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Easter is basically the message of love of God for mankind. Even though man sinned against God and disobeyed his commandments, God gave a second chance to his people promising a Savior none other than His only son who is called Lord Jesus Christ and He is the king of the Universe, both the living and the dead. So the Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Easter is the most important festival in the Christian calendar. It celebrates the resurrection of Lord Jesus from death, three days after he was crucified. Easter is the heart of Christianity. Easter Sunday marks Jesus’ Resurrection. Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, and rose from the dead after three days on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday marks the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer and penance, and is followed by a 50-day period called Eastertide, which ends with Pentecost Sunday. The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus is observed as an Easter Vigil (also known as Paschal Vigil) in Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran and some Anglican churches, and “Sunrise Service” in many Protestant churches. Borrowing from the Jewish tradition, a liturgical day begins at sunset and thus the Easter Vigil begins between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on EasterSunday.
The Easter Vigil service moves from darkness to light, symbolically re-enacting the Easter story of Jesus rising from the dead. The service begins outside the church where the priest lights and blesses a fire. A Paschal candle, representing the Risen Christ, is lit from that fire. The candle is processed through the church, and the Exsultet, Easter proclamation, is sung. Passages from the Bible are read, the Gloria and Alleluia are sung, and the Eucharist (or Holy Communion) is celebrated. In many churches, this is also a time when new members are baptized into the Church in accordance with ancient tradition. The “Sunrise Service” is similar, but held outside early in the morning on EasterSunday, so that attendants can see the sun rise.
Easter Sunday is preceded by Holy Week, which is the last week of Lent. Holy Week marks important events in Jesus life as described in the Gospels – his triumphal entrance to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the Last Supper onMaundyThursday, and his death and crucifixion on Good Friday.
As the Bible says after Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, his body was taken down from the cross, and buried in a cave tomb guarded by Roman soldiers with an enormous stone covering the entrance, so that no one could steal the body. On the Sunday, Mary Magdalene, followed later by some of Jesus’ disciples visited the tomb and found that the stone had been moved, and that Jesus’ body was not in the tomb. Jesus himself was seen that day by Mary and the disciples, and for forty days afterwards by many people. His followers realized that God had raised Jesus from the dead. Christians believe this as the Resurrection. The week leading up to Easter is called the Holy Week.
The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says “The wages of sin is death.” The good news is that about 2,000 years ago, God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.
Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life – of living forever with Him in heaven, if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.”
God reaches out in love to us and wants us to be His child. “As many have received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” We can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive our sins and come in to our life as Lord and Savior. The faith of Christians will remain and be practiced on this earth and cannot be taken away because it is the faith that is built on a solid foundation by God Himself through His only Son, Lord Jesus Christ out of his love for mankind and it will remain forever and we are faithful to God.”
We pray to the almighty risen Lord Jesus Christ on this day of Easter to bless all of us and have peace on every man and woman, who may lead a peaceful, happy and prosperous long life on this earth.
Wish everyone a Happy and blessed Easter. May God bless all of us.
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