Here is the connection between Mardi Gras, The Easter Bunny, and The church.
This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, and Ash Wednesday is the kick-off to Lent. What is Lent it is a 40 (46) day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter. It is a time of preparation and sacrifice leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. People usually participate in some kind of fasting for Lent.
How does Mardi Gras fit in? The day before Ash Wednesday has been known as Pancake Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. The idea was to use up all the sugar, fats and fun food as the next day the fasting began. “Eat Drink and Be Merry for tomorrow we die.”
The Easter Bunny/Chocolates. The reward for a 40 day fast from good food was typically chocolates. Eggs and Bunnies both symbolize new life.
Why is Lent actually 46 days? The good news Sunday’s don’t count as part of the fast. It is considered a day off from the fast.
Ash Wednesday reminds us of our sins. That we are in need of a savior. It is a solemn time. A time that if you only came to church once in a year, you would say all is hopeless.
However, Ash Wednesday points to a message of hope.
God created us to be with him. Genesis 1-2 Our sins separate us from God. Genesis 3 Sin cannot be removed by good deeds. Genesis 4-Malachi 4 Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. Matthew-Luke Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. John Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever. Acts-Revelation.
With this hope, it empowers us to worship. We make a sacrifice during lent not out of Christian duty but out of a sense of gratitude. People choose to die to something whether it would be: 1. A food item – chocolate, alcohol, pop, meat, to name a few. 2. Entertainment – TV, movies, Video Games, 3. Phone – Internet and Facebook etc… 4. Or any other habit that demands time and energy from our days. And invest the time you would spend doing these items and spend it in extra prayer and/or Bible reading or acts of service. Or take the money you save and give it to the poor. Make this a special time of 40 days. You may start new habits that you really like. You may discover some new ways to go deeper in your relationship with Christ that carry you through the entire year. Jesus made the sacrifice we were not able to. We are not earning God’s favor, but we are honoring his sacrifice for us.