… when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, [they] took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. (John 12:12-13)
Recently there has been a big uproar in the conservative media about the “war on Easter.” Bill O’Reilly, who believes the Bible is allegorical, “lambasted President Obama and the White House for empowering ‘secular progressives’ to pressure school districts around the country to decide not to use terms like ‘Easter bunny’ and ‘Easter egg’” (from MediaMatters). My question is, what do the “Easter bunny” and “Easter eggs” have to do with Easter anyway? The bunny and eggs are pagan fertility symbols that were used to celebrate the vernal equinox and the beginning of new life – not in a spiritual sense, but simply the time when trees bud, green returns to plant life, the time for planting of new crops, etc. Even the name “Easter” is a derivative of the fertility goddess Ishtar (Babylonian), Astarte (Phoenician), or Ashtoreth (Canaanite). So, the White House wants to stop Easter egg hunts or remove these symbols from public schools – so what! Christians should not be offended by this. More offensive is the expulsion of God and His Word from the public schools. That boat has sailed never to return to port again. The outcry and outrage should have been sounded four decades ago, and now we are whining about the Easter bunny and Easter eggs!
As we enter this Holy Week, Christians should reject paganism in all its forms. “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Aw, what’s the harm in taking the kids out for an Easter egg hunt? Well, what does that teach them about Christ’s death on the cross, His three days in the tomb and His victorious resurrection? Instead of “Easter Sunday,” why not start calling it “Resurrection Sunday”? Instead of Easter eggs and Easter bunnies, why not celebrate what Christ has done to save us? Now, that really is a big deal!
On Sunday morning, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt (Matthew 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-38; John 12:12-15). That in itself is miraculous! Matthew, citing Zechariah 9:9, says that the donkey was a “foal” – really too young yet to bear a heavy burden – and yet this little donkey carried our Lord without complaint. Zechariah had prophesied this presentation of the King of kings, and within a few short days the King would be rejected and crucified as a common criminal. But then came Sunday! And soon, He will return as a conquering king, riding upon a white steed (Revelation 19:11-16) – no longer a Lamb to be slaughtered, but a Lion to conquer His enemies and rule with a “rod of iron” (Psalm 2:9; Revelation 2:27; 12:5; 19:15).
So, kill the Easter bunny. It is of absolutely no value. We have a greater truth to defend and a greater message of hope to share!