The Easter Bunny Speaks…but not about Candy.
Spring is a magical season.
The world seems to stir and bloom from a long winter’s nap. The sun is out longer. The temperature rises, and we can shed some of our layers.
The excitement and joy that comes with the Spring season only seems to add to the excitement of Easter.
The Easter season is chalked full of traditions and symbolism. One of the most prominent figures of the holiday is the Easter Bunny.
But where did this symbol come from?
According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” The egg laying rabbit was first mentioned in German writings in the 1500s. The legend holds that a poor woman living in Germany decorated colorful eggs for her children to find in the garden. As soon as the hidden eggs were found by the children, a large hare was seen hopping away. The children thought the hare (Hase) left the eggs. This ancient legend is thought to be the root of the Easter bunny we know and love today.
Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests.
In many Christian households, the Easter bunny has been omitted from their Easter celebrations. Even in doing so, the Easter Bunny doesn’t go away. Chocolate rabbit candies, Rabbits on decorations. There is no escaping the influence of the cultural symbols of an American Holiday.
So why not repurpose the Easter Bunny character to point others to the transformative who of Christ’s resurrection in our lives.
This is what many first century believers did, they took a pagan belief and adapted it to communicate the gospel. The Christmas Tree and the shamrock are just two examples. It’s even what Jesus did with his parables. He took elements of the known world and used them to communicate a truth about himself or the Kingdom of God.
This is what I’ve done in my book An Easter Bunny’s Tale.
Trying to repurpose the Easter bunny isn’t a new idea. Several other authors have written books directed at parents, but I wanted to write something for kids to visualize the transformational power that Jesus’ action on the cross provided for all of us.
Sometimes when communicating the gospel to children the hardest thing for them to understand is the transformation. The old has passed and the new has come”, “a slave to sin and now set free”. The transformative work of the cross is communicated in words throughout the New Testament, but even as an adult I struggle to communicate and live out the transformation that has happened.
In my book An Easter Bunny’s Tale you follow a grey rabbit as he hears a voice in a garden one evening. A voice, that sounds much like the voice of the Creator. The rabbit moves in closer as torches flicker and soldiers surround God in manly flesh. Rabbit is confused at why the people don’t bend their knees and recognize him as God. His curiosity peaked, Rabbit continues to follow the Creator to a courtyard and a palace. What he sees shocks and frightens him to run, but he can’t find his way home, so he hides in a tomb. When he feels brave enough to dash off in search of home people come into the cave and then a stone rolls over the entrance. Fear and hunger wash over Rabbit, but what comes next is the most exciting thing, and he can’t wait to tell others what has happened. Will you listen to his tale?
An Easter Bunny’s Tale will be available on Amazon on March 2nd.