Of all the Christian celebrations marked all over the world, Easter Sunday is perhaps the most meaningful as it celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, signifying that He has risen from the grave, three days after crucifixion. This means He has triumphed over death and by that, His resurrection means that eternal life is granted to all those who believe in Him.
The act of Resurrection is significant as biblical scholars have said that this means “the full confirmation of what Jesus taught and preached during His three-year ministry.” “If He had not risen from the dead, if He had simply died and not been resurrected, He would have been thought of as being just another teacher or prophet. His resurrection, however, rebuked all that and provided the final and undeniable proof that He was really the Son of God.”
Thus, it is undeniable that Christ’s resurrection is the core of the Christian gospel. This was underscored with a passage from Saint Paul, as he wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:14, which says, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” Without resurrection on Easter Sunday, scholars believe that there would also be no Christian preaching or faith.
In our country, Easter Sunday is a culmination of Lent, a day to end fasting and a time for celebration. After two years of muted celebrations, this year has some semblance of normalcy. To welcome this day (and since restrictions for public events have been lifted), various communities, especially in the provinces, have once again marked today’s dawn with a “Salubong” or welcome — a meeting of two images, one of the Risen Christ and another of a still-mourning Mary, in one stage. People crowd the stage not only to witness the meeting but also to be entertained with religious songs and dances. There is a “play” reenacting an angel lifting Mary’s veil, which ends her mourning and symbolizes that there is hope once more in our world.
As Christ has risen, there is joy all around! Some communities mark Easter with firecrackers and feasts. Families share their blessings by giving food to those who have less in life. Hotels and restaurants have special Easter menus, while malls welcome families with Easter treats and activities featuring egg hunts and bunny-inspired art competitions.
After the reminder of the faith and joy of Easter comes the reality that there is still so much to pray for during these times. There is still an ongoing war in Europe, Covid crisis in Asia, and turmoil in various parts of the world where hunger, poverty, and inequality are at an all time high. Just recently, an unprecedented typhoon wreaked havoc this early part of the year in the Visayas, destroying homes and property with the landslides it created. And there is this looming crisis of climate change and environmental degradation.
There is so much pain and trouble in this world that it would be impossible to be shielded from the anxiety and stress caused by these circumstances. So, Easter Sunday always comes as a “soothing balm” and a timely reminder of God’s enduring love and the fulfillment of His promises — that He has risen from the dead to show all of us that no matter the odds, good will always triumph against evil.
May these words from 1 Peter 1:3 (“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”) guide, inspire, and strengthen all of us not only on this day, but for all the days of our lives.