Monday, April 18, 2011

How Did Bunnies & Eggs Get Associated With Christ's Resurrection?

Photo Credit: StSaling
A Seattle-area school has drawn fire from Christians due to reports that school officials required a student to refer to Easter eggs as "spring spheres." Though some people question the validity of these reports, stories like this are used as evidence by many Christians to point to the bias that exists against us when attempting to celebrate the important holidays of our faith.

While I am a big advocate that all Americans should have the freedom to express their beliefs, I do wonder if many of the Christians that are angry about the situation in Seattle could explain what exactly colored eggs have to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Like many other holidays celebrated within the United States, Easter is a combination of Christian practices, pagan celebrations and other rituals of non-Christian traditions. While I don't personally have a problem with taking part in the more mainstream activities of Christian holidays, it is fitting for us to remember the true meaning behind the celebration.

Pastor Mark Driscoll does a good job of providing a brief but helpful explanation of the origins of Easter here and comments on how bunnies and eggs came to be associated with this important Christian holiday.  After providing some insight upon the origins of the holiday, he shares some deeper reflections:
"Easter is still celebrated as a major holiday all around the globe, but the truth of Jesus' gory crucifixion and glorious resurrection is often obscured by the garish cartoon bunny in the stores and the gaudy displays of springtime fashion among the religious. Traditions of cute bunnies, marshmallowy creatures, colored eggs, and little girls in pink dresses are harmless enough, but at the same time we must not let anything obstruct our view of the earth-shattering reality represented by Easter. There's nothing cute or cuddly about the fact that we killed God. When we were his enemies, he came to us, suffered in our place through the horror that was Good Friday, and rose from his grave on Easter Sunday so that we will one day rise from ours. The curse is broken, and we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus because we know we will one day experience it (1 Cor. 15:20-23). Let's be joyful, let's never shrink from speaking about Jesus' death and resurrection, and let's never trivialize it."
If I'm to expend my energy defending an aspect of Easter, it won't be about bunnies or eggs. It will be, though, about the veracity of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. If you'd like to explore some of the historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ, please check out this article from Dr. William Lane Craig.  Candy and eggs and an imaginary bunny don't get me all that excited, but the Son of God conquering sin and death sure does.

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