Should You Explain the Secular History of Easter?

Over on the Kidology Forums, someone asked:

I need a simple lesson plan explaining the origin of Easter eggs and bunnies.


I don’t think much explanation is necessary. Since the eggs and bunnies have nothing to do with our Christian celebration, I think the simplest explanation is that they related to springtime when we are happy that winter is over. Spring also represents that new life will be coming forth from eggs, and nothing seems to represent new life as cutely as a bunny. However, as Christians, we think nothing represents new life better than JESUS, who proved he can not only bring new life, but he can even raise up the dead to new life!

I completely ignore the history of pagan celebrations with children. They are irrelevant and confusing to kids, and they are really just ancient history that has no bearing on today’s culture anyway. That isn’t why the eggs and bunnies are here today, so it’s a bit of a straw man. I would guess most of my non-Christian friends would take a slight offense at (or just laugh off) me accusing them of decorating with eggs and bunnies because of some ancient secular celebration that they probably know little about either!

So keep it simple, and quickly bring things back around to Jesus! Note in Galatians 6:15, Paul didn’t waste time on cultural debates, and instead said, “…what counts is the new creation.”

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17

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  1. Oh man, there goes my lesson for tomorrow. I just bought an Easter basket full of Easter goodies to use…..but I agree. My thought is to share that though some may spend a lot of time focused on the bunny and eggs….the thing to focus on is Jesus, then spend the bulk of the time focused on the new life in Him.

    Great thoughts Karl.

  2. Yo Bill! I didn’t say you couldn’t USE eggs and bunnies! I used a bunnie to greet the kiddos (I taught Kindergarten) and I gave all the kids an egg with “something special” inside! It was empty! And talked about how “empty” isn’t always bad! Since when the Mary’s went to the tomb and found it empty, it meant Jesus was ALIVE! I read the Matthew 28 passage, and then gave them all 3 pieces of candy and encouraged them to put the 3 pieces into their egg and keep this egg separate and eat only one a day for the next three days so they can feel how long Jesus’ friends had to wait to see their friend Jesus alive again. The point wasn’t to not use eggs and bunnies, but to not dwell on the secure history of why we have eggs and bunnies as a part of our Easter celebration. I mentioned only in passing that we often see eggs and bunnies at Easter because they represent “new life” – but JESUS is the one who can REALLY bring New Life, because He can raise us from the dead and give us Eternal Life in Heaven!

  3. The first part was in jest… I did have a typical Easter basket there where I could share Jesus with any aspect of it. I talked about it, but ultimately the point was that whether you got a basket or not (one family of children did not get baskets at home), the focus on Easter is what Jesus did for us.

    I gave the kids that wanted one a “peep” to remind them to tell their “peeps” about Jesus.

  4. I figured you were kidding, but I wanted to clarify just to make sure no one misunderstood that I wasn’t saying not to use eggs or bunnies, but just not to focus too much on the history of them. I know you well and that you do a great job teaching!

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