The Easter Bunny Cannot Replace Christ
The joy of Easter past
Easter/Resurrection Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. The date can be anywhere from the third Sunday in March through the last Sunday in April. Most Christian baby boomers grew up in an era where celebrating the resurrection of Christ was an amazing time of year. Back in those good old days, schools allowed teachers to decorate classrooms with photos of eggs and bunnies. Churches had Easter programs where children recited Bible verses or did pageants that reenacted the last week in the life of Christ, his crucifixion and resurrection. Parents shopped diligently for pretty dresses, hats, purses, socks and patent leather shoes for their daughters. Most every little boy had an Easter suit complete with a tie and new shoes. After Sunday services many families celebrated with a holiday dinner, and that evening or on the following Monday children enjoyed the annual Easter egg hunt. It was a great time to be a child.
The Empty Tomb
You say Resurrection, I'll say Easter
In recent years a lot of preachers have been teaching that the word Easter has pagan roots, and for that reason, Christians should say resurrection Sunday instead. So basically everything Christian baby boomers grew up enjoying is now allegedly wrong. The truth is that people who do not believe Christ rose from the dead will celebrate this season or not any way that they choose. Non-believers can enjoy Sunday dinner, dying eggs, and chocolate bunnies without even acknowledging that there is a higher power because these are simply seasonal choices. Likewise, whether a Christian says Easter or Resurrection Sunday, it will not shake his or her belief that Christ died and rose for their sins. The bottom line for believers is that the tomb is empty and He is coming again.
Bunny or no bunny
There are also pastors who teach that the myth of the Easter Bunny and dying eggs also originated from pagan practices and believers in Christ should have nothing to do with them. There have been a lot of people stating on social media in recent years that to celebrate the bunny is to fraternize with Satan and to deny Christ. Some even go so far as to say that and that non-Christians have an agenda to use these things to deflect from His crucifixion. The truth is that if you truly believe Christ was crucified and rose on the third day, dying eggs, eating a chocolate bunny or having an egg hunt will not shake your faith.
These activities are simply part of the season and can be enjoyed even as you reflect on the miracle of Calvary. Unless you renounce Christ and get involved in outright Satanism, using occult symbols, any activities can be done while praising His Name. The Apostle Paul said in Colossians 3:23 that believers should do all things as unto the Lord and not get caught up in what one eats or drinks and holidays, special occasions and celebrations. Now if a Christian begins saying Hail Satan, sacrificing animals or humans and calling up demons, that is outright rebellion because I John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
It's true the Easter Bunny is a myth just like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and each parent is responsible for revealing this truth to their children. Even so, believers can have fun with their families eating chocolate bunnies and dying eggs in the spirit of the season as they explain the origins of it all. If someone truly believes it is wrong in their eyes to say Easter, or participate in any of the activities that is their right but to condemn others without knowing the content of their heart or their walk with Christ is not the right approach.
Dying eggs and having a hunt, allowing your children to take a photo with the Easter Bunny and eating a chocolate rabbit are seasonal traditions, the same as hot chocolate in the winter and ice cream floats in the summer. In no way do they deter a heart that truly belongs to Christ. If someone says they are the sole reason for the Easter season they could simply be misinformed and have never heard about the resurrection of Christ. Early believers began celebrating what now is known as Holy Week in order to take pagan minds off of the festivities of the spring equinox and place the focus on Christ.
Some Christians say that celebrating the resurrection of Christ is not ordained in the Bible and therefore should be avoided. This is a case of throwing out the baby with the bath water. Jesus commanded His followers to take His gospel into all the world in Matthew 16:15. If during Easter someone hears the gospel and decides to give their life to Christ, this is what it is all about. If the world only wants the bunny and the festivities of the season it is their personal choice. If some believers choose to be extreme and have nothing to do with observing the Sunday of His resurrection that is their right. Likewise, if believers want to attend church services and lift up His Name and follow up with fun activities, they are not serving Satan. The bottom line is personal faith.
The Old Testament is filled with stories of how the children of Israel often forgot their God and began worshipping the idols of the nations around them. If an individual is rooted and grounded in personal faith in Christ, and walking with Him on a daily basis, there is no way the Easter Bunny will ever take His place. The bottom line to being a "Christian" is believing John 3:16 which says: For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. The resurrection should be celebrated in the hearts of believers every day of the year. If there are special days like Christmas and Easter where the masses want to show their love, how can that be wrong?
Traditions of man
Easter, like Christmas, is a man-made tradition that began with good intentions to lead the lost to Christ. Over the years views regarding this season have changed. it is unfortunate that the pagan traditions were merged with what was supposed to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord but there is something that needs to be noted. Whatever the original intent of those traditions has no bearing on how they are used now. The Apostle Paul said in I Corinthians chapter 8 that some people understand that it's no big deal to eat meat sacrificed to an idol because an idol is not real, but others may be offended. Likewise, having fun with the Easter Bunny will never overpower the truth of Christ's resurrection in the hearts of believers, but some people will never understand and continue to be offended.