Christians across the world celebrate Easter, to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion, on the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs upon or next after the Spring Equinox. (In the Eastern Orthodox Church a slightly different calculation is followed, so their Easter may or may not coincide with that of the Western church).
The celebration of Easter is preceded by the forty days of Lent, a period of prayer and self-denial for Christians. The period of Lent includes Holy Week, the week immediately preceding Easter Sunday.
Now read the story that lies behind the festival.
More than two thousand years ago, in a stable in Bethlehem, was born Jesus, the son of Joseph the carpenter and his wife Mary. Jesus grew up in Nazareth, and became a carpenter like his father.
When Jesus was a young man, he saw the suffering of the people of Palestine under the oppressive rule of Herod's sons, and the Roman procurators. Together with twelve disciples, Jesus wandered the countryside, preaching religious reform and the love of God for His people. He was concerned with the welfare of the poor and the oppressed and spoke against the hypocrisy of the privileged and the rich. The Pharisees, Jewish scholars, strongly opposed his teachings, and resented his growing influence. But Jesus was welcomed and loved by the common people who looked upon him as the long-awaited Messiah. As the number of his followers and his influence with the people grew, the Jewish and Roman authorities began to suspect Jesus of being a revolutionary and a troublemaker.
The Story of Easter cont'd...