Although Easter has become a holiday about bunnies, eggs, and flowers, it is about so much more. The meaning of Easter comes from the beliefs of Christians, both Protestant and Catholic. The holiday is a time of celebration that marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because the celebration length of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection differ around the globe, this article will focus only on Easter Sunday.
According to the Christian Bible, Jesus Christ is the Son of God. On the day of Passover, the day Christians call Good Friday, Jesus was crucified (brutally killed). After being dead three days, Jesus came back to life. Afterward, He spent 40 days on earth, visiting His followers and encouraging them to continue preaching His truth. He also promised them that He was going to Heaven in order to prepare a place for His followers. This promise, along with the ability of Jesus to conquer death, Satan, and hell, is why Christians celebrate Easter.
This holiday also represents the foundation of what Christians believe. Jesus is the Son of God and has brought salvation to people. All people are sinners (not perfect). Jesus, fully God and fully human, came to earth in order to save sinners from hell. Until this point in history humans had to sacrifice animals in order to get forgiveness for their sins (wrongdoings). Jesus was the ultimate and perfect sacrifice. He was the last sacrifice. Now, if sinners believe in Jesus, and follow His commands, they will go to heaven. There is no reason to sacrifice animals.
Easter is a holiday of deliverance and freedom.
Easter is celebrated at a different time each year. For the West, Easter will fall between March 22 and April 25 of every year. Easter is always the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox. Churches in the west follow the Gregorian calendar. Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar to calculate the date, so their holiday is usually a week or two after the Western churches.
Most churches celebrate with the Eucharist (also known as The Lord’s Supper) that represents the Passover meal that Jesus had with His disciples before being arrested. The wine represents Jesus’ shed blood. The bread represents Jesus body. Scriptures are read and the wine and bread are taken.
Most churches also use the phrase “Christ is Risen!” with a response of “He is Risen Indeed!” In Orthodox churches, a procession is incorporated into this.
Protestant churches also include baptism and a sunrise service. This service is to commemorate Mary Magdelene finding the tomb empty. It includes Scripture reading and songs.
Easter is a complex and exhilarating holiday for Christians, and many celebrate in different ways. One thing is for certain; the meaning of Easter is the cornerstone of Christian belief. Without Easter, there is no Christianity.