Saturday, April 23, 2011

Christ, the Easter Bunny, and eggs

This Easter morning, my husband and I were talking about the significance of  Christianity, the Easter Bunny, and  eggs . How does it all fit together? It doesn't even make any sense with the rabbit, Christ dying on the cross, peeps, and…ugh! How can one relate to all of it? Well, I found that it does all have some significance and it isn’t a bad story, nor is it degrading to religious beliefs.
The real reason behind Easter
I shared  video this last year and would love to share it again 
Jesus Christ died for our sins. On Sunday, we will celebrate his resurrection from the dead, which proved that he did not die in vain.
Jesus' death on the cross not only made it possible for us to receive eternal life, but it also served as the greatest expression of love in human history.
First John 4:9-10 says "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love:  God sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
How It All Connects With Christianity
So how does religion connect with mythical fertility beliefs?  According to Christianity, Jesus was reborn to pay for all of our sins.  Rebirth or resurrection plays a huge part of Spring.  The trees are reborn with leaves after a long winter, flowers return to the ground, and the crops grow again.  It is a time of fertility in both the ground and with the animals.  Ancient beliefs go hand in hand with religion.  It isn’t hard to imagine why the two merged into one holiday.
 Origins of the Easter Bunny
No, the Easter Bunny has nothing to do with religion.  The origins of the Easter Bunny can be traced back to the 16th century in Eastern France and Western Germany which was then part of the Holy Roman Empire.  The Easter Bunny, known as “Osterhase” or “Oster Hawse” was a mythical creature, much like Santa Claus, who would come to visit good children and give them eggs, candy, and sometimes toys.  As time went on, people from this region moved to the United States and brought their traditions with them in the late 1700s.
 The Easter Basket
So, remember those nests we were just talking about?  Eventually, those were made out of straw baskets and filled with colored grasses and flowers to attract the Easter Bunny’s goodies.  Children would also place the flowers that were just starting to come up from the long winter in large hats.  The containers would catch on and would become our Easter Baskets and Bonnets (hats).  When the children would leave these baskets out for the Easter Bunny, they would become filled, but the Easter Bunny was a trickster.  He would often hide the baskets in hard to find spots and make the children work for their gifts, just like rabbits would seclude their young from predators.  This is also how we got the tradition of hiding Easter eggs and hunting after them.

Colored Eggs
The old Easter was all about the rebirth of life.  But how does that equate to coloring eggs?  You might see a connection of rebirth and resurrection forming here and you would be right.  If you’ve ever boiled an egg to eat, you know that you might get an odor that isn’t too refreshing.  To combat this, people would throw the new flowers of the season in with the eggs as the water boiled.  This would sometimes cause the egg shells to change colors.  It worked particularly well if you added alcohol to the water.  However, why waste a good drink when you could use cheap stuff – or vinegar?  This caused the colors to stick better, too. This is how we get colored eggs.  Further East, the Persians and early Christians used to paint the eggs red to represent blood.  This symbolized Jesus’ blood and rebirth, adding to the tradition.
My Granddaughter and I shared some special moments dying eggs this weekend and today after Church service we will watch her find hidden easter eggs.

3 comments:

  1. Betty, Thank you for sharing the video. This is Resurrection Day and God is AWESOME! Have a Blessed Day.
    TSpindor

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  2. Betty, thank you for sharing that powerful video. It was so uncomfortable but I know that it wasn't even a fraction of what our Lord went through. Praise God that He did. Happy Easter, He has risen! Jana

    Beautiful Grandaughter by the way, she looks just like you.

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  3. Now since you taught me i have more to tell my Grand Kids about Easter. Great story!!!!Love R&R

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