April 19th, 2014 20:39 EST
What Does Easter Mean to You?
By Deborah Smith Simpkins
Easter traditionally is represented by bunny rabbits, palms, sunrise, and the cross, but to me, it goes so much deeper than traditional and secular symbols.
Let`s discuss the Easter Bunny, people are quite surprised to find out its history. The history of the bunny goes back hundreds of years to Saxon times. In Saxon times people welcomed the beginning of Spring with a huge festival that signified the Goddess of that time of year whose name was Eastre. She was highly regarded and known for being a symbol of fertility (new life), prosperity and growth. Around this same time Christians were also celebrating Christ`s Resurrection and over the years these two holidays merged into one another because more and more people were turning to Christianity. The Easter Bunny was a combination of the Goddess Easter and the rabbit both of which were symbols of fertility. Later the eggs were added symbolizing the hatching or the giving of birth physically and financially.
In Christianity Easter is a time to celebrate and reflect on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We celebrate because we obtained the right to eternal life by virtue of the shedding of Christ`s unblemished blood through his death. We reflect because Christ lived and went through every human emotion and temptation yet he maintained His sanctification. He then suffered an agonizing death for the remission of our sins so that we may have the right to repentance unlimited and that gives us access to eternal life.
To me it goes even deeper than that; Easter is a time be grateful of a sacrifice that I can truly say no one on this earth would make. Can any of us truly say that we would offer our child up to be whipped, spit on, beaten and then crucified to save another person we may or may not know? No! None of us in our right minds would do that. But Christ did and what this does for me is it pushes me to be more concerned about others that are less fortunate than I am. It gives me compassion for those in need and it causes me to be overcome with thankfulness.
Easter to me is so significant to humanitarianism it makes me more sensitive to the lost, broken and down trodden. Although giving my life is not required to save or help them, Easter and the sacrifice of my Savior makes me thankful and encourages me to ask myself, What can I do to give new life or help someone who is less fortunate than I am? "
Minister and author Deborah Smith Simpkins is married and the mother of five children (ages 4-24!), Simpkins own life and spiritual walk is testament to the way God`s providence allows for pain, setbacks and challenging obstacles " but always with a rebirth and a sequel in mind. A preacher`s kid (PK) who grew up immersed in The Word, she has nearly been killed three times in car crashes. The one she had at 17, which included a life altering near death experience where she felt she had left her body for a time, left her severely cut and burned. While in recovery, she not only prayed for the healing of the body " she also began to surrender to the arduous process of healing her soul. For more information please visit www.deborahsmithpublications.net