True Gospel with SAVIOUS-PARKER KWINIKA
HAVE you ever wondered why the world celebrates Easter?
It is commemorated alike by believers and non-believers.
Hypermarkets, supermarkets and grocery stores have all packed their shelves to capacity with Easter goodies especially the large, chocolate Easter eggs.
Easter bunnies and flowers are displayed all over towns and cities.
Have you ever wondered why all of Asia, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Europe, North America and South America celebrate this holiday?
This True Gospel knows very well that people from different backgrounds, different nationalities, races, cultures, traditions, religions and beliefs have many questions about Easter.
It will thus be wise to provide the answer to why Easter is celebrated, where the term comes from, what exactly to be done when celebrating Easter and what relationship it has with the Passover.
The True Gospel also provides answers on Easter traditions, the significance of the Easter lamb and the significance of the holidays before and after Easter.
In short, Easter means the celebration of hope. Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead on Easter Sunday and thus the foundation of the Christian faith.
Fellow brethren, the resurrection preached in this True Gospel preaches about gives those that believe hope for eternal life.
In other words, believers also call Easter is the festival of hope.
Celebrating Easter is about rejoicing in the risen Christ. In the days leading up to Easter, the bible teaches Jesus’ horrific death on the cross.
It is a death Jesus died willingly.
According to Mark 10:45 of the Berean Study Bible: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Further, John 10:18 Christian Standard Bible remarks: “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”
Jesus came to earth as a baby in order to live a perfect human life. He then died as the sacrifice for our sins.
During the Easter period, which begins on Good Friday and ends Monday, the entire world remembers Christ’s sacrifice as He died and rises again.
We should thank our heavenly Father, who is Jehovah God.
We know very well it is not only Jesus’ death on the cross that is crucial. Also his resurrection is.
The resurrection proclaims victory over sin and death. Jesus was crucified, died and was buried.
1 Peter 1:3-4 of the New Living Translation observes: “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”
Christ rose back to life to prove that He indeed was the son of Jehovah God. It is at the cross of Calvary (place of skulls), that believers say Jesus Christ accomplished what he came to earth to achieve.
John 19:28 of the Berean Literal Bible states: “After this, Jesus, knowing that now all things had been accomplished, so that Scripture might be fulfilled, says, “I thirst.”
Brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, therefore, Easter is the time to celebrate Jesus’ victory and to celebrate the new life He gives.
All of us have sinned, but the good thing is that all who believe in Him their sins are forgiven.
Easter is therefore likened to a time when new life grows after the death brought about by winter, so Jesus brings new life to those who were formerly dead in sin.
Ephesians 2:1–10 of the Contemporary English Version affirms: “In the past you were dead because you sinned and fought against God. You followed the ways of this world and obeyed the devil. He rules the world, and his spirit has power over everyone who doesn’t obey God. Once we were also ruled by the selfish desires of our bodies and minds. We had made God angry, and we were going to be punished like everyone else.”
Jesus brings eternal life. We celebrate the reality of His death and resurrection every day, and especially at Easter. We can trust Him and worship Him all year through because He is risen!
WHY DO WE CELEBRATE EASTER?
We celebrate because Easter represents the moment God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, took on our death sentence, served the term, and called it finished!
John 17:4 of the New King James Version contends: “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.”
Jesus took on the darkest evils of the world through the worst death by crucifixion.
1 Peter 2:24 of the English Standard Version mentions: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
Without Easter, we will not have been free from sin.
1 Corinthians 15:17 of the New Living Translation asserts: “And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.”
According to Matthew 12:20-21 Berean Study Bible, “A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not extinguish, till He leads justice to victory.”
HISTORY OF EASTER
Accordingly, in pre-Christian times it was customary to pour water on babies and thus bless them. This was called vatni ausa. Christianity adopted the name for this, as baptism was an essential part of the early Easter festivals.
For many people, Easter is primarily a family celebration with Easter egg hunts, chocolate Easter bunnies and colourful eggs.
People often forget that for Christians, Easter is the oldest and highest festival in the church year.
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PASSOVER
The festival commemorates the liberation of the people of Israel from Egyptian slavery.
In the temple in Jerusalem, sacrificial animals were slaughtered, reminiscent of the slaughter of the lambs in Egypt. At the same time, the lamb was offered as a sacrifice to save the people from plagues. Each Passover pilgrim took a piece of the meat home. Seder (Hebrew for “order”) was also what Jesus shared with his disciples and what Christians celebrate today as the “Last Supper” on Maundy Thursday.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE EASTER LAMB
The custom goes back to the Jewish Passover, when a lamb is sacrificed to the glory of God and prepared according to strict rules. Jesus was also Jewish and celebrated Passover with his disciples. At the Last Supper, in view of the approaching death, he called himself the “Lamb of God” (Agnus Dei): “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29).
This refers to the death and resurrection of Jesus, through which he gave salvation to humanity. This is why we often encounter the paschal lamb as a symbol at Easter, because it is precisely this redemptive event that is central to the Easter celebration. In many families it is customary to give small gifts in the form of the Easter lamb or to eat baked Easter lambs at Easter breakfast.
THE TRADITION OF EASTER COT
The tradition, which focuses on the tragic end of Jesus’ life story, dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. At that time, the so-called Passion Nativity was widespread before it increasingly fell into oblivion in Europe.
The Easter cot is a wonderful way of presenting the biblical background of Easter to interested people in a simple way through various scenes. This includes Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, Maundy Thursday and the crucifixion on Good Friday.
As we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I also pray that all who believe in him will be transformed in all aspects of life right from employment, business, marriages, education / academics, long life, good health, prosperity, peace, love and harmony.
Brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, those who believe in this True Gospel, say amen!
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