Meaning of Easter
Easter (Old English Ēostre; Latin: Pascha; Greek Πάσχα Paskha, the latter two derived from Hebrew: פֶּסַח Pesaḥ) is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixionat Calvary as described in the New Testament. Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded byLent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.
The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday), commemorating the Last Supper and its preceding foot washing, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide, or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday.
Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea(325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the March equinox. Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on 21 March (although the astronomical equinox occurs on 20 March in most years), and the "Full Moon" is not necessarily on the astronomically correct date. The date of Easter therefore varies from 22 March to 25 April inclusive. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian calendar, whose 21 March corresponds, during the 21st century, to 3 April in the Gregorian calendar, and in which therefore the celebration of Easter varies between 4 April and 8 May.
Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In many languages, the words for "Easter" and "Passover" are identical or very similar.Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb. Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, andEaster parades. There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally.
What Is The Meaning of Easter for Christians? Life of Jesus Christ
The holiday known around the world as Easter Sunday usually brings pleasant images to mind; family gatherings, egg hunts, and visits from the Easter bunny.
However, to Christians, Easter has a far deeper, sweeter meaning. The day symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and his triumph over the grave.
Christ's resurrection is perhaps the single most important event to occur in the history of Christianity, for according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:17, "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins."
The seven days before Easter Sunday is referred to as Holy Week, or the Passover season. These days are set aside to commemorate the brief life, death, and resurrection of Christ.
It begins on Palm Sunday, a day which we reflect on how people spread out palm branches before Jesus of Nazareth, rejoicing in His presence as He entered Jerusalem, crying, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"
Then, Maundy Thursday marks the Last Supper, the day where Jesus celebrated the Jewish Passover with His apostles.
According the Gospels, Jesus was tried for treason on Good Friday by Pilate, the Roman governor, and then by Herod, King of Judea, and once again by Pilate.
Though declared innocent by authorities, Christ was crucified brutally on a cross, a death that was usually reserved for only the most dangerous of criminals. He was then laid in a sealed and guarded tomb.
Jonathan Parnell, writer and content strategist at Desiring God, asks Christians to reflect on our own sin and Christ's sacrifice this Holy season.
"If we know our hearts apart from grace, if we could listen in on this crowd, we'd hear our shouts along with theirs. We'd hear our praise, hollow as it were, and then, by Friday, 'ashamed we'd hear our mocking voice call out among the scoffers."
However, a story of great sorrow turned into one of joy for those who believe in Christ.
The gospels describe two women bringing spices to the tomb early Easter morning to prepare Christ's crucified body for burial. However, the tomb was empty, guarded by two angels.
"Why do you look for the living among the dead?" they ask the women, "He is risen!"
C.S. Lewis wrote, "Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of no importance and, if true, is of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important."
Easter, then, is incredibly important, for Christ's Resurrection from the dead is central to the doctrine of Christianity. Without it, there is no hope of salvation, and no hope for eternal life in heaven.
Because Christ has been resurrected, Christians can say confidently along with the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians, "Oh death, where is thy victory? Oh death, where is thy sting?"
What is the meaning of Easter?
Easter is the day when we celebrate Jesus Christ rising from the dead. Jesus is the Son of God and heroically gave His life to die for our sins. On the third day after He died -- the day we now celebrate as Easter Sunday -- His friends went to His grave, and found that He had risen from the dead. They saw an angel who told them, "Don't be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn't here! He has been raised from the dead, just as He said it would happen."
Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday; now He offers to you the gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins. This is the true story of Easter, and how it can change your life. Here are 4 principles that tell how you can receive the gift of God for your life.
1. God Loves You!
The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" The problem is that
2. All of us have done, said or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God.
The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says “The wages of sin is death.”
The good news is that, about 2,000 years ago,
3. God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.
Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life -- of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me."
God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name." You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come in to your life as your Lord and Savior.
4. If you want to accept Christ as Savior and turn from your sins, you can ask Him to be your Savior and Lord by praying a prayer like this:
"Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always."
Did you pray this prayer? Than you are a Christian and Saved.
The True Meaning of Easter:
The best way to understand the real meaning of Easter would be from Jesus. As is recorded in the 12th chapter of John, Jesus was welcomed to Jerusalem by a large crowd singing praises to Him, carrying palm branches and hailing Him as the King of Israel - the Messiah. They were gathering to celebrate Passover and such an outpouring of adoration made the Pharisees seeth with anger and disgust. They did not believe Jesus was their long-awaited King.
Jesus replied, "Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me."John 12:23-26
Probably a puzzling speech at the time. Jesus had to die and be "planted" in a tomb to rise up and produce a harvest of life everlasting to those who believed in Him. (After His resurrection, the parable of the kernel of wheat could be fully understood.)
The New Covenant:
Jesus knew that He was going to be killed and how He was going to be killed; and He knew the time was approaching. He told his disciples how he'd like his death on the cross to be remembered. His request is found in Luke 22:
When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, "I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won't eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God." Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, "Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come." He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me." After supper he took another cup of wine and said, "This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you. Luke 22:14-20
Without a doubt, Jesus wants us to remember his great love and sacrifice for us through communion. He was getting ready to be betrayed by one of the disciples, publicly humiliated and mocked, beaten beyond recognition, and hung on a cross to die, when he made his special request for us to remember that He gave his body for us and poured out his blood as a sacrifice for us. The heart of Easter lies in his words, "the new covenant between God and his people."
What is the real meaning of Easter? Because of Christ's death and resurrection, we have been given victory over death and eternal separation from God, a covenant promise of forgiveness and grace:
“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures”1 Corinthians 15:3
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
When we eat the bread and drink the wine of communion, we need to search our hearts. Are we remembering the suffering that Jesus’ body went through for us? Are we remembering how His blood was shed so our souls could be spared? Let’s thank Jesus this Easter for giving us life and for giving us the Holy Spirit as our comforter and guide.