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The Significance Of Easter For Christians

The Significance Of Easter For Christians

On Palm Sunday we Christians began Holy Week celebrations and we will be climaxing with the commemoration of the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

On Holy Thursday, Jesus had his last meal with His disciples on the evening and was arrested during that same night. He was tried on the Friday morning also known as Good Friday. Jesus was condemned, crucified, and died before sundown on Friday.  According to the Gospel’s accounts, Jesus was bodily raised from the dead on the third day. According to the Jewish reckoning, Friday began on Thursday at 6.00pm and ended on Friday at 6.00pm. This was the manner in which all the days began and anything happened on any part of a day was counted as one day; this accounts for the third day being Sunday, the day of the resurrection or Easter Day.

For Christians then, every Sunday is Easter Day. This is the reason why every Sunday the Eucharist or Communion Service is celebrated. Jesus was the first to have performed such a ceremony at the home of two of His Apostles on the evening after His walk with them on the road to Emmaus, (see Luke 24:13-35). The Christian Church continued this practice ever since;   At Paul’s Farewell visit to Troas, the writer of Acts gives this account of the situation, “ On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them; since he intended to leave the next day, he continued speaking until midnight.  There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were meeting.  A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, began to sink off into a deep sleep while Paul talked still longer. Overcome by sleep, he fell to the ground three floors below and was picked up dead.  But Paul went down, and bending over him took him in his arms, and said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.”  Then Paul went upstairs, and after he had broken bread and eaten, he continued to converse with them until dawn; then he left.  Meanwhile they had taken the boy away alive and were not a little comforted” (20:7-16; 1 Cor. 16:1-2).

The Easter story is fairly easy to comprehend; it was a literal bodily resurrection, not a metaphorical resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is on this fact which the belief of every person in Christ  lies. Jesus may be considered as the bizarre first century preacher; but He was not only a preacher, He is actually the Son of God; Whom God raised from the dead.  The Oxford historical scholar and former Anglican bishop N.T. Wright argued very thoroughly, that “The only way to explain the sudden and baffling growth of early Christianity, despite Jewish and Roman opposition, was that Jesus of Nazareth really did rise from the dead.”  There was no notion of bodily resurrection from the dead in Jewish, Greek or Roman religion. And in the history of first century Judaism, when there were plenty of people who claimed to be the Messiah, nobody ever, ever claimed that a would-be Messiah Who had been killed by the occupier was the Messiah. The self-evident reason according to Judaism at that time was that the Messiah would not fail.

Jesus the Christian Messiah did not fail. N T Wright argued that, the best and perhaps only explanation for the fact that a bunch of first century Jews suddenly, inexplicably, started running around claiming that their crucified Prophet was the Messiah and had risen from the dead, is because at that time, not months nor years, but on the same day they saw Him in His bodily risen state; and this is what Christians actually believed literally happened and have been, from first century celebrated with the understanding that Christ’s triumph over death is ours as well.

It is the belief of Christians that Jesus of Nazareth, who is the Son of God, at His resurrection     changed the world to a supernatural level when He destroyed sin and death; when He willingly went to the cross and then rose from the dead.  Now, after the 40 days of spiritual penance, we Christians have prepared for this grand occasion to rise in newness with Christ. We will explode with enthusiasm and joy on this Easter Day; because, we believe that through Christ’s resurrection, we will be resurrected as well. As Jesus Christ defeated sin and death, we can conquer them in this life, and would be free from them in the next, we will have eternal life with God. The old Christian phrase is: “God became man so that man could become a god.

 

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