“Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light to all people.” John 1:4
Do you remember getting your first chocolate Easter bunny? Remember your anticipation? Then one bite and reality sunk in. “It’s hollow!” The “bunny” you believed to be a solid chunk of chocolate, was a fraud! It was empty, a cruel joke. Perhaps it is the candy industry just maximizing its $815 million dollar profit. [That’s right, Easter is the second-largest candy season after Christmas, surpassing Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, even Halloween!] What are we to take away from this deception… “You can’t judge a book by its cover”? or “Life is filled with disappointments”?
A German legend says that after a long winter’s sleep the Easter Rabbit would lay bright-colored eggs in the grass for children to find. Eggs were the symbol of new life, eternal life. Why a rabbit?
Rabbits have a keen sense of sight. They eat in the open fields where the grass is plush, but, are always leery of predators. With each bite, they raise themselves up on their front legs in a seated position and survey the landscape for any unwanted motion, so that they can scurry back to a thicket for protection. A clear, unobstructed view ensures life! Being non-vigilant means certain death. The rabbit is a symbol that humanity needs to be constantly vigilant least sin snatches its soul!
Because rabbits need clear vision, they only eat during the day, except once a month – – at the full moon! The full moon gives enough light for a rabbit to forage and still see clearly; it is a special grace. The light of the moon, a “Saving Presence”, came to represent a ‘free gift’ from God. Images of rabbits were often shown with Biblical passages, “He leads me to green pastures” (Ps. 23) or “The night becomes light around me. For even the darkness cannot hide from God … the night shines as bright as day”. (Ps. 139:11). The moon (because it reflects the light of God) became the symbol of Jesus Christ, who reflects God’s love for us.
I suppose the anticipation children feel before they bite and realize that “there’s nothing inside” could be associated with the women at the tomb on Easter morning who found “there is nothing here”. Do you know any children who would buy into that?
The Easter Bunny, as a Christian symbol, means we need God’s living presence with us to be vigilant against sin. It is a humbling reality… without God’s continued grace and light, we would surely be in danger.
May You and Yours have a Happy Easter