The Essence of Easter Sunday

Easter is a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his death on the cross nearly two thousand years ago. After his crucifixion, death, and burial three days later, he rose from the grave.

By Mark Jude Mugerwa

Easter Sunday is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Easter is also called Pascha or Resurrection Sunday. It is celebrated on Sunday and marks the end of the Holy week, the end of Lent, and the last day of Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil). It is the beginning of the Easter season of the liturgical year.

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Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day following his crucifixion, which would be Sunday. His resurrection marks the triumph of good over evil, sin and death. It is the singular event which proves that those who trust in God and accept Christ will be raised from the dead. Easter is the most important holiday on the Christian calendar since it represents the fulfilment of God’s promises to mankind.

Easter is the principal feast of the Ecclesiastical year. Leo I calls it the greatest feast and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. It is the centre of the greatest part of the ecclesiastical year. Easter season lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday.

The significance of Easter is Jesus Christ’s triumph over death. His resurrection means the eternal life that is granted to all who believe in Him. The purpose of Easter also means the full confirmation of all that Jesus taught and preached during His three-year ministry. If he had not risen from the dead or simply died and not been resurrected, He would have been thought just another teacher or prophet.

However, his resurrection rebuked all that and provided final and undeniable proof that He was the son of God and that He had overcome death once and for all. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the core of the Christian Gospel. The resurrection affirms Jesus of Nazareth as the prophesied Messiah of Israel and the King and Lord of a new Jerusalem: a new heaven and a new earth.

The miraculous lesson of Easter is this: Through Jesus’ death on the cross, we have been granted a second chance. We have permission to leave our old lives behind and focus on the new day, with all its potential for joy and choices that honour God. Make a decision to paint a new life for yourself, bright with the colors of redemption, grace and renewal.

The three main Easter colors are purple, white and gold. Purple and violet hues are typically used in the Lenten season in the lead-up to Easter. To understand why the colour purple became the colour of Lent and Easter, we must first look at the color’s significance in ancient society. Purple dye was a prized commodity in antiquity because it was difficult to obtain. In particular, purple dye was obtained from harvesting certain marine snails.

Easter Sunday’s most prominent colors are usually white and gold to represent the holiness and triumph of the resurrection of Jesus. Similarly, yellow and gold are common colors to see during Easter traditions and celebrations. They represent the glorious resurrection of Jesus in all its light and are associated with the divine, fire and all things precious.

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