Author Note: This blog was written and released on Easter Sunday, 2013. Due to some server/internet issues, the DonSalyards.com website was down for about ten days. This blog was emailed to subscribers and eventually posted on Monday morning, April 8, 2013.
When is Easter Celebrated? According to Christians Easter celebrates the day that Jesus arose from the dead, sealing for all humanity the promise of eternal life. Easter is celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal (spring) equinox, otherwise known as Easter Sunday. The first full moon after the vernal equinox is called the Paschal (Passover) full moon. For 2013 the vernal equinox was on Wednesday March 20, followed by the first full moon (Paschal full moon) on Wednesday March 27th, followed by Easter, Sunday March 31, 2013. Thus Easter is a “movable” date of observance, unlike Christmas, which is celebrated on December 25th every year.
What is Good Friday? Good Friday marks the sad day when Jesus was crucified. There is puzzlement over usage the term “good” when applied to the day that Jesus was killed. Some say “Good“ refers to the entire holy week; others say “Good” is just the derivation of “God” or “Holy”. The words “Good Friday” do not appear in the bible. The Good Friday designation was created by the Catholic Church over 400 years after the death of Jesus.
Why Easter: What is the significance of Easter? For Christians Easter embodies the very meaning of life, both on this earth and in the hereafter. It is the date that Jesus literally arose from the dead, granting life after death to humankind. The resurrection elevates Jesus to “God” status; no other religion gives such a status to a religious figure. As such, Jesus is to be worshiped and remembered throughout the lives of every Christian. The lives and actions of Christians should mimic the love and compassion of the Master of all men, Jesus Christ. The faithful should pray to him and remember him always as they go through their lives. Being a good Christian represents a continual task of righteousness, love, and charity.
Why I am a Christian? Probably the most obvious reason is that I was raised a Christian. If I had been born in India I would probably be a Hindu. When one is raised in a particular religion he or she seldom deviates from the original beliefs. A Lutheran might become a Presbyterian, but a Christian seldom becomes a Hindu or vice versa. It is easy to demonize people of other religions until you actually meet a Hindu, or a Jew, or a Buddhist that ranks among the most decent, moral people you have ever known. In Matthew it says “Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.” I have been blessed to witness firsthand the good fruits from people of all religions. I am especially blessed by my Hindu friends, largely because of my frequent travels to India.
Enough said about other religions on this Easter Sunday. Today is the day for Christians to humbly consider the gift of eternal life that Jesus promised me and you. This promise of eternal life is a big deal for we Christians…in fact it is the only deal!