As I was sitting in church Easter Sunday, thinking about the violent and gruesome details surrounding the death of our Savior, I could not help but wonder where did this cheery, pastel, Easter bunny, egg loving version of Easter come from? While I do agree that Easter is a cheerful occasion, as the darkness that overtook the earth on Friday was overcome by the light of Sunday morning, I’m just not sure that celebrating with bunnies and baskets is the correct approach to the holiday.
So naturally, I did what any curious American would do, I Googled it. Where did these Easter traditions come from? Here’s a snapshot of our Easter traditions, and if you’d like to read more, you can do so here.
Bunnies, Eggs & Baskets:
The bunny first arrived in the Americans in the early 1700s, brought over by German tradition. The German children that settled in Pennsylvania created nests for the bunny to lay his colored eggs in. As time wore on, the nest eventually transitioned to baskets and the eggs were accompanied by chocolate and other gifts.
Why a bunny? Rabbits are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life, which is appropriate for a spring holiday. Eggs are yet another symbol of this and are often associated with pagan springtime festivals. From a Christian perspective, this symbol of new life represents Christ rising from the dead or the stone rolled of the tomb. Decorating eggs dates back to the 13th century when eggs were a forbidden food during the Lenten season. Since Easter marks the end of Lent, the eggs were decorated and then eaten on Easter Sunday.
But what Easter really brings is hope. Hope to all of mankind and is a reminder of a love so strong, it overcame the grave. It is a reminder to me, that I’m not in control, that God is and has a greater plan and vision for me and he loves me. I am not going to lie, I get discouraged and feel like there is no point in moving forward. But yesterday was a reminder that He keeps His promises. Use your talents for a greater good, because your story is not over yet.
May your day be filled with hope!