The naming of the celebration as “Easter” seems to go back to the name of a pre-Christian goddess in England, Eostre, who was celebrated at the beginning of spring. The only reference to this goddess comes from the writings of the Venerable Bede, a British monk who lived in the late seventh and early eighth century.
While Easter has largely become a mainstream holiday, its roots are in Christianity. With the commercialization of Easter, it’s easy to overlook the true meaning of the holiday and the real meaning behind it.
In Christianity, Easter is even more important than Christmas because it celebrates Jesus’ divinity and the purpose of His coming to the earth. The Easter holiday commemorates Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and His promise of eternal life to all who believe in Him.
The account of Jesus’ resurrection can be found in all four of the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each bible tells a slightly different account of the story from the authors’ differing perspectives. What’s consistent across all bibles is that Jesus was previously in the tomb where He was buried after his crucifixion and that His body was removed after three days.
In some accounts, Jesus Himself appears; in others, angels bring the news of His resurrection. But in any case, Jesus’ body has been removed from the tomb without explanation. The Biblical accounts then tell of Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene, the disciples, and other followers before finally ascending into Heaven.
With His resurrection, He proved that He was not just a human but divine. The apostle Paul summarizes the sequence of events when he says, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” This account is a declaration of what Christians believe: that Jesus Christ came to earth, died for the sins of humanity, and defeated the powers of death through His resurrection. Easter is the yearly celebration of this miracle and is celebrated around the world.