Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cue the bunny!

The bunny and colored eggs are Easter oddities. They really have nothing to do with the point of the day. Yet we embrace these alt-artifacts enthusiastically. Why?

There are legends and myths behind their origins, but I’m guessing there’s a simpler motivation behind their creation.

Look at Christmas. Christmas is mostly fun. Interesting. Pretty.

There are donkeys and camels and sheep. Three kings. Shepherds. Angels. And, of course, a baby in a manger. The entertainment factor is easy to find and build on.

Easter is another story altogether.

Even by today's standards, the death Jesus suffered is hard to think about.

So, cue the Easter bunny! Scatter the eggs! Distract!

Distract from the gruesome reality of the torture and necessary crucifixion of Jesus.

Seriously, there’s enough “ugly” in the world. Who wants to think about a beaten, bleeding, thorn-crowned Savior?

The sin in us shuns such meditation. Why? Because it reminds us that there is, in fact, sin in us. And that that sin is uglier than any death-by-cross.

Actually, we are so sin-acknowledging-averse, we even need to create a distraction for the Truth behind Christmas with Santa, the elves, red-nosed flying reindeers and more. That baby, it turns out, is just so threatening!

Bunnies are cute. Colored eggs are fun. Candy is sweet. And Santa is a pudgy pushover.

But none offer what we truly need.

They are merely cheap shiny things to draw our attention away from the hard-edged reality that without the virgin birth, the grim death, and the ultimate resurrection of Christ there is no hope.

Our sin, without Christ, will kill us.

There’s only one cure for the sin in our skin. Only one out for avoiding eternal damnation. By applying the blood of Jesus. It’s a messy and offensive image. But the sin that infects us is far more messy and offensive.

Probably the most quoted verse of the Bible is, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, ESV).

Yes, the potential for perishing is very real. But so is the promise of eternal life. You and I are pretty wicked, yet, God still loves us! So much so that he gave up his son to a brutal death to wipe out our impossible sin debt.

The crux is believing in the right Savior.

The Son reigns over Christmas and Easter. Santa, eggs, elves, and bunnies are empty imagery. Don’t be distracted by them.

He is risen. That’s the whole point.

Additional resources:

How important is the bunny and associated non-biblical imagery in your observance of Easter? How about Santa and such at Christmas? Is it sinful to enjoy these harmless symbols as long as they don’t over-shadow the true meanings behind Easter and Christmas? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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