The Christian observation of Holy Week began on Palm Sunday which marked the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem days before his crucifixion. At the beginning of the week, the people shouted “Hosanna” in celebration and adoration of the Messiah. By the end of the week, they shouted “crucify him”. Throughout the remainder of Holy Week, many Christians have participated in virtual religious ceremonies commemorating the Last Supper and the solemn day when Jesus was handed over to the authorities to be crucified.
The story of the cross is significant to the Christian faith as it is the event that led to our atonement and forgiveness of sins. It is the event that allows us to be redeemed and afforded entry to an eternal heaven. The Synoptic Gospels record the pain and suffering that Jesus endured on his way to Calvary. On a Friday, Jesus was nailed to the cross, mocked, pierced in his side, and ultimately he died. Good Friday is the day that we observe Jesus hanging on the cross and we reflect on the experience and the seven last word of Christ before he died. His body was prepared for burial and he was laid in a tomb. If the story of the cross ended at the death and burial of Christ, then there would be no Easter.
On the Sunday after the death of Jesus, it was discovered that Jesus was no longer in the tomb. As the story unfolds we find that Jesus was resurrected. He conquered the powers of evil and showed his triumphant victory over death. This triumphant event, in a nutshell, is the reason we celebrate a risen Savior on Easter Sunday. Most people look forward to gathering with other worshipers on Easter Sunday to celebrate together the fact and belief that Christ has risen from the dead so that heaven would be a reality for believers. We look forward to the Easter dinner with family and loved ones to rejoice together as we remember the glorious promises of eternal life for all who believe in Jesus.
In the Era of COVID-19, our celebrations look a little different. We cannot congregate in sanctuaries and places of worship. We have to turn our living rooms, dining rooms, and free spaces into our sanctuaries. Technology has allowed us the opportunity to host virtual Easter gatherings to continue our family traditions. The celebration does not have to stop because we are distant from each other. Church sanctuaries may be empty, but so was the tomb. Continue your celebrations even in the time of this pandemic. This too shall pass and we will conquer this pandemic.
In observation of Easter in the time of quarantine, we have to remember that Easter was never really about where we gathered. It is not about our clothes or even an Easter basket filled with goodies. It is not about the feast that we will no doubt enjoy. But it is about the fact that the Messiah willingly became the sacrificial lamb so that our sins may be pardoned and the gates of heaven could be opened for all who believe in him. Easter is not about the bunny, it is about the lamb. Happy Easter!
Written by Jennifer Nolen
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