The week of Easter is the celebration of the crucifixion and the rise of Jesus Christ. "He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification." - Romans 4:25. It is remembrance of how one man sacrificed himself for the sins God's people have and will commit in the future, while they are on this Earth. Easter symbolises the journey God took to be closer to his creation. During the time before and after Jesus was born, the Israeli people were struggling to believe in a creator, they were killing innocent people, raping women and committing sin after sin.
As Jesus grew older he was determined to spread the word of the Lord and was seen as a child prodigy at a very young age. This did not sit well with the ministry that was in power as he got older. "So, Jesus Christ was sacrificed to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." - Hebrews 9:24. Easter is about the fracturing, misdirection the human race was taking and how the Lord made himself made himself vulnerable by stepping down his ladder and summoning his only son to live among our people.
Good Friday for Christians is the official day according to scriptures Jesus, the Son of God was crucified on the cross. It is the day Jesus sacrificed himself for our sins in order to provide his faithful believers with Eternal life. "For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." - Matthew 12:40.
On Sunday when Jesus resurrected after having his corpse placed in a tomb with a big rock covering the entrance. Mary Magdelene went by to check on his body. This moment was very crucial in the development of Christianity. Mary Magdelene and other women arrived and found that the tomb was empty and assumed someone had moved the body to another location. Jesus had then called out to Mary, whom at the time thought the person is one of the caretakers of the grave only to realise that it was indeed Jesus who had been requesting for her.
"Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher)" - John 20:16. Mary later wanted to embrace Jesus but was told to go and tell the disciples living in that he had ascended to the Kingdom of God after his death but returned later for forty days.
The women of Jesus's ministry before his crucifixion had a hard time convincing the disciples he'd risen from the dead at first. Today there are still people who never quite bought the story of the resurrection of Jesus because it is said that the wages of sin is death and Jesus was a sinless man. Jesus later proclaimed, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live" - John 11:25. The story of celebrating Easter isn't only about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ but about proving the power of the Lord and showing people that death does not have the last say.
These were the very early signs of people starting to believe in the word of God.
Ahead of Easter 2017, The Huffington Post South Africa is delving into what faith and spirituality means to South Africans here and now. Against the backdrop of a renewed wave of thought around decolonisation, a new generation are rediscovering their traditional beliefs, while some are reconciling with Christianity. And on another note, we tell South Africa's real good news story: our remarkable and peaceful religious diversity. In a world fractured along religious extremism, we have a large Christian population with significant Muslim and Jewish communities, who often come together peacefully and with purpose, as has been evinced at the memorials for departed struggle stalwart, Ahmed Kathrada. Read the rest of the special report here, or choose from our selection below:
- Decolonising Faith: Here's How Some Africans Are Rediscovering Their Ancestors And Spirituality
- Sipho Hlongwane: I Was Taught Not To Remember My Grandfather. This Is Why I Do.
- South Africa's Untold Success Story: A Christian's Nation's Peaceful History With A Muslim Minority
- It's Nearly Easter: Here's What You Need to Know In The Run Up