IT SEEMS Christmas is the greatest Christian celebration of all but you will often hear your local priest say, “No it’s not Christmas, it’s Easter.”
Easter Sunday is this coming Sunday when Christ is believed to have risen after his human death. The question remains, why is this egg-hunting day the center of Christian faith?
When Christ performed miracles like healing of the sick and letting blinds see or lames walk, His critics found it easier to refute the truthfulness of these acts. Pharisees said they were works of the devil or an example of dark magic. He was said to be causing divisions among the Jews at that time according to the high priests.
Yet when Jesus was proclaiming that He will die but on the third day He will rise again, this was something harder to counter. If the rising from the dead happens, Jesus must be who He says He is. The resurrection of Jesus will be the culmination that what He had been saying and doing were all true and therefore the act of God. The contrary will disprove them all.
On the third day after His death on the cross when His disciples checked him, they found the stone covering his tomb pushed aside and the body of Jesus gone. It could not have been snatched by robbers. Many accounts on the scriptures say He has risen from the dead. He was alive again, flesh and spirit.
Scientists have exerted all efforts to recover the burial place of Jesus to find any piece of human evidence that can prove the actual death and resurrection. But human as scientists are, (I think) they haven’t found any. Perhaps there is not any. But the resurrection of Jesus was proven not on what we seek, actual evidences of his rising, but on the actuation of the apostles and disciples after His death and resurrection.
The Acts of the Apostles and disciples after Jesus death is the actual resurrection. It resulted the birth of the Church. It is the Church where all Christians belong today. The greatest truth about Easter is the faith of all the believers. It was cemented on the resurrection event.
With this faith, many of the first believers accepted death as price of this faith. This was mentioned by Jesus when He was still with them. “They will reject and punish you for my sake.”
Many have been persecuted, tortured, and killed. But He assured that with all these hardships, He will be with them at the end. So Christians persevered. They continued to preach Christ’s good news. They continued to show that Jesus is alive through their acts. Without Easter there might be no Christians, and surely, there would be no Christmas.
The message of resurrection or Easter to Christians is reliving this faith through action. St. Paul said that faith without action is dead. If one prides himself/herself to be a Christian regardless of sect and denomination, he/she should not doubt the resurrection of Jesus. He/she should follow the commandments.
Love one another. Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul. These are the teachings of Jesus. He did not only say these things but showed them. He was mocked and insulted, and finally nailed on the cross. He endured all of this because of His love.
This is the Holy Week. It is commemorating the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. It is a tradition of Christians to remember the last days of Jesus as human. It starts with Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem.
This entry is remembered on Palm Sunday, the beginning of the week (last Sunday). When He entered Jerusalem, the center of religious observance of the Jews, He was received with so much joy. People threw palm branches and even their cloaks at the path of Jesus to show their honor and love.
But days later, He was arrested by the high priests, then condemned by the same people who welcomed Him with joy. He suffered at the hand of the Roman soldiers, insulted by His fellow Jews, then finally crucified at Golgotha. On the third day, He rose and Easter Sunday was born.
Easter Sunday must be filled with joy. If we celebrate Christmas, the more we have to celebrate Easter Sunday. This is the grand fiesta, the grandest of them all. Everything we have been holding to in matter of faith is grounded on the event that happened on this day.
Easter Sunday marks the event when Jesus conquered death and sin. In making this event alive, believers must reflect Jesus in them. Remember the beatitudes and apply them in life. Follow the commandments. This is the most basic concept of resurrection.
Easter means Christians must be alive in their faith. It is renewal of a steadfast belief in Him. It is acknowledging the works of the Almighty.
It is reminding that to be a Christian is following the steps of Christ no matter the demands, no matter the price.