Last Spring Break I went to the area mall. It was teeming with people. Kids were everywhere. Families were shopping sales. Kiosks were jammed with goods. People carried all kinds of packages. It was a great day for commerce in North Texas. Except if you were the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny was going broke.
The Easter Bunny display was set up in the highest traffic area of the mall. A white, knee-high picket fence formed the boundary of a fake yard display of artificial turf. A lattice arbor arched over a resin w00d-like chair. Faux vines and flowers festooned the forest throne. The giant butterflies, hot glued in place, gave the scene wings, as it were. The Easter Bunny sat there. (Does he have a name?) A photographer stood a few yards away.
The Easter Bunny Flops
No one came. The Easter Bunny couldn’t attract even one single child. While every parent wants their child’s picture with Santa, the Easter Bunny flopped. He has to try harder to attract customers.
Why? Isn’t Easter a bigger deal? Doesn’t the Resurrection trump Christmas in theological weight? Paul thought so: “…if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (1 Cor 15:17) The festival of Easter is clearly a higher-order.
But here is the truth about the Easter Bunny: He can’t handle the truth.
In fact, all the secular modern symbols of this season are too light-weight; they totally miss the point of the Resurrection. The Resurrection is not about Spring because Spring is a seasonal cycle. It is not about caterpillars becoming beautiful butterflies because butterflies die again. It is not about the fertility of bunnies or the symbol of hope that is an Easter Egg. All these are natural things. They are wonderful but they are not unique.
He’s a Lightweight
However, the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the most UN-natural event in history. It is supernatural. It is a totally new, never-before-happened event in human history. The Resurrection is about God doing a new thing in Christ. Jesus died and was raised to eternal life to NEVER DIE AGAIN.
A new order of life is established by God in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It was a totally new thing. It was THE central tenet of the Early Church. Tom Wright said it this way: There is no evidence for a form of early Christianity in which the resurrection was not a central belief. Nor was this belief, as it were, bolted on to Christianity at the edge. It was the central driving force, informing the whole movement.
I felt sorry for the Easter Bunny. He looked alone. And he was. If the mall marketing team really wanted to put up a symbol that was able to bear the weight of the holiday, they might try an empty cross.
I am praying this morning for my preaching colleagues who must stand against the easy-tidings of the Easter bunny and stand for the Cross, lest it be emptied of its power. (1 Corinthians 1:17)
(edited from a previous LeaderWorks post)