What does Easter mean to me?
Gigi Tinsley | 4/17/2014, 9 a.m.
Sunday is Easter. This weekend, in cities and towns across the nation Christians will be celebrate this holy and festive holiday. Children and their parents will be adorned in new, colorful outfits and attend religious services at their neighborhood churches. Religious pews will be packed with new guests who do not ordinarily attend church on Sundays.
“The view from the pulpit is a beautiful one,” Bishop/Dr./Prelate Napoleon Rhodes, founder of several hundreds Convention of Covenant Churches said. “It’s so sad that so many will not be back to the house of praise and worship more than two or three more times during the next 49 to 52 Sundays.”
According to the Bible, the exact origin of this religious feast day is unknown. Some sources claim the word Easter arrived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Other accounts trace Easter to the Latin term hebdomada alba, or white week, an ancient reference to Easter week and the clothing donned by people who were baptized during that time.
Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection occurred after he went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover (or Pesach in Hebrew), the Jewish festival commemorating the ancient exodus from slavery in Egypt.
Pascha eventually came to mean Easter.
Easter is really an entire season of the Christian church year, as opposed to a single-day observance.
Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday, a time of reflection and penance, represents the 40 days that Jesus spent alone in the wilderness before starting his ministry.
The week preceding Easter is called Holy Week and includes Maundy Thursday, which commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples; Good Friday, honors the day of his crucifixion; and Holy Saturday, focuses on the transition between the crucifixion and resurrection.
The 50-day period following Easter sunday is called Eastertide and includes a celebration of Jesus’ ascension into heaven.
What Easter means to kids
Several students were asked, “What does Easter mean to you?” Below are their most interesting answers:
Anelys Arrechea, Grade 6-Miami Springs Middle School said: “Easter is a day of joy and cheer. A day in which everyone rejoices while celebrating. Some people see Easter as a day throw a party and hide eggs. On the other hand, others see Easter as having a religious meaning and it has to do with Jesus. This is the day Jesus rose from the dead for those people who believe in Jesus Christ. Easter is the day we celebrate that Jesus is alive and through him we have eternal life.
April Gaitor, Grade 7-Brownsville Middle said: “Easter is the time when families come together and have cookouts, parties and egg hunts. But it is mostly about the oldest festival of the Christian church which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is held in the western church between March 2 and April 25, on the first Sunday after the first full moon, following the northern spring equinox.”
Shekinah Rhodes, Grade 6-Miami Springs Middle School said: “Easter means that Jesus is alive and not dead. It means he rose from the dead. It is more than thinking about a bunny or how to color eggs. Easter is a time to reflect and remember the love of God again, a love so strong that he was willing to give his life for the world. Easter is a time to remember John 3:16, for God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whomever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
Joel Simpkins, Grade 9- Edc Academy of Excellence said, “Easter means celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and how he died and rose from the grave for our sins. Jesus was crucified because he said he was the King of the Jews. But he taught us only love. After he died on the cross for our sins, they put him in a tomb. Three days later when the women went to put perfume on his body, Jesus was not there. He had risen from the grave and is now in heaven.”
Sylvester Antoine Sanders, Grade 10-North Park High School said: “Easter is fun and exciting. It is a time to go to church, celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and get to hunt for eggs.”
What does Easter mean to you?