Easter – The True Essence Of Easter Celebration
Table of Contents
Many keep asking, what exactly is Easter day celebration all about? Is it just a day we get new things? Or a day we have fun with loved ones? Or is it a day we go to church? What truly does the Easter day celebration mean?
In this article, we will give you a deep insight into what Easter truly means in the lives of believers.
What Is Easter?
Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb on the third day after his crucifixion. Easter is the fulfilled prophecy of the Messiah, who would be persecuted, die for our sins, and rise on the third day (Isaiah 53).
Remembering the resurrection of Jesus is a way to renew daily hope that we have victory over sin. According to the New Testament, Easter is three days after the death of Jesus on the cross.
Lent is a fasting time followed by Easter, during which many churches set aside time for reflection and repentance. Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent, which ends on Good Friday, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. Pope Gregory, I used the 40-day pattern of Israel, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus’ time in the wilderness to establish the 40-day period.
The Holy Week, also known as “Passion Week,” is the week preceding Easter. It consists of Palm Sunday—the day Jesus entered Jerusalem and was honoured—Maundy Thursday—the “Last Supper,” or gathering of Jesus and his disciples to observe Passover—and Good Friday (when Jesus would be crucified on the cross).
Easter is the foundation of the Christian faith and a very important date in the calendar. Prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus, the Son of God, who also gave those who believe in his death and resurrection the gift of eternal life in heaven.
Visit BibleStudyTools.com for more Easter Bible verses and the complete biblical account of Resurrection Day found in Matthew 28, Mark 16, and Luke 24.
Origin Of Easter And First Celebrated
Early Christians observed the Jewish Passover on the fourteenth of Nisan (our March–April), which is also the date of the resurrection. Because Jewish days were counted from evening to evening, Jesus had His Last Supper on the Passover evening and was crucified the following day.
Early Christians celebrated Passover and adored Jesus as the Passover Lamb and Redeemer at the beginning of Easter.
Since Jesus rose on a Sunday, some early Gentile Christians celebrated Easter on Sunday closest to Passover. Particularly in the western region of the Roman Empire, this situation developed. Easter was observed on various days by various congregations in Rome.
Many believed the date should remain based on the Resurrection’s timing during Passover. Christian leaders could set a date for Easter by calculating three days after Passover once Jewish leaders established the date of Passover each year.
By adhering to this schedule, Easter would occasionally fall on a Sunday but generally be observed on a different day of the week each year.
Others thought the only day to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord was Sunday because He rose on that day, and it had been designated as the Lord’s Day. Some people were reluctant to base the Christian holiday on the Jewish calendar as Judaism and Christianity drifted apart.
Constantine opposed Easter, as observed on the Jewish Passover, because he wanted Christianity and Judaism to be completely distinct. As a result, the feast of the resurrection had to be observed on a Sunday and never during the Jewish Passover, per the decree of the Council of Nicea.
Easter was scheduled for the Sunday following the first full moon following the spring equinox. Calculating the correct date can be challenging because the vernal equinox date fluctuates yearly.
We still use this method to determine Easter today, which explains why some years’ Easter falls earlier than others.
When Is Easter This Year?
In 2023, Easter falls on Sunday, April 9th. Easter is observed on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox, known as the Paschal full moon.
Calculating the correct date can be challenging because the vernal equinox date varies yearly. Because Easter is still determined using this method, some years it falls earlier than others. Visit When Is Easter for more information.
Future Easter Dates
- April 9, 2023
- March 31, 2024
- April 20, 2025
- April 5, 2026
What Does Easter Mean?
It’s unclear where the word “easter” came from. The eighth-century monk and scholar The Venerable Bede hypothesized that the term could have originated from the Anglo-Saxon Eeostre or Eastre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility.
Recent researchers believe the theory is invalidated because they could not locate any mention of the goddess Bede mentioned.
The Norse words eostur, eastur, or ostara, denoted “the season of the growing sun” or “the season of new birth,” are also possible. The word east shares the same linguistic origins. In this situation, Easter would be associated with the onset of a new season.
Instead of the pagan origins of Easter, a more modern and complex explanation comes from the Christian tradition. The Sunday following Easter was known as dominica in albis because of the white robes worn by those recently baptized. Hebdomada alba, or “white week,” was the early Latin name for Easter week.
Alba is a Latin word that means dawn and white. Old High German speakers made a translation error and used the plural for dawn—ostarun—instead of white. The English Easter and the German Ostern are derived from ostarun.
How Does Easter Connect To Passover?
Jesus and his disciples celebrated Passover the day before he was crucified. The Last Supper is the name for this occasion. Jews used to commemorate their freedom and exodus from Egypt during the holiday of Passover.
Jesus explained to his disciples during the Passover celebration that the wine and bread represent his body, which would be broken for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:17-30).
By partaking in Communion and sharing bread and wine during religious services today, Christians commemorate the Last Supper and Jesus’ sacrifice.
After the Passover meal, Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane praying when he was taken into custody. The Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, then brought him before him for a trial.