Why Celebrate the Resurrection of Christ?
Easter or the celebration of the resurrection of Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. How would Christians feel if scientists would say that after a long search they have finally found the bones of Jesus 2,000 years after His death? Devastated, right? Because this is the central belief of all Christians: that Jesus rose from the dead on the third days after His death. No other group of believers on this earth who firmly accept the doctrine of the resurrection except Christians from different denominations.
The website Catholic.org describes significance of Easter in Christian life:
Easter is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. It is celebrated on Sunday, and marks the end of Holy Week, the end of Lent, the last day of the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday), and is the beginning of the Easter season of the liturgical year.
As we know from the Gospels, Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day following his crucifixion, which would be Sunday. His resurrection marks the triumph of good over evil, sin and death. It is the singular event which proves that those who trust in God and accept Christ will be raised from the dead.
Since Easter represents the fulfillment of God’s promises to humanity, it is the most important holiday on the Christian calendar.
If Sunday is the Resurrection Day, why is the Catholic Church already celebrating Easter on Saturday evening? Isn’t it true that Christ rose from the dead on the third day? The evening of Black Saturday is still the second day and not yet the third day, why do Catholics already celebrate it?
Well, Christianity somehow followed some traditions of the Jews in Judaism. This includes the calculation of time for the liturgy. The Jews begin their new day in the early evening. So if Jesus died around 3:00 o’ clock on Good Friday, then in the evening of this day would be the second day, and on the evening of Saturday or Black Saturday would be the third day. Thus, Christ has already risen from the dead during this time. The story of the Gospel about the disciples encountering the risen Christ on their way to Emmaus illustrates that the Jewish culture consider the late afternoon or early evening as the beginning of a new day and not after midnight as many people believe. Attending the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday evening is considered attending the Easter Sunday Mass. This is an anticipated Mass. The Catholic Church allows anticipated Masses. One can also attend the anticipated Mass on Saturday evening as a Sunday Mass and fulfill his or her Christian obligation. Happy Easter to All!
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Visit this site to read new revelations on the tomb of Christ examined by scientists after more than 2,000 years: