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Easter bonnets and bunnies
“In your Resurrection Sunday bonnet” doesn’t have the ring
of “in your Easter bonnet.” And we certainly couldn’t call the fictitious
colored-egg-bringing mammal “Resurrection Sunday Bunny.” It just doesn’t sound
What does sound right is calling the day that honors the
most significant event in all of history “Resurrection Sunday.”
The celebration of Christ’s resurrection is the apex of
Christian celebrations. Christmas celebrates the Incarnation — the
beginning of the working out of God’s plan of salvation. Resurrection Sunday
recognizes the completion of this vast provision of salvation for humanity.
When the Son of God rose from the dead, everything that was necessary to
provide salvation for sinful humanity was complete. Because of this, Christians
rightly celebrate the Resurrection year-round, while giving it special
attention one day a year.
But Easter and Resurrection Sunday are two different things,
celebrated on the same day. The celebration of Christ’s resurrection apparently
replaced a pagan festival that honored Eastre, a Germanic goddess of spring,
beginning in the second century.
In the early centuries of Christianity, the Church commonly
commandeered pagan celebrations and offered Christian alternatives … much as
churches do today with Halloween. Sharing a date, or even some customs, with
such non-Christian events does not negate the value of these days for
I do believe Resurrection Sunday is a far better name and
representation of the true meaning of the day. But I’m not saying we must go on
a campaign against “Easter.”
Resurrection Sunday is a better name. The Resurrection is a
historical fact and we serve a living Savior today.
Christians should observe Resurrection Sunday … and use
Easter as a wonderful yearly opportunity to proclaim the most important truth
of our faith.
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