Wednesday, April, 12, 2017 | 11:59 AM | by ledington
Focus Scripture: Nehemiah 9:4
In my devotions, I frequently use a search feature in my study app to help me find a particular verse (‘cause I have NOT memorized every Scripture reference.) So, how did I come up with today’s focus Scripture? I searched for Bunny, of course. The app returned a reference to one of the Levites, Bunni, from the post-exhale recovery of Jerusalem. But it did not return Bunny or Easter.
My devotion this morning was an excerpt from C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. If you have never read this work, I recommend it. Lewis provides an inside out look at the work of Satan through this cautionary set of letters. It helped to remind me that frequently, we as humans, are capable of too much sentimentality. Easter, of course, as the name of a holiday, has pagan origins. This pagan celebration of spring consequently invoked a bunny rabbit as a symbol. Hence we get a spokes bunny for the Easter holiday.
What I have found fascinating is the multiple ways the poor bunny has been used to symbolize life. Once upon a time, there was an expression that brought joy to many homes, “The rabbit died!!” I have no doubt that it would horrify many young people today to know that bunnies were once used as pregnancy tests and that the death of the rabbit indicated a positive pregnancy.
“Why did you say, ‘poor bunny’?”
Ooh, good question. As we discussed previously, animals simply do what God designed them to do. Unfortunately, we humans readily burden them with responsibilities, emotions and characteristics of which they are incapable. So, the use of poor is not sentimental, but rather is a commentary that there is less to the rabbit than is attributed. In other words, a rabbit is simply a rabbit.
Consequently, as we celebrate the Resurrection in the days ahead, know that we must face our sin and our own complicity in the crucifixion. There is nothing warm and fuzzy about this transformation nor about this transaction. Christ died to set us free (check out Roman’s 8 – the whole chapter.) Not a bunny, rather the Incarnate Son of God died that we might live. Yes, there is a new birth, but it is of the Spirit; there is no rabbit involved.
So, I pray that the joy that God shines through us as we celebrate The Resurrection is a joy realized in the grace and mercy we have received; not a chocolate and sentimentality induced “buzz”. I thank and praise God for His example, His sacrifice and especially His obedience in reaching out to us. May we now, like Mary Magdalene and the Disciples, encounter Christ in unexpected, unscripted ways and come away knowing deep down that we “have seen the LORD.”