Jesus and the Easter Bunny
A bunch of illustrations egg-axctly right for Easter.
Source: Perspective Vol9 No4 © Perspective 2002
Sin – What’s Your Favourite Flavour?
We live in a world where many people want to hold God responsible for the terrible things that happen. They see famine, poverty, crime, natural disasters and say “Why doesn’t God do something?” They take all those things very seriously and can’t understand why God doesn’t. I was a little surprised when I walked into our corner store and saw a new range of ice creams on sale. They’re called the Seven Deadly Sins. There is an ice cream for each sin – envy, sloth, greed – all seven of them are covered. It is amazing isn’t it. The one thing that God takes seriously is sin – and we turn it into an ice cream so that you can choose your own flavour. Easter is the time we remember just how serious God is about sin – serious enough that he sent his son to die on the cross so that our sin could be forgiven.
The famous escape artist Harry Houdini and his wife had made an arrangement than when one of them died they would try to communicate with the other. They had a pre-arranged code that would let the other know it was them. Houdini died in 1926. For the next 17 years his wife made repeated attempts to communicate with him – all of which were unsuccessful. Shortly before his wife died in 1943 she declared that the exercise had been a failure. But the fact is the whole exercise had been unnecessary. Jesus had already come back from the dead to prove that there is life after death and to show us that if we place our faith in him then we can share in that life. Jesus was the one who had conquered death and has promised that we too can have eternal life if we are willing to place our trust in him and accept the forgiveness that he offers.
When I was younger we lived in a small country town where my father was the teacher in the school. My mother came across once a week and taught sewing to the children in the school. Just before Easter one year she was teaching a sewing class with a group of children sitting around in a circle. She asked if anyone knew what Easter was about. They came out with the usual answers – Easter eggs, Easter bunny, holidays … But my mother asked: “Does anyone know what Easter is really about?” One boy said: “Easter is all about when Jesus died on the cross” All went quiet and they went back to their sewing. A few seconds passed and the girl who was sitting next to my mother leaned over and said: “I heard he didn’t stay dead very long!” It was as if she had heard this secret and wasn’t sure is anyone else knew. But the fact is Jesus has been raised from the dead. This is not a secret. This is something that everyone needs to hear so that they can place their trust in Jesus – so that they can be forgiven – so that they can have eternal life.
Jesus – The Easter Bunny
One Easter a few years ago a friend of mine was trying to find out where the Easter bunny came from. The first place he started to look was in the dictionary – he thought he might find something there. He looked up the word “bunny” in the Macquarie Dictionary (an Australian dictionary) and to his surprise he found something he wasn’t expecting. In Australia we have our very own usage of the word bunny – something that is uniquely Australia. The dictionary gave this as the definition for bunny: someone left with the responsibility for a situation. In a strange way that is exactly what happened on that first Easter. Jesus was the one who took responsibility for our situation. He was the one who took the responsibility for our sin. You could almost say that Jesus was the Easter bunny. He was the who took our place and took our punishment.