Easter Bunny, Religion, and Ultimate Sacrifice

Big Pink Bunny and Ultimate Sacrifice

I love being Mrs. Bunny on Easter. Seeing the kids smiles and excitement when I come hopping around the corner is pure magic. Even the adults run over to greet Mrs. Bunny.

But what is this Bunny Business?

Where did a rabbit that lays golden eggs come from? I want to first note that I have never seen a bunny lay eggs of any color, let alone a golden one. Easter is not about a bunny, Easter is about the most miraculous event in human history. Jesus scarifying his life for our sins and being raised from the dead. Fulfilling a prophecy set down in the old testament.

So why the bunny? Just like most of our modern-day holiday celebrations, the long eared, fluffy bunny is rooted in old tradition. In my research, I discovered that the egg-laying rabbit dates back to an old German tradition from the 1700’s. This German bunny is called “Osterhase”. Children would make nests in which the Osterhase would come and lay colored eggs on Easter. The custom came to the United States with German immigration and happily spread across the US.

So Egg-citing

The eggs we dip, color and hide come from the idea of new life. This tradition is even older than our hopping friend. Eggs have been used in the celebration of new life in spring as far back as pagan rituals. Christianity jumped (pun intended) into the egg-festivities to celebrate the end of lent.

But how do bunnies and eggs tie into the sacrifice Jesus made for us?

Second Chances

I will not go into a long theological description on atonement and sin. But, to put it bluntly, all of mankind is sinful. We have all messed up in our personal lives and in our global community. We have been unkind and even evil to each other and God’s creators. We were given free will. With that power, we have chosen many times to be far less than Godly.

Jesus felt our pain and our sin. Jesus understood our human brokenness, because he was also part human. The day Jesus hung on the cross, he said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Jesus died with our sin and the world’s sin on his back. Now we can be forgiven, learn from our mistakes and when we die, we can join Jesus in everlasting life. Do not let Easter go by without recognizing the true reason for celebrating.

As Mrs. Bunny hops around this Easter, I will be celebrating new life, in spring and in our souls.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

“The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”

— John 10:14-18

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