First Baptist Church, Cobden IL
Thursday, April 18, 2019
200 South Walker St. Cobden, IL 62920
 
 

 

Dear Church Family,

 

Reflecting on Easter

Easter Is the Seasonal celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb on the third day after His crucifixion. Easter represents the fulfilled prophecy of the Messiah who would be persecuted, die for out 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. Easter became a significant Christian celebration that is closely related to the time associated with the Jewish Passover.

Easter follows a period of fasting called Lent, in which many churches set aside time for repentance and remembrance. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Good Friday, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. The 40 day period was established by Pope Gregory 1 using the 40-day pattern of Israel, Moses, Elijah and Jesus’ time in the wilderness.

The week leading up to Easter is called The Holy Week, or “Passion Week”, and includes Palm Sunday (the day Jesus entered Jerusalem and was celebrated), Maundy Thursday (the “ Last Supper” where Jesus met with His disciples to observe Passover), and Good Friday (when Jesus would be crucified on the cross).

Interestingly enough the date of Easter was settled in the first ecumenical gathering of the church when Emperor Constantine (a confessing Christian) in the 4th century wanted to distinguish the Christian resurrection from the Jewish Passover. The unique date of Easter being the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring or vernal equinox. This date became contrasted with the Passover date that commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt, as narrated in the Book of Exodus. It was and continues to be the most important Jewish seasonal festival, celebrated on the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

The vernal equinox is the beginning of the season when the light of day grows longer than that of darkness.

In conclusion to these few fast facts on Easter, two points of encouragement can be gleaned. First, of all the distinction of Easter’s date to the Passover’s reminds us that we are in a distinctly New Covenant in Christ. Also, the season of Easter after the vernal equinox illustrates the growing light of the resurrected Christ eliminating the darkness in this world.

Happy Easter Season
Pastor Ed