The true meaning of Easter


Pam Dudding
Contributing writer

From bunnies and eggs to tons of candy and family gatherings to new outfits and memorable egg hunts, the week of Easter is filled with many fun events!

Easter this year will be celebrated on Sunday, April 21.

But, how did Easter start? When did it start and why is it celebrated? Allow me to share a story.

Once upon a time in a land far away, there laid a small baby in a feeding trough inside of a barn.

People often asked, “Who would lay a newborn baby in a feeding trough of animals?” Most would respond by saying, “No one.”

However, this story is different. This child had to be born there, as a book, The Bible, prophesied it. He could be born no other way, so that everyone would know how to recognize Him, who most now know was the Messiah.

The God in Heaven sent angels to tell nearby shepherds in a field of the birth of this child and specific details of how they would know it was ‘Christ the Lord.’ When they got there, it was just as the angels had told them.

Baby Jesus laid in the feeding trough, wrapped in swaddling clothing, as Joseph and Mary, his father and mother, sat closely by.

This baby Jesus would soon be known as the Messiah, Savior of the people and even a special friend to many.

As he grew up, he learned his father’s trade was a master craftsman in carpentry. In other words, he ‘created and made’ things.

It is said for a craftsman to be a true ‘master’ at his work, that they first have to envision the piece they wish to create. Jesus followed in both his Dad’s footsteps – his Heavenly Father and his earthly father.

He also created many enemies as some did not wish to follow the way Jesus taught after he became a man and spoke boldly the word of God that was taught from the Bible writings. Many tried to stone him several times. They also tried to throw him off a cliff and plan to kill him.

He was only 33 years of age, but a division had been created in what people wanted to believe and obey.

Some believed that He was truly the Messiah and Son of God, while others just thought of him as the son of Joseph, a carpenter. They also thought he was messing with their lives of sin they did not want to give up.

One day, he was accused of claiming to be God. He was flogged, beaten and then the people traded his life for one of a known murderer, that was scheduled to be crucified with two other thieves.

Many believed the lies and deception that His enemy, Satan, had planted in their hearts and minds.

So, he was brutally beaten with a cat of nine-tails which slowly tore the flesh off of Jesus. This happened approximately 40 times. In fact, it is recorded that he was no longer even recognizable, and artists today have yet to draw a true picture of his unsightly naked body.

Jesus was then hammered to a cross and hung until He died which was only a few hours later. It is recorded that the sky awkwardly grew dark at midday when He passed. His mother wept.

A wealthy man came and buried Jesus in his rock tomb where no one had been buried before.

The King, however, ordered for a huge boulder to be placed in front of the door for soldiers to stand guard 24-hours a day. He was afraid that ‘if’ Jesus was the true Messiah, he did not want him coming out of the tomb.

However, on day three, the Bible says, “There was a violent earthquake because an angel of the Lord came down from Heaven, rolled back the stone and sat on it. He shone like lightning, and the guards were so afraid that they became like dead men.”

He spoke with a few before He ascended into Heaven to be with His Father once again. He then came back and talked with his friends, disciples and many others and asked them to go and “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded.”

This happened during the time the Hebrew writings call Passover. It was a time of old when Herod ordered every boy child two years and younger to be killed as he was trying to kill the baby Jesus at that time. But God told the people to kill a lamb and place the blood on their doorposts and the death angel would not touch their child.

Jesus was crucified during this season, creating a Passover for people to become cleansed from their sins if they repent and follow Him.

Why repent? Because is it stated that there is a Heaven and a Hell. Everyone will go to one or the other for eternity. Jesus chose to give His life, shed His blood, so that every man and woman could enter the gates of Heaven for eternity.

He created a way for all mankind to live forever in Heaven with Him. The master craftsman made a ‘one-way’ avenue to a forever life. People are called ‘Christians’ who choose this life on earth.

Easter is now celebrated in America during this Passover season, declaring that Jesus rose from the grave. This year is it celebrated on Sunday, April 21.

Churches have special services planned, including Easter egg hunts for the kids and celebratory dinners.

Easter is a time to remember the Creator of the world, who created man and who still wishes to create a new heart in every man and woman. For many, it is a time of new birth or remembrance of the “reason for the season” and to “choose whom they will follow.”