It’s Not About the Bunny
What are your favorite memories of Easter as a child? Most young girls got excited about a frilly dress, matching hat, and shoes. The boys were less excited about a suit and tie, but they managed to go with the flow as the family paraded off to church. An Easter egg hunt was and still is popular for all the little ones to participate – Oh the joy when a brightly colored egg was discovered! It was enough to put a smile on the grouchiest of men and women. A wonderful feast of food was served, followed by a lamb cake and chocolate foil wrapped bunnies to top off the meal. If you were lucky you went to mall and got a picture with the Easter bunny. What’s with the bunny?
Did you know?
The story of the Easter Bunny is thought to have become common in the 19th Century. Rabbits usually give birth to a big litter of babies (called kittens), so they became a symbol of new life. Bunnies, eggs, Easter gifts and fluffy, yellow chicks in gardening hats all stem from pagan roots. They were incorporated into the celebration of Easter separately from the Christian tradition of honoring the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead. ... Her symbol was the rabbit because of the animal's high reproduction rate.
Oddly enough, I didn’t even know this until I turned to the great theologian google, to uncover these fun facts! I find it so interesting how people turn to icons and blindly follow the culture into something without having any idea what it is truly about. I’m not judging, I did it too! I had an AHA moment when I realized that Easter is not about the bunny.
My awareness came when I made a life change and became a person of faith. This took place when I was 33 years old. Me and my husband were invited to a church service by a sweet couple, John and Terri. They were kind, loving and inclusive. Rick and I had a long history of alcohol and drug abuse. Any sane person would have run in the opposite direction of us but they didn’t. While at church I heard the Gospel message and made a decision to turn my life around that day and allow Jesus to take the wheel. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
I began spiritual disciplines and started growing in my faith. These healthy habits which included studying God’s word, participating in small groups, praying, and going to church on Sunday. These helped me get educated on what Easter is REALLY about. It’s not about the bunny. It’s not about eggs and chocolate- even though I love me some chocolate!
Easter is celebrating the Gospel message-the good news! Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life and then sacrificed His sinless life for you and for me, so that we could have forgiveness of sin and be reconciled with a Holy God who created us! Jesus’ abundant life was full of miracles, ministry, heartache, pain, blessings, laughter, conflict, prayer, friendships, suffering and so much more. It sounds strange to say we celebrate the week before Easter because that entire week prior was filled with anguish and pain. From the betrayal by one of His own, which started the wheels in motion, which would bring terrible suffering upon Christ, until the burial and waiting until Sunday which is the day we rejoice. He is risen indeed! That tomb is empty!
Without the suffering there would be no rejoicing. Without the virgin birth, there would not be a sinless life, or suffering of Christ and there would be no Resurrection. Each season of Jesus life needed to unfold to cause the end result. It’s a fascinating story! If you notice- there’s no mention of the bunny.
When someone asks you why are you so joyous about Easter? You can honestly say it’s not about the bunny and I’d love to tell you the whole story. Have a wonderful Easter celebrating the empty tomb.