Easter - Time of Sadness and Joy
The sadness over the death of Jesus and the joy of his resurrection constitute the basis of the Christian faith. The believers attain the forgiveness of their sins through His death- because He paid with his life. And His resurrection gives us hope - death is not the end of everything...
During Jesus' life there were two forces opposing him: the Roman rulers suspected him of instigating an uprising against them and the Jewish scholars called him a blasphemer. This brought about the separation of Judaism and Christianity.
Both the Romans and the Jews believed that they were right. Because who would like to live in hopeless servitude? And who would not hope that the long awaited Messiah came?
Jesus only called himself "Son of Man". He never called himself "Son of God.". Only his disciples proclaimed that, because the believers considered themselves to be God's children.
As a Messiah he came to absolve people from their sins. Even though he was not a rabbi, he was considered a better teacher than all Jewish authorities of the day. That is why he was chased out of synagogues and why he used to teach the people and his disciples in their friends' houses or outside under the vault of heavens. He knew the Jewish Law and he knew how to give good advice. In addition to his gift of speech Jesus also knew how to perform miracles: he healed sickness and expelled evil spirits; he also succeeded in feeding the crowds and calming destructive natural elements. He could revive the dead - could anyone ever do that before him?
Rome was afraid that the Jewish nation might rise in revolt against its power. The Roman rulers could not let that happen - their prestige was at stake. For the same reason the Jewish leaders proclaimed Jesus an enemy believing that he was instigating the people to oppose the valid laws. Therefore he had to die.
The last day before his death he dined with his disciples. He offered them bread and wine which he called his body and his blood. Then he left them and prayed to God before the soldiers came to arrest him. When he was brought to the High Priest, the Jewish Council and the Governor of the province Pontius Pilate, he knew that it was the beginning of his way to death. Pilate even gave the people present a chance to save Jesus, but the fanatic crowd sent him to the cross.
Jesus was disgraced, his way to Golgotha was full of pain, hateful shouts and mockery. He was nailed onto the cross together with two criminals and died of total exhaustion and after terrible suffering. According to the scriptures he died at three o'clock in the afternoon. The Christians commemorate his death on Good Friday every year.
He was buried on the same day. His secret follower Joseph of Arimatia asked the Romans for the body of Jesus.
Jesus was buried in his grave that had been prepared only recently - carved in a rock. Three days later, when several women came to the grave to embalm the body, they did not find it. A big rock at the entrance to the grave had been rolled away and the body was gone. An angel appeared and told the women that the Master had risen and gone to his Father.
Later Jesus appeared three times to his disciples and people understood that he has risen from the dead. Those who loved him were full of joy and hope. Forty days later the disciples witnessed Jesus disappearing from their view and ascending the heaven.
This is the story of Easter - a story of the great victory over the worldly power, the victory over sin and death.Venda Šebrlová
Translated by Marie Dolanska
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