“So, tell me the one reason we celebrate Easter.” This is the question that I asked my class during the service at church on a recent Sunday morning. As the eager hands began to raise, I couldn’t help but wonder what answers were going to spill out of their mouths.
“To have Easter egg hunts!”
“So we can eat lots of chocolate!”
“The Easter Bunny comes!”
Oh, here we go…
I never told my kids about the Easter Bunny. As a pastor I struggle with how that whole idea plays into the true story of Easter. But, before you start to believe this post is all about passing judgement on how one chooses to celebrate Easter, let me be the first to recognize that-yes, I know we all have different views on this thing that hops around to drop chocolate in little baskets. And, we all want our kids to “just be kids….” However, personally…for me-I want mine to forget the whole bunny shebang!
The world taught my kids about the Easter Bunny.
The same world that tries so hard to take the focus off the real reason for celebrating Easter.
That’s right. It ain’t about pretty dresses, and a bunny!
It’s about Christ.
Which is why this year, I am really struggling with that bunny. The one my kids expect to visit. To drop chocolate in their neatly placed baskets.
And, as I sit among the carefully selected items to add to an Easter basket that will still hopefully keep the focus on Christ…well, I am still struggling with that bunny.
See, the world has told our kids that as long as they are “good,” that this bunny will hop around in the wee hours of Easter morning and leave cute gifts, yummy treats, and cool toys in their baskets.
As long as they are “good.”
Yet, we have the cross. The cross that reminds us that even when we are not “good,” when we have been bad, when we have sinned…we are still forgiven.
And, when we think about the person of Jesus. The mockery. The beatings. His death. His innocence weighed against my sins. How does the world’s view of Easter even compare?
So, can you see why I may be struggling with this bunny?
“He isn’t here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:6
I want my kids to be filled with that type of excitement. That type of anticipation. To be excited about the empty tomb. The promise of a risen Savior. Not by the promise of candy that awaits in a plastic egg. Not with the promises that if they are good, their baskets will be filled with goodies galore, but that even if they are not, that the empty tomb promises forgiveness, and a life filled with much more than a hollow chocolate bunny.
Don’t worry. I don’t plan on crushing my childrens’ Easter bunny dreams. Not this year anyway. Nor, am I making the case for you to do the same. (Again…different strokes, folks). But, we will focus on the reason for Easter. Not on egg hunts looking for chocolate. Or the new shoes to match our pretty new clothes.
But, on the bloodstained garments of an innocent man. One, who died so we could live.
We won’t focus on who got what in their basket, or on the Easter Bunny.
But, on the cross.
On a risen Savior.
The reason we have new life.