I can’t believe it’s already Easter! In three days, thousands of Christians across the world will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Most non-Christians and even some cultural Christians associate Easter with only bunnies and colorful eggs, but do you know what Easter actually symbolizes? I break it down for you below as well as answer the questions you guys sent in to me via Instagram. You will see that my Pastor answered a few questions (marked *) as well (he’s a champ).
What is Easter?
At its origins, Easter is a day celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This event is described in the New Testament of the Bible as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary.
What is Good Friday?
Good Friday is the Friday immediately before Easter Sunday. It is known as the day on which Jesus was crucified. We remember this event on Good Friday but also as often as possible. The Bible does not instruct Christians to remember Christ’s death by honoring a certain day. The Bible instructs us to remember Christ’s death by observing the Lord’s Supper, also known as communion, often.
What is Communion?
Communion is when Christians drink wine and eat bread as a symbol of Christ’s body and blood which was shed on the cross on Good Friday. 1 Corinthians 11:24-26 states, “…do this in remembrance of me…for whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” Some churches will reserve this for specific occasions, but most will offer this every week to their congregation to refocus their lives on what it meant for Jesus to die on the cross for all.
Why is Good Friday referred to as “Good”? Isn’t it bad that Jesus died?
What the Jewish authorities and Romans did to Jesus was definitely not good (Matthew 26-27). However, the results of Christ’s death are! 1 Peter 3:18 tells us, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.”
What’s the deal with Easter eggs on Easter? Is there a connection?
Yes there is! The custom either originated in Mesopotamia with early Christians — who stained eggs red to symbolize the shedding of Christ’s blood — or it began as a representation of rebirth. So eggs do have religious roots with Easter.
What about rabbits? They are everywhere during this time of year!
The most common reason rabbits are associated with Easter is due to its fertility. Easter comes during spring and celebrates new life. The Christian meaning of new life through Christ and a general emphasis on new life are different, but gradually merged. Any animals that produced many offspring were easy to include. Rabbits do not have religious roots with Easter.
How did Easter remembrance start?
Funnily enough, Easter was actually celebrated every single Sunday after the resurrection until A.D. 325, when the Council of Nicaea set aside a special day just to celebrate the Resurrection. The problem with an official day was deciding whether the Resurrection should be celebrated on a weekday or always on a Sunday.
How is the date of Easter decided every year?
Christians scurried away from celebrating Easter three days after the Jewish Passover because then Easter was celebrated during the week. The Council of Nicaea decided Easter should be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. We have Easter earlier some years because the vernal equinox changes from year to year.
*What do you say to those who say “dead men don’t rise”?
I would say that all the theories that are adopted by people who, having read the historical accounts of the resurrection of Jesus, deny that it happened (e.g. Jesus wasn’t really dead, the disciples or the authorities stole his body etc.) require a significant leap of faith. You cannot say that the Christian belief in a resurrection is a ‘leap of faith’ while those who reject it are making a reasoned, careful, rational decision. Both ‘sides’ are taking their acceptance or their rejection of the resurrection on faith. The question is, who has the best grounds for their faith? Most people adopt the ‘it can’t happen therefore it didn’t happen’ assumption, but this is to decide the outcome in advance.
*What’s your recommendation to people who question the validity of Easter, and therefore the validity of Christianity?
Why not read one of the historically attested Gospel accounts of the resurrection, or even get along to a church, this Easter season, and look again at what’s in there. Then ask whether your reasons for rejecting it all stand up to the same scrutiny you apply to the eyewitness account of what happened all those years ago.
What is Easter to you, Shruthi?
To me, it is as important as Christmas! Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus. Obviously this is important because there would be no Easter without his birth (duh). But, I think Easter is incredible because it is the reason that Jesus was born! He left his throne in heaven to come to this Earth where we messed up, struggling people were not living in the goodness he created us for. He chose to come down here, lay his life down as the u l t i m a t e sacrifice (ultimate because he was perfect), and that leaves me breathless!
*These questions were answered by my Pastor.
– H A V E A H A P P Y E A S T E R F R I E N D S –
If you are looking for some good music this weekend, check out the artists below. What do you imagine it will be like when we see God for the first time after this life?
My friend made these “birds nests” out of cornflakes, melted chocolate, and chocolate eggs.
They were delicious! If you are looking for an Easter recipe, check this out! It would be great to make on Good Friday and then bring to the family on Sunday!