Chocolate is undoubtedly one of life's great pleasures, and without fail, shopping malls will be landlocked with parents and grandparents purchasing their lot of the chocolate bounty. A staggering amount, alone, will be purchased and consumed for this weekend's Easter holiday. According to the National Retail Association, Americans spent $16.8 billion on chocolate last Easter.
So what's the deal with the bunny and the egg at Easter? Well let's take a moment to reflect on the true meaning and symbolism of Easter:
The Easter Bunny or Easter Hare, as a symbol of Easter, is depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs, originating among German Lutherans. The "Easter Hare" originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behavior at the start of the season of Eastertide.
In Christianity, for the celebration of Eastertide, Easter eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus. An egg appears to be like the stone of a tomb. A bird hatches from the egg with life; in which the Easter egg, for Christians, is a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave, and those who believe will also experience eternal life.
In A Course in Miracles, Jesus tells us that the crucifixion is not as important as the resurrection. The crucifixion was a demonstration to us that the horrific assault of the ego does not matter. Easter is a celebration of victory of acceptance and truth; and for us to not to brood over the crucifixion, but instead to celebrate his release.
"This week begins with palms and ends with lilies, the white and holy sign the Son of God is innocent. Let no dark sign of crucifixion intervene between the journey and its purpose; between the acceptance of the truth and its expression. This week we celebrate life, not death. And we honor the perfect purity of the Son of God, and not his sins. Offer your brother the gift of lilies, not the crown of thorns; the gift of love and not the "gift" of fear. You stand beside your brother, thorns in one hand and lilies in the other, uncertain which to give. Join now with me and throw away the thorns, offering the lilies to replace them. This Easter I would have the gift of your forgiveness offered by you to me, and returned by me to you. We cannot be united in crucifixion and in death. Nor can the resurrection be complete till your forgiveness rests on Christ, along with mine." (T-20.I.2)
Jesus became a model of rebirth; a realization which is already in our minds, in the form of the Holy Spirit. Jesus' resurrection is our reawakening to the Truth.
"It is in your power, in time, to delay the perfect union of the Father and the Son. For in this world, the attraction of guilt does stand between them. Neither time nor season means anything in eternity. But here it is the Holy Spirit’s function to use them both, though not as the ego uses them. This is the season when you would celebrate my birth into the world. Yet you know not how to do it. Let the Holy Spirit teach you, and let me celebrate your birth through Him. The only gift I can accept of you is the gift I gave to you. Release me as I choose your own release. The time of Christ we celebrate together, for it has no meaning if we are apart." (T-15.X.1)
A poem by Helen Schucman, scribe of A Course in Miracles, which was one of the last poems Helen wrote.
THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE
You think Him dead Who rose again for you,
And so you cannot see the shining light
In which you are delivered. Come, My child,
And judge Him not. He is not dead. So bright
His radiance that nothing still remains
Obscured from Heaven in the doubt of night.
So still the birth you did not understand
Who came to you. Before your frightened eyes
The Lord of light and life appears to fail
His promises of Heaven's grace, and dies
Forever on a cross. Nor can you see
The Child of hope Who in a manger lies.
The wise are silent. Stand you by a while
And let the wise men show you what they see
That came of you from stillness and from peace
Which rest in you, but speak to them of Me.
And then be comforted. The living Lord
Has come again where He has willed to be.
Wait now for morning. In the silence hear
The winged whispering that hails the Son
In quiet certainty and lovely calm
Whom death released to life. He is the One
For Whom you wait. Then look again on Him,
And join His benediction, "It is done."