4 Important Facts About Easter
There are many different traditions that are accepted as facts about Easter. Some are biblical, but others are not. Keep reading as Ray Marshall shares 4 important biblical facts about Easter that we can rely on.
The historical events of what we now know as Easter are recorded in the four gospel accounts. The word Easter itself is not found anywhere in the Bible, and today’s commercial activities have little or nothing to do with the actual events that took place during Christ’s lifetime. Where then, does the word Easter come from? The origin of the word is not clear, although some historians believe that it may find its roots in the German word Ostern and the worship of an ancient goddess.
Likewise, bunnies and eggs, often associated with Easter, are not mentioned in the historical accounts of Jesus. Whether we refer to the holiday as Easter or Resurrection Sunday, as is becoming popular in some circles, the important thing to remember is that it is a day to celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death. Although bunnies, eggs and chocolate are fun for children and harmless in and of themselves, the real joy is found in the biblical facts about Easter.
Although we cannot be certain that Jesus died on a Friday, there is considerable evidence to support this claim. In addition, the church has traditionally chosen to commemorate the death of Jesus on this day. This is largely because, according to the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus celebrated the Passover Seder on the evening before His crucifixion.
Christians usually see this as a sombre day – a time for reflection on the price that was paid to save us from our sins. Services held on Good Friday are often subdued with prayers, hymns and sermons focused on Christ’s sacrifice. Many include the Lord’s Supper or contain elements of the Passover
Easter Sunday Celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
According to the scriptures, Jesus was in the grave 3 days, fulfilling His own prophecy that this would be the case. The three days include all of the Saturday, and parts of Friday and Sunday. Although the gospel accounts provide different perspectives on what happened on Easter Sunday, they all agree that Jesus miraculously rose from the dead, and was later seen by many witnesses. The apostles and early believers had no doubt that this was the case. So vital is the doctrine of the risen Christ that Paul argued belief in the resurrection was a key requirement for salvation.
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” Romans 10:9 NLT
The Easter Weekend Brings Hope to Christians
Without the first “Easter” we would have no hope of salvation or eternal life. The resurrection of Jesus is our assurance of eternal life in Him. As Paul says:
“And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.” I Corinthians 15:14 NLT
Wrapped up in this vitally important weekend then, is our hope of salvation. On those dark days when we see our Christian loved ones dying, or when we contemplate our own deaths, we can look to the resurrection of Christ and be comforted. Knowing that Jesus conquered death and rose again in a new body gives us the certain hope that we too, can experience resurrection, and live with Him for eternity.
Ray Marshall is a former missionary and church planter that currently works with the Navigators of Canada as a Field Representative on a cross cultural ministry team. The team reaches out primarily to Asian students, visiting scholars and immigrants in Waterloo, Ontario. Ray also provides social media support for HopeStreamRadio on a part-time basis. Ray is passionately interested in other cultures and in cross cultural ministry. He is motivated by the Great Commission and particularly enjoys finding ways to make the gospel relevant to visitors to Canada. Ray is married to Kelly and is the proud father of two daughters and grandfather of two grandchildren.
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Empty Tomb – www.LumoProject.com
Bunnies and Eggs – stux
Cross – Public Domain
Man Looking Up – ibrahim34
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