It’s Easter! The 47- day journey of fasting, prayer and almsgiving have given way to shouts of Halleluyah, Hosana in the Highest! The son of God, who assumed human flesh to redeem man from mortal sin is has conquered death.
He is risen, Halleluyah. Glory to God in the highest and peace to men of goodwill; peace to leaders whose priority is selfless service to the people; peace to heads of ministries and parastatals, whose priority is service to the people: no nepotism, no tribalism, no favouritism. Is this possible in Nigeria? Some say it is a far cry, others say it is possible, but the doing has to start from the Presidential Villa, because the buck stops there.
Concerning the very topic of Easter, experts writing in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, says Easter, which is equally called “Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It is described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial (Good Friday) after his crucifixion by Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance” ending on Palm Sunday. The seven days of Holy Week, takes us to the Easter Sunday, aggregating to 47 days from the Ash Wednesday.
The week after Palm Sunday, that is, the days before Easter Sunday is called Holy Week. It is also lithurgically referred to as the Easter Triduum, taking its peack from the Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Last Supper, and then the Good Friday, commemorating the arrest, trial, crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, up to Holy Saturday, a day in which no mass is celebrated in the Catholic calendar. It is a day of solitude, because Christ is in the grave, awaiting resurrection, which ushers in the salvation of man.
Wikipedia writes that “in western Christianity, Eastertide, the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday. In Orthodoxy, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the fortieth day, the Feast of the Ascension.
“Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the sun; rather, its date is determined on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established two rules, independence of the Jewish calendar and worldwide uniformity, which were the only rules for Easter explicitly laid down by the council.
“Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In many languages, the words for “Easter” and “Passover” are identical or very similar. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb.
The Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide. Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades. There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally”.
“The New Testament states that the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is a foundation of the Christian faith. The resurrection established Jesus as the powerful Son of God and is cited as proof that God will judge the world in righteousness. For those who trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection, ‘death is swallowed up in victory’. Any person who chooses to follow Jesus receives ‘a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’. Through faith in the working of God those who follow Jesus are spiritually resurrected with him so that they may walk in a new way of life and receive eternal salvation.
“One interpretation of the Gospel of John is that Jesus, as the Passover lamb, was crucified at roughly the same time as the Passover lambs were being slain in the temple, on the afternoon of Nisan 14. The scriptural instructions specify that the lamb is to be slain ‘between the two evenings’, that is, at twilight. By the Roman period, however, the sacrifices were performed in the mid-afternoon”.
Hope you are enjoying this Easter celebration? How many places have you visited? How many people have you touched positively? Have you decided to toe the path of Jesus, laying down your life for other people to benefit? These are the lessons of Easter and it is up to us to truly be the followers of Christ, which is what Christianity is all about. Happy Easter to our esteemed readers!