Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Redeemer and The Rabbit

...the history and meaning of Easter.

The tradition of Easter began when the earliest missionaries began sharing Jesus with the Teutonic tribes of Europe. During the Spring equinox every year, the pagans would worship the pagan Saxon goddess Eostre, the goddess of Spring - the same time of year early Christians celebrated the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Attempting to convert the Teutonic (or Germanic) tribes, the missionaries adopted the celebration as their own. The new converts could keep many of their traditions, but the meaning and purpose of the celebration was changed.

What Easter would be complete without the Bunny and the eggs? These traditions are derived from our "pagan friends." Our Easter Bunny was inspired by the goddess Eostre, whose symbol is a rabbit or hare. Exchanging eggs was a Teutonic tradition symbolizing rebirth and renewal.

To Christians, Easter is worth more than bunnies, baskets and eggs. To Christians, Easter is the celebration and recognition of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise of eternal life for all who believe in Him and obey his Word.



Michael and Hannah said...

Darn those pagans! I'm debating whether or not to pitch the whole Easter Bunny scenerio to my kids. I love the magic of Santa, and the love he represents. But who cares about a stink'n rabbit?!! I personally found the whole thing non-believable as a kid, even though I was a hard-core Santa believer. Maybe if I level with my kids about the Easter Bunny, they'll trust me when I say Santa is real. I really could care less if they believed in the Easter Bunny. He kind of creeps me out to be honest. I'd much rather Easter be all about Jesus.

Kate said...

Yeah, we don't do the Easter bunny, but it's not for religious reasons--we're just too lazy! It takes a lot of effort at Christmas with Santa, so we're just too worn out when Easter comes around in March! Anyway, I hope you had a great Easter celebrating the Gospel with your family. God bless you!

Lindsey said...

I actually began thinking this year that we might stop the Easter baskets...just seems like the kids were way too focused on the toys they received from the Easter Bunny then the celebration of Christ's resurection...of course, that could be because they are 3 and 2 years old! :) Very interesting post though -and I just read about the huge freak of a sting ray - who knew they fly out of the water and can weigh up to 500 pounds?!?! GREAT - now I have one more thing to fear when I'm in the ocean....sharks, sea cows and gigantic flying stingrays!

Jamie Chitty said...

I'm glad i found you on here. You are so adorable and haven't changed a bit.