On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”
–from Luke chapter 24
Why Easter, and not Christmas, is Central for Orthodox Christians
In Western Christianity the emphasis of the yearly worship cycles is on the Nativity, rather than the Resurrection. The reasons for this are deeply embedded in the differences between the theological traditions of the Eastern and Western churches…
“Peace be with you.”
Those were the first words spoken by Jesus upon appearing to his disciples on Easter. This was later in the day, in the evening, after he had already appeared to Mary Magdalene outside the tomb that morning. The disciples were gathered in a house in Jerusalem, presumably the same one in which they had shared the last supper, although the passage from John (chapter 20 verse 19) tells us that the doors of the house were now locked for fear of the Jews:
[ Ed. note – Israel’s supporters and its legions of hasbara apparatchiks are quite fond of telling us how wonderfully Christians are treated in the Jewish state. But an article published today in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz gives us a slightly different perspective. Palestinian Christians in Gaza are required to obtain permits to travel to Jerusalem for Easter observances, and according to the Haaretz report, Israeli authorities are refusing to issue permits to Christians aged 55 and under.
By Richard Edmondson
Out of the four gospels, it is the Gospel of John’s portrayal of the resurrection that has probably most captured the human imagination, mainly for its depiction of the encounter outside the tomb between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Hinting at a strong emotional bond between the two, the scene is—in a word—titillating.
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him,objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.