Reflections of Easter - Jesus and the Bunnies - Not an 80’s Rock Band
When I was growing up we loved the Easter Bunny! I remember scrambling through the house upstairs and down searching for the scavenger hunt clues that had been left for my brothers and me to follow. We charged through the house in a mad dash of anticipation, while my parents tried to sleep in, despite the thumping and banging of our stocking feet as we crashed through the house, slamming doors, drawers, and each other. Our reward was chocolate!
Fast forward several decades and I loved planning the scavenger hunt for my kids. It was a challenge to write the clues, in reverse order, and plant them secretly throughout the house and garden. Then it was a joy to watch the kids going from one end of the house to the other and sometimes outside before they were rewarded with their treats. I know how much my mom worked to have us running up and down several flights of stairs and the joy she had watching us engage in the race. Those are great memories.
But how did we get from Jesus to Bunnies? And how did we get eggs from rabbits?
The Easter bunny originated as a folklore figure in the 1600s in Germany bringing coloured eggs, candy, and sometimes toys to good children, similar to Santa Claus at Christmas. Rabbits symbolized fertility and new birth which is related to the celebration of springtime and the new birth depicted in the Easter resurrection of Jesus.
The egg itself became a symbol of the Resurrection. Just as Jesus rose from the tomb, the egg symbolized new life emerging from the eggshell. In the Orthodox tradition, eggs are painted red to symbolize the blood that Jesus shed on the cross. The egg-colouring tradition has continued even in modern secular nations.
I find Easter a reflective time. The arrival of spring after a long, cold winter and of course as I grow older, I find myself contemplating Jesus more and the bunnies less.
Growing up, we knew about Jesus in my house but didn’t know Jesus personally. Sometimes we went to church but it didn’t impact my life in any way at the time. Once I was an adult I learned about the importance of Jesus’ life, his sacrificial death, and his resurrection as the full meaning of Easter became real in my life. As the son of God, Jesus came to earth to die on our behalf, to repair the relationship between us and his father God as he defeated death and rose to live eternally in spirit.
“For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17 NIV
Now, as Easter approaches, I focus on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and how that knowledge and relationship have impacted my life. Knowing Jesus has given me joy, hope, and love.
Although I don’t run around the house searching for the scavenger hunt clues anymore, I still enjoy those chocolate easter eggs delivered by the bunny.