WHAT’S THE MEANING OF EASTER?
Let's Explore The Answer
While Easter has largely become a mainstream holiday, its roots are in Christianity alone. With the commercialization of Easter — including candy sales, egg hunts, and appearances from the Easter bunny — it’s easy to overlook the true meaning of the holiday. Let’s explore the origins of Easter and the real meaning behind it.
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What Skeptics & Atheists SayWhile some atheists don’t celebrate Christmas, many do. However, skeptics of Christianity often claim that any record of Jesus’ birth is simply a historical fact that He existed. The birth and life of Jesus, it’s often said, provides no evidence that He was anything more than a man living on the earth. Some don’t even believe that Jesus the man ever existed. Many skeptics or those from other religions claim that Jesus was a holy prophet, much like the revered prophets Abraham, Moses, or Muhammad, but that He wasn’t inherently divine, much less the Son of God. Therefore, to these skeptics, Christmas is not the celebration of the immaculate conception and birth of God in human form, as widely accepted by Christians.
What The Bible Says
In many streams of Christianity, Easter is even more important than Christmas. Why? Because it celebrates Jesus’ divinity and the purpose of His coming to the earth. The Easter holiday commemorates Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and His promise of eternal life to all who believe in Him.
The account of Jesus’ resurrection can be found in all four of the Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each book (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20) tells a slightly different account of the story from the authors’ differing perspectives. What’s consistent across all books is that Jesus was previously in the tomb where He was buried after his crucifixion and that His body was mysteriously gone after three days.
In some accounts, Jesus Himself appears; in others, it’s angels that bring the news of His resurrection. But in any case, Jesus’ body has been removed from the tomb without explanation. The Biblical accounts then tell of Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene, the disciples, and other followers (Acts 1) before finally ascending into Heaven.
For three days following His crucifixion, believers at the time questioned whether Jesus really was the Son of God. By all appearances, it seemed death had defeated Him. But upon His resurrection, He proved that He was not just a human but divine. The apostle Paul summarizes the sequence of events in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 when he says, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also…”
This account is a declaration of what Christians believe: that Jesus Christ came to earth, died for the sins of humanity, and defeated the powers of death through His resurrection. Easter is the yearly celebration of this miracle and the hope for believers of their life in Christ, which includes the forgiveness of all their sins and the promise of their eternal life.