Resurrection Sunday

This Easter, be on the lookout for an egg-laying bunny rabbit. He will be delivering brightly colored eggs, chocolates, and jellybeans to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. No one knows for certain exactly when the Easter Bunny hopped into the Resurrection Story. Nonetheless, the Easter Bunny has been the Resurrection’s mascot since the early days of the nation’s history. Have you ever wondered how a bunny rabbit became the official mascot for the Resurrection?

Since I was a child, I have wondered what does a bunny rabbit, some eggs, and chocolates have to do with the Resurrection of Jesus? The answer is absolutely nothing. They have nothing in common. Still, Christians accept a lot of the symbolism of Easter fertility celebrations and incorporate them into the Resurrection of Jesus. Is it wrong to call the Resurrection “Easter”? Whether it is wrong is not for me to judge. However, I do not think we should assimilate Pagan customs into the Christian Resurrection Story. After reading this article, you will understand why I feel this way.

Easter, the Pagan Fertility Celebration

Before the birth of Christ, Easter existed. However, no one called it Easter. In ancient times Easter was a festive celebration of the Spring Equinox. Much of the symbolism surrounding our celebration of Easter originated from pagan celebrations. One such celebration involved worshiping Astarte, the Greek/Mesopotamian fertility sex goddess. The Christian Bible refers to Astarte as Asherah or Ashtoreth (2 Chronicles 33:3; Judges 3:7; 1 Kings 15:13; 1 Kings 18:19; 2 Kings 21:7; 2 Kings 23:4).

Ashtoreth fertility symbol of Easter
Ashtoreth

The name “Easter” comes from an ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre or Ostara. She was the German goddess of the spring. The ancient Anglo-Saxon people held annual festivals in her honor to celebrate the beginning of spring. The rabbit became a symbol of fertility because of its ability to rapidly reproduce. Brightly colored eggs were incorporated to reflect the newness of life and the beauty of spring flowers.

Many ancient fertility celebrations involved sexual rituals. Baal was the universal god of fertility. He was also known as Prince and Lord of the earth. Worshipers of Baal also worshiped an idol called an Asherah, which was sometimes shaped like an enlarged male sex organ. Perversion, homosexuality, immorality, and sexual promiscuity were normal activities during worship. The Christian Bible mentions the Ashtoreth in 2 Kings 23:13.

What the Resurrection Means to Christians

Easter is the most sacred and celebrated day on the Christian calendar. For Christians, the Holy Day is a celebration of Christ’s victory over sin and death. The resurrection solidifies God’s promise of eternal life for those who believe in Jesus Christ. The scripture says, “And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by His power” (1 Corinthians 6:14). Therefore, the Resurrection gives us hope that we will see this scripture fulfilled in us.

The Christian Easter celebration revolves around the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Bible says Jesus died for our offenses, and he walked out of the grave because we were justified. Because we have been justified we have peace with God through Him (Romans 4:24-25; 5:1-2). Had Jesus not been crucified for our sins, or if He had not risen from the dead, all of humanity would be lost.

No Common Ground

Where is the connection between Easter and Resurrection Sunday? There is none. The only thing the two have in common is both occur in the spring. Notwithstanding, Easter is a celebration of the fertility and newness of life. Whereas Resurrection Sunday is a celebration of victory over death and the redemption of mankind. God forbid that we should link the two together. They are as far apart as the east is from the west. What part has sexual perversion to do with holiness?

The scripture says that Christians should not be conformed to this world. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). However, it seems that the church has conformed to many of the world’s ideas. We have incorporated the Pagan celebration of Easter into the sacred and holy observance of the Resurrection of Christ. I believe Easter Bunnies and eggs take away from the sacred story of Easter. They make light of what God has done for us. Think about it. What is there about a bizarre egg-laying rabbit that would make you think of Jesus conquering death?

As I said, no one knows for certain when the Easter bunny hopped into the Resurrection Story. But somewhere between the Ashtoreth and the Resurrection, Christians adopted the symbolism of Easter and made it a tradition. Here is what the Bible says about tradition:

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ (Colossians 2:8).

As we celebrate the Resurrection, let us do so according to scripture. Let us remember why we celebrate Easter and what Christ’s resurrection means to mankind. Keep Christ in your Easter celebration.

By Eric Dunbar

Once addicted to crack cocaine, my story is not unique but inspiring. I have been a professor of faith for most of my life. Before you inquire about my credentials, let me explain. I don’t mean professor as in “teacher” but professor as in “squatter.” For most of my life, I have been trying to occupy what I had never fully possessed, namely, faith. You see, my trust was in God long before I used drugs. To this day, I cannot tell you what happened to cause me to be addicted; it just happened. After a lifetime of serving God, somehow, I became a crack cocaine addict. I grew up in the church. I was born with talent. I started playing the organ for local churches at the age of eight years. I cultivated strong confidence in God early in life. From the time I was five until I was eighteen years old, I can’t remember ever missing a church service. I started playing keyboards in a popular R&B band at the age of nineteen years old. Midlife When you’re young, life is all about having fun, and I was indeed having a lot of fun. Playing in an R&B band exposed me to the rigors of nightlife, leading me to deviate from the church. I started experimenting with all kinds of drugs. At first, it was marijuana, then pills, and soon, I was using cocaine. All the while, I still attended church, although not as often. When I was married, my infrequent music revenue was inadequate to raise a family. So I left the band and found a job. I have always had confidence in God, but I didn’t know how to implement my faith. When my first child was born, I renewed my faith and got heavily involved in the church. A few years later, my pastor inspired me to begin a cell ministry in my home, where I faithfully worshipped God and held Bible studies every Tuesday. About seven years into my marriage, I slipped back into drug use. This time cocaine was my choice drug. Soon after, I learned to cook cocaine, converting it into a rocky substance called crack. That was the beginning of a life of trouble. I had become a slave to the drug; crack cocaine was now my master. Confident Expectation My wife threatened to leave if I didn’t control my addiction. Nevertheless, I remained confident that God would deliver me. But my wife insisted that I seek help. I wanted to save my marriage, so I enrolled in the Narcotics Anonymous Twelve Step Program. I completed the required thirty-day classes, and I went home drug-free. Fifteen days later, I was once again smoking crack. My crack smoking eventually led to my wife divorcing me. I lost my family, possessions, and everything dear to me. Life had become challenging, and I was near depression. My parents taught me that faith believes, so I understood the principle of faith. I had faith that God would liberate me, so I continued to pray that God would soon rescue me from this evil that had come upon me. One day I opened my Bible, and my eyes fell on this scripture: “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). “I don’t go to church anymore,” I said to myself, so how can I hear the word of God? Then I thought to read the word aloud to myself. The Bible was now my best friend. I read the word to myself. The word of God came out of my mouth and went back into my ears. Alas, I was hearing the word of God. I still craved crack cocaine and got high whenever the opportunity presented itself. But for the next two years, I mostly stayed to myself, reading the Bible aloud, quoting scriptures, and praying. Believing Faith Speaks After two years of practically being alone with God, my craving for crack cocaine was gone. My confidence in God rewarded me with freedom. I learned that believing faith speaks. No longer did I profess faith, but I now possessed it. Faith is having confidence in the things we hope for. Although they are not visible to our physical eyes, we believe that God is working our hope into physical existence. It is the bridge linking us to the spiritual realm and makes God a touchable reality. When we trust God, it guarantees that God’s promises and Biblical revelations are true. We cannot detect these revelations and promises of the word of God with our physical senses. However, by trusting God, we have the confidence that our expectation will come to pass. Faith is the quintessence that the things we hope for become so concrete that even belief itself becomes a definitive reality of those things that are not yet visible. Your faith becomes so tangible that you believe you possess those things in the spiritual realm.

One thought on “Should We Link Easter with Resurrection Sunday?”
  1. It’s Resurrection Sunday. So glad Jesus got up for humanity.
    Thanks Eric for reminding us the celebration is not about the Easter bunny.

    I laughed out loud; bunnies do not lay eggs.

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