Mary Magdalene was a wealthy woman, called a disciple of Christ, and was the first person to whom Christ appeared the morning after his resurrection. She worked to spread the gospel after his ascension to Heaven, and through her influence, obtained an invitation to the dinner table of Tiberius Caesar in Rome. Illustrating to Caesar that Christ had risen from the dead, she picked up an egg from the table. The egg had long been a symbol for rebirth. Caesar laughed at her claiming that a person rising from the dead was as likely as the egg in her hand changing color. Before he finished speaking, the egg turned a bright red.
A variation of this story found mainly in Greece says that Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary placed a basket of eggs at the foot of the cross where they were painted with the blood of Christ. She then took these blood red eggs to Tiberius Caesar as an illustration of the gospel. The eggs were passed among believers with the giver saying, “Christ is risen,” and the receiver responding, “He is risen indeed.”