‘He Is Risen,” a magnificent and eternal Easter gift

Published 9:26 am Monday, April 2, 2018

Easter is Sunday, April 1 this year.
Yes, that’s also April Fool’s Day.
That doesn’t happen very often. The last time Easter was on April 1 was 1956, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was President. We’ll have Easter on April 1 again in 11 years.
Why does the date on which we celebrate Easter change? That goes back to early Christians, who celebrated Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection around the time of Passover, a Jewish holiday which was celebrated on the first full moon after the vernal (March) equinox, when the Sun “rises” directly in the east and “sets” directly in the west almost exactly 12 hours later.
In the fourth century, Christians decided to celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the March equinox. So the date changes from year to year.
For millions of Christians around the world, Easter is a time to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection. For Jews, Passover represents the celebration of the release of the Israelites from the Egyptian pharaohs.
Over the years the Easter celebration has expanded to include the Easter Bunny, colored eggs and candies of all sorts, shapes and sizes. New apparel and the wearing of our very best to worship and celebrate has been a sustained tradition symbolizing the new birth made possible by the empty tomb that triumphantly follows the crucifixion.
Easter is a time for reflection, renewal and rebirth, and a time to reaffirm our faith. Easter is hope. No matter how tumultuous, secular and disobedient the era of history in which we find ourselves is, there shall forever remain a beacon of truth, assurance, and hope found in the reality of a Christ of Easter’s resurrection.
These are troubling times in our society. There is crime and wrong-doing all around us. Drugs run rampant. Shootings occur every day. Dissension among people of all various faiths, races and religions is a common thread of our daily existence.
Easter this year can and should be a time to concentrate on being vessels of peace and love and promoting this in our daily lives. Instead of looking at our differences and trials and tribulations, we need to look at what we have in common.
The believers found in the Bible and also the believers of today still observe Easter’s magnificent and eternal gift by the greeting: “He is risen,” answered by the proclamation, “He is risen indeed.” The answer to our personal and national problems at this Easter season remains in the acceptance and practice of the result of the event stated in the phrase: “He is risen.” The tomb is forever empty. He lives.
A happy and blessed Easter to all.

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