EASTER CELEBRATIONS

29 03 2010

On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. It is typically the most attended Sunday service of the year for Christian churches.

We Christians believe according to Scripture, that Jesus came back to life, or was raised from the dead, three days after his death on the cross. As part of the Easter season, the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion is commemorated on Good Friday, always the Friday just before Easter. Through his death, burial and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for sin, thus purchasing for all who believe in him, eternal life in Christ Jesus.

WESTERN CHRISTIANITY

In Western Christianity, Easter marks the ending of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline in preparation for Easter. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. Eastern Orthodox churches observe Lent or Great Lent, during the 6 weeks or 40 days preceding Palm Sunday with fasting continuing during the Holy Week of Easter. Lent for Eastern Orthodox churches begin on Monday and Ash Wednesday is not observed.

Because of Easter’s pagan origins, and also because of the commercialization of Easter, many Christian churches have begun to refer to it as Resurrection Day.

The biblical account of Jesus’ death on the cross, or crucifixion, his burial and his resurrection, or rising from the dead, can be found in the following passages of Scripture: Matthew 27:27-28:8; Mark 15:16-16:19; Luke 23:26-24:35; and John 19:16-20:30.

In Western Christianity, Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the Paschal Full Moon.

I had previously, and somewhat erroneously stated, “Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the first full moon after the vernal (spring) equinox.” This statement was true prior to 325 AD; however, over the course of history (beginning in 325 AD with the Council of Nicea), the Western Church decided to established a more standardized system for determining the date of Easter.

There are, in fact, as many misunderstandings about the calculation of Easter dates, as there are reasons for confusion.

WHY DID JESUS HAD TO DIE

This incredibly important question involves a matter central to Christianity, yet effectively answering it is often difficult for Christians. We will take a careful look at the question and lay out the answers offered in Scripture.

However, before we answer the question, “Why did Jesus have to die?” it’s also important to understand that Jesus clearly understood his mission on earth involved laying down his life as a sacrifice. In other words, Jesus knew it was His Father’s will for him to die.

He proves his foreknowledge and understanding of his death in these passages from Scripture:

Mark 8:31 …”Then Jesus began to tell them that he, the Son of Man, would suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the leaders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, and three days later he would rise again. (NLT) (See also Mark 9:31)

Mark 10:32-34 “…the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. They will mock him, spit on him, beat him with their whips, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again.” (NLT)

Mark 10:43-45Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” (NLT)

John 10:17-18Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” (NKJV)

This last verse also explains why it is pointless to blame the Jews or the Romans—or anyone else, for that matter, for “killing” Jesus. Jesus, having the power to “lay it down” or “take it again,” freely gave up his life. It truly doesn’t matter then, who “killed” Jesus. The ones who nailed the nails only helped carry out the destiny he came to fulfill by laying down his life on the cross.

Bottom Line:” Always carry the consciousness that Christ died for your sins and Satan has no more power over you”

Happy Easter Celebrations (From: I Love God Site)

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