Happy Easter 2024

Happy Easter 2024

We can’t believe it’s already almost Easter! Christians around the world will gather tonight for a meal. Then tomorrow at sundown, a somber Good Friday service remembering how Jesus let himself be killed on a cross. Many churches end the service in near darkness, lights out, the central cross or crucifix draped with a black covering signifying death.

Saturday is for quiet reflection as we remember the disciples mourning and usually a little busier than it should be as we prepare for family the next day.

And then, Sunday morning - whether you rise with the chickens for Easter Sunrise service or just attend one of the many packed houses of worship, Easter is a time of celebration. The greatest holy holiday in the Christian calendar – Jesus, who died, has risen from the dead – breaking the curse of sin and shame.

And then there are the eggs, and the bunny, and other trappings that don’t always seem to connect with the holiness of the day and its significance. But history sees things a little differently.

No, The Easter Bunny Isn’t In the Bible – Sort of

While the Scriptures do contain some interesting tales of giant fish (or whales), seven-headed beasts, monstrous sea creatures and even dragons (check out Job, Daniel and John’s Revelation), it does not mention a mythical rabbit who delivers eggs.

However, the Easter Bunny didn’t come solely from some pagan fertility practice either. While some of the elements might have gotten mixed in by well-meaning Christians in the 4th century trying to connect with their neighbors, the bunny’s connection to Easter is actually much more rooted in Medieval times.

Going back to the 6th century, in the early European churches, you would often find only a few Bibles. They were expensive to reproduce, the translation and copying very carefully supervised and triple checked, and each one had to be printed by hand. Also, most of the congregation was illiterate – there was no point in having a hundred Bibles if only a handful of nobles and priests could read them.

Pictures Worth Thousands of Words

But they did usually display at least one copy – one that in the Celtic (and later Roman) tradition was crafted as “illuminated manuscripts.” Much like the stained-glass windows in many churches, along with the words of Holy Scripture, the margins, and even whole pages of these Bibles were illustrated with incredibly detailed artwork that told the story without words.

Because of ancient beliefs about rabbits, some of these illuminated manuscripts – and later Renaissance paintings – contained rabbits as a symbol of the Virgin Mary or the Holy Trinity.

In Germany in particular, the three hares became a prominent visual remembrance of the Trinity, as displayed on the Paderborn Cathedral.

At some point, between the Reformation and now, a legend arose among German Protestants of the “Easter Hare” who keeps an eye on the good and bad children – and rewards the good ones with colored eggs it draws out of their basket. Yes, very much like Santa Claus.

That legend moved with the Germans to the ‘new world,’ their descendants in Pennsylvania somehow morphing this into the “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” In this variation, children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. And eventually, it would become the plastic grass laden baskets that many parents hide for their kids to find on Easter Sunday.

Colored Eggs Are More Meaningful Than You Know

One of the reasons eggs were such a treat for the German children was not because they were made with chocolate as they so often are now. In olden times, one of the foods typically fasted from during the season of Lent were eggs. After nearly seven weeks without, you can imagine why some would want some yolk back in their diet.

Eggs, of course, were an early Christian symbol of the resurrection of Jesus. In Mesopotamia, early Christians had the tradition of dying eggs red after the Easter celebrations in memory of the blood Christ shed.

This practice spread to the Orthodox church. In Eastern Europe red was just one color. The practice of dying eggs intersected with the old Ukrainian tradition of pysanka. In those tales from the Carpathian Mountains, eggs are collected and hand painted with intricate designs and colors. And as long as enough are created, the dragon (or monster, evil force) is held back from ravaging the world.

Coming Back to the Truth

As interesting and sometimes confusing many of these legends, tales and mix of cultural and historical traditions can get, always remember to keep the main thing the main thing.

As fun as bunnies and eggs and chocolate and marshmallow peeps are, the point of Easter is love and sacrifice. For God so loved the whole world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not see eternal death, but eternal life.

Here at Good News Pest Solutions, we offer pest control, but more importantly, we exist to share the Good News. Jesus came and died because he loved every one of you and he wants to bring you home to live forever in a perfect world. You no longer have to live in fear and shame, but can find hope in Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection.

For more details, we invite you to check out a local church this weekend or pop over to our webpage on the true Good News. We’d also love to pray for you – regardless of what you choose to believe.

Our offices will be closed on Good Friday to allow our employees to spend time with their families and worship as they wish. We’ll be back on Monday, April 1, 2024 – no joke. Until then, thanks for reading, being our customers and our friends. And have a blessed Easter!


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