I was looking for some Easter clipart on the web a couple of weeks back, and I was really surprised at what I found – or should I say, what I didn’t find. There’s a pretty good supply of holiday/seasonal clipart on the web, and most of it is “in the public domain,” meaning that I can use it without paying anything for the privilege. As a struggling writer and creator, those things are important to me.
If what you’re looking for is Easter bunnies, your choices are broad and numerous. All sorts of different sizes, colors, and varieties of bunnies are easily available, including some spiffy animations. Eggs, chicks, and baskets are also popular Easter themes, and again, they are quite plentiful. Unfortunately, none of those Easter graphics fit my need. I didn’t think that I was looking for such an unusual Easter graphic, but I sure had a hard time locating what I needed.
What was this unusual, strange graphic that was eluding my grasp? A graphic image of Jesus and the empty tomb. It seems like pretty standard Easter fare, doesn’t it? If it sounds to you like this is an easy item to find, I suggest that you try it for yourself. You might be surprised at what you don’t come up with.
Now, I like bunnies about as well as anyone. They’re cute, and cuddly, and adorable little animals. But it bothers me that the little critters have taken over entirely too much of Easter. In fact, I’m beginning to suspect a vast bunny conspiracy to totally eliminate any reference to, or thought of, Jesus in connection with the celebration of Easter. And, sad to say, at the moment it would appear that they’re winning.
The Easter Bunny, and those other secular Easter trappings, don’t really have much to do with the realities of Easter. The bunnies, chicks, and eggs thing is actually, as I understand it, the leftover remnants of pagan celebrations of the spring solstice. The existing pagan celebrations were “christianized,” resulting in a murky mix of Christian and pagan symbolism. The traditions involving candy at Easter time were, as best I can tell, originated by a secret coalition of candy makers and dentists. The dominant symbols and traditions in society are a measure if that society’s spiritual values and condition. The indications in modern American society seem to point toward an organized coup, and the bunnies are winning.
Many people prefer to bypass discussions about Jesus when they are celebrating Easter. Warm fuzzy bunnies and chicks are certainly preferable to talk of God’s own son taking the sin of the world upon Himself, and dying a slow, agonizing death in our place. To discuss Jesus is too close to actually admitting that we need Him – and some folks are just plain too proud to admit that need.
Yet, there can’t really be an “Easter” without Jesus. It’s like having the World Series without any Baseball players. The good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and rose on the third day, victorious over the grave, is the central theme of Easter. Without Jesus, it’s just bunnies and jelly beans, a hollow lifeless shell of what the Easter celebration can and should be.
Go ahead, have your bunnies, chicks, and candy. Just don’t let the bunnies take over Easter, and relegate Jesus to a secondary (or nonexistent) role in your celebration. Without Christ, you’ll just be overweight, have rotten teeth, and be missing out on the great Joy of intimacy with God, through Jesus.
I’ll take Jesus over Jellybeans any day!