Summary: The resurrection is the biggest Easter egg ever dropped into human existence.

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Easter Sunday April 15, 2001

(Written with assistance from a sermon by Leonard Sweet, "Crack Open Some Easter Eggs and Be Cracked Open" at


How many of you have participated in an Easter egg hunt this spring? (Either searching for eggs, hiding eggs, or watching others do this.)

When you think about it, the tradition of hard-boiling, dyeing, hiding and then rediscovering eggs in grass nests or reed baskets has to be one of the strangest rituals in human existence.

Oh, I know it’s solemnly steeped in symbolism – spring, rebirth, chicks cracking out of a tomb-like shell. But for most of us – tell the truth now – it really is just a little silly.

So what is it that delights us about finding these rainbow colored eggs in all sorts of odd places? For children and those of us with childlike imaginations, the Easter egg is wonderful precisely because it is so outlandish. It’s color is flamboyant, it’s location is a secret we must uncover. It’s presence is ridiculous and unexpected. No matter how old we get, we still hope for surprises and we are delighted when they materialize.

Easter eggs have gone through some changes over the years – Because of salmonella scares, most Easter egg hunts are a search for plastic replica eggs. Since these are filled with candy instead of crumbly yolks and jiggly hard-boiled egg-whites, this is a definite improvement.

More recently, Easter eggs have been post-modernized, becoming part of the computer culture. It seems those techno-wizards composing the software that run our computer programs get bored writing the same old codes over and over again.

To amuse themselves and assert their individuality these programmers insert secret codes into a program, that, when correctly accessed, deliver something commonly called an “Easter egg” to surprise and delight the searcher.

If you have kids they can probably tell you how to find “Easter eggs” inside their video games. You can also find them inside standard computer software or boring spreadsheets of information.

In the video game, Tomb Raider II, Lara Croft, the female Indiana Jones-type heroine, may suddenly turn into a fireball. Why? It’s an Easter egg. Programmers have hidden in the computer code for this game a surprise: if Lara takes one full step forward, one back, turns around three times and then leaps backward, she explodes.

Easter eggs sometimes direct you to the names of those who programmed the software, others are just meant to be funny.

In Apple Macs, you can sometimes find the cry, “Help, I’m being held prisoner in a system software factory.”

In Microsoft Word 97, you can play pinball.

And in Microsoft Excel 97, punch in the coordinates “X97:L97,” strike a couple of keys in the correct order, and the next thing you know, your screen turns into a virtual world of blue mountainous peaks and valleys, which using your mouse as a controller, you can fly through forward or backward, fast or slow. Maybe that’s what Microsoft means by “productivity application.”

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