ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Finding Faith: Why we celebrate the renewal of Easter

"Even in this year, when it seems we cannot escape the cloud of despair enveloping this earth, we still celebrate the Son of God, coming to earth to live among us, suffering like us and voluntarily taking death to his grave with him so that we don’t have to."

Devlyn Brooks 2021
Devlyn Brooks
Contributed
We are part of The Trust Project.

Holy Week begins Sunday for tens of millions of Christians worldwide.

It begins with Palm Sunday, when Jesus, the son of God, rode humbly on a donkey into Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Passover. According to the Bible, he was greeted by throngs of people laying down their cloaks and palm leaves on his path in celebration of his coming, a stark contrast to what will happen just days later.

Maundy Thursday and Good Friday also take place during Holy Week. Christians celebrate Maundy Thursday as the day on which Jesus and his disciples celebrate the Last Supper of Christ, today known as communion to many. And, in the largest misnomer in history, Good Friday commemorates Jesus’ trial, persecution and death on the cross.

Interestingly, Holy Week doesn’t end with Easter, when Jesus rises from the tomb just as he said he would. But the end is actually Holy Saturday, or Easter Vigil, the day before Easter.

Holy Week and Easter together are the pinnacle of the Christian calendar, an eight-day span in which Christians hold the world’s despair, sin, death and injustice in tension with the sheer and utter joy experienced in knowing that Jesus conquers all of the world’s evil by rising from the grave.

ADVERTISEMENT

Millions of faithful, even those who long ago gave up on institutionalized religion, will flock to places of worship to witness the miracle of Easter morning, and to hear their faith leaders declare: “He is not here, but has risen!” (Luke 24:5)

Some might wonder why celebrate Easter at all in the face of current global circumstances. What joy possibly can be found in the unjust war in Ukraine, people still dying from COVID, and poverty and oppression raging all around us?

But the joy of Jesus Christ conquering death and evil on Easter morning IS why! Faithful the world over will gather, taking hope in the resurrection despite the despair we see all around us because God is not done in this world. He has risen from the grave and still is very active in current events.

That is why we celebrate … We celebrate that God is not done with this world yet!

Easter is about resurrection, about conquering death, about renewal of a world that clings to unfair and devastating earthly values rather than the values exhibited in God’s Kingdom.

And even in this year, when it seems we cannot escape the cloud of despair enveloping this earth, we still celebrate the Son of God, coming to earth to live among us, suffering like us and voluntarily taking death to his grave with him so that we don’t have to.

Hallelujah! … The Lord has risen indeed!

Devlyn Brooks, who works for Modulist, a Forum Communications Co.-owned company, is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. He serves as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Wolverton, Minnesota. He can be reached at devlyn.brooks@forumcomm.com for comments and story ideas.

ADVERTISEMENT

MORE FAITH NEWS:
"After a couple of years of celebrating apart because of the pandemic, and also for having just lived through another rancorous national election, we all could use the joy and hope and anticipation that is promised us in Christmas, in the birth of a mighty little king born in a manger."

Related Topics: FAITHEASTER
What to read next
"Does North Dakota really want women with complicated pregnancies to suffer? Does North Dakota really want a critical shortage of qualified obstetricians and to imprison doctors?" columnist Jim Shaw asks. "The legislature must act."
"I recently asked Lynn Helms, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director for the facts that rarely get reported," columnist Scott Hennen writes. "Helms tells us there is a full-on assault against our oil and gas industry in North Dakota coming from the Biden Administration."
Columnist Joan Brickner writes, "Rather than spout platitudes, 'thoughts and prayers,' she translated words into action."
Columnist Ross Nelson writes that giving up carbohydrates over the holidays can be difficult, but worth it.