What Is Easter?

What Is Easter?

Easter Sunday is an annual celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.

What happened on the first Easter?

From the perspective of the Jewish and Roman community at the time of his death, Jesus at the age of 33, was executed for teaching people new things about God that the Jewish leaders did not approve of and for challenging their authority. But from Jesus’ perspective, he was giving his life as a sacrifice to pay for the sins of everyone who would receive forgiveness. Jesus died on a Friday and was put in a tomb where his body could decompose and his bones eventually put into a smaller box, as was the burial custom of the time. But on Sunday morning Jesus came back to life and exited the tomb. But not with the typical body we are familiar with, Jesus now had a resurrected body, a body fit for eternity.

What does it mean that Jesus was resurrected?

It is important to distinguish between resuscitation and resurrection. When people are brought back to life after they stop breathing, it is called resuscitation. Such was when someone receives CPR or when an electrical shock is used to restart their heart beat again. When that happens the person resumes life in the same body until they eventually die.
Jesus was not resuscitated. Jesus did not resume life in the same body but in a body that was dramatically different. A resurrected body does not age, is not limited by space or distance, is made ready for eternity, and has many of the same features of our temporary body. Jesus is the only person to have been resurrected. Jesus and the Apostle Paul taught that in the future, in one moment, all Christians will be given a resurrected body, both those currently alive and all those who have died.

Do all Christians believe in resurrection?

The ability to believe in the resurrection is given to a person by God. People mature in their faith in different ways but ultimately we will all come to see that everything Jesus said was true, and his comments about the resurrection are no exception.

Do people really believe that Jesus came back to life or does it have a spiritual meaning?

Christianity is established in history with factual events. Unlike all other religions, Christianity was formed by people’s relationship with God and what God did for them. It is not first a collection of wisdom or guidance about how to live. While it does have that, it is primarily a record of what God has done, how people have responded, and how that has built a relationship between God and humankind. The account of the life of Jesus and his resurrection is also part of true history. The spiritual meaning it does have is derived from what actually happened at one point in time.

Is there any proof of Jesus’ resurrection?

Yes. There are 4 biographies of Jesus (3 authored by people who knew Jesus personally and saw him resurrected) written within decades of his resurrection, and all identify many witnesses by name who saw Jesus dead and then alive. There is plenty of clear evidence that he did in fact die and equally abundant evidence that he was alive afterwards. Jesus had predicted his resurrection and spoke of it afterwards, and he explained the resurrection as what happened.
There is no doubt his body was placed in the tomb and there is no doubt that his body was not there Sunday morning. Considering the guards stationed to keep his body from being moved, it leads to the conclusion that Jesus himself exited the tomb as the soldiers themselves reported after fleeing in fear.
It’s recorded that over 500 people saw Jesus at the same time. Since that many people were convinced of what they saw, there is no reason to doubt they knew what they saw.
But perhaps the most convincing evidence is the extent the witnesses went through without changing their story. All conspiracies breakdown over time, people turn on each other and expose lies for many reasons. But this never happened in this case. Many of the witnesses were tortured and executed because they refused to agree to a different narrative. Even today, Jesus is made alive to Christians by the work of the Holy Spirit. And these Christians have gone on to change the world according to Jesus’ mission in a way that can only be explained by divine guidance.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of autobiographies of lawyers, journalists, scientists, and more who have set out to prove that the resurrection is fiction, only to have been convinced of the opposite during their investigations. Many of these books are conveniently available on Amazon for you to read.
So the mounting evidence of the living and resurrected Jesus continues to this day in the lives of Christians.

Why should I go to church on Easter?

Because the resurrection of Jesus is true regardless of your personal preferences and religion. And since that is true, the resurrection and life of Jesus changes absolutely everything about life. It is only as we come to know Jesus that we come to know the truth about this world and its future. Nothing else matters, only the truth. Come to church this Easter to connect with God and let him make himself known to you by his Spirit.

If I am not a Christian, should Easter matter to me?

Whether you are a Christian or not does not change the truth. Jesus’ resurrection proves everything he said about himself and that has ramifications that all of us need to consider. All people will be resurrected, some to life and others to hell. Your destiny depends on your response to the death and resurrection of Jesus. If you still have doubts, that is expected. Let God address the questions you have and he will reveal the truth to you.

What are some common ways Easter is celebrated in the world?

Traditionally all Christians observe the Friday he died as Good Friday and the following Sunday as Easter. It is common for there to be baptisms on Easter Sunday. Easter lilies are a common decoration since they are white and white can symbolize the new beginning that Easter represents. Butterflies are also used as a metaphor for the resurrection because of the complete physical transformation that happens during the metamorphosis process from caterpillar to butterfly.

If I am not a Christian, what do I need to know before going to church on Easter?

Reading the above Q&A will give you a good start. Beyond that, go with an open mind to learn from what is communicated in the songs and the message from the pastor. Have the mindset that this is may be your first day of a new journey that will lead you to heaven. Most importantly, go with a willingness to hear God speak to you and embrace you with his love. Nothing is more beautiful or powerful in life than to be made aware of the true presence of Jesus and of his love for you.

What does the Bible say about the resurrection?