Thoughts of Easter, Jesus died on the cross
Thoughts of Easter, Jesus died on the cross

"The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends, and love never dies." - Kate McGahan

Next Monday, a staggering 63,000 Dominicans will join hands with over 2.6 billion Christians worldwide in the joyous celebration of Easter, a testament to its status as one of the most universally celebrated events, transcending borders and cultures.

Nevertheless, many Christians in Dominica will not attend Easter events in their country because the solemnity of Easter has been replaced with opportunities for fetes.

In addition, many Christians worldwide do not believe that Jesus rose from the dead after being nailed to a cross. A new survey by Whitestone Insight revealed that one in ten Brits consider Easter eggs more critical than the resurrection when it comes to Easter. A quarter of respondents calling themselves Christian don't believe in the resurrection.

The research asked people to declare their religious beliefs and what they believed about Jesus' resurrection, amongst other topics.

However, it's crucial to consider the potential ramifications if Easter were to be proven fake. This could challenge the core beliefs and foundations of Christianity, potentially leading to a crisis of faith for many believers and questioning the authenticity of other religious teachings and doctrines.

The credibility of Christianity would be at stake, impacting the faith and practices of millions worldwide.

"Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life" - Janine di Giovanni

The significance of Easter in Christianity is not just in its celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead but also in its symbolic representation of the victory of light over darkness, life over death, and the triumph of God's love for humanity. It embodies the core beliefs of the Christian faith, making it a cornerstone of our spiritual journey.

For Christians, Jesus's resurrection affirms him as the prophesied Messiah of Israel and the King and Lord of a New Jerusalem, symbolizing hope, renewal, and the promise of eternal life.

Historical evidence and biblical accounts prove Christ's death and resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a foundational teaching of Christianity, backed by various sources. The Bible provides accounts of the resurrection, emphasizing the empty tomb as critical proof. The fact that the tomb was empty is widely attested in early testimonies, both biblical and extra-biblical, and the presence of women as primary witnesses adds authenticity to the narrative.

Nevertheless, many alternative theories exist about the events surrounding Easter. Several contrary hypotheses have been proposed over the years to explain the empty tomb where Jesus was buried, such as the Conspiracy Hypothesis and the Apparent Death Hypothesis, but these are not widely accepted due to various inconsistencies and lack of explanatory power.

Not all Christian denominations believe in Easter. Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, do not observe it as a religious holiday. They do not celebrate Easter because they think its origins are rooted in pagan traditions and that the Bible does not command its observance.

Muslims, who are non-Christians, two billion of them, have a different belief system about the afterlife. Muslims do not celebrate Easter as a religious holiday. While Muslims believe in Jesus as a prophet and acknowledge his ascension into heaven, their perspective on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus differs from that of Christians. In Islam, it is believed that Jesus was not crucified but was raised to heaven by God.

The Quranic account emphasizes that Jesus was not killed by his enemies but was taken up by God, leading to a fundamental difference in the understanding of Easter between Muslims and Christians. The Islamic view on Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection differs from the Christian perspective. According to Islamic belief, Jesus was not crucified but was instead raised to heaven by God, and he will return before the end of time. Muslims reject the idea that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world and that he was resurrected three days later, as taught in the New Testament.

The Quran explicitly states that Jesus was not crucified, but it appeared so to those who witnessed the event and that someone else, like Judas or Simon the Cyrene, was crucified in his place. Islam emphasizes that a prophet of God would not be subjected to such a death and that Jesus was protected from crucifixion.

Rastafarians, too, do not celebrate Easter.

"There is nothing good about "Good Friday", writes Ibo Foroma in an article named Rastafarian Perspectives: The Origins of Easter, published in The Sunday Mail on 17 March 2024. "The son of man was crucified on that date; how good is that? Not to mention, in the early years of the Faith, the innocent Dreadlocks and Rastafarians were systematically terminated by militia and brutal forces of the British colonial regimes in Jamaica on "Good Friday" is correctly identified as 'Bad Friday'".

Nevertheless, Easter has a special meaning in a world of wars, destruction, and hate. It is deeply rooted in the triumph of light over darkness, life over death, and the victory of God's love for humanity.

Easter symbolizes hope, renewal, and the promise of a new beginning despite the challenges of conflict and hatred. It reminds us that despite adversity, there is room for redemption, forgiveness, and transformation. Easter signifies the ultimate victory over sin and death, offering believers peace, reconciliation, and the possibility of a better future.

That is a concept that Christians, Muslims, Seventh Adventists, and Rastafarians can believe in. Its importance cannot be faked.