[WARNING: This has the potential to be the most controversial blog I have written to date. If you are a young child, please stop reading immediately. Thank you.]
I have a problem with the Easter Bunny.
Yes, you read that correctly. I have a problem with the Easter Bunny.
Before you begin formulating your angry response in the “comments” section, please hear me out.
To see where I’m coming from, let’s recap the events of Holy Week:
Jesus comes into Jerusalem riding on the colt of a donkey with a crowd worshiping Him and praising Him, but within a matter of days, that same crowd will turn against Him and shout, “Crucify! Crucify!”
After three sham trials that violate every rule of justice at the time, Pilate will attempt to release Him, but the crowd will shout, “His blood be on us and our children!” (Matthew 27:25 ESV)
Jesus will be cruelly beaten, mocked, flogged, spit on, and the flesh ripped from His back. A crown of thorns will be jammed on His head. He will be punched with fists and hit with sticks. He will be paraded through the streets dragging the cross—the hideous instrument of torture and death. He will be mocked and spit on even more during this process.
And, they will drive nails through His hands and feet to hold His bloody, bleeding body to that cross.
They will jam that cross into the crest of a hill called “The Place of the Skull” and they will continue to mock Him. Everyone from the religious leaders to a criminal crucified beside Him will mock Him.
And He will look down on them and His first words from that cross will be to plead with God to forgive the very people who put Him there.
While He is up there, beaten and humiliated as a criminal and a charlatan, something odd will happen.
The sky will go black for three hours in the middle of the day and, as He breathes His last, a great earthquake will take place. Rocks will split in half, the curtain of the temple that separates God from man will split in two, tombs will be opened and the dead will rise.
All of human history will be changed forever at the crossroads marked by that cross on that hill of death.
Nothing will ever be the same.
And, on the third day after we unjustly and mercilessly murdered Him, just as He said it would happen, He will rise from the dead!
The tomb is empty! We need not seek the living among the dead!
He will show the wounds from His crucifixion to him who doubts. He will walk and talk and eat with many. As Tim Stoner writes about the effect of all this on those who followed Him in Crucify! Why the Crowd Killed Jesus: “They are certain now of what they did not know then—the one who died on the cross was no mere man. He was the Messiah, but much more significantly, He was the literal Son of God. And nothing will be able to shake the certainty of this conviction, not exile or prison, flame or saws, wild beasts or nine-inch nails.”
And all of this will change human history forever. It will change our very relationship with God in ways we could have never imagined.
Millions will come before God cleansed of all their sins by faith in that Jesus.
Their sins will be forgiven and washed away by the blood shed by Jesus on that day. His blood will pay an eternal ransom we could never afford to pay ourselves.
And so, while I have no desire to steal any joy from children, nor do I want to come across as one of those bitter “church people” who finds something to complain about with anything and everything, it seems to me that a cute little white bunny bringing colored eggs to children falls far, far short of Jesus’ incredible earth-shattering and world-changing eternal triumph over sin, death and the devil.
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:36-38 ESV)