Explore the true meaning of Easter

Published 3:46 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2019

From staff reports


Bunnies and baskets, chocolates and candies. It’s that time of year when parents scramble to ensure their children wake up to a trove of treats, and families decide on who is serving the lamb dinner this year.

These are some of the familiar Easter traditions, but much more is involved with the holiday than egg hunts and brightly adorned bonnets. For the religious, it can be important to delve into the true meanings behind Easter and let those discoveries help shape celebrations.

Easter, above all, is a religious commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the culmination of the holy period known as Lent, and it the most significant date on the Christian liturgical calendar.

Jesus Christ was the Son of God, who fulfilled the prophesies that he would give his own life for his people so they could enjoy eternal life after their own mortal bodies perished. Easter, from Jesus’ very own words, marked a new covenant for the faithful.

According to scripture, Jesus was enjoying the Passover dinner when he sat down with his disciples. Understanding that this would be his last earthly meal and that someone close to him would betray him, he took the bread and gave thanks to God for it. He broke the bread and said it was his body that should be given up so sins would be forgiven. He did a similar gesture with wine, indicating that it was his blood that should be shed as a sacrifice for all. Christ instructed the disciples to do the same ritual in the future in memory of him.

Jesus was subsequently betrayed and turned over to the authorities. He was sentenced to crucifixion and perished on the cross. His body was cleansed and placed in a tomb sealed by a stone. His followers were unaware of the miracle that would ensue in the days to come. On Easter Sunday, the tomb was discovered open and empty. Jesus had risen from the dead, providing irrefutable proof that he was the Son of God. In turn, Jesus fulfilled all he was born to do and preached.

Easter did not always symbolize Christ’s resurrection when it was first celebrated. It was once a pagan ritual of renewal and birth. However, when early missionaries began spreading Christianity’s message, the holiday — falling around the time of Christ’s actual resurrection — was adopted to commemorate the religious miracle. Today it stands as a testament to ultimate sacrifice and the promise of eternal life for all who believe in him.


Image by Thomas B. from Pixabay


He Lives

A live presentation of ‘He Lives’, directed by Dr. Suzonne Crockett, is an Easter play based on the story of Jesus Christ with special song service. The first performance is a matinee at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 20 and a grand finale during the Easter morning service at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 21 at Mount Olive Baptist Church located at 106 West Park Ave. in Orange. Please come and share the good news. Everyone is welcome.


Maundy Thursday Communion Service

First United Methodist Church, 502 N. Sixth Street in Orange, will have Maundy Thursday Communion Service in the Slade Memorial Chapel at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18.


Egg-stravaganza Festival

Orange Naz Church is hosting our first annual EGG-STRAVAGANZA from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at First Church of the Nazarene located at 3810 Martin Luther King Jr Drive in Orange; a new and creative Easter Festival this year! Bring the whole family out to visit all of the different EGG themed booths where they will get to play games, win candy and prizes, jump on inflatables, and even get their faces painted. Then at 11 a.m., Dr. Hairball, our resident mad scientist will be doing an EGG-splosive science experiment presentation where six bikes will be raffled off!! Finally, one family will get the opportunity to win a family fun day to the Astro’s game the following weekend (four tickets and food will be covered). It’s going to be a wonderful event for the whole family. Don’t miss!

Good Friday Services

Orange First Church of the Nazarene will hold Good Friday Services at 6 p.m. at 3810 Martin Luther King Jr Drive in Orange.


Good Friday Program

The public is invited to share with us as we celebrate the last seven words of Jesus at New Beginning Church 7 p.m. Friday, April 19 at 1512 15th Street in Orange.


Funeral for Jesus of Nazareth

First United Methodist Church, 502 N. Sixth Street in Orange, will hold a Funeral for Jesus of Nazareth at 6 p.m. Good Friday, April 19 in the Slade Memorial Chapel. A thought-provoking service on the day Jesus was crucified.  Be among those who gathered to mourn his passing.