With Christmas long gone away … and today the first day of Spring, I thought it would be fitting to write about something that has recently been on my mind. It’s the topic of the Easter Bunny and the connection to Jesus and his Resurrection. Is there really a correlation? Is is wrong as a Christian to do Easter egg hunts with our children? The church I currently go to does not have Easter egg hunts for the children but other Christian churches I’ve attended would have them. I began to wonder as a parent and as a Christian, was it wrong for me to be coloring eggs with my boys and doing egg hunts with them? I did a little research to try and find some insight on this subject …
The Egg Hunt
First, let’s look at Wikipedia’s definition of the egg hunt. It is simply described as a game that can be played indoors or outdoors where eggs are hidden for children to find. The eggs can be real eggs dyed or decorated, plastic eggs with treats inside of them or foil wrapped chocolate eggs. The egg can be looked at symbol of new life and represents the tomb of which Jesus breaks out of and comes to life … his resurrection. This makes total sense to me. After reading a few articles and seeing that most made this connection, it gives me peace in my heart to know that egg hunts are not a sin and participating in doing so with our kids are okay. I do think it is important that we speak to our children about the relation of the egg and what it symbolizes, so that for them, it’s not just about getting as many eggs and candy as they can get, but that there is a real true meaning behind the day of Easter. That being, Jesus rising from the dead. As a parent of a 6 year old and 4 year old, I have tried to do this but I definitely feel like I can do this even more. Growing up, Easter for me was more about our family gathering, the egg hunt and who would get the “Golden egg” with the five dollars inside. Honestly, I didn’t know the true meaning of Easter and did not know the true meaning until I converted to Christianity as an adult.
This video from the United Methodist Church is a great way for us to understand the symbolization of the egg representing new life. I love how they show the fun of the coloring of the eggs to represent this as a happy time as Christ has risen! We celebrate by decorating the eggs in all sorts of colors and in unique ways but all with the understanding that the egg represents new life!
The Easter Bunny
So how did the idea of a bunny make it’s way into this holiday that celebrates the rising of Christ? When thinking about it, bunnies do NOT lay eggs. So why not a chicken? I never really even noticed that as a child because it was so engraved in my brain that Easter was about bunnies and chocolates and treats. I’m not upset with my parents for not teaching me the true meaning of Easter, I’ve just decided that with my children, I want to make sure that I do. In my readings and research, the bunny pretty much came out because the hare back in the ancient world of Mesopotamia and Syria represented death and rebirth. It then shifted to “rabbits” really because hares and rabbits shared similar characteristics. The article in which I found that describes this, can be found on exploregod.com. It is also interesting and pointed out from the same article that back in ancient times, rabbits were looked at as symbols for lust and sexual excess. Which is why you see things today like the “Playboy Bunny”, or saying like “breed like rabbits”. This is because they frequently were mating and breeding. So why did it get connected to the Christian holiday? In pre-Christian Europe, the rabbit appeared as a symbol of fertility. So, connecting life to fertility is most likely how the rabbit came into play. Now, nearly two hundred or more years later … the bunny is so popularly used in the secular world to celebrate the holiday. In the end, as a Christian, I have learned that there is no direct link between the Easter Bunny and Jesus. Let me assure you, I will not be condemning anyone that celebrates the Easter Bunny. It is just something that our culture for so many years has accepted and practiced. It’s normal for so many people. But, because of this learning of mine, I will be limiting the highlighting of the Easter Bunny in anyway, shape or form, knowing that we can continue decorating eggs and celebrating that way. I have never made the Easter Bunny a big deal in our home, never taken my children to take pictures with the Easter Bunny and so I don’t think limiting the talk about it will be a big deal. But what I want to be a big deal in their lives is Jesus! You can surely bet that we will be having plenty of conversation about why Jesus died on the cross and story of Easter and his Resurrection! I understand now that I have done my research, that as a Christian to celebrate Easter, to do Egg hunts, is a personal matter. As long as your focus of Easter is about Jesus and his Resurrection, then I think you are on the right track! I hope you found this article interesting. To hear about our Christmas, click here.
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