Continuing John Reiss’ message about rejection, and this week focusing in Christ…
First, John’s comments and scriptures…
Rejection is a big topic in the Bible, and to set the tone let’s look at a few verses from the English Standard Version of the Bible.
First, in Isaiah 53:3, is a prophecy of the coming Messiah, “’He was despised and rejected by men…”
For a New Testament verse, in John 1:11 John writes of Jesus, “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive Him.”
And for a final verse in the introduction, in John 15:25, Jesus recites from a prophecy in the Psalms that states, “They hated Me without a cause.”
1Peter 2:4 calls Christ “…a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious.” Luke 20:17 says that the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone in the temple of God. The cornerstone is the principal, and most carefully constructed stone placed at the corner of a building11, and 1Peter 2:5 calls Christians living stones in this very temple.
Now, as many in the world celebrate Easter, I would like to look at our rejection of Christ.
No, not in the way you might think – His crucifixion after He celebrated His last Passover with His disciples.
His purpose was to die for our sins. What I would like to consider is how the cross became a bunny rabbit and Easter eggs.
I looked it up on the Internet –
“The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; nevertheless, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity’s most important holiday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.” (Emphasis mine)
There is a lot more information there – but be warned, adverts start playing when you have been on the page and start reading.
Several sites mention the link to the German migrants. If I remember correctly from my school history Christmas trees and Christmas cards also came from Germany via Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert.
So… to celebrate with eggs and an Easter bunny which is really a hare – is a tradition of men. Mmm.
I am reminded of Christ’s castigation of the Pharisees and leaders…
…’but in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.…
Mark 7: 7- 9
There are many other such verses – but notice it says the commandment of God is set aside in order to keep our traditions.
Perhaps we should look at our traditions and stop trying to ‘Christianize’ them.
I found an interesting article concerning Easter in the Sydney Morning Herald, newspaper.