Jesus Christ and the Easter Bunny

Unless you just crawled out of a cave, you know that Easter is this Sunday. It is the day of Jesus Christ and the Easter Bunny.

Any ways, I am a Christian and I am an American. So Easter has been a tale of two stories.

Growing up as a child, I looked forward to getting up on Easter morning and finding that basket of chocolate candies and jelly beans the Easter Bunny left for us. The church I belonged to didn’t give much significance to the holiday from a religious point of view. So that is pretty much my childhood history with Easter.

Today, I am a follower of Jesus who happens to preach and minister with a church. I am also blessed to be married to an awesome wife with whom I am raising two children (ages 7 and 4). Our children will wake up this Sunday morning and find an Easter basket left to them by the “Easter Bunny.” Then we will gather with our church where Easter Sunday will be given more significance because of the day it is and because of the Easter Sunday church visitors we may have (if it is the only chance I get to preach to such people, I want them to hear about the death and resurrection of Jesus).

But I struggle. Is the tradition of the Easter Bunny and candy baskets a good tradition? As a parent concerned with teaching my children to follow Jesus as their life passion rather than Jesus being just another part of life…is the bunny and basket a good thing?

I almost told my seven year-old the truth about the Easter Bunny yesterday morning. I stopped when I asked her what Easter is about and she responded by telling me about the death and resurrection of Jesus.

But… It seems as though there is a lot of church people who confess the name of Jesus, tell of his death and resurrection and yet they continue living their life as if that story makes little difference. You know it and I know it because we see it every day, professing Christians who will show up for worship this Sunday (and perhaps a few more Sundays throughout the year) because it is a good religious tradition. Then they will leave just the same as they entered.

So I wonder, if part of the problem is because we have mixed the story of Jesus, the reason for which we have a Good Friday and Easter Sunday, with a cute tradition appears harmless (which is what Screwtape would want Wormwood to convince the patients of). Part of me is telling myself not to think like some fundamentalist but part of me wonders…

Have we made a mistake by mixing Jesus Christ and the Easter Bunny?

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10 responses to “Jesus Christ and the Easter Bunny

  1. notasbigasiam

    Excellent post, Rex! Thank you for sharing. I feel similarly about the mixing. I’m glad to hear your daughter understands. Blessings to your family and ministries.

  2. Rex, I need to teach you how to relax. There is a lot of secular fun to be had at most holidays… even those with religious significance. I doubt the bunny tales will overcome your godly parental influence and teaching! Let your kids enjoy the fun without worrying if it is ok with you for them to have a lark. That has a potential to be offensive, please accept it from someone you know loves you!

  3. My folks always made sure that I understood the difference between faith and tradition; between fact and fiction; between what’s real and what’s pretend. I will forever be grateful to them for that.

    (In fact, I learned while watching tv growing up that it was a pretty good rule of thumb that if what you were watching had the soft-edged look of film, it was probably a made-up story and if it had the hard-lit look of videotape or live broadcast, it was probably the news.)

    My wife Angi and I tried to use holidays like Christmas and Easter as opportunities to help our kids tell the difference. I think they’re awesome opportunities.

  4. Really enjoy the comments here. Another perspective, I did not grow up in a home where Jesus was taught except at Christmas and Easter. As an adult I am so thankful that the world was celebrating these events even if at the time I didn’t fully understand all that was behind the celebrations as a child. The celebrations were the beginning of my journey into becoming a believer. Even if the traditions have it wrong, perhaps they can open doors for others like myself who search for the reason for such celebration.

  5. Amy,

    Your story is why churches should give attention to Christmas and Easter from an evangelistic standpoint to. We never know who is listening.

  6. God is in control; we don’t have to understand everything. Mary Magdalene had a red egg and presented it to Tiberius Caesar. Don’t worry. Let the children have their mystery; the Spirit of God will preserve the Truth of Jesus in them if they have the heart for It. All shall be well; and all manner of things shall be well.

  7. I too have mixed feelings about the situation. Reality is, we live in a fallen world, where our faith has to be mixed with tradition in a delicate balance. If we raise our children to understand the truth than such traditions, as earlier posted, can help our children understand the difference between the two. My husband (believer) has a son with a non-believer and he spilt the beans about the Easter bunny… what effect does that have on his son’s mother? As Christians, we have to believe that everything we do has an effect on the kingdom one way or another. 40 years???? or 11 days. Let’s respect it, with a loud voice of truth, and strive for balance.

    • Amber, thank you for dropping by the blog and commenting. I also thank you for the encouragement as I am trying to find the “delicate balance” you speak of.

  8. A “mixed feeling” that you’re all experiencing is the Holy Spirit trying to tell you that something is not right. That’s where we don’t need to just ask the question, but acknowledge the Holy Spirit by seeking out the truth and proving the truth, as we’re commanded to do:
    “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” -1 Thes 5:21
    So keep what is good, and throw out what is bad. The following link is an article where you can find more specific history, and Biblical references to, Easter, and how is has morphed into what we see today.
    http://www.creationliberty.com/questions/easter.php

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