Resurrection Sunday is known as Easter or Easter Day. Easter is the most important annual Christian celebration because that day it is celebrated that Jesus defeated death and rose again. We bring you The Origin and Meaning of Easter according to the Bible on this article.
Meaning of Easter and according to the Bible
For Christians, Easter Day or Resurrection Sunday means victory, eternal life, and salvation. Jesus defeated death. He is still alive! He rose on the third day and thanks to his resurrection, all who put their faith in him receive salvation (or spiritual deliverance from the power of sin) and can be sure that they will live with him for eternity.
In the Hebrew language, the word passover – pesach – means “leap” or “step” . The word alludes directly to the story of the origin of Easter that we find in the Old Testament. This tells us about the moment when death “overlooked” or “skipped over” the houses of the Israelites marked by the blood of the lamb.
For us today, Jesus’ death on the cross – his blood sacrifice – has been enough to cleanse us of our sins. Contrary to Old Testament times, we do not have to sacrifice lambs before God today. Jesus, the Lamb of God, did the complete work for us. Thanks to him we can live with the hope of eternal life. This is what we celebrate on Easter Day!
Now, if we have died with Christ, we trust that we will also live with him. For we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, can no longer die again; death no longer has dominion over him. As for his death, he died to sin once and for all; as for his life, he lives for God.
In the same way, consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
The origin of Easter
We find the story of the first Passover in the Old Testament, in chapter 12 of the book of Exodus. The Jewish people lived enslaved in Egypt. God raised up Moses as a liberator of the people, but the Pharaoh of Egypt did not think it was a good idea to let the Israelites go since they were many and very good workers.
Because Pharaoh refused to release the Jewish people despite Moses’ insistence, God sent 10 plagues. The tenth plague, that of the death of the firstborn, was the one that marked the beginning of the celebration of Easter.
God told them that this month would mark the beginning of something important for the people of Israel and gave them some instructions. Each family had to take a lamb or a kid that was one year old and without defects. If the family was small, they could share it with another family.
On the 14th of the month, everyone had to sacrifice their animal at nightfall. They were to roast the meat and eat it that same night. The blood of the sacrificed animal should be smeared on the posts and on the lintel of the door. That would distinguish the households of Israelites who trusted in God’s promises of deliverance.
They will eat the lamb in this way: with the cloak tied around the waist, with sandals on, with the staff in hand, and in haste. It is the Passover of the Lord.
That same night I will pass through all Egypt and kill all the firstborn, both people and animals, and I will carry out my sentence against all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will serve to mark the houses where you are, because when I see it I will pass by. So when I kill the Egyptians, no destructive plague will touch you.
This is a day that by law must always be commemorated. It is a festival in honor of the Lord, and future generations should celebrate it.
And so was the celebration of the first Easter! The blood of the lamb prevented death from entering the house of the Israelites.
The beginning of the Christian Easter
The last days of the man Jesus on earth were, precisely, during the celebration of the festival of unleavened bread or the Passover festival. At his last paschal supper with his disciples, Jesus instituted what we know as the Lord’s Supper or the Lord’s Supper.
During his last supper, Jesus shared bread and wine with his disciples.
When the time came, Jesus and his apostles sat down at the table. Then he said to them: I have had a great desire to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for I tell you that I will not eat it again until it has its full fulfillment in the kingdom of God.
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and said: Take this and distribute it among yourselves.
I tell you that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine again until the kingdom of God comes.
He also took bread and, after giving thanks, broke it, gave it to them and said: This bread is my body, given for you; do this in memory of me.
In the same way he took the cup after dinner, and said: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you.
Jesus warned his disciples that he would give himself up voluntarily. He would die on the cross for them and his blood would be shed. Jesus’ sacrifice symbolized the lamb that had been eaten at Passover for many generations. And his blood, the blood that the Israelites had smeared on the lintels of Egypt so that his firstborn would not die.
Just as the blood of the paschal lamb prevented the children of the people of Israel from dying physically, the blood of Jesus Christ frees from spiritual death all those who put their faith in him and receive him as Lord and Savior of their lives.
But Jesus did not stay dead: he rose on the third day! And thanks to his resurrection his children receive eternal life. This is what is celebrated with Easter! Jesus died for our sins on the cross and freed us from eternal death. Thanks to his death and his resurrection, all of us who put our faith in him can live with hope and the certainty of eternal life.
As you well know, you were rescued from the absurd life that you inherited from your ancestors. The price of his ransom was not paid with perishable things, such as gold or silver, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without spot and without blemish.
Christ, whom God chose before the creation of the world, has manifested himself in these last times for your benefit. Through him you believe in God, who raised him up and glorified him, so your faith and hope for him are in God.
(1 Peter 1:18-21)