As Christmas celebrates Jesus` birth, Easter celebrates his victory over death, and his resurrection. Easter, also called Pascha, does not have a fixed date, but always falls on Sunday between March 22 and April 25 following the cycle of the moon. It is the most important festival for Christians around the globe.
Easter celebrations include baptisms, the Eucharist and feasting. Churches hold Easter Sunrise service around 7:00 am which is the symbol of Jesus’ triumph over death. Boiled eggs with coloured sheets are traditionally served at breakfast, which represent new life and resurrection since pre-Christian spring celebrations.
Easter is a period of time rather than just a day. Traditionally the Season used to last for the forty days from Easter Day until Ascension Day, but it now officially lasts for the fifty days until Pentecost. The main events of the Easter story include Jesus’ execution, His burial, and most importantly, His rising from death. It is believed that Jesus rose from the dead, three days after He was crucified by the Roman soldiers on the cross of Calvary in 27-33 AD (Good Friday). On the day of crucifixion, Jesus bore all our sins upon Himself, to gave the Ultimate Sacrifice for all sins of mankind, eternally.
Alleluiah, He Arose!
Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-8
On the third day, a Sunday, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went to the tomb at dawn to anoint the body of Jesus. But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.’ `` Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, as they were afraid.
Then, Jesus appeared to the women near the tomb and later at least twice to the disciples while they were gathered at a house in prayer. He visited two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus and he also appeared at the Sea of Galilee while several of the disciples were fishing. (NIV)
Out of doubts still, Thomas, one of His disciples did not believe that Jesus was alive again until he touched Jesus’ fatal wounds. In the following forty days, hundreds of people witnessed this Jesus, who had risen from death until He ascended to Heaven.
There are at least 12 different appearances of Christ in the resurrection accounts as reported in the New Testament, beginning with Mary and ending with Paul. These are: Matthew 28:8–20, Mark 16:9–20, Luke 24:13–49, John 20:11–21:25, Acts 1:1–11, and 1 Corinthians 15:3–9. They were physical, tangible experiences with Christ eating, speaking and allowing Himself to be touched.
Remembering Jesus’ Love
Easter Eucharist is a particularly joyful service. Many Churches, especially the Baptists hold `baptism` (Immersion of the entire body in water) on this day where it symbolizes the cleansing (remission) of sins, and the union of the believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection so that he may be called "saved" or "born again." It is the sacramental act of cleansing in water that admits one as a full member of the Church. Most Christians, such as Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Lutherans, are baptized as infants. Baptists and certain other groups baptize only after a person accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Savior ("believer`s baptism") by the apostles and deacons in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Because you have seen me, you have believed me; Blessed are those that have not seen and yet believed. John 20:29
May this Easter truly bless you as you have been a blessing to all who know you.