Sunday, March 29, 2015

Why We Call Easter Resurrection Sunday

The eggs,bunnies and even the word Easter are pagan in origin and have nothing to do with Jesus Christ, his life, death or his ministry while on earth. The tradition of wearing new clothes to church on Resurrection Sunday is Biblically based however, because Jesus was wearing a new White robe when he appears to both Marys and the disciples after his resurrection. The time we celebrate the resurrection and the holy week that precedes it coincides with Passover. The events of Jesus' Crucifixion, death and resurrection actually occurred during and after Passover. The Spring Equinox - the Wiccan Eostre or Ostara Sabbat - this month's seasonal witchcraft Sabbat celebrated by modern Wiccans and pagans just happens to be during this same time of year.The holiday is a celebration of spring and growth, the renewal of life that appears on the earth after the winter. In mythology it is often characterized by the rejoining of the goddess and her lover-brother-son, who spent the winter months in death. This is an interesting parallel
to the Biblical story in which Jesus is resurrected (the reason Christians celebrate Easter), pointing to another appropriation of pre-Christian religious figures, symbols and myths by early Christianity.

The Easter Bunny is German in origin. He first appears in literature in 16th century as a deliverer of eggs. All rabbits and hares were thought to lay eggs on Easter Day, but the Easter Bunny specifically sought out and rewarded well-behaved children with colored eggs in a manner reminiscent of Yule customs. The movements of the hare, leaping and zig-zagging across the fields, were thought to hold clues to the coming year.

Eggs themselves are obvious symbols of resurrection and continuing life, as well as fertility. Early humans thought the return of the sun from winter darkness was an annual miracle, and saw the egg as a natural wonder and proof of the renewal of life. As Christianity spread the egg was adopted as a symbol of Jesus' resurrection from the tomb.

So, observant Christians who are aware of the origins and folklore surrounding bunnies and eggs celebrate Resurrection Sunday in keeping with Biblical teachings. Others celebrate Easter.