Waking up on Easter morning when I was a kid meant a new dress and new shoes and an Easter basket at the foot of my bed, a smiling chocolate Easter bunny who stared at me with his little frosting eyes and beckoned me to nibble on his ears. Oh, I could not resist his charms. One year I pulled my chocolate friend out of his cellophane home and bit down on his ear and got a shock. The chocolate caved in and broke apart because the bunny was hollow inside! Mom didn’t realize the bunnies she bought for us were not solid. My brothers and I felt cheated. We had counted on solid milk chocolate that we could gnaw on for several days. We got a thin veneer of chocolate that was gone before bedtime that day. There was no substance to our chocolate Easter bunnies, they were just a shell.
Paul warned believers to be on guard against “hollow and deceptive philosophies” (Colossians 2:8) of this world that will try to fool us and draw us away from the solid truth of Christ Jesus. They are a very real and present danger to Christians. Unlike Christ, in whom is “all the fullness of [God]” (v. 9), they are empty and foolish and they crumble under the bite of real life. Unlike Christ, who is eternal, these philosophies have no substance and no staying power, they are founded on the shifting values and priorities of the world. And unlike Christ who is the Truth, they are rooted in lies and deception. At their core, they deny the reality of God and His authority and put humanity on the throne of existence (Romans 1:18-25). Sadly, they are not limited to the world; they are prevalent in the church as well. In Paul’s day, it was the “higher knowledge” gospel and the “Mosaic-law” gospel. Today we have the “prosperity” gospel, the “social” gospel, the “humanitarian” gospel, the “political” gospel, and on and on. All of these are hollow shells of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Beloved, when the winds of hardship howl and the heat of spiritual battle rages, you need something more than a hollow, Easter-bunny faith. You need something you can depend on, something that will last. You need the truth of God, His Son, and His Word. You need a faith that will not crumble. You need the solid rock that is Jesus.