There is a lot of confusion regarding what Easter Sunday is all about. For some, Easter Sunday is about the Easter Bunny, colorfully decorated Easter eggs, and Easter egg hunts. Which I enjoyed as a child and still enjoy the look and excitement in a child’s face.
Most people understand that Easter Sunday has something to do with the resurrection of Jesus, but are confused as to how the resurrection is related to the Easter eggs, Easter bunny and Easter Sunday.
Biblically speaking, there is absolutely no connection between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the origins of Easter. Essentially, what occurred is that in order to make Christianity more attractive to non-Christians, the ancient Roman Catholic Church mixed the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection with celebrations that involved spring fertility rituals. These spring fertility rituals are the source of the egg and bunny traditions. And as Pastor Dale Clifton pointed out last week in a very good Focus on Faith article “The Easter egg is a Christian tradition that symbolized new life (John 3:1-21).”
Another issue some people struggle with is the term “Easter” in regard to celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. The Bible certainly makes it clear that Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week, Sunday (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2-9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1-19). Jesus’ resurrection is most worthy of being celebrated (see 1 Corinthians 15). As a result, many Christians feel strongly that the day on which we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection should not be referred to as “Easter Sunday.” Rather, something like “Resurrection Sunday” would be far more appropriate and biblical. So, regardless of the terms used for this Sunday, we should never allow the Easter egg and the Easter bunny to be the primary focus of the day instead of Jesus’ resurrection.
As Christians, if we choose to celebrate the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, we should not allow the fun and games to distract our attention from what the day should truly be all about—the fact that Jesus was resurrected from the dead, and that His resurrection demonstrates that we too will be resurrected from the dead. So, we who believe in Jesus’ resurrection indeed will receive the promise of an eternal home in Heaven (John 11:25). Let’s celebrate!
Blessings as you and your family celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.
Marlin Harris is the pastor at True Vine Lutheran Church in Mora.