Jesus Came Back To Tell The Bunny Where To Hide The Eggs

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

                  “On the third day he rose from the dead,” so it says in The Apostles’ Creed, and every year since that well-documented event which may or may not have happened, we have celebrated Jesus’ resurrection, though we allow some breathing room as to an exact date, confining it to sometime in March or April. Of course, we always allow the 25th of December to celebrate Jesus birth when there’s no concrete evidence linking his birth to that day, nor very much evidence that it was in the winter at all. So what about the eggs and the bunny? Did Jesus have to come back to hide the eggs? Or is it like the scenario presented by the late comedian Sam Kinison, where Jesus had to come back because he had a demanding wife who wanted to know where he’d been this past weekend? There’s so much that’s vague about Easter, but thank god (or some higher power) the weather has decided to be absolutely brilliant in England over this four-day weekend.  

                     There’s many theories as to how a celebration of the resurrection of Christ became intertwined with a rabbit hiding coloured eggs, but the one consistency I found with the Christian and pagan accounts was the view of springtime and the vernal equinox being the time for rebirth and eggs and rabbits symbolizing fertility. There are some far-fetched theories of creationism that believe the earth was hatched from an egg, but who knows what bird-brain came up with that! My favorite theories are the ones that involve goddesses, seemingly putting the spring celebration into a B.C. time frame. One is centered around the goddess Ishtar, but little connection to the Warren Beatty/Dustin Hoffman movie flop of the same name. The other one that interested me more was that of the Saxon goddess Ostara, also spelled Oestre, but no relation to Ron Oester, an early 80’s second baseman who played for the Cincinnati Reds. However, the word estrogen (or oestrogen, as the Brits spell it), the female hormone, comes from the goddess’s name.

                         According to the myth, Ostara had saved the life of a bird whose wings had been frozen. She adopted the now flightless bird as a pet (some theories say lover), and turned it into a hare so he could at least run fast to escape predators. She then gave him the ability to lay eggs, apparently because she could just DO that, and as an added attraction, he — Wait a minute, the creature was male? Yet laid EGGS? Oh, well, it’s only legend — could lay eggs in various colors, but only one day a year. Gee, it wasn’t a day in springtime by any chance, was it?  

                         The Christian theorists have their own bunny theory that at least relates somewhat to Jesus, in that there was supposedly a rabbit who waited patiently for a couple of days after Jesus was laid into the tomb at the Garden of Gethsemane. This on Good Friday, by the way, and it’s been almost a stock comic line about it not being such a good Friday for Jesus. The rabbit supposedly waited there, and when the stone was rolled away and Jesus emerged from the tomb, the rabbit said, “Eeehh, What’s up, Doc?” Jesus said, “I guess I’m up, to answer your question.” OK, I’m wavering a bit. 

                          The one consistency of all these hackneyed theories is that eggs, rabbits, springtime, and resurrection remind us not just of the cycle of rebirth, but also the need for renewal in our lives. This is one of the reasons Lent is part of that whole picture. I know I haven’t addressed the issue of the Easter Egg Hunt, of which it was hard to settle on a particular one of the many explanations Google offered, but what has intrigued me most is that nearly all the origins of these various Easter traditions are non-American. You’d have thought that in a land where Christianity is the most common religious belief, and where it holds more political power than in any other country, there’d be some home-grown explanation for all the pageantry. I still remember Easter as being Christmas Lite, in that my brother and I got gifts in the morning and had a big feast in the afternoon. Maybe that was just a Seff Family tradition!

                              I have no big plans to celebrate this Easter, but I do have a gig that night at Downstairs at the King’s Head, and it’s also my ex-girlfriend’s birthday. Otherwise, it’s a four-day weekend, followed by another four-day weekend (Only in UK), probably the only time in history in any part of the world that that has ever happened, or ever will happen. Thank Will & Kate and for that one! 

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.