever pondered questions like, "What does the Easter bunny have to do with Jesus?", "What on earth does the Easter egg symbolize in Christianity?", or even, "Isn't Easter a pagan holiday?", well, this is a pretty great explanation:
Neat, eh? You can also click here for an impressive list of how other countries celebrate Easter! Also, if you would like a fun video to show your kids (with a narrator who giggles all the way through), look here.
But what is the true meaning of Easter? You know as well as I do that a much more interesting (and rewarding!) find than a backyard search for coloured eggs or a hunt for entertainment references ...
... is Jesus, the real Easter story. There are no Easter eggs in the story of Jesus. But wait! Are there? AND ... stay with me here ... did you know that Jesus WAS/IS an "Easter egg?" (I said 'stay with me' for a reason, huh? lol)
Many people have the notion that the Old Testament was written BC ('before Christ'). Yes, indeed it was written before Christ's incarnation but, not before Christ, the Son of God. Nothing was 'before' Christ. Blank. Zero. Zip. He is the Creator of everything, including even time itself, future, past and present. Therefore, Jesus often appears in the Old Testament.
There are many prophecies of His coming to achieve His unique role as Messiah. God in His mercy and grace also gave "object lessons" in the promise of His Son's arrival. The brass serpent on a post is one example, and each offering of a flawless lamb was a foreshadowing of Calvary.
There are about 320 Prophecies, Displays, or Foreshadowings (PDFs *wink*) of Christ in the Old Testament. 110 PDFs in the books of Law, around 150 PDFs in the Writings, and at least 150 PDF's in the Prophets. A minimal total for the entire Old Testament, therefore, is about 320 PDFs. Some have found a few less, some more ...
... more "Easter eggs," if you will. You can hunt the entire Old Testament and find the Messiah in every last book. I am serious. Some are very tricky, but they are there, like that golden Easter egg my in-loves hide for their grandchildren with a $2 inside: hard to always immediately, but worth the search.
So. I am going to share three of these 'eggs' with you; three out of four hundred and twenty-something hints about Jesus. I am starting with the first one.
Biblical Easter Egg #1:
Here is just one, instead, I believe, the FIRST one: "...and I will put enmity between you and the woman; between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise you on the head, but you will bruise Him on the heel." (Genesis 3:15)
That one I typed entirely from memory; I'll tell you why in a minute. Let's look at another interpretation:
"...Because you’ve done this, you’re cursed,
cursed beyond all cattle and wild animals,
Cursed to slink on your belly
and eat dirt all your life.
I’m declaring war between you and the Woman,
between your offspring and hers.
He’ll wound your head,
you’ll wound his heel.”
Genesis 3:15 (MSG)
I will always remember this, my first memory verse. Yeah, believe it or not, it wasn't even "Jesus wept." (Who knows why? When I found out later that "Jesus wept" was a choice, I was pretty pumped.)
Soon after, I learned John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." It was then that mother taught me how much that famous verse had in common with the not-so-famous Genesis 3:15 prophecy in the Bible:
"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life."
John 3:16 (MSG)
Read them both again: Genesis 3:15 and John 3:16.
JESUS. WILL. CRUSH. SATAN.
Seeing the sculpture (above) in Rome years ago took my breath away. I took a photograph, waited for the development (hey, it was the 80s), immediately showed it to mom (who cried), and was in my Bible from then on. Guess which verse it marked...? ;-) Then sadly, I used the awesome new Bible cover with a handle, stupidly forgot to zip it, and it fell out. I couldn't find it anywhere ... not even on the web! Fortunately, my neighbour obliged and guided me toward some photos from the Vatican. I printed it on photo paper and it went right back to it's rightful place at Genesis 3:15.
Biblical Easter Egg #2:
Another 'easter egg' in Genesis is a passage which makes it clear that 'the angel' who Jacob struggled with (Gn 32:24-30) was the Lord God. This is yet additional support that the one 'angel' referred to throughout the Old Testament is not a being. The word means 'messenger,' and the Lord Jesus Christ was and is God's perfect messenger to earth, communicating that God truly is three-in-one.
But Jacob stayed behind by himself, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he couldn’t get the best of Jacob as they wrestled, he deliberately threw Jacob’s hip out of joint. The man said, “Let me go; it’s daybreak.”
Jacob said, “I’m not letting you go ’til you bless me.” The man said, “What’s your name?” He answered, “Jacob.”
The man said, “But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it’s Israel (God-Wrestler); you’ve wrestled with God and you’ve come through.” Jacob asked, “And what’s your name?”
The man said, “Why do you want to know my name?” And then, right then and there, he blessed him. Jacob named the place Peniel (God’s Face) because, he said, “I saw God face-to-face and lived to tell the story!” Genesis 32:24-30 (MSG)
God's church believes the concept of the Trinity. And this concept is NOT understood because human beings have brilliantly un-puzzled all the pieces. It is, instead, shown (no, UNVEILED) in the Bible. The 'angel of the LORD' passages is part of that revelation. Jesus appeared in the Old Testament as the Angel of the LORD, and various passages in the Old Testament also reveal the Trinity, including the Holy Spirit.
Scripture does not say that the presence who wanted to wrestle was an 'angel', but rather it says a 'man.' Although the man does not mention his name, Jacob surmised that he had struggled with God, for he stated, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Genesis 32:30).
Many do believe that the person who fought and wrestled with Jacob was not an angel, but Jesus, a member of the Godhead who became human. He was the same person who had appeared to both Abraham (Genesis 12:7, 17:1, 18:1) and Isaac (Genesis 26:1, 24) in the form of a 'man.' This mysterious stranger would later be known, after being born through a human, as Jesus Christ.
These top two verses are a couple of inspirations for the title of the introductory lesson in The Scripture Scout's Sleuth for the Truth Sunday school curriculum: JESUS IN GENESIS??, (but I think you know the answer to that question).
It is worth it for you to ponder ... was it Jesus with whom Jacob wrestled?
Biblical Easter Egg #3:
This one sounds like a stretch, but it isn't. Again, stay with me.
The people took Moses to task: “Give us water to drink.” But Moses said, “Why pester me? Why are you testing God?”
But the people were thirsty for water there. They complained to Moses, “Why did you take us from Egypt and drag us out here with our children and animals to die of thirst?”
Moses cried out in prayer to God, “What can I do with these people? Any minute now they’ll kill me!”
God said to Moses, “Go on out ahead of the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel. Take the staff you used to strike the Nile. And go. I’m going to be present before you there on the rock at Horeb. You are to strike the rock. Water will gush out of it and the people will drink.” Exodus 17:1-6 (MSG)
This passage is an, excuse me, "striking" preview of Calvary. For one, the rock was struck with the same rod that at one time was a serpent, for one. This passage is the first mention of the “rock” and the “water” that came out of the rock. We are not left to our own guesswork or our own wisdom in this little easter egg.
Holy Spirit through Paul spells it out for us in I Corinthians 10:1-4. He says, "They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life. They all ate and drank identical food and drink, meals provided daily by God. They drank from the Rock, God’s fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. And the Rock ... was Christ." (ellipses mine)
But you get it, don't you? Jesus was/is the "easter egg" hidden ALL OVER the Old Testament. Those are just three times! In ultimate understanding, every verse of Scripture steers us in one way or another to the Messiah. The whole Bible describes the coming of God into human history to establish His righteous kingdom over Satan, his demons, and ... we humanity who desperately need a redemption.
These "easter eggs" are not found in movies or television, they are not a joke, but they ARE/WERE the sweetest wink from our Creator about what to expect. And they are found in His love letter to His people. I think that is beautiful. How about you? Now those are some eggs I would be thrilled to have in my basket! And if you scroll down below this post you're going to find a fun way to do it together!
And I wonder, after parting this life, if there will be moments when we'll consider that we may have missed some Easter eggs he camouflaged throughout in our individual lives to foreshadow His return. It will not matter much then, especially if we are with Him, but it sure would be pleasant if it inspired a little heavenly discourse with Jesus.
I hope I have my chat with a cuppa.
P.S. This post isn't over yet! There is a quarantine-inspired-home-based Easter egg hunt below!
A SCRIPTURE SCOUT's EASTER EGG HUNT
THE HUNT BEGINS ...
The game is afoot!
I would like to go on an EASTER EGG HUNT with you!
I hope you find this game reassuring and uplifting.
I would love for YOU to find ONE passage in the Old Testament where Jesus is prophesied. More only if you like! Some will be obvious; others, maybe not. You might even have to snoop around the interwebs to see what other people have found. That's okay! Just avoid copying a whole list...
I would just like to see a huge "Easter basket" of those passages that refer to Jesus to fill up this page.
Our collective findings will be put together and posted as others join in the hunt. You can post various findings in the comments below or click the image below for a book-by-book form (also at this link):
There are four hundred and twenty-ish more to go! Can you find even one? I'll bet you CAN! I can't wait to see what you uncover ...