Easter always seems to be a popular time of the year at churches around the country. Believers and even non believers flock to places of worship driven by faith, hope or the simple need to follow a tradition. This Easter was no different.
But what exactly is Easter? According to Wikipedia, Easter, the Sunday of the Resurrection is the most important religious feast of the Christian liturgical year, observed at some point between late March and late April each year (early April to early May in Eastern Christianity), following the cycle of the moon. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, which occurred on the third day of his death by crucifixion some time in the period AD 27 to 33.
While the exact crucifixion and resurrection timeline remains unknown, the bible teaches that in AD 27 to 33, on a Pentecostal Friday around 9 a.m., the preparation day before the Sabbath, Jesus is crucified on Golgatha, which means the Place of the Skull.
“And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take. Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.” (Mark 15:22-25)
The sky turns dark for three hours in the middle of the day, from noon until 3pm.
“Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.” (Mark 15:33)
Jesus dies on the cross.
“And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.” (Luke 23:46).
Christ is buried by Joseph in a tomb on Friday evening, the day before the Sabbath. This was the first day.
“Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate marveled that He was already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for some time. So when he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid.” (Mark 15:42-47)
The second day of Jesus’ death was the Sabbath, a day when people rested and mourned the death of their King.
On the third day, Sunday, the first day of the Jewish week, Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb.
“Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.” (John 20:1-10)
Jesus rises from the dead and appears to His disciples on Sunday, the first day of the Jewish week.
“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:19-23)
According to scripture, Jesus died on a Friday, rose and appeared to His disciples on the following Sunday. He said He would rise on the third day and He did.
In more ways than one, this Easter felt that much more special in lieu of all the media attention Jesus has been getting as a result of the many television shows, full feature movies and documentaries. It seems Christ is getting more press, more radio and television airtime, more wide spread attention then ever. To the untrained eye it would seem this is a great time to be alive…
The reality is, for those who believe in Jesus Christ, everyday is a great day to be alive as each day brings forth opportunities to fulfill our mission. Unfortunately for the rest of the world’s population, the twenty first century is a dark place filled with temptation, and ruled by evil.
God knows a life of service based on faith alone is difficult, this is why He rewards us with affirmations and blessings throughout our voyage on earth and in heaven. The touch or a little hand, a smiling face, even a burp after a good meal. God allows us to serve him in so many ways, we are given the opportunity to believe in a God that is all around us each and every day as we serve Him according to His word the bible.
Jesus walked among us, lived among us and died among us. He then rose from the dead and invited us to join him in heaven by following in his footsteps. What an amazing gift! My wish for you is that you will continue to seek God in your prayers and strive to serve Him as I do, and witness the holy spirit working it’s magic all around you.
Easter is a special time of year all right, we should all be reminded at least once a year how Christ paid for our sins in a horrible, brutal way. We should also remember how blessed we are to live as we do. Let us continue to aim for perfect lives, continue to serve God any which way we can not only at Easter but throughout the year.
We thank you for all that you are
And for sending your son Jesus to live and die among us,
We praise you Lord for giving us such inspiration
To live our own lives according to Christ.
God we ask you to continue to look after us
Our families, our friends and all those who seek you,
We pray that you will continue to provide for us
Not only our daily bread but all we need
In this life so we can rejoice with you in the next.
Lord we thank you for this annual reminder
That your son paid for our sins on the cross,
And for raising him from the dead
So that we may all be saved.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre