To all who celebrate, I want to wish a happy and blessed Easter to all of you, wherever you may be. And for our Jewish friends, I also want to wish you a very happy Passover.
It is not uncommon for these two holidays to fall close together on the calendar – Judaism and Christianity are very closely related and they will “forever be entwined,” as Tom Marr put it. Passover comes from the Old Testament, when the Hebrews were in slavery in Egypt. God inflicted ten plagues on the Egyptians, the last being the death of the firstborn sons and Passover. Passover was where the Hebrews had to put the blood of a lamb on their door so that the the angel sent by God would not hurt the Hebrews. It is one of the most observed holidays of the Jewish tradition, and again I want to wish you a happy Passover if you celebrate.
Now in the Christian world, there is another biblical story that is very related to Passover, and that is the Last Supper. That is on the Thursday before Easter Sunday, where Jesus Christ and his apostles celebrated Passover and when Judas betrayed Jesus by turning him in for 30 pieces of silver. That led up to Good Friday, the day where Jesus was crucified by the Romans, died, and was buried.
On Easter Sunday, we remember the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christians believes that Jesus Christ is risen, ascended into Heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of God.
So for today, I will let you read the Easter story, according to the Gospel of Matthew.
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.
His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow.
The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men.
Then the angel said to the women in reply, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.
He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.”
Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened.
They assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’
And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy (him) and keep you out of trouble.”
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present (day).
The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”