Skip to content

Month: March 2024

Do Bunny, Egg, and Jesus Really Mix?

Exploring Christian traditions often provides a fresh outlook. Reflecting on this, I observed how my church community was gearing up for the celebrations. Discussions were centered around preparing eggs, decorating actual ones, and filling plastic ones with sweets and money. Fortunately, there was no mention of purchasing a bunny costume, as individuals costumed as the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus unsettle me, and nobody suggested that I wear the furry holiday outfit.

Amidst all that’s happening, I find myself pondering the connection to Jesus. I’m that person who questions everything—not to cause trouble, but to understand the reasons behind it all. When someone says, “That’s just how it is,” or “That’s just how we do things,” I can’t help but ask why. Tradition matters to me, but I’m more concerned with its origins, and I become skeptical if it seems no one has considered the rationale behind a tradition. After all, traditions often have tenuous reasons for their widespread practice.

Easter Sunday holds many surprises, and Britannica, a trusted research source, sheds light on some of them. According to Britannica, “The Council of Nicaea in 325 established that Easter should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox (March 21), making Easter a movable feast that could fall between March 22 and April 25.” This clarifies the common query about the exact date of Jesus’ resurrection. Regarding Easter symbols, Britannica states, “The custom of the Easter rabbit, believed to lay, decorate, and hide eggs, started in Protestant areas of Europe in the 17th century and spread in the 19th century. In the U.S., the Easter rabbit also brings baskets with toys and candy to kids on Easter morning, a tradition diverging from Catholic customs. Interestingly, in some parts of Europe, other animals like the cuckoo in Switzerland and the fox in Westphalia are said to deliver Easter eggs.”

Certainly, as Britannica highlights, Easter’s celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection has seen its traditions evolve significantly through the ages. The way it was first observed is quite different from how it’s celebrated in America today. Historical and cultural shifts have gradually reshaped these traditions, changing their original meaning and purpose.

The Easter holiday we celebrate today isn’t necessarily incorrect or in need of reform. It’s quite common for people to repurpose ancient symbols with new meanings that resonate with contemporary values. This isn’t a practice confined to Western culture; it’s seen in Eastern traditions as well. The Bible itself, including the Old Testament, is filled with examples of this, using familiar images and symbols to communicate messages of theological importance and to highlight the dominance of Israel’s God above others.

In wrapping up this history discussion, it’s my view that we Christians observe Easter Sunday in line with Church tradition, which doesn’t detract from the true essence of Jesus’ Resurrection. Indeed, the egg and bunny may seem like peculiar symbols to mark such a momentous triumph over death, but they’re our way of imparting significance and honoring the sacrifice made by God for our liberation. It feels right to celebrate Easter Sunday with that same sense of liberty, setting aside any strict adherence to our current cultural commemorative practices, and recognizing that God understands our intentions. Should there be a compelling need to alter a tradition as culturally ingrained as Easter Sunday, or even Christmas, perhaps it’s best to entrust that change to divine guidance, believing in the Holy Spirit to lead the way.

Echoing Jesus’ words, “Let the children come to me,” we might also embrace the idea of letting children enjoy their childhood and the fun that comes with it. So, go ahead and collect those Easter eggs, delight in the chocolate bunnies, and sing songs that honor the sacrifice of our Savior who secured our liberty. May peace prevail and the spirit of dominion fade from our hearts.

The Chosen: Season 4 Review (Part 2)

Episodes 4-6 of Season 4 begin with Jesus and the disciples comforting Thomas in his grief over Ramah’s death. As they transport her body to her native town, they are confronted by Kafni, her father, and his men. Overcome with sorrow, Kafni lashes out at Thomas verbally. While Thomas endures Kafni’s tirade, Jesus remains notably restrained, doing little beyond expressing condolences to Kafni and not intervening to calm the distraught Kafni.

It’s hard to believe that the Messiah tolerated such venom, especially when spewed at his most vulnerable disciple. On the other hand, how the real Jesus handled such scenes back in that day is anyone’s guess as we, the church, understand so little of Jesus as he’s described in the Gospels. He’s the Savior of humanity, certainly. He’s the ultimate teacher, God in the flesh, without doubt. All-the-same, God does not hold back the heartache, let alone dull human interaction when it comes to blows. Though involved, God won’t curb the outpouring of our hearts, whether it’s pure or ugly. He deals with it all.

Jesus surely dealt with all of it as well, which is precisely at the heart of these episodes, Jesus having subjected himself to the human experience, taking in good moments and bad when and how they happen. On their way back from delivering Rama, Jesus and his disciples encounter Roman soldiers who, by imperial law, forced the Jewish company to carry their equipment. The disciples had to leave their belongings behind to aid the soldiers, and Judas was having none of it, expecting Jesus to challenge Roman authority by refusing the burdens on behalf of his disciples. Yet, Jesus did no such thing; he did the opposite by not only welcoming the Roman equipment but going two miles instead of the legal mile to which they were obligated. None of his disciples got the lesson, and Jesus was alone in practicing humility, setting the example.

When Gaius came to Jesus about his son, only asking that the teacher speak the healing into existence by command, Jesus was uplifted. Such faith coming from a Gentile, let alone a Roman, it brightened Jesus’ day to see such faith. Then, in the next moment, leaving Peter’s house where Gaius had come to see him, Jesus dealt with a not-so-great moment, this time because of two of his disciples, James and John. The brothers asked for status and prestige, quoting Jesus’ words to back up their bold requests. This time, Jesus was having none of it. At first, Jesus sighed and side-stepped the request, but when the brothers came back around, wanting to know why, Jesus explained in frustration that they were out of their depth. He had to let them go on ahead to Lazares’ town to have some alone time with his father after such a day.

Wandering into a covering of trees with light beaming through the branches, Jesus prayed earnestly for his father to center him again. It was time to see Jesus process his thoughts and emotions in private, something we hadn’t seen until now. The writers were getting bold. Without coming across as overly spiritual or too heavenly, the scene pealed back the moment with such care: Jesus watched Mary and Zebedee work the olives into wine, pressing them with mechanisms of powerful force, and that showed Jesus’ pain, his burden, and he alone could carry it. The silver lining was someone coming along to comfort Jesus in his pain, whether they knew it or not. It wasn’t one of his disciples, or even his mother. Gaius, a Gentile, found him and hugged him for healing his son, not knowing what Jesus would soon do when the time came not for olives to be pressed but Jesus’ very body, for his body to be broken on behalf of the broken.

This story of Jesus nearing the inevitable is now officially delving into aspects of Jesus as God and man that have not been explored before in television or film. The Chosen is now in a place of intimacy with Jesus’ journey that is both surprising and profoundly encouraging. There’s no denying that The Chosen continues to push the boundaries of Christian storytelling, and their approach speaks to the creative relationship the writers and the direction have with God himself. He goes before them, and they follow.

Their only message to the audience is Come and See. Yes should be our response.

Full review coming soon.