The Meaning of Easter – Food for Thought

This article appeared in the new local paper Harborne, Edgbaston and Moseley Life
It was written by Gill McIlwaine, of St John’s Church.Gill McIlwaine outside St John's

What is the Easter story?
Easter is the story of Jesus’ last days in Jerusalem before his death. This is celebrated by Christians as Holy Week.
Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and its message of new life for all.

What is Palm Sunday?
Palm Sunday commemorates the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to the cheers of the crowd. They waved palm branches and shouted: “Hosanna! Blessed is he.”
On Palm Sunday people hold small crosses made of palm leaf. These are to remember the palm leaves which the people of Jerusalem waved when Jesus arrived; and also to remember the cross on which Jesus died.

What is Maundy Thursday?
Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter. Christians remember it as the day of the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Today Christians celebrate this in the Eucharist or Holy Communion.
The Queen distributes Maundy Money to people who have served their local community. This custom dates back to 13th Century and symbolises the monarch giving money to the poor.

What happened on Good Friday?
Jesus was arrested and tried in a mock trial. He was handed over to Roman soldiers to be beaten and flogged with whips. A crown of long, sharp thorns was thrust upon his head.
Jesus was forced to carry his own cross outside Jerusalem to Golgotha meaning Skull Hill. Jesus was nailed to the cross. At 3pm he died.
Christians believe that Jesus stood in our place. His death paid the penalty, not for his own wrong doings but for ours.

Why is it called Good Friday?
The name may be derived from ‘God’s Friday’ in the same way that good-bye is derived from ‘God be with ye.’ It is ‘good’ because the barrier of sin between God and us is broken. We eat Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday to remind us that Jesus died on the cross for us.

What happened on Easter Sunday?
On the first Easter Sunday Jesus rose from death.
Those looking for him found only an empty tomb and angels guarding the place. Christians call this the Resurrection.
Jesus told his disciples before he was arrested that he would be crucified, and on the third day he would rise from the dead. Sunday is the third day after Friday and became the holy day of the week for Christians. This is why Church services are usually held on a Sunday.
Easter Eggs are given as a sign of the new life we have in Jesus. They are a symbol of his resurrection.

Photo by Phil Brown, Editor of Harborne, Edgbaston and Moseley Life

10th Apr 2014 Posted in: News by Stella Jennings 0

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