Do Bunnies Lay Eggs? (And 4 Other Questions About Easter)
Easter is considered the most sacred day on the Christian calendar. But there are many problems with it. Let’s address some major questions about Easter.
Every spring, the Christian world celebrates Easter. Though Christmas has more publicity and commercialism, technically Easter Sunday is considered the most important day of the Christian calendar. This year (2020), Easter will be celebrated on Sunday, April 12.
But what about the customs surrounding this holiday? Bunnies that lay eggs, colored eggs, Easter egg hunts and sunrise services on Easter morning?
What do any of these have to do with the resurrection of the Savior of mankind? In fact, none of these traditions that surround Easter—including the word Easter itself—have anything to do with the Bible.
Though we are not against all holidays, we do see serious problems with Easter and feel compelled to inform others about these issues. This blog post will address five big questions that people ask about Easter every year.
1. Do bunnies lay eggs?
Rabbits (bunnies) are mammals and do not lay eggs. Though there are five species of mammals that do lay eggs, rabbits are not one of them.
A female rabbit can have four to 12 babies in a litter, and can become pregnant again very shortly after giving birth. The ability of rabbits to reproduce so frequently with such high numbers of young led to rabbits being associated with fertility in the ancient pagan world.
2. Why are bunnies associated with Easter?
We recognize that most people don’t believe bunnies lay eggs. So why—when it’s so easy to “Google” the rabbit reproductive process—does the Christian world associate images of rabbits and colorful eggs with one of the most important events recorded in the Bible—the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
The answer is related to the answer to the first question.
Eggs, like rabbits, were also used by many pagan religions to symbolize fertility and new life.
The English word Easter is actually derived from Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess.
If you are a Christian who loves Jesus Christ and highly values what He did on our behalf, you should ask yourself, does it show love and respect for Jesus to associate ancient pagan fertility symbols with His resurrection?
3. Is the word Easter in the Bible?
The word Easter is not mentioned in the Bible.* If you could take a time machine back to the time of the book of Acts and ask any of the apostles or early Christians about Easter, they would look at you with puzzled faces. They would have no idea what you were asking about. That is because this holiday supposedly celebrating Jesus’ resurrection wasn’t even in their vocabulary—let alone their calendar!
Easter was officially adopted by the largest sect of Christianity in the fourth century, more than 200 years after the completion of the New Testament. The decision to adopt Easter was made at the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 in response to a major controversy—whether or not to remain faithful to the biblical Passover or move away from its observance.
Those in favor of adopting Easter wanted to completely distance themselves from Judaism by promoting a holiday distinct from the Passover. The Council of Nicaea decided to adopt Easter and set its date on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.
Because of this decision, those who defended the biblical Passover were labeled as heretics—to be isolated and persecuted.
4. Was replacing Passover with Easter wrong?
We have briefly explained that the Council of Nicaea formalized the decision to abandon the Passover and adopt Easter. But should you base your worship on the ruling of a council of bishops led by the pagan Emperor Constantine? Or should you base your worship on the Bible?
Nowhere in the Bible does God give us the right to ditch His holy days and replace them with days of our own invention.The Bible, according to the implications of this ruling, would be labeled heresy! The Bible commands the observance of the spring festivals of “the LORD’s Passover” and “the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD” (Leviticus 23:5-6).
Jesus Christ instituted the new symbols of foot washing, unleavened bread and wine at His last Passover (John 13:2-17; Luke 22:17-21). In fact, the night before He was killed He said, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you” (verse 15)!
The apostle Paul was still talking about the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread decades after Christ was resurrected (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). The Christians at Corinth (mostly from a gentile background) were keeping the biblical holy days, not Easter.
So was replacing the Passover with Easter wrong? Yes. Nowhere in the Bible does God give us the right to ditch His holy days and replace them with days of our own invention. Easter was an invention of man that became formalized as a “Christian” day of worship by the Council of Nicaea over 200 years after New Testament times.
5. Was Jesus resurrected on Easter Sunday?
The celebration of Easter is closely tied to the idea that Jesus Christ was resurrected at sunrise on Sunday morning (now called “Easter Sunday”). But a close reading of the Gospels show this is actually a myth.
The Gospel accounts shows that the tomb was already empty at sunrise on “the first day of the week” (Matthew 28:1, 6; Mark 16:2, 6; Luke 24:1, 6). These accounts say nothing about Christ rising at this time! John’s account shows that the stone had already been taken away “while it was still dark” (John 20:1).
Jesus had actually risen from the dead hours earlier! Jesus Christ had predicted that He would be entombed for exactly three days and three night (Matthew 12:40). Since He was entombed before sunset on a Wednesday evening (Luke 23:53-54), He would have been resurrected at sunset exactly 72 hours later—on a Saturday evening.
Should Christians celebrate Easter?
The five questions we’ve addressed lead us to the most important question: Should you celebrate Easter? The evidence is very clear: Easter is not a Christian observance. It does not have origins in the Bible. It was not celebrated by Christians in the Bible. It is deeply rooted in pagan fertility rituals and is even based on a misunderstanding of Christ’s death and resurrection.
Simply put, Easter has no place in a Christian’s calendar. Instead, we hope you’ll study the spring festivals that are taught in the Bible.
* While it’s true that the word Easter does appear once in the 1611 King James Version of the Bible (in Acts 12:4), it’s a clear mistranslation. The original Greek word in that verse is pascha, which should be translated as “Passover” in English. Nearly all modern translations (including the New King James Version and the New International Version) translate the word as “Passover.” To learn more about the mistranslation of Acts 12:4, read “Easter in the Bible? Translation Error!”