How The Easter Bunny, Etc. Became Part Of The Resurrection Of Christ... Or Easter

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Babs Hunt, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    i grew up in a religious denomination where the Easter Bunny, etc. was just as important as the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now days the Easter Bunny pretty much has top billing (as Santa does for Christmas). When I was young I never questioned these things... after all it was much more fun receiving candy, stuffed bunnies, or real live bunnies and colored Easter chicks,and having Easter egg hunts, etc. then reflecting on the birth, death, and resurrection of someone who I couldn't even open a Bible to read about or see and know as a real person.

    Now that I do know Jesus Christ and have chosen Him as my Lord and Savior, the relationship I have with Him makes me wonder why the Easter Bunny, etc. or even Santa had to come and "take over" days that were clearly meant for Christ alone. In my research about these things I came to understand that adding these pagan things to the days that should belong to Christ alone...was the only way religious denominations could get the pagans to join their Christian Churches. I think many of those who were the top heads of these denominations might have thought if they could just get the pagans in by pretending to accept their pagan beliefs, then once they were in they could get rid of those pagan beliefs. Instead just the opposite has happened in most religious denominations...those pagan beliefs now overshadow the real meaning of the Holy days.

    To many people these pagan customs, etc. are just to important to them to do away with and since I grew up with these things too and know how much fun they can be I understand why people would not like to change these customs. My solution is just to celebrate these pagan things on a different day then the day that should be about Christ alone. And that's what I have tried to do more and more in my Family.

    For those who want to know where the Easter Bunny, etc. originated from....the History channel's web page below will tell you all those fascinating details. I have nothing against the Easter bunny, etc. I just wish his celebration, etc. was held separately from the Easter Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/easter-symbols
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    In my family, growing up, Easter was an almost entirely Christian celebration. Oh, as very young children there were Easter egg hunts and chocolate rabbits, but the latter probably had more to do with the fact that the chocolate rabbits were on display at the counters of the grocery store. Easter celebrated Christ's resurrection and, although a rabbit might have hopped through the picture on occasion, the Easter Bunny had merely a cameo role.
     
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  3. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Veteran Member
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    When I was little, we had a mixture of both, as well. At church, we learned about the death and resurrection of Jesus, and at home, my mom colored Easter eggs and hid them for us kids to find when we got back home from church. I never really understood the significance of how the eggs and bunny rabbits fit into Jesus being resurrected; but like you, @Babs Hunt , as a child, I didn't really question any of it either.
    Once I was an adult and started reading more about some of the religious traditions, it all made a lot more sense, and what i read was just a bit different than what you learned, Babs.
    Although they did try to mix the pagan celebrations along with the Christian ones to combine the two religious beliefs, there were actually pagan holidays that were celebrated at the times we celebrate both Easter and Christmas, which is why we celebrate Christmas at such an odd time of year.
    The pagan holidays were usually areound the equinoxes, and what we call Easter is actually a pagan celebration for the goddess Estora.
    The Jewish Passover is a totally different holy day, although it all happens around the same time frame, but it is calculated differently, and would actually be the correct time to celebrate the resurrection.
     
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  4. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Once upon a time the Easter Bunny came to visit the weekend of the Resurrection of Christ our Redeemer. And he liked his visit so much he decided to invite all his friends and neighbors to come on this weekend too. No one wanted to be rude or offend the Easter Bunny and his friends...so they never told any of them this wasn't a good weekend to visit since this weekend was already booked up for all the years to come.

    Over time the Easter Bunny and his friends took over the weekend that once celebrated the sacredness of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made to set us all free from sin and eternal death. And each year this pagan idolatry and worship overshadows more and more of the real meaning of Easter.

    It's time someone told the Easter Bunny and his friends to go home and come back and visit on any weekend but this one. But in the name of tolerance....no one volunteered to do this and they never will.
     
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  5. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Veteran Member
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    I was reading an interesting article about what day Jesus was actually crucified and also when he was resurrected. This is a little off of your topic, but closely related so I am posting about it here. If you feel it should not be part of this thread, Babs; we can ask @Ken Anderson to move it, or I can just start another thread.
    Anyway, here is the gist of the article I was reading, and it suggests that Jesus was actually crucified on Wednesday and not on Friday, like we have always been taught to observe it. There are several reasons that this is possible, and some inconsistencies with what the Bible actually says and how we celebrate the day.
    Jesus, when asked for more signs, said that the only sign given would be the sign of Jonah, who was 3 days in the belly of the whale/fish, and he would be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.
    If we follow the idea that he died and was buried on Friday (ahead of the sabbath) and rose early on Sunday morning, this is not 3 days and 3 nights.
    We can count Friday and Saturday as two nights. Since Mary came before daylight on Sunday, that does not count as a day, and Friday, is not actually a whole day either since he was buried just before sundown on Friday, which would have been the end of that day. This really only leaves Saturday, one day, or two if you count what was left of Friday before they buried Jesus.
    Apparently, there were two actual sabbaths that week, and one was on Thursday , and it was a special holy day that only happened once a year. Some translations mention this being a special kind of holy day, and some seem to ignore that part.
    Anyway, if we use that assumption, then Jesus could have been buried late on Wednesday, before the special sabbath, and remained in the grave for three days (Thursday,Friday, Saturday) and three nights (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) and then was resurrected before dawn on Sunday.
    This would fulfill what Jesus actually said would happen better than trying to make 3 days out of the way we understand it now.
    Another thing that seems to support this would be the calling forth of Lazarus from the grave. Jesus left Lazarus until he had been dead several days, because in that day, we could not really tell who was dead and who might be in a coma until the body started to deteriate . If Jesus had come right away, then people would have said that Lazarus was not truly dead.
    I think that this is also why Jesus said the sign for him would also be that he was in the grave 3 days and 3 nights before he was resurrected.
     
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  6. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    @Yvonne Smith All that you say above is definitely more accurate Biblically and History wise. But it still doesn't change the fact that so called "Christian Churches" choose to ignore the truth and keep on celebrating the pagan rituals of the Easter Bunny, etc. at the same time they have chosen to keep sacred remembrance of the death and resurrection of our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. God reminds us over and over again in the Bible not to mix profane with Holy...and yet it keeps being done anyway...even when we know the truth.
     
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  7. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Actually it's really the US that has gone overboard with Easter. When I was little we just colored eggs because that was the Hungarian tradition on Easter...later on we did get chocolate bunnies just like the other kids.

    Also when I lived in Hungary for those 6 years, only coloring eggs was popular...but they had An Easter Monday tradition that we don't have here. It's a holiday, nobody works and all the men and boys go to the houses that have females (friends and relatives) and with a bottle of cheap cologne they spray you...then they are given a drink (alcohol) and ham and colored eggs and deserts...the food depends on the family how small or fancy they want to go.

    By nighttime everyone is drunk. :)

    Also, don't Catholics celebrate Holy Thursday also? I remember that from my childhood days in a catholic school.
     
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  8. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Everything gets turned into a shopping event.
     
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  10. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    That's true.
     
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  11. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Isn't that the truth! As long as consumers keep buying at these shopping events and businesses keep making a profit off of them...the cycle will continue.
     
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  12. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Given that we're coming up on that time of the year again, I'll use this thread to add a little more discussion about the celebration of Easter. As noted, our Easter traditions include elements from a variety of spiritual practices. The term Paschal refers to the Christian season of Easter, but it also refers to Pesach, the Jewish Passover.

    How about Easter eggs? In the 13th century, the Church did not allow eggs to be eaten during Holy Week, the week prior to Easter Sunday. Eggs reappeared on the dinner table on Easter Sunday as part of the celebration and were often colored red to signify a joyous occasion. Easter egg hunts and otherwise decorated eggs came later.

    Where did the Easter Bunny come into it? Actually, the link between the Easter season and rabbits is ancient. It is believed that the word Easter is a derivative of the name of the mother goddess Eostre, who was worshipped by the ancient Saxons in northern Europe. Eostre's festival coincided with the lengthening days that marked the arrival of spring, and with the return of life after a stark winter. The emblem that signified Eostre was the hare, and rabbits and hares have long been associated with fertility. A Saxon legend was the Eostre magically changed a beautiful bird into a hare that then built a nest and laid eggs.

    As is often the case with legends, they are used to offer explanations for things that people have witnessed in nature. Hares raised their young in forms, which are hollows in the ground of a field or meadow and, probably for safety, they are known to divide their sometimes large litters among two or three forms so that if a predator were to find one, the entire litter wouldn't be lost. Abandoned forms are often used by plovers, a bird that will act as a squatter, moving into an abandoned form and use it as a nest for its own young. So people might see hares in a field, seemingly hopping away from forms full of eggs, and concluded that the hares had laid the eggs. That's one story, anyhow.

    As Christianity spread throughout the world, it absorbed various pagan beliefs and practices, giving them a new Christian meaning. This occurred particularly in places where Christianity was supplanting another religion. Even today, that is largely why Christian practices in South America, or in various islands of the South Pacific, differs in some ways from that in the United States or in Europe. Having spent time near the Mexican border, I have seen how elements of Santeria had been incorporated into Catholicism, for example.

    Well, as Christianity spread, Church officials placed observances of the events surrounding the crucifixion of Christ in the early spring. Eggs, being visible sources of new life, came to symbolize Christ's resurrection, and the celebration of spring and the worship of the goddess Eostre became the Christian Easter. Over time, the distinctions between hares and rabbits were blurred. Even today, a lot of people think they are the same animal, and they do belong to the same order of mammals. Eostre's hare became our Easter Bunny.

    The link between Easter and rabbits became stronger in Protestant Europe during the 1600s, especially in Germany. A tradition developed where children would build nests with their caps and bonnets, and the Osterhas (Easter Bunny) would reward good children with a nest full of colored eggs. Variations of this tradition were brought to North America by German immigrants in the 1700s and, by the 1800s, hunts for decorated Easter eggs left by the Easter Bunny was a common tradition.
     
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  13. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Well-Known Member
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    I always understood that He would rise on the third day. I don't recall anything about three nights in the tomb--but I am no expert and I may recall things incompletely. (Someone can correct me on this if they know) I think Good Friday came about since the Jews would not bury on Shabbat (Sabbath) so it was assumed--or known since, contrary to what is sometimes taught, many of the witnesses probably lived well into the late first century A.D. and probably instituted Holy Days as they remembered them. Everything could have been shifted by one day to allow the Lord's Day to replace the Sabbath for Christians. I have read several theories, but by current practice, the Last Supper would have occurred on the first night of Passover, which would have been Friday, but Jesus wouldn't have been tried on the Sabbath, so his trial would have been on Saturday after sunset. As you can see, things can get confusing, and "Holy Week" was celebrated by the followers of Christ very early (in years) after the Crucifixion, so I think there was some adjustments made in meshing the Lunar Calendar of the Jews with the Solar Calendar of the Romans. The Easter Bunny and the Eggs have been addressed well by Ken.
     
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  14. Ken Anderson

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    Other than that Jonah's three days in the whale is believed to have been a type, signifying the resurrection after three days, I don't know if there was anything in the Old Testament. There are several predictions of other events surrounding the coming of the Messiah, his death and subsequent resurrection, but I don't know if the three days was mentioned. However, we are told in some of the Gospels that Christ had predicted his own death and resurrection after three days, and the Gospel authors make the comparison between this and Jonah's time in the whale.
     
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  15. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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