Easter, or Pascha, is a festival of the Christian church that celebrates the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. While Christmas may be the most celebrated Christian festival, Easter is the most significant. This is because Easter reminds Christian faithful around the world of the sacrifice of the messiah. It is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and the reconnection of men with God.
In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 15:14-19, we see the significance of Easter. Paul, in his letter, speaks on how if Christ wasn’t resurrected on the third day, the preaching of the apostles, as well as Christianity, would be useless.
The very celebration of Easter reaffirms that our faith is true, that Jesus washed away our sins and made us whole again.
Why Is Easter Celebrated?
Easter is the resurrection and the entire crux of the Christian faith. Since Christ is risen from the grave as it was prophesied by Samuel, which confirms our faith. While the birth of Jesus is essential to Christianity, if he remained in the grave after his crucifixion, we wouldn’t celebrate his birth. It would have been impossible to preach redemption and salvation. The life of Jesus fulfills more than 380 prophecies that many different prophets mentioned. Some of these prophets include Mekha, Samual Isaiah, Daniel, Isiah the most important.
All through John chapter One, we learn about Jesus and his purpose on earth. We learn of how Jesus brought with him God’s unfailing love and faithfulness.
Furthermore, in John 14:6-7, Jesus declared himself the truth and life, and no one can get to God except through him.
All through the book of John in the new testament, you will find several accounts of Jesus establishing his identity here on earth. Without his resurrection, everything he had preached up until that moment would have been a lie.
So why is Easter the most important festival to Christendom?
The Significance of Easter to Christians
In Revelations 1:18, Jesus speaking testifies that he once died but is now risen and alive forever. After his crucifixion, he took on all our sins and took the keys of death and the grave from the devil.
Easter is such an important celebration for Christians because it is one of the assurances we have that we serve a living God. Jesus rose three days after his crucifixion, showing that our God is not made of Clay, Wood, Silver, or Gold. Our God created the entire universe and reigned supreme over death and the devil.
Easter follows Lent, which is a period of fasting set aside by many churches. Lent is observed in preparation for Easter, and it is a time for remembrance and repentance. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Good Friday.
Celebrating Easter in Jerusalem
There are several iconic Easter activities tourists should keep an eye out for. The week leading to Easter is called the Passion or Holy Week. This includes:
- Palm Sunday: The day Jesus entered Jerusalem riding an ass on palm fronds
- Maundy Thursday: the last supper during which Jesus admonished his disciples to observe Passover
- Good Friday: the day Jesus will be crucified on the cross of Calvary.
On Palm Sunday, several thousand Christian pilgrims gather to climb Mount Olives in Jerusalem, reenacting the entry of Jesus into the city as a king in the name of God. Traditionally, there is a procession that heads down to the Church Of All Nations and continues to Saint Anne Church, then Stevens gate, through the Old City until they arrive at Via Dolorosa.
Many Pilgrims sing hymns bearing palm fronds as they celebrate the messiah.
It all begins on Good Friday, which is believed to be the day Jesus was taken to Golgotha and Crucified. One of the most iconic elements of the Easter celebration starts on Good Friday with a procession in which thousands of Christian tourists march along Via Dolorosa. This path is found in the Christian quarter of the Old City, believed to be the route Jesus took on his way to Calvary. Via Dolorosa begins at the traditional site where Jesus was placed before Pilate for judgment. It then moves through the Antonia Fortress and ends in the Holy Sepulcher. Christian pilgrims walk this path in memory and honor of the sacrifice Jesus made many years ago. On this day, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of him getting pierced at the side where he will be led as a lamb.
On Saturday, Christians gather to mark the celebration of The Holy Fire. During the celebration, thousands gather as they await the Patriarch’s fire lighting from within the tomb. This is indeed a fantastic sight to behold for anyone interested in enjoying every single day of the Easter celebration.
This spells out an entire weekend with which you can reconnect with Jesus by honoring the sacrifice of the Lamb Of God and strengthening your faith. In the end, you will have shared one of the most significant celebrations of the year right there, where it all happened thousands of years ago.