In the part of the world where the Easter Bunny was born, the gloom of February is generally over. The evenings are getting longer, the daffodils and cherry blossom are brightening up our barren neighborhoods. We're all feeling more positive about life. So we're glad to have a holiday to celebrate those warm fuzzy feelings. What better way to do it than with a warm fuzzy bunny bearing chocolate?
I confess to being a bit more like Peter (the apostle, not the rabbit) than a Hallmark card. I'm wary of warm feelings of optimism as we come to the annual springtime of new beginnings. I like Peter's thoroughly down-to-earth, factual account of Easter. The only kind of bunny that comes remotely close to the way Peter talks of Easter is the kind that ends up in a crock pot and goes well with dumplings. A dead one.
Unlike the Easter Bunny, Peter came bearing hard facts, not warm feelings. He said:
This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2:23,24).
There's no sugar-coating here. Just historical facts. Terrible facts and wonderful facts. But facts. Making the point that Easter is not about warm and fuzzy feelings that fly in the face of reason. It is about facts. A real death. A real resurrection. If the facts were not factual, the feelings would last as long as a chocolate egg in the hands of an unsupervised 5-year old boy. Religion, for many people, is a subjective experience. But that's not enough. In fact, rather than being happy, Paul said in 1Corinthians 15 that people who believe in a non-factual resurrection are to be pitied.
Pitied - like a man going to his rabbit hutch every morning hoping for freshly-laid eggs for his breakfast. He'll be hungry forever.