An Easter bunny? Easter eggs? What does a bunny or eggs have to do with Easter? Absolutely nothing, other than Easter falls during the Passover which is in the springtime and an ancient Germanic pagan holiday which celebrated new birth as seen by birds laying eggs and rabbits having offspring (bunnies) fell in the same season.
When Christianity spread from the Mediterranean into Europe, the change from paganism to Christianity was gradual and holding on to some of the previous beliefs made the transition easier. One of the old traditions was the springtime holiday of what the Germans called Ostern.
Ostern grew to incorporate the bunny laying eggs and parents making egg shaped chocolates and other goodies for their children to enjoy. There is a recent suggestion that the rising of Jesus was borrowed from Ostern. I believe this is nothing more than non-believers attempting to delegitimize our faith. Ostern is about new birth whereas Easter is about Jesus dying on the cross and through His blood we are reborn.
In the Old Testament before Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, he was told to wash the doorways of his followers with the blood of an unblemished lamb so that the Angel of Death would pass over those homes and spare the lives of the first born children of the Israelites within. When Jesus went to Jerusalem for Passover in the New Testament, he washed away the sins of those who followed Him with his blood and gave us life thereby becoming Himself the unblemished lamb.
Back to the thought for today, the bunny and eggs have gained strength in America due to the marketing of candy companies resulting in people, especially children, in losing the true reason for us celebrating the rising of Christ from death fulfilling prophesies and giving His followers everlasting life.
I also think that non-believers will use Easter as a reason to celebrate candy and claim that Easter is not a religious but a cultural holiday. This is what many atheists claim about Christmas, that it is not about the birth of our savior, but a cultural gift giving holiday.
So my thought for today is: Why do atheists want to celebrate Christian holidays while denying the reason for the day?