The Easter Bunny is no Spring Chicken

Christians celebrate Easter as the day Christ was resurrected. Unlike Christmas, for which we don’t know the actual date, Easter is an accurately dated Christian spring holiday. The last meal Jesus had, he spent with his apostles and gave us one of only two biblical Christian sacraments, the Eucharist. Despite many other observations, celebrations, and traditions (including Christmas), baptism and communion are the only religious ceremonies Christ actually endorsed. The resurrection is certainly cause for celebration however, as the empty tomb verified Jesus’ divinity by overcoming death itself.

The Easter egg hunt and Easter bunny have become hallmarks of traditional western Christian resurrection celebration. But why? Did Jesus love rabbits? Did they eat eggs at the last supper? No. Neither of these had anything to do with the new covenant between God and man made possible by the incarnation of Christ. Early Christians didn’t celebrate Easter at all from what we can determine. They held to the tradition of Passover, ate unleavened bread and drank wine, in remembrance of Jesus Christ.

The Easter bunny and Easter eggs are both taken from fertility traditions, with traceable origins at least as far back as ancient Egypt, and are represented in many cultures from all over the world. The Germans lay claim to the Easter bunny and the British claim ownership of the Easter egg, but neither were the first or only cultures to venerate them as representations of supernatural forces of procreation. Rabbits breed rapidly and the innocent looking egg holds the beginnings of all sorts of creatures. No religious or spiritual attachment is necessary for this observation, neither does egg hunts or their association with rabbits.

As a chicken owner and country observer, I can tell you where the hidden egg laying bunny came from. Free range chickens will lay their eggs in the nesting boxes you provide for them for most of the year, assuming they have enough room in their coop. Not so in the spring. In the spring, a hen following her natural urge to raise a flock of chicks, will find a new, hidden space to lay and incubate her eggs. It may not be very well hidden, much like a rabbit nest. Just a low spot or tall grass will do. If you want eggs for breakfast in the spring, you may very well have to go hunting. On your search you are likely to come across a batch of hoarded eggs, or a batch of newborn bunnies. The nests are the same, the locations very similar. The difference is one has eggs, another has bunnies.

As a Christian I can tell you how they were attached to our savior. Throughout the Bible, The Lord warns his people against adopting the beliefs, traditions, and practices of other religions as distractions from worshiping the one true God. Satan convinced Christians throughout time that including the observations of pagan religions was the best way to win them over. I can’t say it didn’t work, but who was actually brought into what? Were misguided pagans brought closer to Christ, or misguided Christians brought closer to Satan? The celebration of Christ defeating death is the fourth highest commercially successful holiday and fifth highest sales event overall. More people buy Easter candy and chocolate bunnies than go to church by a wide margin, on the best attended church service of the year.

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