Sunday, April 3, 2011
Easter Sunday 24 April, 2011
My wake-up call came on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945. As a member of the 1st Marine Division, we invaded the island of Okinawa infested with over 100,000 Japanese soldiers defending this island. We prayed that we would not be killed or wounded, while at the same time, we were firing Easter eggs at them. Our memory was also front and center; "Remember Pearl Harbor." This was the last battle of World War II.
As Christians, we celebrate Easter for entirely different reasons than most people do. You see, about two thousand years ago, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life, and to die for our sins! But Jesus did not stay dead; He rose from the dead! We are actually celebrating Jesus' death for our sins and His resurrection. That is why many people call Easter, Resurrection Sunday, because that is exactly what it is.
Easter is observed by Christians all over the world. Observed on the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs after the spring equinox. However, this definition is quite vague, the full moon mentioned is not precisely the same as astronomical full moon, and Orthodox Easter is different from Catholic Easter. The actual date of Easter Sunday is determined by a rather complicated set of rules driven by ancient tables and complex mathematical algorithms, but with this online calculator you can instantly calculate the Easter date for any given year.
Western Christian Easter
Easter is surrounded by many traditions, old and modern. Easter egg, Easter bunny and Easter basket are all common attributes of modern Easter. Easter egg hunts and gift-giving are common activities among Christians and non-Christians celebrating the Easter holidays.
The Easter Bunny brings Easter baskets full with colored eggs, toys and candies to children on the night before Easter. The Easter Bunny will hide the basket somewhere in the house so that the children can find the Easter eggs by engaging in the Easter egg hunt when they wake up in the morning of Easter Sunday. Easter egg hunt is relatively modern compared to the ancient tradition of holy Easter.
In todays world, Easter egg can mean something different. Traditionally, Easter eggs were colored or specially decorated eggs given to celebrate the holy Easter. However, today Easter eggs are also referred to as hidden jokes or messages buries in a book, movie, video game or computer program. Easter eggs can be accessed by typing an obscure combination or navigating to a hidden menu in a DVD. The name was adopted after the Easter egg hunt tradition observed in many households.