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What is the Significance of the Easter Celebration to Christians?

Updated on October 27, 2015
What is the significance of the religious observance of Easter?
What is the significance of the religious observance of Easter? | Source

In essence, there are three different celebrations of Easter: The Christian Easter, the Pagan Easter, and the Secular Easter. This article will attempt to explain why Christians celebrate Easter as a religious celebration. If you're looking for an explanation of the ways that the pagan Eostre influenced the Christian celebration, you're looking in the wrong place. This article is all about the Christian Easter and the observance thereof. If you're looking for other information, please be patient. It's upcoming.

The celebration of the Christian Easter is the celebration of Jesus' resurrection.
The celebration of the Christian Easter is the celebration of Jesus' resurrection. | Source

The Christian Easter Celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus

One of the core teachings in Christianity is that Jesus was God, that He was divine and that the way that he proved this was by returning from the dead to continue His teachings before being assumed into Heaven.

The empty tomb (shown to the right) is a representation of the resurrection of Jesus. On Easter morning, when Mary Magdalene discovered the empty tomb the angels had to tell her not to be afraid, but that Jesus had risen and fulfilled the prophecy of the King of Kings. This is one of the reasons that Christians hollow out Easter Eggs: They are a representation of the empty tomb of Jesus Christ on the morning of His resurrection.

The empty Easter egg represents the empty tomb of Christ on the morning on which He rose.
The empty Easter egg represents the empty tomb of Christ on the morning on which He rose. | Source

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Why Do Christians Celebrate the Resurrection?

Christians believe that they are saved through the death of Jesus and His sacrifice in giving his own life. The Bible teaches that all men are sinners, and that all sinners have earned the penalty of death. When Jesus died on the cross, He did so in order to pay the penalty for His followers so that they could be free from the ultimate punishment of death and an eternity in hell.

What better reason is there to celebrate than the understanding that your debts have been forgiven and you can now spend the rest of your live living in the security and safety of the embrace of God? This is the primary reason that Christians celebrate Easter. The question is, why do Christians celebrate Easter in the ways that they do, with the symbolism that they do, and why is Easter more important than other significant holy days in the Christian calendar?

Jesus died on the cross and rose again three days later. This is why Christians celebrate Easter.
Jesus died on the cross and rose again three days later. This is why Christians celebrate Easter. | Source
Jesus is reputed to have died on a cross like this one, His hands and feet nailed to its beams.
Jesus is reputed to have died on a cross like this one, His hands and feet nailed to its beams. | Source

The Significance of the Cross in Easter Celebrations

The symbol of the cross is abundant around this time of year. Christians believe that Jesus was nailed to one of these crosses on Good Friday. Nails were driven through His hands and feet so that He would hang on the cross. This caused death by restricting the man's breathing so that his lungs would fill with fluid and he would drown. Jesus would have died in incredible pain, a death Christians believe He died willingly in order to atone for their sins.

Some Christians believe that the cross is historically inaccurate and that the Romans of the time used a pole, rather than cross beams, in order to execute criminals in this manner. Either way, most Christian groups use this symbol as an expression of their faith that Jesus died to save them from their sins.

Three crosses, each representing one of the men who died on Good Friday.
Three crosses, each representing one of the men who died on Good Friday. | Source

The Romans nailed a plaque to the cross of Jesus which read INRI, meaning "King of Glory."

"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

Going Back: Good Friday

Jesus was executed on Good Friday. The Jewish Pharisees demanded His death because He claimed to be the Messiah, a man they believed would be a literal king. They begged Pontius Pilot to condemn him, and the leader washed his hands of Jesus's death, allowing the Pharisees to do as they felt was right with one of their own.

Forced to carry his own cross from the starting point up the hill to Calvary, where he and two other men would die. Nails were driven through His hands and His feet and the people nailed a mockery to his cross in the form of a plaque which meant "The King of Glory."

Two other men were crucified with Jesus. Both had committed terrible crimes. On one side of Jesus the man was arrogate and loud and mocked Jesus. On His other side, the man sought forgiveness and redemption. Jesus told this second man that surely He would see him in heaven.

Jesus died at roughly 3 o'clock in the afternoon on the Friday following Passover. Before He died, He cried out to His Father to beg for forgiveness for those who persecuted Him.

This Article is Copyrighted to Becki Rizzuti

As you will see on the bottom of this page, this article is copyrighted to Becki Rizzuti. All rights are reserved. If you see this article published on another site, please note that this is the original. No, you may not take my work in full or in part, even if you provide a link back to this page. The original date of publication of this hub is February 27th, 2014.

Christians Celebrate Easter Because it is Their Salvation

When Jesus died, He paid the penalty for the sins of the world. Christians remember His death because it is when their (eternal) lives were saved. On the following Sunday, when Jesus rose from the dead, He proved to His followers that He was the man He had claimed to be: The Son of God.

Other groups also celebrate Easter, including pagans and the secular celebration of Easter. Stay tuned for more information on these Easter alternatives!

© 2014 Becki Rizzuti

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