The history of Easter & Easter meaning started about 1,991 years ago… That’s because between AD 29 and AD 30 Jesus Christ died and then rose again as the first resurrected being in history. Easter is the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Christ.
But it’s so much more than colored eggs, candy and bunnies… Easter is a celebration steeped in history and faith! I hope to share some soul nourishing insights to accompany your Easter festivities this year!
Easter History & Meaning of Easter
Whether you’re a believer or not, The Bible is the oldest book (I know of) in history. And the main events of the Bible is the Birth, Atonement and Resurrection of the Saviour Jesus Christ.
Jesus was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, and the Messiah of the New Testament. No-one has had such a profound influence on all who have lived on earth.
Although many people associate Easter with springtime, the Christian Easter comes from other themes.
In the Asia Minor region, the Atonement of Jesus Christ was first celebrated this time of year. The day of Atonement was celebrated on the 14th day of the month of Nissan, the day before Passover.
In the Hebrew & Babylonian calendar, Nissan is the 1st month of spring. Using the Hebrew definition of a day (from sunset to sunset) the Atonement of Jesus Christ happened on the same Hebrew day—Nissan 14.
Nowadays we celebrate Easter as established by the Council of Nicea, A.D. 325, when reducing Jewish influence on Easter triumphed. Because of that, Easter celebration emphasis was changed from celebrating the Atonement to celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The actual day is in favor of the Julian calendar when resurrection happened “on the first day of the week” (Luke 24:1). Because Sunday is the first day of the Julian week, Sunday was chosen for Easter celebration.
The Meaning of Easter
Easter means different things to different people. BUT historically Easter means we celebrate our escape from the effects of SIN and DEATH through the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Our Escape From The Effects of Sin & Death
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
I was struck by the drops of water in my cup, after taking the sacrament last Sunday. I always try to get every drop of water from my sacrament cup, so I rub them out with my finger if it’s too small to run down into my mouth… Kinda funny. I never really thought about why I do that, till last Sunday.
It reminded me of my husbands and sons hunting trips. They harvested a deer, and the poor thing didn’t’ die right away. Because my son watched his prey suffer before passing, he had a deep desire to make sure we didn’t waste any of this animals sacrifice. He made sure that as we butchered his harvest, we used every bit of it possible.
My Son didn’t want to let any of this innocent creatures suffering be wasted.
In a similar way, I saw that water in my sacrament cup as blood. When I rubbed out the last drop on my finger, I remembered that it represented the BLOOD of my Savior Jesus Christ.
I remembered how He suffered for me as he bled from every poor in the Garden of Gethsemane. It made me think of his body whipped, torn, bleeding and scourged.
I could see the crown of thorns piercing his scalp and head. His tortured body suffered as He was nailed, hands and feet, to a cross. I imagined the dripping blood as he suffered and “he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” (John 19:30)
AND I didn’t want to let any of HIS innocent sufferings for me be wasted.
“I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent.” (D&C 19:16)
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After We Die, Will We Be Resurrected?
I’m sure a lot of people will be running questions like this through their minds this easter. Especially with COVID and all the loved ones who’ve passed this last year. These are questions we all ask ourselves when death impacts us!
I remember for months after my sister died wondering if she would actually live again. Sure, I believed the scriptures… As far as i knew them. I believed the Son of God could be resurrected, but could RacheI? We were sinners, and I needed to know the truth!
The question was like a big burning hole in my chest that consumed my thoughts. Like a wound, I was suffering from every day without relief even in sleep.
Rachel died in November, 3 days before her 18th birthday… A few months later Easter was coming. Growing up my family was very religious and Christian. We went to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints every Sunday, and during the week for activities.
My parents read scriptures with us kids daily, so the Gospel of Jesus Christ was not new to me. But, I didn’t really know, and the questions in my heart were raw and soul-wrenching.
This is My Easter Story.
For a few weeks before the next Easter, these questions were soul-wrenching for me. They consumed all my feelings, and so the night before Easter I prayed about them. I asked Heavenly Father if it was all true! I asked Heavenly Father if our sins could really be forgiven. And if Rachel (and I) would really be resurrected and get to live again!
We lived in the HOT Mojave Desert of Southern California. It is a very hot and dry place. It rarely rained, let alone got much cloud cover. So I expected that next day (Easter) to be the same as always, a beautiful WARM Easter Sunday.
I remember waking up the next morning (Easter Morning) to a bright and quieter than normal house. I could hear my mom in the kitchen with pot and pans, but that was it. And that was unusual for my house; because I had 6 other siblings at home!
I remember the sun shining through my closed blinds seemed to be much brighter than normal… So I opened them fully expecting a sunny warm day, like every day before. But what happened next changed my life.
I opened the blinds and saw the ENTIRE DESERT…. Every pebble of sand and rock, every cactus, every house, COMPLETELY covered in the brightest whitest SNOW I had ever seen.
And as I stared in shock, I heard the words in my mind, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18)
God answered my prayer. I knew God could do miracles. He could do impossible things, like making it snow out of nowhere in the middle of the hot Mojave Desert in April. And if he could do that, he could raise us from death. I knew the scriptures were true! He could speak them to my mind, and answer my prayers.
I’ll never forget that experience as long as I live… Because It’s part of my soul. And so, Easter is my FAVORITE holiday and means so much to me! The history of Easter & Easter meaning to me are riches!
There are so many scriptures that testify of the History of Easter & Easter Meaning. Jesus Christ overcame DEATH for us. So that we can live again after we die. Here are a few:
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.(John 11:25-26)
And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. (Mark 16:6)
He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. (Luke 24:6-7)
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (1 Thessalonians 4:14)
Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. John 20:8-9
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:5-6
And There’s Much More, for Example:
Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. Acts 3:26
Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.Acts 26:22-23
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.Revelation 20:6
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.Revelation 20:12-13
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.1 Peter 3:21
History of Easter & Easter Meaning Sources: Charles Joseph Hefele, A History of the Christian Councils (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1871), pp. 306–7, 317–18, 322–24.
I hope you enjoyed this post.
This post is part of a very special Easter collaboration with other lovely bloggers from around the world.
Please, do go and check their posts.
Deborah Fogliani from “shemamswithoils.com”
50 BEST, FUNNY AND ENTERTAINING EASTER RIDDLES FOR KIDS
Gabrielle Williams from “thepotagerproject.com”
What to plant in Autumn: https://thepotagerproject.com/what-to-plant-in-autumn/
Errika Tegge Horner from “www.thehomeintent.com” How to make shea butter bath bombs Easy DIY recipe