Monday, March 21, 2016

Jesus and the Giant Easter Bunny

“Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.” – John 20:18

If you have kids (or even if you don’t but you have pictures of yourself as a young child), you’ll know what I mean when I say that the Easter Bunny has the power to instill terror or delight.

We march them down to the mall, promising them a glimpse of the rabbit that faithfully delivers basketfuls of bright colored eggs and jelly beans each Easter, and we are even willing to wait in long lines to see him. Oh, how exciting this is going to be, we assure them, as they fidget and squirm impatiently.

The moment finally arrives. Bigger than life, at least 10 feet tall with ginormous ears, Mr. B. stands with arms wide open for the children, who we are now pushing gently towards him. They peer up at his giant eyes, bunny nose and whiskers, as he sits down and invites them onto his lap.

“Say bunny!” the photographer cheers. Big sister gives a toothless smile, while little Johnny bursts into tears, fearfully wailing until he can run back into mom’s arms, safely away from the gigantic white furry creature.

Ah, the Easter Bunny. Giver of good gifts. So much fun to contemplate, but the actual encounters come with mixed reviews. And in the end, just a myth that will have no lasting impact other than on our post-holiday waistlines.

So why is it, then, that so many churches have begun offering up the Easter Bunny as the main attraction during Holy Week? While I am not opposed to fun and traditions during holiday times, when did the Bunny get so BIG and Jesus get so small? Why can’t we leave our Easter baskets at home and the Bunny at the mall?

“Come on, lighten up and have a little fun, will you?” I can hear the naysayers say. “Don’t be such a fuddy duddy!”

Fun I can be. Fuddy duddy I am not. But what I really want to shout back is:
The news of Jesus’ resurrection is the biggest news of all! 
How could anything be more exciting than that?
I get marketing. After 20 years in the business, I really do get it! I know that unbelievers don’t understand what the resurrection is or why it’s important. But we as Christians do. Shouldn’t we feel compelled to tell others about just how exciting it really is? And if we know just how impactful it is, why do we need to wrap it up in a shiny package that looks like … well, a giant bunny?

Do you know what the real story of Easter is, that we should be shouting from the rooftops? Unlike Moses, Mohammed, Buddha or any other great prophet or teacher,
Jesus is alive!!
Jesus’ resurrection is what separates Him from all others. It is what says it all about who He is: the only Son of God, with the very power to conquer death; given as a sacrifice for our sins, so that we would have a way to know the Creator of the Universe personally and to have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Unlike the Easter Bunny, Jesus isn’t a myth. Nor is His resurrection. History books confirm that He lived and died, and more than 500 people gave account of seeing the risen Christ.

And while the Easter Bunny brings colorful eggs and candy to delight us on that one special day, Jesus offers abundant life for all the rest of our days. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness, among other things. Who wouldn’t want that? I’d happily trade more than a handful of jelly beans for the life and hope that Jesus brings.

Finally, I’ll take an encounter with Jesus over an encounter with the Easter Bunny any day. With Jesus, there is no fear and no fake smile. Jesus Loves Me isn’t just a song I learned when I was little. It is what I experience every day as I walk with Him.

Jesus loves me when I am up, as well as when I’m down. He has lifted me up from the pit of despair, illness and addiction, and has given me wings to fly. His peace transcends my circumstances and He has been my comfort in the hardest of times. He is the rock I have built my life on, and following in His footsteps has never led me astray. He doesn’t just promise abundant life; He delivers it!
An encounter with Jesus won’t just make your day; it will change your life.
During this Holy Week, my prayer will be for you to find Jesus, who is bigger than any giant Easter Bunny. He is the one you can count on to be there, not just on Easter, but every day. He is the one who proved His love for you on the cross, and then proved His power to give you eternal life when He rose again.

May you be blessed this Easter and always.

Linda

Bible Verses to Reflect Upon This Week
* Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. (John 15:13) 
* But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
* God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible … And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. (Acts 10:40, 42)

Jesus and the Giant Easter Bunny originally appeared on Spring Sight blog, by Linda W. Perkins. Click here for more posts. Get even more encouragement by following me on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter

Many of Spring Sight's posts can also be found each week on Crystal Storms' #IntentionalTuesday,  Kelly Balarie's #RaRaLinkUp, Holly Barrett's Testimony Tuesday, Arabah Joy's Grace & Truth, Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart,  and Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday. This week, I am also linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee and Dawn at Journeys in Grace.


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23 comments:

  1. Yes and yes! Love this Lisa Perkins! Thanks for sharing! I'm all for fun and traditions, but we as Christians are called to be set apart- doesn't that alone show us that Christ is all more set apart and holy? He can do His own marketing, sans bunny. Blessings on your Easter!

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    1. Set apart - yes, that is it. Thanks for stopping by. Have a blessed Holy Week!

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  2. Linda, your story at the beginning gave me a chuckle:) Haven't we all been there? But the truth of your message here also created a great visual for me. I picture this BIG bunny, with Jesus lost somewhere behind. Lord, please forgive us for making Jesus small! You are so right Linda. Jesus is the biggest news of all, and we need to keep it that way! Moving into Easter this week with a renewed commitment to shine Jesus in a BIG way:)

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    1. I'm so glad you got the "picture" I was trying to paint, Kristine! When I came back from a week's vacation in the Ozarks, where the churches simply promoted "Jesus Saves," I was struck by the difference between what they were "selling" (new life!) versus what the big city churches were promoting. It was if my eyes were suddenly opened to the message that was being lost. Thanks for taking the time to read and reflect ... and for all you do to share Jesus! Take care and God bless!

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  3. Linda,

    Our Savior appreciates all your efforts for all of us to remember Him.

    Much love,

    July and family

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    1. Thank you, sweet July. I appreciate your encouragement! Happy Easter to you and the whole Jolley clan. Love you!

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  4. Hi, Linda. My husband and I chose not to celebrate Easter at all because of the false pagan traditions surrounding it. Christ doesn't need our silly theatrics to be honored, He just needs our repentant, willing hearts.
    He gave us a glorious gift with His sacrifice so we may have eternal life in His kingdom. Now that's big!

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    1. Amen, amen, Gleniece! I'm happy we connected today. God bless and happy Passover!

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  5. Linda, I just want to join you in declaring Jesus is Enough!!! Let Him be magnified ... in our celebrations and more importantly in our lives. Sweet blessings to you, friend. : )

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  6. Thank you, Crystal! May you have a very blessed Holy Week.

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  7. Well said Linda! Yes we as Christians need to be intentional in our remembrance and our worship as we go through Holy week. Thank you for this thought provoking reminder of the blessings that God has bestowed on us. I am thankful each day for my "encounters" with Christ...looking forward to that eternal encounter with Him! Have a blessed Easter weekend.

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    1. Amen to that, Horace! Our time with the Lord is so precious - there is nothing that compares! Blessings to you also.

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  8. Thank you for reminding us to keep our priorities in check. It's easy to lose focus. Happy Easter!

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  9. Well said. The Easter Bunny is fun, but it has it's place...and that's not at church. Children need to see Jesus as the reason for Easter.
    Thank you for linking with Grace and Truth.

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    1. Thanks you, Dawn! Have a blessed Holy Week.

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  10. Linda, what a beautiful and much-needed reminder of the true significance of Easter. Thank you for not shrinking back from speaking the truth in love. Happy Easter!

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    1. Thank you, Marva! I hope you had a very blessed Easter. :-)

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  11. Amen Linda! May we be seekers of the real and true reason for the Easter Celebration, not just during holy week but during every day of our journey. Thanks for linking up at #GraceMoments Link up!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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    1. Yes, indeed, Dawn. Every day is a good day to thank the Lord for our risen Savior! Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)

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  12. Such a great post. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I understand your feelings toward many people, especially believers, to down play such an great opportunity to share the gospel, the true good news of the Risen Jesus Christ, with others. As believers, I think we should use these holidays to share Christ. On those holidays, people have their attention on church and Christ so why not use those opportunities to proclaims His truths. Great to connect. Have a wonderful week!

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