One tradition I often see referred to for our most sacred festival is the Easter Egg hunt for children. But Easter Eggs have come to have a different meaning as well. For us computer programmers an Easter Egg is a hidden piece of code buried deep in our program that contains a game or some cool reference, either to the programmer and/or to popular culture. For example, the new Microsoft Edge has a hidden game you can access if you go to the URL edge://surf!
Interestingly enough, the Bible also contains such Easter Eggs; and no, I’m not talking about prophecies. I’m talking more about circumstances that God hints at beforehand or fulfils in such a way, that when we look back, we go, “Cool!” I stumbled across three of them while reading through Leviticus and Joshua and considering the crucifixion account.
The first is in Leviticus 26:34-35 there is a hint as to how long an exile from the Promised Land will last: the number of years that the Israelites did not observe the Sabbath years. An astute reader of the Word in Jeremiah’s time would have not been surprised at the prediction that Judah would be in exile for 70 years (Jer. 25:11-12; 2Ch. 36:21). They could have calculated this figure themselves using the Leviticus passage and the length of time Israel had been in the Land.
The second is a little more interesting. When reading about the division of the Land in Joshua 21, the Aaronic priests are allotted their cities in Simeon, Judah, and Benjamin, which in the future becomes the Kingdom of Judah with its capitol at Jerusalem, where the Temple of Yahweh is built and which is (mostly) loyal to Yahweh throughout its existence. It seems God is already setting things up for when Solomon builds the temple nearly 500 years in the future. It also suggests that the focus of God’s actions will be in the land allotted to Judah and Benjamin, not the rest of Israel.
Third, when Jesus Christ was crucified, not only did he die on Passover, but he was raised to the cross at the time of the morning sacrifice and he died at the time of the evening sacrifice (see Mk. 15:25,33-37). So, his ultimate sacrifice lines up perfectly with the Old Testament sacrificial system – not just symbolically but actually. Cool, huh?
Of course, each of these “Easter Eggs” are only clear in hindsight. But what I know of God suggests to me that he has many more such oblique hints and foreshadowings sprinkled throughout Scripture. Which ones have you discovered?
Image Credit: Easter eggs in a basket from an above angle by Prixel Creative | Lightstock; Microsoft Edge Browser hidden surfing game.