What Is the True Meaning of Easter Sunday and Why Is it Celebrated? What is Easter? Easter is one of the central holidays of Christianity. For many Christian churches, Easter is a joyful end to a season of prayer, fasting and repentance dedicated to Lent. Along with the birth of Christ, Easter is one of the most important holidays in the Christian calendar.
After his crucifixion, death and burial, Christ rose from the grave three days later. With it He conquered death and redeemed us from sin. As explored in this article, Easter coincided with some pagan holidays. Since Easter was not observed in the church until a certain moment in time, due to the persecution experienced in the first centuries, the Christian creation of the holiday happened around the same time that another pagan holiday was in full swing.
However, in this celebration we try to celebrate the victory and the tomb of God. This post explores the meaning of the word Easter.
Definition of Easter
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia provides biblical references andquot;Easter,andquot; announcing, andquot;The word does not appear correctly in the Bible, although in the King James Version it appears in Acts 12: 4 where it means Easter, because it is correctly translated in the Revised Version (British and American). There is no trace of the celebration of Easter in the New Testament, although some have seen an allusion to it in 1 Cor. with a score of 5:7.
Resurrection Etymology and origin of Easter
According to our Bible Dictionary, the name “Easter” comes from “Eostre”, “originally a Saxon word (Eostre) for the Saxon goddess in whose honor sacrifices were made at Easter”. Another possibility is the Norwegian eostur, eastur or ostara, which meant “season of the rising sun” or “time of new birth”. The word east comes from the same roots. In this case, Easter would be related to the change of the seasons.
A newer and more complex explanation comes from the Christian rather than pagan background of Easter. The early Latin name for Easter week was hebdomada Alba, or “white week”, while the Sunday after Easter was called Dominica in Albi after the newly baptized white robes. The word Alba is Latin for both white and dawn.
Old High German speakers made a mistake in translation and used the plural of dawn ostaru instead of the plural of white. From Ostarun we get German Ostern and English Easter.
What Is the True Meaning of Easter Sunday?
Jewish Christians in the early church continued to celebrate the Passover, considering Christ as the true Passover Lamb, and it naturally became the commemoration of the death and resurrection of our Lord, the Passover.andquot; Get a free Easter prayer and scripture guide to meditate on the meaning and significance of Jesus.
The Christian Meaning of Easter
The meaning of Easter is the victory of Jesus Christ over death. His resurrection means eternal life given to all who believe in Him. The purpose of Easter also means a complete affirmation of what Jesus taught and preached during his three-year ministry. If He had not risen from the dead, or simply died and risen from the dead, He would have been considered just another teacher or prophet.
His resurrection, however, reproved all this and gave the final and indisputable proof that He is the Son of God and that He finally conquered death. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the core of the Christian gospel. Saint Paul says that if Christ does not rise from the dead, then our preaching and hopes are in vain (1 Corinthians 15:14 ).
Without the resurrection there would certainly be no Christian preaching or faith. The apostles of Christ would continue as a depressed group, which the Gospel of John portrays as hiding for fear of the Jews. They were in utter despair until they met the resurrected Christ (John 20:19). Then they touched the wounds of Christand’s nails and spear; they ate and drank with Him. The resurrection became the basis for everything they said and did (Acts 2-4 ): “…the spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see me” (Luke 24 :39).
The resurrection confirms Jesus of Nazareth as the prophesied Messiah of Israel and King and Lord of the new Jerusalem: the new heaven and the new earth.
Pagan Origin of Easter:
However, Easter did not always mean the resurrection of Christ from the dead, and the purpose of Easter was very different from what Christians believe today. Easter was first a pagan celebration of renewal and rebirth. Honored in early spring, it glorified the pagan Saxon goddess Eastre.
When the early Christian missionaries converted the Saxons to Christianity, the spring holiday was assimilated when it occurred almost at the same time as the traditional commemoration of the resurrection of Christ, a pagan holiday, and became Easter. The meaning of Easter was also changed to honor this new Christian meaning.
The Easter Bunny’s connection to Christianity
The following is an excerpt from the meaning and origin of the Easter Bunny: The origin of the Easter Bunny can be traced back to the 13th century in Germany. The Germans, the Teutons, worshiped pagan gods and goddesses. One such goddess was Eostra (otherwise known as Ostara or Ēostre).
The word “Easter” derives its etymology from the name of the goddess. Because of its prolific reproductive tendency, the rabbit became a symbol of Eostra.
In 595, Pope Gregory sent monks to Rome to convert to the Anglo-Saxon faith. The Anglo-Saxons, like their German ancestors, celebrated Eostra. When they converted, they agreed to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ during Easter, continuing the symbolism of spring renewal and the hare. Flesh color during Easter The following is an excerpt from the article
Why is purple associated with Easter?
To understand why purple became the color of Lent and Easter, we must first look at the meaning of the color in ancient society. In particular, the purple color was obtained by collecting certain sea snails.
Given how labor intensive it was to make purple, purple clothing was very expensive and was often worn only by kings, other members of royalty, or dignitaries. In itself, the color purple became known as a sign of royalty and sovereignty.
The Roman soldiers who tortured Jesus during his Passion would have been well aware of the imperial symbolism behind the color purple. Because of this, the soldiers mocked Jesus before His crucifixion and dressed Jesus in a purple robe and put a crown of thorns on His head, beat Him and shouted: “Hail, King of the Jews!” (John 19:2-3).
Trying to humiliate Jesus after the soldiers took the purple robe from Him, Pilate nailed a sign to the cross of Jesus with the words “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” (John 19:19). Today’s crucifixes mark this inscription with the letters INRI, which are the Latin initials for “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” – Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum. To commemorate the purple robe that the Roman soldiers put on Jesus, churches wear purple during Lent to mourn the emotional and physical pain that Jesus endured during His Passion and to proclaim Him as the true King of kings. In some churches, the clergy wear purple robes, cover the pupils with purple cloths, and cover the fronts of the altars with purple pediments.
The meaning of Easter today
For Christians around the world, the meaning of Easter is to praise and acknowledge the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and His promise of glorious eternal life to all who believe in Him. While there are many non-religious traditions such as the Easter Bunny, sugar baskets and Easter egg hunts, there are also traditions that are meaningful to Christians today. Some contain
- Sunrise services – Many churches gather for a special sunrise service to celebrate the risen Savior.
- Resurrection Scrolls – These are a nice way to teach children about the empty tomb of Jesus.
Resurrection buns are baked and inside is a large marshmallow that disappears during baking, symbolizing the empty tomb of Jesus! Easter lilies are found decorating churches and homes to remind us of the purity of Jesus and sacrifice and the new life we have through his resurrection
Bible verses about Easter and the resurrection of Jesus
Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
According to his great mercy he gave us birth again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ – 1 Peter 1:3 ESV We celebrate Easter because this holiday recognizes that we can die to our old way of life and rise to a new life with Christ.
Christianity requires death to self. But the revival experienced in the spiritual sense and the revival of the body not yet experienced give us much to celebrate. He that believeth in me shall live, though he die, – John 11:25 We are absolutely certain that no matter what happens to us on earth, we can experience eternal joy with God in heaven. No wonder many brothers and sisters continue to glorify Jesus, even when they experience persecution and martyrdom.
Because we have a greater hope and promise than earthly life. Our faith has no foundation if we do not believe that Jesus rose again this Easter.
If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your dead bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. – Romans 8:11
For He has defined a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has defined. and this he confirmed to all, raising him from the dead.” – Acts 17:31 Thus we were buried with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too should walk in newness of life. – Romans 6:4
Christianity has many symbols. We often symbolically repeat the process that Jesus experienced on the cross.
We die to our old selves are also “buried quote; through the sacrament of baptism and experience resurrection and new life in Christ. Christ gives us new life completely. And we experience part of this new life during our time on earth and look forward to the conclusion of the resurrection in heaven.
For that is why Christ died and rose again, to be Lord both of the dead and of the living. – Romans 14 :9
We celebrate Easter because God lived the life we should live and died the death we deserved so we could live. What a great reason to celebrate. So that we may experience the resurrection with Him.