Easter is just that moment when many Christians consider sacred just because of the belief and reality of a savior that died for them, above all rose from the grave. To so many others, it is just a moment to feed on chickens, eggs and chocolate. I still see some little few that it is just a moment of holiday – good time to relax with friends and family.
Regardless of your views and worldview about Easter, permit me to tell you the most amazing facts you probably do not know exist about Easter. Let’s take a ride:
Christians celebrate Easter as the day Christ rose from the grave, but he wasn’t the only one
Easter is a Christian holiday celebrating the day Jesus Christ rose from the grave following his crucifixion on Good Friday. According to Matthew 28, on the third day after Christ’s death, an angel of the Lord came down from heaven to the tomb, rolled back the heavy stone that had been placed in front to prevent Christ’s disciples from moving his body. The guards fainted, and Jesus left the grave, heading towards Galilee to meet up with his disciples. We all know the story.
What you might probably not note is that according to the Bible, when Christ came back to life he didn’t come alone. In Matthew 27:52-53 the Bible says, “and the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” That part of the scripture is not a metaphor – yes Daps says so.
Easter falls on a different day every year due to the Vernal Equinox
Every year Easter falls on a different day, and you can blame the moon for that. Christ’s death coincides with the Jewish Passover, which is celebrated during the first full moon after the vernal equinox, better known as the first day of spring. The rule was set for the Christian church by the Council of Nicaea, stating that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. This should explain to you why we have Easter in March a year and April the next year, no one knows when the one for 2018 would come.
Peter probably didn’t hear a rooster crow three times
In the story of Jesus’ final days, Christ told his disciple Peter “before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” Later that evening Peter is recognized as one of Christ’s disciples, only to claim he never knew the man. Just then he hears the rooster crow, hanging his head in shame.
There’s just one singular problem with this story: Chickens and roosters were not allowed to be raised in Jerusalem at the time. According to the Mishnah, the earliest compilation of rabbinic oral law, roosters and chickens were forbidden from being raised due to concerns about keeping the temple pure. So what’s the real story? It comes down to translation. In some original translations the word was not rooster crows, but cockcrow. Since chickens could not be raised in Jerusalem, cockcrow in this context most likely relates to the man blowing a trumpet to let priests know it was time to start preparations for the day. Because the phrase was commonly used back then, people knew what the scripture meant. As translations moved through history, this meaning was briefly lost, leading us to believe Peter actually heard the crowing of a rooster.
Easter eggs come from Lent
While there are certainly pagan traditions that use eggs as symbols of fertility, the Christian tradition of Easter eggs has its roots in Lent. Lent is a preparatory period before Easter where some Christians, particularly Catholics, abstain from certain foods or beloved activities as a form of fasting. In medieval times this fast included meat, milk, and eggs. Of those three foods, eggs are the only ones that don’t spoil quickly without refrigeration. According to Christianity Today, the long Lenten fast often led to a surplus of eggs when Easter rolled around, making them cheaper to buy and give as an Easter gift. The tradition of eating eggs during Easter is massive, it’s almost difficult to detach Easter and eggs – even the White House is not left out of this.
The root of the name Easter
The name Easter owes its origin to Eostre or Eastre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of light and the dawn who was honored at pagan festivals celebrating the arrival of spring.
Eostre was a Germanic fertility goddess who had her festival around the spring equinox, March 20. In keeping with a long tradition of co-opting pagan dates and traditions into their celebrations, the church took this as well. This is all according to an 8th century monk named Saint Bede the Venerable. In a text he wrote called “On the Reckoning of Time,” Bede explains that the name Easter was taken from the Teutonic goddess Eostre: “Eostur-month, which is now interpreted as the paschal month, was formerly named after the goddess Eostre, and has given its name to the festival.”
In 2007, an Easter egg covered in diamonds sold for almost £9 million.
Every hour, a cockerel made of jewels pops up from the top of the Faberge egg, flaps its wings four times, nods its head three times and makes a crowing noise. The gold-and-pink enamel egg was made by the Russian royal family as an engagement gift for French aristocrat Baron Edouard de Rothschild. The picture of this egg below:
Eating lamb on Easter is a holdover from Passover
Serving lamb is a traditional aspect of the Jewish Passover Seder that has become a part of the Easter tradition for many Christian families, but few people know exactly why Christians picked it up. References to Christ being the Lamb of God are common, but the meaning of that becomes more interesting when you look at the scriptures. Jesus’ death shares aspects with the way sacrificial Passover lambs are slaughtered. A traditional Passover lamb cannot have its bones broken dating back to the decrees given to Moses by God. Like the Passover lamb, Christ was crucified without any of his bones being broken, unlike the other two men he was executed alongside. In John 19: 31-34 the Bible says that when the soldiers came to break Jesus’ legs to speed along his death, they found he had already died. Instead, they pierced his side with a spear.
I told you, you just didn’t know enough.
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Have an awesome Easter
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